News-parody channel CNN has a great satirical piece today about a new, super scary threat coming straight outta Yemen and into your house. It’s really, really goofy, and if they published it in seriousness you’d think they existed purely as a propagandist arm of the government. The headline reads:
“‘Credible threat’ from al Qaeda in Yemen”
OH NO! This “credible threat” sounds like a pretty credible threat. Let’s look at their first paragraph for some details.
“Washington (CNN)— The United States is closely monitoring a “credible threat” from al Qaeda in Yemen against the U.S. homeland, two senior officials told CNN.”
Okay, okay, CNN. I get that it’s a “credible threat.” You’ve already said that. Who are these two senior officials with all this information?
“At the same time, one official Wednesday cautioned that the threat is fairly general in nature and does not have too much specificity.”
Wait, CNN, stop. You’re rambling. Who is this new official? Is he or she one of the officials also mentioned in the first paragraph? And, again, sorry if I don’t understand. Now THIS official is saying, “the threat is fairly general in nature and does not have too much specificity.” So…what then? I suppose we should disregard the screaming headline calling this a “credible threat.” Let’s look to the third paragraph for some clarity and context.
“The first official did say, though, that the U.S. had gleaned that al Qaeda is already “adapting” to new U.S. security measures and that, in part, has raised the concerns.”
CNN, have you been drinking again? What does that mean? Who is the “first official”? One of the two officials named in the first paragraph? Okay, okay. So this official — who has enough information to go to the press, but not attach his or her name to it, gotcha — told you that al Qaeda is adapting to, what, body scans? OH MY GOD ARE THEY INVISIBLE? CNN, are you just trying to scare me?
“A third source said that in following up on accused Christmas Day airplane bomber Omar Farouk AbdulMutallab, officials came across some information relevant to aviation.”
Wait, wait, slow down, CNN. A third source? CNN, put down that bottle of Wild Turkey. Now, you say that “officials came across some information relevant to aviation.” Great, great. That’s not very specific, though — care to expand?
“A fourth source confirmed the information has to do with aviation and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).”
What?! Fourth anonymous source? Why? Did they buy you a bottle of Wild Turkey? How many more officials are you inviting to this blind-fold party? And, hang on a minute. Again, the information “has to do with aviation.” Why are you telling me this, CNN? If you’re just telling me that “terrorists” have “information” about “airplanes,” thanks, but that’s not really necessary. I assumed as much.
I mean the headline was “credible threat” or something, right? I mean, what is actually being reported in this article?
“The U.S. has some information about time frame, this source continued, saying, “It is more definitive than it usually is.””
I believe that’s the fourth anonymous source using all those vague, unhelpful pronouns. So, the officials have this on lockdown, or what?
“The U.S. does not have information on location, however…”
Okay. That’s fine, but, again, what the fuck are we talking about? Aviation still, right? CNN, are you reporting on measures that have been taken to address this “credible threat”? Is that what’s going on here?
“This source pointed out that aviation security is rigid already and that no additional protective measures have been taken.”
“But, the source says, “there is a lot of stuff going on in the next day or two” relating to analysis.”
Now what in god’s name does that mean? A lot of “stuff going on” “relating to analysis”? I defy anybody to find any trace of information contained in those words. Seriously, CNN? “Stuff going on”? You couldn’t get anything better for an off-the-record quote than there’s “stuff going on”? Are there also times in our intelligence community when there isn’t “stuff going on”? CIA agents just come in to work, stare at a blank wall for 8 hours and call it a day?
That quote really has to go up there with the best investigative journalist scoops of all time. STOP THE PRESSES: THERE’S STUFF GOING ON. Guys! Stuff! Maybe next time you can pressure somebody to acknowledge that, “things are happening,” or “shit be crazy.”
CNN, is there anything you have to say for yourself?
“Separately, one U.S. counterterrorism official would say only that, “No one believes the threat from AQAP ended on December 25, 2009. They continue to plot and plan.””
And CNN continues to keep the fear levels high, and the accountability nonexistent, which is about as surprising as the fact that — indeed — shit be crazy.