There has been debate in the media about whether this “Khorosan Group” is even a real thing, but this week FBI Director James Comey warned that they could be working hard on a plan to launch an attack within the United States. Not only that, Comey said, but they might be looking to do it “very, very soon.”
“Given our visibility, we know they’re serious people, bent on destruction, Comey said on CBS’s 60 Minutes Sunday. He wasn’t exactly clear whether he was talking about military intelligence or a kind of outsider’s “best guess”, but it’s another of those stark warnings that have begun to pop up with inordinate frequency. A cynical critic could claim (and they have) that this is diversion. With the mid-terms approaching, this president wants a public focused on fear. But those claims ring hollow with this administration. For all of his faults, Obama has been almost irresponsibly reluctant to pull the war card. For him to suddenly renounce everything he’s stood for this late in the game makes zero sense.
So if we agree that the last thing Obama wants is to go back on his word to keep U.S. ground forces out of Syria and Iraq, then the other alternative is that the threats are real. And if they’re mentioning them with regularity on television, it must be with the aim of preparing the populace. We have a grave threat at our doorstep, so don’t be surprised…
But that doesn’t sound quite right, either. Can a country ever be prepared for a terrorist strike? If you’d known in August, 2001 that there was increasing terrorist chatter, would it have any way lessened the blow of 9/11? No, human psychology and empathy doesn’t work that way.
The third possibility is that they’re trying to prop up the separate, but deadly story that is this Khorasan Group. While insider reports have come out telling us that this is no new thing, that this is just our old friends Al Qaeda, the administration wants them to be something more. Why? Why would it be necessary to suddenly focus on another band of terrorists when we’ve already got our hands full with ISIS (to say nothing of our neverending efforts in Afghanistan.)?
If anything makes sense, it may be that Obama wants a victory. ISIS is not promising that victory anytime soon, if ever. By creating this other threat, though, it opens up the possibility of a smaller victory along the way. Create…destroy. Celebrate.
Just in time for…well, we’ll see.
There’s always that elusive fourth possibility, and that is that Obama has finally decided to open up the doors a bit in the last years of his presidency. Long derided as one of the most secretive administrations in recent history, maybe this is their attempt to let the sun shine in. Maybe it’s the contrarians who have it wrong; the Khorosan Group really is a separate, new threat, and they just happen to be a hornet’s nest we stirred when we went in with guns blazing.
Whatever the final answer ends up being, it illustrates something about this administration that is as scary as any conspiracy theory. So mysterious is this family, this cabinet…this man…that we must question his every move. So often have his words and actions stunned conservative Americans, we can be forgiven for reading between the lines. You have to find sense in all the nonsense somewhere.