04 April 2024

Warnings Don't Always Work – But Sometimes They Do

There's been a run of very important warnings given and unheeded this year, haven't there?


Bibi Netanyahu was warned about the Hamas attacks, and apparently blew it off. Much conjecture about why, but I personally start with the premise that Netanyahu was in deep trouble both criminally and politically, and there's nothing like a bloody hard war to keep someone in power. If they're ruthless enough.

Recently, the US embassy warned Putin about upcoming attacks on a large public gathering by ISIS. Apparently, he ignored it. But after the attack on the Crocus City Hall concert, Putin blasted the American warnings as “provocative,” saying “these actions resemble outright blackmail and the intention to intimidate and destabilize our society.” (CNN) And then went on to accuse Ukraine of ordering it. (Reuters) Nonsense.

NOTE: My personal theory is that the ISIS-K group or whatever that did it was based on Chechnya, based on the remarkably similar Moscow Theater attack of 2010. Afterwards, many of the Chechen rebels went off to help Isis in Syria, and then came back to Chechnya in 2018, which would give them plenty of time to plan a larger attack against Moscow. (LINK)

UPDATE! Four of the suspected gunmen are Tajik citizens and were arrested along with seven other suspects, some of whom also come from the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation [of Tajikistan]. "There are estimated to be well over three million Tajiks living in Russia, about one-third of the total Tajik population. Most of them hold the precarious status of "guest workers", holding low-paying jobs in construction, produce markets or even cleaning public toilets... Non-Slavs are systematically discriminated against in Russia, and since 2022 they have been disproportionately conscripted and sent to Ukraine to serve as cannon fodder at the front." (LINK) And now they're scrambling to get out of Russia... preferably alive...


My SECOND NOTE: Interestingly, Tajikistan, along with its neighbor Kyrgistan, are completely omitted on the Chinese made Map of the World shower curtain I own. (See HERE)

But warnings being given yet not heeded, not acted upon isn't exactly new. Sometimes there's so much chatter, or so many assumptions of threats, that of COURSE there are too many to worry about. It can't happen here. After all, Warnings abounded before 9/11 actually happened. ("Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US").


And when it comes to assassinations, well... the most famous assassination victim (perhaps) of all time, Julius Caesar, was warned repeatedly and still went to his fatal meeting with the Senate.

For the matter, Abraham Lincoln: Ward Hill Lamon said that three days before his death, Lincoln related a dream in which he wandered the White House searching for the source of mournful sounds:

"I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. "Who is dead in the White House?" I demanded of one of the soldiers, "The President," was his answer; "he was killed by an assassin."

But the day of his death, Lincoln happily told his cabinet that he had dreamed of being on a "singular and indescribable vessel that was moving with great rapidity toward a dark and indefinite shore", and that he had had the same dream before "nearly every great and important event of the War." (Wikipedia) And the rest is history...

But there are also successful warnings, and one of the most unknown came up in my Reuters' feed the other day:

The Al Qaeda plot to kill President Bill Clinton in Manila.

Back on November 23, 1996, just as Air Force One with President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton on board, was approaching Manila, when their U.S. Secret Service detail received the alarming intelligence that an explosive device had been planted on the motorcade route into the Philippines capital. Being Secret Service, they got on it, and set up a back-up route to the hotel, getting the Clintons there safely. But, according to retired agents, Filipino security officers found a powerful bomb on a bridge the convoy would have taken and an SUV abandoned nearby containing AK-47 assault rifles.

This assassination attempt was mentioned briefly in books published in 2010 and 2019, but I certainly don't remember any mention of it in the news.

Now, eight retired secret service agents – seven of whom were in Manila – have given Reuters the most detailed account to date of the failed plot. And no one stuck around to conduct a thorough investigation:

"I always wondered why I wasn't kept back to stay in Manila to monitor any investigation," said Gregory Glod, the lead Secret Service intelligence agent in Manila and one of seven agents who spoke out for the first time. "Instead, they flew me out the day after Clinton left."

"There was an incident," said Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. "It remains classified." He declined to say what, if any, actions the United States took in response.

Clinton did not respond to multiple attempts to reach him through his spokesperson and the Clinton Foundation. And the FBI declined to comment on the Manila assassination attempt.

Former CIA director Leon Panetta, who was Clinton's chief of staff at the time, said he was unaware of the incident but that an attempt to kill a president should be investigated. "As a former chief of staff, I'd be very interested in trying to find out whether somebody put this information to the side and didn't bring it to the attention of people who should have been aware that something like that happened."

Glod said a U.S. intelligence agency later assessed that the plot was set up at bin Laden's behest by al Qaeda operatives and the Abu Sayyaf Group, Filipino Islamists widely considered an arm of al Qaeda. According to a 2022 International Crisis Group report, the group is in disarray, with only a handful of its leaders still alive.

Four of the Secret Service agents who spoke to Reuters noted that Ramzi Yousef - the al Qaeda-linked mastermind of the first World Trade Center attack in 1993 and a nephew of September 11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who had trained Abu Sayyaf militants - was in Manila days before a 1994 visit by Clinton. Yousef is currently serving a life sentence plus 240 years in a federal "supermax" prison in Colorado.

Why / how did it get as far as it did? Chatter. Multiple problems roiling under the surface: "The Philippines was battling communist and Islamist insurgencies. Police discovered a bomb at Manila airport and another at the summit conference center in Subic Bay several days before the Clintons' arrival. The U.S. State Department warned of threats against American diplomats in Manila the day before the First Couple flew in." (Reuters)

Chatter is always a problem: how much of what is heard in rumor, innuendo, and warnings is true? How much matters? And these days, what with social media, conspiracy theories from here to Saturn, and general threats from everyone who wants attention... how do you find the one almond in the peanut butter? And how do you get the people who can do something about it (like Netanyahu or Putin) to listen?

But at least there was one time when people did listen, and a disaster was averted.


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  1. I'll be off-line tomorrow, but I'll respond to any comments later this weekend!

  2. It's amazing how many people are willing to believe an outright lie, even with evidence to the contrary. In which case, the person with any power is encouraged to tell his/her next lie. There is no accountability, no responsibility, no conscience, and no honor.

  3. It should be noted that even though it is hardly mentioned, Lincoln later told Lamon that "In this dream it was not me, but some other fellow, that was killed. It seems that this ghostly assassin tried his hand on someone else." In addition, although the "dream" account has been perpetuated by various authors, historians Don E. Fehrenbacher and Virginia Fehrenbacher have cited internal inconsistencies and external evidence regarding Lamon's account that lead them to question its veracity. Lamon stated that the incident had occurred only a few days prior to the assassination, yet within Lincoln's monologue he related at one point that the dream occurred "the other night" and also "about ten days ago." The Fehrenbachers also note that although Lincoln stated in the account that on the night of the dream he "had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front," during the period of March 24 to April 9, he in fact had been at the front, rather than in the White House. In addition, there was no contemporaneous account of the dream following the assassination. No one mentioned it in the voluminous writings of the period, not Mary Lincoln, Lamon, anyone else at the supposed telling of the dream, or anyone to whom those who heard it may have relayed it. So it really should go alongside part of lore and myth.

    On the other hand, the "singular and indescribable vessel that was moving with great rapidity toward a dark and indefinite shore", appears to be contemporaneous.

  4. Anonymous, you're right, and I should have tagged the dream as part of the lore.

  5. Fascinating history there, Eve - thank you! A most interesting post. Melodie


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