No one would second-guess the authorities for pursuing and arresting suspected plotters. An enduring lesson that the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have taught prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is the danger of inaction.So let's spell that out for Malkin. The New York Times is saying that, yes, we should take seriously, pursue, and arrest terrorist plots. But we should be careful that we present the reality of these cases in such a way as not to engage in fear-mongering.
But as with many post-9/11 terror plots, the line between terrible aspiration and reality can get lost in a murky haze.
But Malkin is incapable of making that distinction or recognizing the reality of the situation. Islamofascists almost blew up the JFK airport and we should be in a state of panic willing to support anything that President Bush says needs be done to protect us from this grave danger, and that's all there is to it.
At the end of her post, Malkin provides a Dr. Seuss cartoon from WWII (he was a young political cartoonist at the time) in which Seuss shows Americans ignoring the threat of Hitler by putting ostrich hats on and then sticking their heads in the ground. Malkin says the cartoon has"timeless relevance."
This is Malkin putting her stupidity on display. Let me explain.
First, no one is denying the threat of terrorism or arguing that we should not pursue and arrest terrorists. What is being argued is that we should report terrorists plots realistically ... which I would consider the opposite of sticking one's head in the ground.
Secondly, the ostrich cartoons were a recurring theme for Dr. Seuss during that time, as he directed them towards isolationist Americans (primarily America First-ers) who refused to see Hitler as a danger. The cartoon Michelle provides is from April 29, 1941. By that time (see here for a timeline), Germany had begun persecuting Jews, invaded Poland,Denmark, Norway, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Romania, and had begun planning an invasion of Britian with a world war already having broke out.
The suggestion that those who see the JFK terror plot for what it is (e.g high on intent, low on capability) and report it as such non-hysterically are comparable to Americans in April 1941 who did not see Nazi Germany as a threat or Americans like Charles Lindbergh (himself a frequent target of Seuss) who saw in Germany a potential ally is, simply put, idiotic.
Update: New York Times editor Suzanne Daley further explains the paper's coverage of the JFK plot.
Here's the basic thinking on the J.F.K. story: In the years since 9/11, there have been quite a few interrupted terrorist plots. It now seems possible to exercise some judgment about their gravity. Not all plots are the same. In this case, law enforcement officials said that J.F.K. was never in immediate danger. The plotters had yet to lay out plans. They had no financing. Nor did they have any explosives. It is with all that in mind, that the editors in charge this weekend did not put this story on the front page.Blogger's Note - Slight modifications made from initial posting.
In truth, the decision was widely debated even within this newsroom. At the front page meeting this morning, we took an informal poll and a few editors thought the story should have been more prominently played. Some argued it should have been fronted, regardless of the lameness of the plot, simply because it was what everyone was talking about.