Summertime, and the chicanery is easy. The Obama administration’s latest rendering of our invisible but eternal “terrorist threat,” I mean.
After a week of ghost stories about an imminent but vaporous plot on the part of an al–Qaeda “affiliate”—this is the big new word—it is hard to decide which is more disheartening: 1. The White House’s blithe if clumsy deployment of factoids, 2. The supine complicity of the media (and this, frankly, is my choice), or 3. The willingness of honorable liberals and capital-D Democrats to go along with the show simply because Obama is maestro and one stays with Obama no matter what he does.
Nothing can be said for certain as to what prompted the State Department to close more than 20 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa last Sunday, and this is by design. But it is no excuse not to raise the possibility that Americans are eating a summer salad of nonsense served to justify objectionable surveillance practices now coming in for scrutiny.
The latest chapter in the story came just the other day, when Yemen announced it had apprehended a terrorist plot right after Washington ordered its embassy closed. A stunt, the State Department scoffed. The proper perspective on this is simply that it takes one to know one. Our terrorist threat is better than Yemen’s terrorist threat, so do not upstage our terrorist threat.