Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Al Qaeda to attack casinos, end American freedoms, says Richard Clarke.

Donald Trump and the Native Americans of Foxwoods for once agree, "Say it's not so!"

Over my morning coffee and eggs I read this alarming report in the NY Sun:
In the next six years, Al Qaeda will launch terrible attacks on America's casinos, shopping malls, and rail lines. The federal government will intern tens of thousands of Muslims in remote facilities and issue national identification cards. The price of oil will spike to more than $80 a barrel, and rebel forces will launch a successful coup in Saudi Arabia...
My gosh!

That's the vision of the future in a lengthy cover story in the current Atlantic Monthly by former counterterrorism tsar Richard Clarke, who predicts the American economy - not to mention civil liberties - will decline precipitously after a second wave of attacks that he says Al Qaeda will launch this year.

Written as the transcript for a fictional lecturer, Roger McBride, giving a 10th annual September 11 address to the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Mr. Clarke drives his point home when he writes, "No one could stand here today, in 2011, and say that America has won the war on terror."
Oh, this is fiction. He's aiming to crack into Tom Clancy's market.

In the concluding remarks of the fictional lecture, he takes a shot at Mr. Bush's vision to bring democracy to the Middle East: "Our haranguing Arab governments to be nicer to their citizens ended up producing a backlash against us, because our exhortations were seen as hypocritical in view of our bombing, torture, and occupation tactics in Iraq."
Of course, we're also the only ones to bring real elections to the region -- something these Arab governments aren't going to be doing for their own people any time soon. So let's put this prediction into the time capsule, look back in a few years and see.

While all of these scenarios have been discussed by counterterrorism experts in the past, Mr. Clarke may also stand to gain financially by publicizing them. In July 2003 he became chairman of the consulting company Good Harbor LLC, which among other things counsels Fortune 500 companies in protecting against terrorist and cyber attacks.
Oh, this is marketing -- one isn't going to drum up business in this business by saying risk will recede in the future because we're winning the war, eh?

It's always good to see a civil servant rewarded with a lucrative, post-civil service career. Although it was lucky for him that Osama's waited so many years to hit on the idea of toppling America by attacking casinos and his other now-potential business clients.

Here's a teaser from The Atlantic.


Richard Clarke talks about his frightening scenario of an America hobbled by terrorism — and what we can do to avoid it...

In Clarke's frightening scenario, a woman walks up to a crowded roulette table in Las Vegas and blows herself up — the first in a series of suicide bombings at casinos and amusement parks. Men with submachine guns enter five malls around the country and shoot shoppers at will. Bombs go off in subway systems in Atlanta, Boston, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Terrorists armed with heat-seaking missiles destroy four 767s. A cyberattack on computers around the country causes nationwide chaos. And on and on.

With each new blow, the economy grows weaker and the country creeps closer to becoming a police state. By 2011 civil liberties have been harshly curtailed; the country bristles with security workers and aggressive methods of surveillance...

This article is viewable only by Atlantic subscribers...
Sorry, but in these post-Michael Kelly days I'm not buying. Clarke will have to get his money from the new clients this brings him, and the movie rights.