Steve Benen writes:
Michael Crowley noted this morning, "It's a little weird that there hasn't been more alarm surrounding the apparently major Denver-based terror plot busted up by the feds in the past few days. Last night, ABC News reported that authorities believe Najibullah Zazi's may have co-plotters who are still at large."
We obviously need quite a bit more information about the Zazi case, but given what we know, it's a fair point.
... where's the freak-out? Jason Zengerle offers a compelling explanation.
Part of it is the crying wolf phenomenon: After so many supposedly big-deal domestic terrorism arrests turned out to be what NYU law school's Karen J. Greenberg calls "fantasy terrorism cases" (Padilla, the Liberty City Six, the Lackawanna Six, etc.), I think a lot of people have just become inured to this sort of thing, not to mention skeptical....
I think that's a good part of the reason -- but there's an additional obvious reason. Before January 20, 2009, when people freaked out at being told of thwarted terrorist plots, why did they freak out? A lot of them freaked out because they were Republicans -- outside the White House as well as in -- and it was politically useful to freak out, because the president was a Republican and his chief selling point was that he was the reason we hadn't all been annihilated in our beds.
Well, now the president's a Democrat, and Republicans apparently don't want to freak out, do they? That might draw attention to the fact that terrorists seem to have been thwarted on a Democrat's watch. Nothing to see here, people. Move along.
Terrorists in custody? LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!! ACORN ACORN ACORN ACORN ACORN!!!
And no, we shouldn't torture Zazi. I'm glad Jeffrey Toobin said no in response to Crowley's post on the subject (Crowley seems disappointed) -- but, really, the person who ought to be telling Crowley no is someone who actually has skills and experience as an interrogator.