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They Told Us Bomber Was A ‘Lone Wolf’

A quick flashback to the ‘N.Y. / Region’ section of yesterday’s New York Times:

Questions on Early News on Car Bomb

Published: May 3, 2010

On Sunday morning, less than 15 hours after a car bomb had been found in a sport utility vehicle in Times Square, the homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano, appeared on the NBC News program “Meet the Press” and said, “You know, at this point I have no information that it’s anything other than a one-off.”

Ms. Napolitano said almost the same thing on the ABC News program “This Week.”

A couple of hours later, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, stood in front of a CNN camera in Times Square and said, “The odds are quite high that this was a lone wolf.”

Representative Peter T. King of New York, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Homeland Security, suggested that the reason behind the attempted attack was “the whole issue with ‘South Park,’ which Islamic terrorists were threatening to have retribution for.” … 

The three officials went on the air before the investigators working on the case had said much, at least publicly. The authorities had given no indication that they knew enough details to say any more about who might have been responsible for parking the vehicle in Times Square or what the motivation might have been.

But the officials conveyed essentially the same message: It was an isolated threat, and the authorities were on top of it.

Er, Mr. King did not give convey that message at all. In fact, he conveyed exactly the opposite message.

In the rush to discuss a disturbing news event, especially one that involves terrorism, some officials strive to be the face of calm. Some are eager to be out front in delivering information, even if there is little new in terms of facts that they can add to what viewers have already heard.

Unlike some so-called newspapers.

And on Sunday, as Ms. Napolitano said in her talk show appearances, they were relying on preliminary information. Investigators on Monday were still examining surveillance video and, by the afternoon, the police had made no arrests and had not found the man seen in one video changing his shirt near the S.U.V. and walking away.

Still, were not she and Mr. Schumer jumping to conclusions? Aren’t we told that we need to remain vigilant? How does this help us remain vigilant?

“When they say it’s certainly a one-off, it’s an appropriate question to say, ‘How do you know that; was this based on real briefings?’” said John Dinges, a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. “To me, the most basic question in journalism is, ‘How do you know that?’ They won’t always tell you, but you can gauge a lot by their response.”

And what you can “gauge” here is that the Obama officials and Democrats will perform any and all possible contortions to avoid suggesting that this was a terrorist attack by a Muslim extremist.

A Schumer spokesman, Mike Morey, said the senator “received a briefing from both the F.B.I. and N.Y.P.D.” on Sunday that “preliminary evidence suggested that the car bombing attempt was likely not orchestrated by Al Qaeda or another known terrorist network.”

What would that “preliminary evidence” have been, exactly? How did any of the “preliminary evidence” suggest there were no others involved?

A Homeland Security Department official said Ms. Napolitano had been kept updated on developments after the vehicle was discovered on Saturday night. The department began sharing information about the episode in Times Square, sending messages to other jurisdictions, “telling them what we knew,” the official said, who added that the messages were meant to alert officials beyond New York.

The official did not want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly about preparations for Ms. Napolitano’s appearances. “By the time she went on the shows,” he said, referring to Ms. Napolitano, “she was able to say that right now, we have no evidence this is anything other than a one-off.”

Again, what is the point of stressing this, if it was even the truth? They didn’t have any evidence to suggest that it wasn’t part of a larger conspiracy, either.

By the way, who turned out to be closer to the truth? And Mr. King didn’t even have the luxury of last minute security briefings. Unlike, the always wrong Ms. Napolitano.

Come to think of it, has anyone in the Obama administration, including Messrs Biden and Holder, ever gotten anything right?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “They Told Us Bomber Was A ‘Lone Wolf’”

  1. bill says:

    They had placed all their bets on red tea party.

  2. proreason says:

    Contessa Brewer is really bummed that the guy wasn’t a teabagger.


    She just knows, as an experienced “journalist”, that the Hutaree militia guys are planning a big one. Just the thought is giving her a tingle down her leg (and me too, now that i’ve thought about her tingle).

    Please….pullllleeeeeeze…..won’t one of you grannies or granpas blow up some people to make Contessa happy.

  3. FCAFlyer says:

    Quote from above: “Aren’t we told that we need to remain vigilant?” “WE” need to remain vigilant? How about the FBI doing their job and THEY remain vigilant? They KNEW this guy was bad news and did no special surveillance on him at all. He’s an Islamic Terrorist, period. Not a 40 year old white guy tea partier like they prophesied and hoped he would be. The NYPD did their job for them and found him, NO thanks to the FBI. In fact, the bomb actually went off to an extent that the workers nearby said THE VAN WAS SMOKING! Homeland Insecurity is a joke. Janet Reno Napolitano is a slap in the face to every patriotic American, and there are a bunch of us really hacked off.

  4. Mithrandir says:

    Why is it OK to knee-jerk react and report it is a WHITE MAN, or a LONE WOLF, without any need to apologize for that? Had it been reported that it was a BLACK MAN, and it turned out to be false, someone would have lost his/her job. Or at least been sent to re-education camps.

    Why not knee-jerk toward what is likely the case: It appears to be a Muslim man, and Al Qaida has taken credit for it, so we will go with that scenario until proven otherwise.

    We are now trying to stop the disease, when we had the chance to react during the symptomatic phase. How about the gov’t trying not to be hated so much…..work on that from now on.

  5. mbabbitt says:

    Unfortunately, a great analysis of the present ostrich head in the sand mentality. And it is scary to realize that our country is being protected by clueless nincompoops.

  6. Perdido says:

    These guys sure seem to get into the country easily. I am beginning to think that perhaps, just perhaps, our security team is in a little over their collective head.

    One of these days one of these guys is going to stumble upon a design that works. And he won’t have any problem delivering it to the target.

  7. joeblough says:

    Collectivists by nature must have a pariah, a sacrifice, something they can destroy, burn or kill to dispel the terrors they live with.

    Well …

    Guess who gets to be the sacrificial pariah for our current regime of collectivists?

    BTW their outrageous insults, uttered in that innocent, thoughtful tone of voice they like to affect, should be received and responded to as the outrageous insults they are.


    Telling the truth. So easy even a progressive can do it.

  8. AcornsRNutz says:

    Representative Peter T. King of New York, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Homeland Security, suggested that the reason behind the attempted attack was “the whole issue with ‘South Park,’ which Islamic terrorists were threatening to have retribution for.”

    Seems to me this lacks context. Taken as an entire statement this sounds ridiculous and paranoid, even borderline racist, in that is sounds as if Peter King (R-NY) is voicing the hatred all republicans feel for muslims for whatever outlandish straw they can grasp at. This is obviously intentional. What is not noted in the story is the proximity of hte device to the viacom building. Taking that into account, the idea begins to sound more credible. But of course, why would the media look at that angle, since its bad enough the racist rednecks didn’t seem, to do this, and are apparently only guilty of taking off an extra shirt when it became to warm.

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