Letters from our readers on the airline bombing attempt

On “The Northwest Flight 253 intelligence failure: Negligence or conspiracy?


Thank you WSWS for Bill Van Auken’s article on the Northwest flight 253 intelligence “failure.”


The “breakdown” of intelligence gathering and action surrounding this episode is incredible, especially considering the overwhelming anti-terrorism propaganda of the US establishment and the intense scrutiny levied on airline passengers everyday.


The military-intelligence apparatus has dealt cynically with any remaining shred of public credulity. Yet the media willingly goes along for the ride. The more incredible the terrorist plot line, it would seem, the more likely the media is to peddle it.


Van Auken’s analysis of the political maneuvers underlying this event seems right. There appears to be discontent about the extent of military adventurism undertaken by Obama on behalf of imperialism, despite having met and exceeded the Bush standard. This mini-scandal will be used as additional justification for a virtual military dictatorship shadowing and overriding any opposing political desideratum—as if any existed in the ruling sectors. The majority will now be a hostage to further crimes against humanity abroad and infringement of rights at home. The consolidation of ruling interests around militarism is nearly complete.


Pennsylvania, USA
31 December 2009


Yes, you are wise in including a reference to “Seven Days in May” at the end of your essay. It is just a matter of time, isn’t it? Or, on the other hand, I wager, the time is now and the fascist state already is upon us and in control (i.e., the Military/Financial alliance).


President Barack Obama may be the linchpin in bringing about its “official face” and declared agenda (knowingly or unknowingly); that, of course, will be viewed by most in an opposite light (self-defense, patriotism, nationalism). Personally, I warned in print elsewhere that either a small or large event would serve as a casus belli to further expand America’s military adventurism and cement an unquestioning populace into blind loyalty, as it did miraculously in 2001.


WSWS is not given to “conspiracy theories” as a rule. So, I take Mr. Van Auken’s careful analysis and perspective with grave seriousness. I wrote a fellow writer that he should keep his eye on America’s military movements from here forward, for in light of its crumbling house of Finance, Banking and Geopolitical influence, this is its only card to play. It is revealed now; and so it will be tomorrow.


The American army is depleted from years of senseless battles in the Middle East, and with a dwindling pool of new recruits can’t help but resist calling for the “Draft” (to be renamed in today’s Orwellian language). Should that occur, I will get to relive the late 60’s again, sans the counter-culture, but certainly with the effect of galvanizing those now “on the fence.”


Much to chronicle ahead, WSWS. Much to resist ahead, people.


Sadly, but realistically, it will be a “long stretch” before the end of this dark tunnel is reached. I do believe this, but hope I am wrong.


Michael B
Maine, USA
31 December 2009


With all respect for your article, which is a good one, I believe you are overlooking other parallels, specifically to the many failed “terrorist” plots, from the “liquid bombers” to the JFK bombers to the Sears Tower Seven and on and on, which look more like failure by design than by accident. A larger concern—given the Obama administration’s rapid “response” to escalate a new war front in Yemen, which, much like Afghanistan and Iraq on 9/11, is actually just the implementation of a prior plan—is whether it makes sense to exclude Obama from the possibility of conspiracy. Your article implies that his hand is forced by the Dark Lord Cheney who controls elements in the CIA and other areas of the security apparatus. Considering Obama’s full embrace of aggression, as noted above, this seems questionable. Would be interested in your thoughts on this.


Fred B
3 January 2009

On “Questions mount over attempt to bomb Detroit-bound jetliner


It simply isn’t credible at all. Given the harassment I encounter simply trying to pick up my 49-year-old autistic sister or make sure she gets to the correct departure gate when she travels between Seattle and Alaska, I can’t believe they can’t keep track of people who pose a real threat if or when they turn up. So I don’t believe a word of any of what they say anymore.


As is always the case with people who sell wolf tickets, eventually no one listens at all. Maybe that’s why these silly bastards spend so much time shouting about threats.


Michael H
Washington, USA
4 January 2009


Despite the increasing number of questions mounting up over the Christmas Day airline bombing attempt, patently blaming the intelligence agencies for their failures as a result of potential government conspiracy to encourage “false flag” operations is simply not as credible as the percentage of chance failure.


The size of these agencies, increased dramatically and made even more bureaucratic under the recent Bush Administration, is most likely the primary factor involved in such a failure. As such agencies become ever larger, their operating efficiencies decrease proportionately, and I have said as much with my own e-mails to the TSA directly.


Thus the possibility of an increase in security breaches increases at the same level, the Christmas Day situation being a potential result. If we fail to take operational efficiency into account and only rely on potential conspiracies, there will be an inaccurate analysis of the situation.


The failure here is not necessarily the fault of the agencies and their personnel but the incompetent politicians who made them ever more massive and thus inefficient.

Unfortunately, this is how US politicians think, since their interest is to route as much money to their constituencies as possible while pandering to the perception that they are “tough on crime,” which is just so much nonsense. Thus the result is a lessened efficiency in US intelligence operations as a direct result of irrational thinking and planning on the part of US legislative branches.


Dr. Gabriel Kolko, an eminent modern military historian, has recently warned that US politicians can no longer endeavor to produce rational results since Washington in general has become such an irrational political environment. The Christmas Day bombing attempt is most likely the result of this underlying sociological factor and nothing more.


If and when we are able to bring a level of rationality to the infrastructures of such agencies, then and only then can we ponder the more esoteric possibilities. However, jumping to conclusions that such failures are the result of sinister agendas at this point is more or less a “fool’s errand.”…


Steve N
New York, USA
4 January 2009

On “Obama: US agencies had intelligence to foil airline bomb plot


Take it from an old intel officer, this was not an intel “screwup,” as you note, the way they’re trying to spin it. The onus falls on the policy makers, what they decided to do with the intel…our vast intel network misses exactly nothing.


The dots were connected, trust me.


Now these horrid people are standing by with rectal probes for the innocent, to create further fear and disillusionment. The implications for US citizens—and others—are truly ominous.


Rob M
Alabama, USA
6 January 2009