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Wednesday, December 25, 2002

We interrupt our regularly scheduled weblog, which was titled "Loving your Fellow Man - Not Just for Christmas Anymore", to bring you this breaking news on the X-Mas terrorist attack!

--- (begin news articles excerpt) ---


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A potential yuletide terrorist attack was prevented, through the rapid action of the U.S. Air Force, over San Francisco Bay late Tuesday evening.

The incident unfolded late Christmas Eve, as an unidentified private aircraft approached the Bay area, then diverted from its course. The aircraft, tentatively identified as a single-engine Cessna, made an abrupt turn toward the bay itself, and began a rapid descent.

According to FAA officials, the plane maintained radio silence as it continued on a direct approach aimed at the Golden Gate Bridge. Within minutes, two F-14 fighter jets were scrambled, and began flying parallel to the craft piloted by the terrorists.

When the jets could not dissuade the plane to divert its course, either to the nearest airport or back out of U.S. airspace, it was shot down.

A search for aircraft wreckage, which plummeted into the waters less than one mile from the bridge, will begin at daybreak, local officials said.

In response to this incident, Air Force chief of staff Gen. John P. Jumper said it demonstrated that the U.S. can fulfill its homeland defense mission simply by remaining on alert status.

At the same time, however, Jumper acknowledged the existence of significant new strains on the Air Force, given its heavy commitments overseas and at home, where Air Force fighters are flying combat air patrols over New York, Washington and other cities.

The latest incident closely followed predicted events described in a FBI warning alert of November 15, which read, "Al-Qaeda's next attack may rely on conventional explosives and low-technology platforms such as truck bombs, commercial or private aircraft, small watercraft, or explosives easily concealed and planted by terrorist operatives."

One Bush administration official said the president will address the nation, concerning this latest terrorist attack, early Christmas Day morning.



(AP) President George W. Bush addressed the nation early Wednesday morning, in the aftermath of an averted terrorist attack over San Francisco Bay the previous evening.

In a speech to the nation, Bush said, "The attack on our nation was also an attack on the ideals that make us a nation. We have seen the depth of our enemies' hatred and the depth of their hatred is equaled by the madness of the destruction they design. Thousands of dangerous killers, schooled in the methods of murder, are now spread throughout the world like ticking time bombs, set to go off without warning. Our cause is just and our nation will continue to be steadfast and patient and persistent."

He added, "I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. We fight not to impose our will, but to extend the blessings of freedom."

Bush also stated the country is now at "severe condition - red" according to the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS), a level which denotes "severe risk of terrorist attacks."

One Bush official, working fulltime in counterterrorism, pointed to Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet's testimony as recently as two months ago that "we were vulnerable to suicidal terrorist attacks and we remain vulnerable to them today."

Retired Army Gen. Wayne A. Downing, who was President Bush's deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism until July 8, stated, if such attacks continue, "The United States may have to declare martial law someday. This could mean that the military would be given the authority to impose curfews, protect businesses and communities, even make arrests."

In San Francisco, the search for the aircraft wreckage continued, as divers began the long task of combing the bottom of the bay.

Reportedly, some pieces of wreckage washed up on shore. The San Francisco police department bomb squad was called onto the scene after residents saw a number of brightly papered packages floating in the bay.

Residents also reported finding the burnt and blackened carcasses of several small deer or antelope on shore, although officials have yet to state whether these were connected with the Christmas Eve attack.

When confronted with these latest findings in San Francisco, after his speech, Bush replied, ""If you're a terrorist, you're a terrorist... I can't make it any more clearly than than that", adding that it didn't matter where the terrorists came from - whether it be Afghanistan or the North Pole - a terrorist is still a terrorist. And if it was Santa Claus, he should've known better than to invade U.S. airspace during the 'War on Terrorism.'

--- (end news articles excerpt) -----

Finally, dear readers, in a *completely* unrelated story: Several anti-war protestors, marching outside the White House yesterday, were tear gassed and beaten before being arrested under provisions of the 'Patriot Act'.

So, anyway... Happy X-Mas, and merry New Year. Let Freedom Ring! Indeed.


[ X-Mas Terror Follow-up ] ADDED ON 1 JAN. '03

Last week's entry, "X-Mas Terrorist Attack!" caused a bit of a fuss amongst some readers, judging by the personal emails I received in response.

Two typical responses, from opposite ends of the spectrum, I received were as follows:

"Is that a hoax or what? there is nothing on any news site anywhere about terror attacks, nor on the white house's website. according to the AP story there, we're at level red, but the office of homeland security's page says level yellow. elaborate hoaxes to say the least. -- mobius 1"

"The x-mas terrorist attack joke was funny, but I truly believe the sad day is coming when the US will be a paranoid prisoner within it's own borders. This WAS a joke, but it has a flavor of prophesy if we do not get a grip on rampant fear. -- Joyce"

Due to the numerous emails I got, I forward the following in reply...

--- (begin forwarded message) ---

RE: "X-Mas Terrorist Attack!" story.

Yes, it was a bit of culture-jamming. A "media hoax" written to make a point. Or two.

We're living in a world characterized, in the words of Guy Debord, by "incessant technological renewal; integration of state & economy; generalized secrecy; unanswerable lies; an eternal present."

While we might not be able to affect global changes on our own, we can undermine the politicorporate changes taking place in our world. One person most likely can't "change the world" but if each person affected change in their own little part of the world, it would ultimately have a snowball effect that could roll over the old paradigm altogether.

"X-Mas Terrorist Attack!" was meant to serve as what is called a 'detournement' - a perspective-jarring turnabout in the readers' everyday life. It was meant to implant a "meme" in the reader. Just as genes carry genetic information from generation to generation, a meme carries information - whether it be a catchphrase, concept, or philosophy - from brain to brain.

With the right memetic information, one can beat the "power structure" at its own game. That's why, in my article, I used the power players' own words against them.

Yes, the scariest part of my "news articles", to me at least, was the fact that all quotes used were *actual quotes* from the *actual persons* to whom they were attributed.

Subverting *their* memes to my own ends. Beautiful lies begot another beautiful lie. It, hopefully, raised questions such as, "How much freedom are we, as a nation, willing to give up in the name of 'security'?" "Just how secure can we feel, no matter what 'pat solutions' are employed?" (Not very secure, judging by the reactions from those who didn't finish reading the entire story.) And finally, "Can we
differentiate between real solutions, and empty rhetoric only meant to pacify us (or, whip us into a frenzy) so the powers-that-be can continue doing whatever they want to do, irregardless?" (The fact that the actual quotes used were general enough to fit into the "Santa terror scenario" just as well as in their original context, answers, at least in part, that question.)

Remember: Question everything. Accept nothing at face value.

The next war won't take place in Iraq. The "next war" is already underway. It is not a "war on terrorism". It is, in the words of Marshall McLuhan, "a guerrilla information war." The objective is to prevent the co-opting of our very souls.

We can either go into the future with our eyes wide open, or clouded by suspicion and fear.

Are you willing to fight for your right to live a life of playful opportunity?

--- (end forwarded message) ---

posted by Pete 4:56 AM
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