Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hey, CIA Guys! Quit Watching TV and Get Back to Work!

Remember those terror attack warnings back around Christmas, 2003? The crazy-quilt color code got bumped up a notch, flights between Europe and the US were suddenly canceled, people were told attacks could come at any time -- but go about life as usual.

Nothing happened.

Seems the CIA jumped on some bogus info.

Anaylsts watching Arabic-langauge Al-Jazeera television thought they'd cracked a code in that crawl the runs across the bottom of news channels.

Maybe they were staring too long -- but they were convinced they'd seen dates, flight numbers, and map coordinates for tiny Tappahanock, Virginia. Michael Moore included the terror alert about the small town in his movie, Fahrenheit 911:

[Michael Moore is interviewing citizens from Tappahonnock, Virginia, population 2,016]

Michael Moore: Is there any terrorist target around here?

Tappahannock Woman: [Gesturing towards the restaurant behind her] We have a big spaghetti supper in here.

--from IMDb.com

Intelligence experts question the CIA's approach -- one compares it to "reading tea leaves." Even Tom Ridge, the Homeland Security Secretary at the time, called it "bizzare." (NBC)

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