Terror Arrest Timing: White House Spins Lamont Victory at Expense of Our Safety

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The Tattered Coat has a great post on how the Bush administration forced the timing of the recent London terror plot arrests. Analyzing reporting done by NBC and others, TTC’s Matt notes:

This goes way beyond what we understood previously — that the Bush Administration knew about the arrests ahead of time, and timed a PR offensive against the Democrats around it.

It turns out that it was the other way around: the Bush Administration orchestrated the timing of the arrests to coordinate them with the PR offensive, which attacked Democrats after Ned Lamont’s victory in the Connecticut primary.

For the GOP, the short-term political importance of getting the Lamont victory, and the developing sense that America had fully turned against the Iraq War, off the news was reason enough to disrupt an active terror investigation. The disruption hurt the legal case against the terrorists — it will be much harder to convict them without passports or airline tickets. The GOP was so insistent on the timing that they threatened to “render” the lead suspect if the British did not comply with their wishes.

The Republicans, in other words, once again played politics with national security, and hurt anti-terrorism efforts as they did so.

They cannot be trusted to protect us from the threat of terrorism because — to paraphrase The Downing Street Memo — they fix terror investigations around smear campaigns.

And it’s not just liberal bloggers who won’t be fooled again. This morning I heard a commentator on the (delightfully) sleepy show CBS Sunday Morning (the one with all the suns) say pretty much the same thing. Lyndon Johnson once said he’d knew he’d lost the country when he lost Walter Cronkite. Watch any show where reporters or anchors or pundits are allowed to deviate from the teleprompter, and it’s becoming increasingly clear Bush has lost us all. Well, except for Charles Krauthammer. But then he yells at rabbis.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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