Credible but not Confirmed

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DrP's picture
Joined: 01/01/2008
Credible but not Confirmed


When airplanes flew into the Twin Towers, I was in Boston, visiting a friend at Tufts University. I watched the tragedy unfold on TV, the whole time thinking “my friends must be freaking out right now.” I couldn’t return to Manhattan for several days, but when I did, my shuttle bus brought me to Brooklyn, and I had to take the D-train onto the island. From the Brooklyn Bridge I saw the smoldering rubble, plumes of smoke where the towers once stood. For a few moments I was the one “freaking out”…

Fast forward ten years and the wounds are still fresh. United States soldiers have toppled the Hussein regime in Iraq. They’ve assassinated Osama Bin Laden, the man who claimed responsibility for the attacks on 9/11. And they’re stamping out the Taliban across Afghanistan and the Muslim world. Yet Americans continue to live in fear. Just two days ago the mainstream media reported a credible but not confirmed terrorist threat to New Yorkers—of course, on the eve of the ten year anniversary of 9/11. 

When will we turn the page on 9/11? It’s possible that this chapter in American history may close when military operations end in Afghanistan. But it’s also possible that the symbol of the Towers collapsing will serve as a call for perpetual war. Think about it: All terrorist threats nowadays are credible, and they need not be confirmed for the U.S. to mobilize its forces. Plus terrorism’s been defined as an “asymmetrical threat”—not your typical rogue nation-state. Who will stop the U.S. from fighting an amorphous enemy?

As Americans mourn the victims of the 9/11 attacks, they must take a few moments to think about what the country has done in their names. The culprits have paid the price. Perhaps it’s time to call for an end to war. Otherwise the U.S. will kill thousands more, and many of them will be innocent civilians like those they commemorate today.      

Steve Peraza, Ph.D.

caduceus's picture
Joined: 11/22/2011
Re: Credible but not Confirmed

Confirmed threats are the ones that have happened or we're basically caught in the act.  Credible threats could be someone putting in an order for pick-up of fertilizer after visiting several "hot spots" in the middle east and claiming judgement day is near.

I know this is an older topic on the board, but figured I would reply with the perspective of someone on Active Duty.

The US and its allies have agreed to fight a "global war on terrorism". What does that actually mean?

There's all kinds of acts of terror, or indications that it occurred or will.  Whether it be Saddam covering up mass graves, Crazy rhetoric from Iran's regime that "the holocaust never happened" and now their build-up of Nuclear technology, Somalian Pirates, or people trafficking.  To fight terror you don't necessarily have to kill those responsible, but help those they oppress.

9/11 was the day the United States and the free world was attacked...not the first time Al-Qaeda attacked the US however.  We are fighting back against all who threaten our way of life.  Its this show of force and its use that will slowly destroy their networks, eventually the good we are doing will spill out and the people themselves will overcome this terror.  The middle east right now is highly unstable, but look at the latest outcry's for basic human rights and change.

With these attacks and types of regimes, the Armed Forces have in general changed from a force who's primary ability of the cold war was to defend against another nations attack and nuclear deterrence (read ballistic submarines and such), to now a strike force ready for rapid deployment...whether it be for humanitarian reasons (natural disaster or genocide) or the need to knock a door down (capture/kill high ranking terror officials)

I think in general the initial fear the 9/11 attacks brought has somewhat deflated, it would appear the biggest fear will now come from within, just recently a campus near my base was shut down because people were reporting a rifle and possible shots fired...turned out it was just an umbrella. 

Its always going to be "the lone gunman acting alone" aka "home grown" that will be the biggest threat, planned things we can catch a trail on, someone snapping one day and gunning down their class mates we can't with out people being perceptive....heck the foiled Christmas day bombings had little intelligence but someone noticing another passenger trying to light his shoes on fire was the point in which it was stopped.

What we have now is more of a paranoia or over alertness...which really just means people have their eyes open.  Its the "better safe than sorry" mentality really.

All in all, people still fly, go to school, travel the world, and go to mall with out the thought of terrorism effecting their day.  It truely is better to not think about what things have been foiled that we don't even know about.

This is a also a good article on this subject or the Armed Forces in today's world:

The Post has a good article:, some numbers misleading (it considers almost all local police departments as some sort of anti-terrorism agency) but it's a look into what 9/11 created...problem is while the cut positions and want to slim the Navy/Marines by 100,000 troops this giant goes untamed.

We also have to think about the growing threat in Mexico, US Military personal are technically not even allowed to travel to Mexico right now its so bad, "secure our borders" is more about policing cartel over spill than stopping the people from coming across.

The world is a scary place right now, but myself and every other member of the Armed forces will do all we can to keep every American safe.  It might be as simple as taking care of families of deployed Marines health-care, or as serious as fighting along the border of Pakistan.


Global Force for Good

Greener Blue

cmalex10's picture
Joined: 08/24/2011
Re: Credible but not Confirmed

I think you identified some really crucial questions here. I agree with you when you say that all terrorist threats to the U.S. today are seen as credible. For instance, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, two flights within U.S. borders had to be escorted to the ground by fighter jets due to passengers' "suspicious" use of the bathrooms. Something as basic as making what is seen by others as "an unusual amount" of trips to the bathroom can be seen as a (credible but not confirmed) threat and call for extremely intense security measures. As is stated in the full article from the Washington Post, an "abundance of caution" was taken because the FBI would obviously prefer to err on the safe side instead of making a slip-up they'd forever regret. On the New York flight, two of the three detained passengers were Israeli, and the other was Russian. Some thought these three men were communicating with hand motions during the flight, and became concerned. When will the post-9/11 ideologies regarding racial and ethnic prejudices and assumptions be overcome?

It's interesting to consider that as Americans we may have already satisfied our desire for revenge and so-called "payback" in the name of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and perhaps the perpetual wars we are still waging are instead our way of battling against the notion of feeling insecure in our own country. Perhaps we no longer have a specific enemy that is identifiable, and instead we are unconsciously battling against the abstract notion of living in constant fear. Everyday we are using innocent civilians as our scapegoats, and it is now time to direct our frustrations and anger internally, within our own country and among our own people, for that is where the true issues exist. Focusing on the U.S.'s structural inequities and failures will allow us to finally address our fears head-on.