From TPM Reader B …
First WTC the guy went back for the security deposit for the truck they blew up…McVeigh did everything short of driving into a police car fleeing the scene…Atta and the boys could only have achieved what they did with the most mind numbingly incompetent executive branch ever. The master plan?
I’ll give you the Tylenol tamperer had some talent but that was a lone nut…In anything with multiple people there has been an extraordinary lack of competence…This was the screw up that helped let 9/11 happen - they were looking for the exotic hollywood terrorists taking over missile silos with Hollywood action figures
I MIGHT be able to give you the attempted take over in South Africa nuke facility was an “A-team” but those guys seemed clearly gov’t backed…So can’t really count em…
Not that I’m arguing the point these guys were not pathetic in the NY case - I’m just saying in history we’ve rarely had a terrorist in the field that wasn’t.
It’s always a balance when reporting out these kinds of cases. It’s certainly true that you don’t need to be a genius to kill a lot of people. I’m not sure I agree with all of B’s examples. Whatever you can say about 9/11, it was ingenious in its conception and pretty well pulled off. But successful terrorist operations frequently have ‘grunts’ if not the planners who are garden variety morons. So, it’s definitely true you don’t have to be a genius to kill a lot of people.
That said, I don’t think ‘lack of competence’ quite captures the Newburgh crew.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.