Another day, another deadly plot by freelance Muslim radicals foiled. Oh, sorry. That’s the plot to blow up JFK airport I’m talking about. Many of you may barely remember given that it’s been over a week now and given the mainstream media’s lackadaisical coverage of it and given said media’s overwhelming wall-to-wall coverage of the far more compelling Paris Hilton saga.
Anyway, this latest plot, coming on the heels of the foiled Fort Dix Six plot, sounds like it would have been a real doozy had it come to fruition. The idea was to plant explosives on jet fuel arteries at John F. Kennedy International Airport, set off a chain reaction that would blow up all the many jet fuel holding tanks and obliterate the entire airport and everybody in it. It would have been one big orgy of flaming destruction and mass murder. Allahu akbar!
But as fate would have it, Russell Defreitas, the alleged plot originator, befriended an FBI informant and thus began the unraveling of another intended wanton act of jihad. Defreitas, by the way, is an American citizen originally from Guyana and a Muslim convert. He also happens to be a former JFK air cargo employee who knows the airport like the back of his hand. Also arrested were Abdul Kadir, a Muslim and former member of Parliament in Guyana, and Kareem Ibrahim, a citizen of Trinidad.
Trinidad? Guyana? What the heck is going on? I thought Trinidad was a place where the locals languorously while away the sultry hours entertaining loud-shirted tourists by playing steel drums and doing the limbo. But here’s an interesting factoid: Trinidad is the Caribbean’s leading producer and exporter of oil. Another interesting factoid: Trinidad has a small but significant Muslim population.
Hmm . . . Muslims, oil . . . Sounds like a sure-fire recipe for trouble. In fact, did you know that in 1990 a radical Islamic group known as Jamaat al Muslimeen staged a coup attempt in Trinidad during which the prime minister and others were taken hostage? Fortunately, the coup was unsuccessful, but it’s highly doubtful that Trinidad has seen the last of its Islam-related problems.
As for Guyana, it’s located on the northern coast of South America not far from the island of Trinidad. It has no oil, but guess what it does have. That’s right, Muslims, approximately 10 percent of the population. And as we have learned in recent times, wherever Muslims go in any significant numbers, trouble and/or jihad is almost certain to follow.
So, getting back to the JFK plot, it was a pretty big story and you’d think the New York Times would have been all over it like white on rice. But one day after the news came out, its coverage was buried on page 37, while featured on the front page was (surprise, surprise) yet another story about those poor Club Gitmo detainees.
Well, hey, the Times seemed to be saying, what’s all the fuss about? After all, JFK “was never in imminent danger because the plot was only in a preliminary phase and the conspirators had yet to lay out detailed plans or obtain financing or explosives.” And anyway, “safety shut-off valves would almost assuredly have prevented an exploding airport fuel tank from igniting all or even part of the network.” In other words, the whole thing was a crackpot scheme by a bunch of bumbling losers that was still in the planning stages and probably had a next to zero chance of ever being pulled off. So why get the public all worked up over nothing?
Well, what about the people’s cherished “right to know,” which the Times so often cites when publicizing information that damages the Bush administration and its fight against terrorism (see endless NYT stories about Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, secret Bush program to monitor terrorist financial transactions, etc., etc.)? Even if it’s true that this particular plot had little chance of succeeding — and we don’t know that for certain — it rates front page coverage because it provides profound evidence that the psychosis of radical Islam continues to spread around the globe with the ferocity of a biblical plague.
Even the Caribbean, which most of us thought of as an innocuous playground for vacationers, appears to be seriously infected.
If the New York Times’ standard for newsworthiness when it comes to terror plots is to be inextricably linked to their apparent plausibility, then to what back page would the 9/11 plot have been relegated had it been foiled ahead of time? Arabs in flight schools learning how to fly, but not to take off or land, were going to commandeer commercial airliners with box cutters? And they were going to take out both World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and possibly the White House or the Capitol? Come off it! This story belongs on the funny pages.
John Edwards recently said that the global war on terror was nothing more than a “bumper sticker” slogan used by Bush to justify everything from abuses at Abu Ghraib to the invasion of Iraq. The New York Times is in wholehearted agreement and believes that when it comes to foiled or alleged terror plots, it’s all inconsequential silliness and BushCo scaremongering. At least, it is until the next time thousands are slaughtered. Then, you can count on page one headlines screaming about intelligence failures and demanding to know why Bush didn‘t protect us.