Thousands of YouTube viewers know about Mentos and Diet Coke — it's certainly not surprising that the Bush Administration knew of the explosive potential of certain liquids, even as we've been studiously taking our shoes off in airports. Now, in his first radio address since the terror plot was thwarted, Bush is calling the planned methods of execution "new." How many people out there listening will believe him? How many of them will be in the media?
From the President's Radio Address, August 12, 2006: "This plot is further evidence that the terrorists we face are sophisticated, and constantly changing their tactics... We're dealing with a new enemy that uses new means of attack and new methods to communicate."
From the New York Times, Aug. 12, 2006: In 1995, a plot to bomb 12 American jumbo jets over the Pacific with a liquid explosive was discovered when the bomb makers accidentally set fire to their laboratory in Manila.
From the New York Times editorial, Aug. 12, 2006: The most frightening thing about the foiled plot to use liquid explosives to blow up airplanes over the Atlantic is that both the government and the aviation industry have been aware of the liquid bomb threat for years but have done little to prepare for it.
From the Associated Press: As the British terror plot was unfolding, the Bush administration quietly tried to take away $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new explosives detection technology....Rep. Martin Sabo, D-Minn., who joined Republicans to block the administration's recent diversion of explosives detection money, said research and development is crucial to thwarting future attacks, and there is bipartisan agreement that Homeland Security has fallen short. ''They clearly have been given lots of resources that they haven't been using,'' Sabo said.
Keith Olbermann revisits a report from March of this year about threats to airlines, and in particular liquid explosives. Keith is right, none of this threat it new. We hear reports on an almost weekly basis of how our airports and other facilities still are not secure. No matter how hard Bush, Cheney, Mehlman or any of the wingnut talking heads try to spin it, our level of security really hasn’t improved that much.