FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR
Remember this, from just before Christmas? Hmmm -- I guess it never happened:
British intelligence and law enforcement officials have passed on a grim assessment to their U.S. counterparts, "It will be a miracle if there isn't a terror attack over the holidays in London," a senior American law enforcement official tells ABCNews.com.
..."It is not a matter of if there will be an attack, but how bad the attack will be," an intelligence official told ABCNews.com.
...A report by "Newsweek" says that American al Qaeda figure Adam Gadahn has served as a translator of a 12-member team of Western recruits, the "English brothers," said to be preparing an attack that would be much bigger than last year's attack on the London subway system.
...British Home Minister John Reid recently told reporters that it was "highly likely" that terrorists would attempt an attack before the first of the year.
I can understand wanting to say "We know you're out there!" to any plotters of terrorist attacks who might be counting on the element of surprise. I can't think of any good reason for a public official to say "WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!" except a desire to engage in fearmongering.
And, of course, John Reid and the Labour government were accused of just that by the opposition:
Conservative homeland security spokesman Patrick Mercer said: "If the Government wants to make things more difficult for the terrorists, they have to involve the public in a constructive way. Otherwise warnings like this are nothing but hollow rhetoric.
"Where are the efforts to advise people on what to do in the event of an attack, or what to look out for to help prevent one?
"Where are the instruction posters on the Tube in London? Where are the new radios to allow the emergency services to communicate underground?
"Knowledge dispels fear, but John Reid is giving us fear with no knowledge."
Mr Mercer also voiced concerns that ministers are using repeated warnings of impending attacks partly to 'soften up' public opinion for the introduction of more sweeping counter-terrorism powers, including another attempt to introduce 90-day detention without charge for suspects in terrorist cases.
Scaring the hell out of people in order to ease the way for an erosion of civil liberties, while failing to take practical steps? Gosh, where have I seen that before?