Chicken Little: So the FBI releases a rather ridiculous press release today saying they expect imminent terrorist attacks but they don’t know where or when or against whom. Helpful? Or just stupid? That’s obviously what the FBI nerd was wondering when he or she put up the press release under the URL: “http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel01/skyfall.htm.” Note: Skyfall. Drudge thought that was some official codename: Operation Skyfall. My colleagues who found this — Joe and Peter, to give them credit — are sure it’s the ironic touch of a Web geek who can’t believe how ridiculous this omnibus warning of doom is.
Update: Note that the FBI changed the URL to a harmless number, no “Skyfall.”
Dust: A month after Sept. 11, I have a bad relationship with dust. It was the dust the Trade Center became — concrete, drywall, plaster, desks, airplanes, jet fuel, papers — that I breathed in that day as I was lucky enough to get the hell out of there. Since then, I’ve hated dust. I don’t like breathing it. When I get it on me, I have to wash my hands. I see a cloud of dust or fog and it reminds me of the blindness of that moment. No dust-to-dust symbolism here. Just the smell and taste and feel and memory of terror.
The White House’s request to censor bin Laden’s insane rantings — and the networks’ compliance — is troubling; official censorship is always troubling. We have the right to hear every lunatic, hateful, evil, disgusting, stupid, dangerous thing this criminal says; he is our enemy, first-hand. It’s not as if his idiot followers won’t be able to see his rants and alleged secret signals on the Internet or via email and instant messenger; it’s not as if he can fire them up anymore than he already has. The networks were stuck in a place where they would have found it tough to say no. But this is a bad precedent.
– Ken Layne: “Something weird is happening in this country, and it’s not just Anthrax and suicide hijackers. The rational people on the Right and Left are finding — surprise! — that we have very much in common. We like it here, and we like the world.”
– James Woods says he witnessed a practice flight by terrorists.