By an amazing coincidence, the worst terrorist attack that never happened since 9/11 is not happening right now, proving that everyone who was worried about out-of-control NSA spying had lost the plot. Which is ZOMGTERRISM. So 28 US diplomatic posts have been evacuated (that is to say, "experienced an ordered departure"), including ones in places like Mauritius or Madagascar, where al Qaeda has nefariously never operated as part of its devious plan to lure everyone there into a false sense of security.
Well, some people are cynical and just don't believe it, despite all the overwhelming secret evidence that we're not allowed to see or know about or hear about or even have described to us. People like State Department counterterrorism advisor Will McCants, who called the evacuation of the diplomatic posts "Crazy Pants" ("you can quote me"). Loose cannons like Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, who called the terrifying and nonspecific warnings "absurd hyperbole that is coming almost entirely from reckless commentators or ill-informed or ill-spoken [Capitol] Hill folks...no one who really knows al Qaeda or its history thinks that this is as huge a deal as portrayed—and certainly nothing remotely close to the worst thing we have seen since 9/11." But what the hell does he know?
"It's not completely random," said another expert of the administration's reaction, "but most people are, like, 'Whaaat?'" Other terms used to describe it in addition to "Whaaat?" and "crazy pants": "willy-nilly," "baffling," "tenuous," "head-scratching," and "who really knows, anyway?" White House spokesman Jay Carney wasn't helping any: "What we know is the threat emanates from, and may be focused on, occurring in the Arabian Peninsula," he said yesterday. "It could potentially be beyond that, or elsewhere. We cannot be more specific." So, just stay away from everywhere, thanks.
But we have to do something, don't we, because isn't this "the most serious threat [Sen. Saxby Chambliss has] seen in the last several years," reminiscent of "what we saw before 9/11"? Actually, "[t]hat is absurd hyperbole that is coming almost entirely from reckless commentators or ill-informed or ill-spoken [Capitol] Hill folks," or so said Michael Leiter, but what does a former director of the National Counterterrorism Center know about counterterrorism? "I don't think this was purposeful hype," Leiter continued, "but no one who really knows al Qaeda or its history thinks that this is as huge a deal as portrayed—and certainly nothing remotely close to the worst thing we have seen since 9/11."
Security Expert: Broad U.S. Terror Alert Is "Crazy Pants" [Lowering the Bar]
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.