I'm more disturbed by some of the responses in the blogosphere to the latest Osama tape, than I am by the actual content of Osama's message.
The thinking of some bloggers (to include a couple with very high profiles) is that the tape IS the attack, i.e. al-Qaeda does not have the capability to attack or they would have done it already.
There's very little basis to support that assumption.
Al-Qaeda's modus operandi is to send a message before each attack. That Osama, himself, is in this latest tape and that it is a recently recorded tape is a strong indicator that an attack is coming.
The only questions are Who? What? Where? When? How? .. and how spectacular?
It's disconcerting, to put it mildly, to see how easily some folks are brushing off this latest warning.
Have we done a lot of damage to al-Qaeda in the last 3 years? Yes. Have Osama and his lieutenants been on the run? Yes. Is al-Qaeda still capable of attacking? You betcha! Think Bali and Madrid for starters. Are al-Qaeda operatives in the United States? The assumption is an emphatic YES.
Does this mean the attack will be here in the United States? Not necessarily, but it cannot be ruled out.
I hardly think Osama would have taped the message without a plan that has been coordinated, rehearsed, and readied for execution. Bluffing is not something that builds credibility among other Islamofascists. It would hurt his cause not to follow through.
Assuming that al-Qaeda does not have the capability to attack is a false assumption -- there is NOT enough evidence to support that assumption. We assume away problems at our peril.
So why hasn't the threat level been raised?
Apparently the intelligence community does not have enough specifics to warrant a change. They have one general indicator, the tape. That's not enough specificity to ratchet up the threat warning.
But it does NOT mean that an attack is not imminent. It only means that we don't have sufficient indicators to make that call -- yet.
You can take this to the bank:
The intelligence community is spun up.
High pucker factor.