Al-Qaeda + Bubonic Plague + Obama May = Disaster

I always advise people not to put too much stock into stories based on anonymous Washington sources because as often as not, they’re either distortions of the facts or outright lies designed to move some bureaucrats agenda forward, but if this turns out to be true, it’s really scary,

Pakistanis view damage of a blast that occurred in a village. An anonymous source said authorities in the first week of January intercepted an urgent communication between the leadership of al Qaeda in the Land of the Maghreb (AQIM) and al Qaeda’s leadership in the tribal region of Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan.

An al Qaeda affiliate in Algeria closed a base earlier this month after an experiment with unconventional weapons went awry, a senior U.S. intelligence official said Monday.

The official, who spoke on the condition he not be named because of the sensitive nature of the issue, said he could not confirm press reports that the accident killed at least 40 al Qaeda operatives, but he said the mishap led the militant group to shut down a base in the mountains of Tizi Ouzou province in eastern Algeria.

He said authorities in the first week of January intercepted an urgent communication between the leadership of al Qaeda in the Land of the Maghreb (AQIM) and al Qaeda’s leadership in the tribal region of Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan. The communication suggested that an area sealed to prevent leakage of a biological or chemical substance had been breached, according to the official.

“We don’t know if this is biological or chemical,” the official said.

The story was first reported by the British tabloid the Sun, which said the al Qaeda operatives died after being infected with a strain of bubonic plague, the disease that killed a third of Europe’s population in the 14th century. But the intelligence official dismissed that claim.

If the worst scenario here turns out to be true, imagine Al-Qaeda releasing a weaponized biological agent in DC, LA, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and Phoenix all in one afternoon. People would start dying, the disease would spread, whole cities would shut down, and panic would break out across the country.

If that happened, what freedoms might we lose in the effort to prevent something like this from happening again? What do you think the reaction towards Muslims in the United States would be? How many lives and dollars would be lost?

Now, keeping all that in mind, is it better to try to aggressively kill Al-Qaeda before they get to our shores or to try to play defense? Along the same lines, should we be treating this as a war and attempting to terminate Al-Qaeda at every opportunity across the world or should we be treating it as a law enforcement matter? Have the Bush Administration’s efforts to improve our intelligence gathering capabilities been too much or actually, too little?

The point here is simple: when we’re considering what measures we should take to deal with Al-Qaeda, we should think very hard about what could happen if Democrats were to get their way and the whole war on terror were treated as a bad joke.

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