Following up on yesterdayâ€™s post that speculated whether the recent British terror plot was â€œmore froth than ale,â€? I direct your attention to an article by Thomas C. Greene that appeared today in the British daily, The Register. In the article, Greene questions whether the alleged plotters were â€œfor real, or have they, and the counterterrorist officials supposedly protecting us, been watching too many action movies.â€? To answer this question, he carefully examines the science behind the reported terrorist plotâ€”i.e., â€œmaking a quantity of [the explosive] TATP sufficient to bring down an airplaneâ€? while in flightâ€”and ultimately finds it wanting. He concludes that â€œwe’ve given extraordinary credit to a collection of jihadist wannabes with an exceptionally poor grasp of the mechanics of attacking a plane, whose only hope of success would have been a pure accident. They would have had to succeed in spite of their own ignorance and incompetence, and in spite of being under police surveillance for a year.â€? The article is well worth reading in full and can be found here:
Of course, given the Bush administration’s well-documented disregard for the sciences, I can easily imagine their dismissing what Greene and others may have to sayâ€”however reasonable and factualâ€”in favor of continuing to make political hay out of this latest terrorist “threat.” And so they froth on.