Friday's lead editorial on the London plot opens with outrage that sounds a little contrived: "It comes like a punch to the gut, at times like these, when our leaders blatantly use the nation's trauma for political gain. We never get used to this. It never feels like business as usual.
"On Wednesday, when the administration already knew that British agents were rounding up suspects in what they believed was a plot to blow up planes en route to the United States, Vice President Dick Cheney had a telephone interview with reporters to discuss the defeat of Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut in a Democratic primary. Mr. Cheney went off on a rather rambling disquisition, but its main point was clear: In rejecting Mr. Lieberman, who supported the war in Iraq, the Democrats were encouraging 'the Al Qaeda types.' Within the Democratic ranks, the vice president added, 'there's a significant body of opinion that wants to go back - I guess the way I would describe it is sort of the pre-9/11 mind-set, in terms of how we deal with the world we live in.'"
The editorial follows later with a big heap of hypocrisy: "Here is what we want to do in the wake of the arrests in Britain. We want to understand as much as possible about what terrorists were planning. To talk about airport security and how to make it better. To celebrate what worked in the British investigation and discuss how to push these efforts farther."
Unless, of course, "what worked" turns out to be, let's say, the monitoring of international banking transactions or communications by suspected terrorists without a warrant, to name two anti-terror operations the Times has tried to scuttlewith two lead-story scoopsduring thepast eight months.
Here's one intriguing hint: A story on Time Magazine's website reports "...a knowledgeable American official says U.S. intelligence provided London authorities with intercepts of the group's communications."