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Terror, Terror, Terror (part 2)

Reported by Nancy - December 8, 2004 -

On FNL this morning (12/8), Brigitte Quinn continued the "Are You Safe?" series begun yesterday,

Opening the 11:00am hour (all times ET), Quinn highlighted the top stories FNL would cover: Rumsfeld on the defensive; How safe are we at home - is it possible the French have something to do with that? [comment: asked WITHOUT the incredulous intonation she used yesterday]; Peterson; Is it time we took back Christmas?

Some of the "news" items highlighted included a "horrible accident scene" - a JPL van went off road, over 200-ft embankment in CA (much video of this, & brought up several times during program); a convenience store robber (again with video of him beating up the clerk); bank robbers throwing money out a car window; "chaos in a coutrtoom" in Detroit; a transformer fire in downtown NYC; a mother & daughter disappear in NC (including a phone interview with the husband); basketbrawl; baseball steroid scandal; & Christopher Radko tips for decorating a Christmas tree; & the daily dose of people news about Scott Peterson, Martha Stewart & Donald Trump (who is buying a 13-carat diamond).

At 11:23am, Quinn led into the story about "Are We Safe?" by asking if we've gotten some help from "unlikely" sources - "Did the French save us?" She interviewed Christopher Hitchens (Vanity Fair, author of "Love, Poverty & War"), David Leavy (former NSC spokesperson during Clintona admin) & Ron Marks (former CIA agent). After some bloviating by Hitchens, Quinn asked whether the French have "selfish" motives. Leavy was conciliatory, & went off on a tangent about politicla disenfranchisement in the Islamic world. Hitchens interrupted with the statement that Osama bin Laden "doesn't care about Palestine". Quinn tried to get things back on track with a question to Marks about whether French intel is any good; Marks [comment: ever the good spy] said they haven't had restrictions like US operatives, cited the "enemy of my enemy" proverb & noted that France has always been very cooperative. Quinn moved on to another reason from the magazine article -- the claim that we have informants everywhere. Hitchens said not yet, it's more related to indigenous population (there are more Arabs & Muslims living in Europe); he said "demographics will change everything", & the war "will be fought within Europe" Leavy noted that we have an "unsung story" of cooperation with the US Muslim community & we need increased focus on humint. Quinn asked Marks if he agreed, & Marks basically did agree, but couldn't resist a little Clinton-bashing (the "previous administration had some problems"). Quinn ended the interview with Hitchens still trying to make a point about how John Walker Lyndh is the only American we know of who ever successfully "infiltrated" Al Qaeda.

Comment 1: I'll wait until Quinn finished this whole "series" before commenting further -- but readers should feel free to fire away!

Comment 2: No mention whatsoever of dozens of documents (dating back many months) made public yesterday that allege brutal & sometimes illegal military interrogation methods employed against prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan & Gitmo.