Another terrorist attack is “certain” within 6 months

So said five of the country’s top intelligence officials before a congressional hearing.  “Certain”!  Who makes predictions using that word anymore?  The evidence of an impending attack must be overwhelming.

See Intelligence officials say al-Qaeda will try to attack U.S. in next 6 months – washingtonpost.com.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • fws

    “The evidence of an impending attack must be overwhelming.”

    I would conclude the same thing as a point of pure logic without any need for “evidence”. The real question is this one:

    How much government intrusiveness and how much loss to freedom of privacy will we be willing to give up to secure a “sense of safety”? Is there really anything the government can do reasonably to prevent another very successful terrorist attack by persons who are willing even to blow themselves up to accomplish this?

    If there is another very damaging and successful attack by terrorists, would this mean that our government was not doing it´s job or was asleep at the wheel? what would it mean? anything at all?

  • fws

    “The evidence of an impending attack must be overwhelming.”

    I would conclude the same thing as a point of pure logic without any need for “evidence”. The real question is this one:

    How much government intrusiveness and how much loss to freedom of privacy will we be willing to give up to secure a “sense of safety”? Is there really anything the government can do reasonably to prevent another very successful terrorist attack by persons who are willing even to blow themselves up to accomplish this?

    If there is another very damaging and successful attack by terrorists, would this mean that our government was not doing it´s job or was asleep at the wheel? what would it mean? anything at all?

  • NYgal29

    I don’t know if an actual attack can be certain, but I bet an attempt is.

  • NYgal29

    I don’t know if an actual attack can be certain, but I bet an attempt is.

  • Rose

    Probably nothing new here. The key word is attempt:
    “Asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), committee chairwoman, to assess the likelihood of an attempted terrorist attack on the United States within the next six months, Blair described it as “certain.” Each of the four other officials, asked the same question, agreed with Blair. ”
    There were probably many attempted attacks in the past decade.

  • Rose

    Probably nothing new here. The key word is attempt:
    “Asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), committee chairwoman, to assess the likelihood of an attempted terrorist attack on the United States within the next six months, Blair described it as “certain.” Each of the four other officials, asked the same question, agreed with Blair. ”
    There were probably many attempted attacks in the past decade.

  • Carl Vehse

    Giving their answer less than two months after the botched attempt by the underwear bomber didn’t take much reading of the tea leaves for our top spooks.

    BTW, the latest technique of surgically implanted explosives can’t be picked up by even the new body scanners that image the person’s body underneath clothing (or burka). Strip searches for recent scars, sonograms of suspected areas, and body cavity searches would be required. Enjoy your flight.

  • Carl Vehse

    Giving their answer less than two months after the botched attempt by the underwear bomber didn’t take much reading of the tea leaves for our top spooks.

    BTW, the latest technique of surgically implanted explosives can’t be picked up by even the new body scanners that image the person’s body underneath clothing (or burka). Strip searches for recent scars, sonograms of suspected areas, and body cavity searches would be required. Enjoy your flight.

  • Winston Smith

    I call baloney. This is yet another attempt to instigate fear, thus conditioning the public to accept still more intrusions upon Constitutionally-protected civil liberties, and further justifying ruinously expensive foreign wars.

    I am not persuaded, and I am not afraid, except of those who would increase government power at the expense of the Bill of Rights.

  • Winston Smith

    I call baloney. This is yet another attempt to instigate fear, thus conditioning the public to accept still more intrusions upon Constitutionally-protected civil liberties, and further justifying ruinously expensive foreign wars.

    I am not persuaded, and I am not afraid, except of those who would increase government power at the expense of the Bill of Rights.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Sounds like a certain administration is trying to distract the American populace away from issues regarding its effectiveness.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Sounds like a certain administration is trying to distract the American populace away from issues regarding its effectiveness.

  • Scots

    >>”Certain”! Who makes predictions using that word anymore?<<

    Our President…"Let me be clear"…"Make no mistake"

  • Scots

    >>”Certain”! Who makes predictions using that word anymore?<<

    Our President…"Let me be clear"…"Make no mistake"

  • Orianna Laun

    Maybe sarcasm is a protest of the weak (my own), but I don’t remember our President mentioning anything about terrorists in his State of the Union Address. . .

  • Orianna Laun

    Maybe sarcasm is a protest of the weak (my own), but I don’t remember our President mentioning anything about terrorists in his State of the Union Address. . .

  • Cincinnatus

    Shenanigans. No doubt there have been many “attempted” terrorist attacks in the last decade, and no doubt said trend will continue, so of course “attempts” are certain. But employing such rhetoric at this juncture is posturing for the sake of securitarian legislation. A people perpetually in crisis is perpetually at the mercy of its government. We moderns are a risk-averse people, and we will tolerate all too much centralization of power to minimize risks, whether those risks be terrorism, climate change, or economic instability.

  • Cincinnatus

    Shenanigans. No doubt there have been many “attempted” terrorist attacks in the last decade, and no doubt said trend will continue, so of course “attempts” are certain. But employing such rhetoric at this juncture is posturing for the sake of securitarian legislation. A people perpetually in crisis is perpetually at the mercy of its government. We moderns are a risk-averse people, and we will tolerate all too much centralization of power to minimize risks, whether those risks be terrorism, climate change, or economic instability.

  • DonS

    “The Obama administration’s top intelligence officials on Tuesday described it as “certain” that al-Qaeda or its allies will try to attack the United States in the next six months, and they called for new flexibility in how U.S. officials detain and question terrorist suspects.”

    Fair enough. Might I suggest that they start by treating KNOWN terrorists, like the PantyBomber, like terrorists instead of criminal suspects?

    We seem to be in a state, currently, where we are more willing to substantially inconvenience and intrude on the liberties of the average American citizen, just living their lives, then we are to take bold and decisive action against known terrorists. As Scott Brown put it, we need to put our resources toward fighting terrorists, not defending them. The more aggressive we are in obtaining important information from terrorist suspects (and especially actual known perpetrators), the less intrusive we will need to be in disrupting the lives of and invading the privacy of everyone else.

  • DonS

    “The Obama administration’s top intelligence officials on Tuesday described it as “certain” that al-Qaeda or its allies will try to attack the United States in the next six months, and they called for new flexibility in how U.S. officials detain and question terrorist suspects.”

    Fair enough. Might I suggest that they start by treating KNOWN terrorists, like the PantyBomber, like terrorists instead of criminal suspects?

    We seem to be in a state, currently, where we are more willing to substantially inconvenience and intrude on the liberties of the average American citizen, just living their lives, then we are to take bold and decisive action against known terrorists. As Scott Brown put it, we need to put our resources toward fighting terrorists, not defending them. The more aggressive we are in obtaining important information from terrorist suspects (and especially actual known perpetrators), the less intrusive we will need to be in disrupting the lives of and invading the privacy of everyone else.

  • MikeD

    If it’s so certain then why do anything to try to stop it? In other words it’s not certain. I agree with many, it’s another fear tactic for a power grab. The other plus… when the gov. fails again to protect our country they can at least recall our attention to this day and say, “Well we told you so.”

  • MikeD

    If it’s so certain then why do anything to try to stop it? In other words it’s not certain. I agree with many, it’s another fear tactic for a power grab. The other plus… when the gov. fails again to protect our country they can at least recall our attention to this day and say, “Well we told you so.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    MikeD (@11), did you read the article, or at least the headline? It said “Intelligence officials say al-Qaeda will try to attack U.S. in next 6 months”. Try. It didn’t say a successful attack is certain in the next 6 months.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    MikeD (@11), did you read the article, or at least the headline? It said “Intelligence officials say al-Qaeda will try to attack U.S. in next 6 months”. Try. It didn’t say a successful attack is certain in the next 6 months.

  • MikeD

    Good lookin’ tODD, I was reading the title of this post and missed the word “try” in the title of the article. It’s not so much that I’d like to stick to my guns, but does it matter? Yes then the “We told you so,” card is gone (kinda!), but isn’t al-Qaeda always trying? Wasn’t the last crotch bomber affiliated with that group? Haven’t they all sworn a long time ago to kill all the capitalist imperialist infidels? My main point is certainly not that the gov. should give up defense (for this is one of their few legitimate tasks), nor for them to keep immanent threats to themselves, but to warn that an attempt is certain is practically non-information… we know already they are going to try, and try often.

  • MikeD

    Good lookin’ tODD, I was reading the title of this post and missed the word “try” in the title of the article. It’s not so much that I’d like to stick to my guns, but does it matter? Yes then the “We told you so,” card is gone (kinda!), but isn’t al-Qaeda always trying? Wasn’t the last crotch bomber affiliated with that group? Haven’t they all sworn a long time ago to kill all the capitalist imperialist infidels? My main point is certainly not that the gov. should give up defense (for this is one of their few legitimate tasks), nor for them to keep immanent threats to themselves, but to warn that an attempt is certain is practically non-information… we know already they are going to try, and try often.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    MikeD (@13), it’s not that I disagree with what you wrote as such, but, again, you have to read the article. This wasn’t the government issuing a warning to the general populace by sending out spokesmen to talk on national TV. This was intelligence officials testifying before the Senate intelligence committee. They couldn’t very well not say what they think, could they? What would be the point of testifying, then?

    That the media seized on this and spun it to look more like an alarmist warning and less like a frank assessment of intelligence officials isn’t all that surprising, but we should read beyond such spin to see what’s actually going on, yes?

    And don’t call me “Good lookin’ tODD” — my wife will get jealous. ;) Kidding!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    MikeD (@13), it’s not that I disagree with what you wrote as such, but, again, you have to read the article. This wasn’t the government issuing a warning to the general populace by sending out spokesmen to talk on national TV. This was intelligence officials testifying before the Senate intelligence committee. They couldn’t very well not say what they think, could they? What would be the point of testifying, then?

    That the media seized on this and spun it to look more like an alarmist warning and less like a frank assessment of intelligence officials isn’t all that surprising, but we should read beyond such spin to see what’s actually going on, yes?

    And don’t call me “Good lookin’ tODD” — my wife will get jealous. ;) Kidding!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X