I think I was one of the first mainstream bloggers to openly wonder this week whether there might be an al-Qaeda/Islamic terror connection to the California brushfire disaster.
Andrew Sullivan is outraged that FOX News’ morning program brought the topic up at all. He calls it “ImaginationLand.”
If I recall, the 9/11 Commission Report stated that all parts of the Federal Government failed in their “imagination” about what al-Qaeda was capable of and willing to do. I guess Andrew will have to completely renounce the 9/11 Commission findings now since the winds are blowing against imagination today?!?
However, CNN has no problem casting blame immediately on American youth, greedy homeowners or even a firefighter.
From CNN.com Main Page – 3:50PM – October 26, 2007…From lead paragraph into the main story at the time:
“Arson investigators get on their hands and knees to track how and where suspicious fires began. Then they have to find the fire-starter, who could be a flame-obsessed kid, a property owner seeking an insurance payout — or even a firefighter looking for glory.”
So even entertaining the thought of a possible terror connection is off-limits in our post-9/11 World, but CNN can engage in broadly brainstorming about which Californian may have started the blaze.
How very typical of Andrew & CNN.
UPDATE (from GPW): It’s uncanny sometimes how, without contacting one another, Bruce and I often have similar thoughts, or, in this case, “speculations,” on certain issue. I put the word, “speculations” in quote for two reasons, first, because it sounds awkward in the plural and second, because it is, I believe, the key word in his initial post on the topic. And note how he modifies the word “speculation” with the adjective, “COMPLETE,” which he had put in all caps. I might have called it an interesting speculation. And Bruce accents the importance of that word by using a form of it in the title to this post.
Bruce, gets it exactly right here. As long as we’re making clear that it’s speculation at this point, it is an interesting angle on the disaster and a necessary perspective to have, given our failure of imagination prior to 9/11 and the persistence of the terrorist threat. Bin Laden and his ilk have made clear that they’d like to attack us again.
Given all that, it’s amazing that others are making other speculations, but ignoring the terrorist one — or daring to fault those of who do wonder if there was terrorist involvement. As if history for them began on September 12, 2001.