Sunday, December 21, 2008

Liquid bomb plot leaking

During a brazen interview of Dick Cheney on Fox News Sunday --

Q ... I want to discuss the controversies that we've alluded to over national security over the last eight years. First of all, let's get to the big picture: Was it worth it? Did the decisions that you helped set in place on interrogation, on detention, on surveillance, did they, in fact, save lives that you would maintain would not have been saved under the old rules?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, I believe that.

Q Can you be specific?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I guess I'd direct you to the intelligence agencies involved, but I know specifically of attacks that were thwarted -- I think of the airliner attack that was planned out of Heathrow, when they were going to hijack --

Q -- bomb attacks.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: -- six airliners and blow them up over American cities.

This should renew interest in the still poorly understood decision to make arrests in the supposed Lucozade bomb plot, accusations rejected by a jury and with an alleged mastermind, Rashid Rauf, who would always disappear just when it seemed he might shed some light on the issue. Until he disappeared for good in an American missile attack.**

The underlying questions concern the reliability and motivation of the evidence that Dick Cheney claims helped break up the plot, which in turn he uses as justification for the methods. Maybe the likely retrial of the accused plotters should focus more on the American intelligence link.

UPDATE: A lavishly produced Bush Legacy document (large file) claims amongst its "Did you know?" factoids --

Intelligence experts believe the 2006 plot to blow up multiple passenger jets traveling from London was only weeks from being carried out.

The jury didn't.

FINAL UPDATE 7 SEPTEMBER 2009: Some actual convictions related to the on-board liquid bomb portion of the plot.

**8 APRIL 2009: Rauf may not be dead after all. Note the extent to which his alleged career as a terrorist as been associated with bizarre security lapses and pre-empted investigations.

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