Now we are told that electronic communication intercepts reflect "increased traffic" between "al Qaida" cells, indicating these cells may be planning a new wave of attacks. The intercepts, it is said, are comparable to intelligence that was being acquired in the weeks leading up to 9-11.
I can't help but wonder why they're telling us this - what purpose does it serve apart from scaring the hell out of everyone, silencing the new-found voices of the administration's critics, deflecting attention from an embarrassing string of revelations about what the Bush team knew in advance of 9-11, and laying the groundwork for further military actions somewhere in the world?
A well-known fact about Project Echelon and similar electronic intelligence gathering is that the ability to eavesdrop on voice and data communications worldwide exists side-by-side wih the ability to identify the source and exact geographic location of each transmission. Once a suspect communication is identified and analyzed it requires only a little more correlation of data to discover the source and location. It stretches the imagination to think that intercepts identified as being from "al Qaida" cells would not long ago have been traced to their points of origin and appropriate actions taken.
At least that is what could be expected to happen if "communications intercepts" consistent with a real threat actually existed at all.