The initial assumption was reasonable. The explanation was not.

Note: This is the entry I originally wrote about yesterday’s plane crash in New York. The quotes are no longer in the linked article, but I’ve excerpted them as they appeared yesterday afternoon.


It makes sense to consider all possibilities when an aircraft strikes a building, but it can also reveal the absurdity of our thought process and reactions to terrorism.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff spoke with Gov. George Pataki (R-N.Y.) to assure him there is “no credible” threat “to the homeland,” a statement from the department said.

Has any statement in recent memory better attached the dangerous implication of the term homeland to the word? Referring to America as America is reasonable and accurate. Homeland remains absurd and dangerously militaristic.

Also in the story:

“We’ve been in contact with all of our intelligence partners, coalition partners around the world . . . and there are no — repeat, no — indications that there is anything underfoot beyond this one” aircraft, [NORAD commander, Adm. Timothy J.] Keating said. He added: “We reserve the right to exercise our capabilities, which is what we have done here.

Why state this? Who believes that we don’t have the right to respond if terrorism strikes? Saying as much makes you us look pompous and insecure. Stop it.