Bush Pressured Brits To Make Arrests Earlier Than They Wanted To
When I suggested several days ago that the Brits may have jumped out and arrested the plotters earlier than they had wanted, and that it may have been more advantageous to wait several days to roll up more of the participants, some commenters took issue with me.
Allow me to say "I told you so." NBC News found out late yesterday that in fact, the Brits were pressured by the Bush Administration to make the arrests this week, earlier than the Brits wanted to. And as for that concern that the plotters had to be stopped now because an attack was imminent? Nope, some of them didn’t even have passports yet.
NBC News has learned that U.S. and British authorities had a significant disagreement over when to move in on the suspects in the alleged plot to bring down trans-Atlantic airliners bound for the United States.
A senior British official knowledgeable about the case said British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence, while American officials pressured them to arrest the suspects sooner. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.
In contrast to previous reports, the official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports.
And by the way, White House Homeland Security advisor Francis Frago Townsend, she of the Katrina lies, seems to be lying through her teeth again now about disagreements between the Bush Administration and the Brits on this.
Please, let’s not be under the illusion any more that the arrests weren’t driven in large part by the White House’s domestic political considerations.