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Safe assumptions about tactics and privacy

Allowing that there may be some aspiring but hapless terrorists who could, in the words of Alberto Gonzales, “forget” that they are working under a cloud of secrecy, let’s nonetheless stipulate a few things that the rest of the terrorists probably understand:

  • their phones are probably bugged.
  • their bank accounts are probably monitored.
  • somebody probably knows about their airline tickets
  • their purchase of boots, guns, and uniforms probably won’t go unnoticed.
  • their friends might be suspected terrorists, too.

And to be really, really thorough, let’s just make the assumption that terrorists are paranoid enough to be cautious about going to the bathroom, calling mom, ordering pizza, texting girlfriends, picking up fertilizer, changing their oil, getting carded at the brewpub, driving with insurance and registration, and picking inconspicuous AIM screennames. Okay?

Now that that’s out of the way, can we dispense with further claims that making those assumptions is “despicable” and “makes it harder to win the war on terror?”

Fortress of solitude

Can this possibly be for real?

Some of the money might be designated for a new embassy in Baghdad, which has been projected to cost as much as $1.5 billion, the AP reported.

I’m trying to imagine how to spend that much money: Operating costs over some period of time? Untold amounts of high-tech gear? Stealth technology?


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