Wednesday, October 08, 2008
7 October 2008 Warnings: The Final Report
7 October 2008: Latest Updates
Final update - 8 Oct - 4am Eastern: The morning after. Thank God, nothing happened. The biggest story of the day turned out to be the rather lackluster Second Presidential Debate. The predicted terrorist hurricane never touched our shores. Once again, a projected date for a possible "event" has come and gone. After almost two weeks this disturbing article can finally move down the list and take its place with all of those other articles in Radarsite's archives.
I want to thank all of those who in one way or another contributed information and ideas to this report. We will most likely never know the real 'story behind the story'. Was this whole predicted catastrophe merely a result of mistaken information or erroneous interpretations? Was there ever any real basis to this warning? Was it perhaps just a purposeful propaganda ploy by our enemies to further destabilize an already chaotic economic situation? Who knows? Your guess is as good as mine.
Have we learned anything from this whole unsettling episode? Yes, I believe we have. Perhaps the most important thing those of us who have been following this story have learned is that we truly are in a war and we truly are still vulnerable. Not just vulnerable to some massive terrorist attack, but vulnerable to rumors of massive terrorist attacks. In these last few volatile weeks where our news has been dominated by a faltering economy and a hugely important presidential campaign, it is vital for us to remember that these are not the only things that matter. There is a looming menace hovering over us which, despite these current domestic distractions has not receded into the background; if anything our world is becoming more dangerous every year.
Yesterday, October 7, I had occasion to contact the Department of Homeland Security on an entirely different matter. During the course of the conversation I asked the HS agent what advice I could give my readers for coping with this new environment we find ourselves in. What criteria do you use to make up your mind as to whether a reported threat should be taken seriously or not? At what point do suspicious activities we may observe become suspicious enough to report to the authorities? Is there such a thing as being too suspicious? In short, in this dangerous new post 9/11 world we now live in what's the difference between taking rational precautions or merely succumbing to unreasonable paranoia? What defines the boundaries of our New Normal? His answer: Trust your instincts. Trust your common sense. Evaluate the information to the best of your ability, and then if you truly believe the situation warrants it, act on it. Don't worry about making a fool of yourself. Don't worry about being wrong.
If this situation arises again -- and it most likely will -- I think Radarsite would handle it essentially the same way. Put all the information we can gather together in one place, in one article. Keep that article bumped to the top of the posts. Open the post up to all comments and emails and post them all to the ongoing report. Immediately update any new information -- especially any information which seems to question or negate the validity of the original report.
And finally, in the words of the HS agent, don't worry about making a fool of yourself. Don't worry about being wrong. Sometimes it's wonderful to be wrong.
I want to thank all of those readers who contributed their insights and information to this report. I think we have shown what can be done when serious people come together to address an issue like this. You have provided us with a model for future collaborations.
Lastly, these October 7 Radarsite articles have received literally thousands of readers (over ten thousand yesterday alone) and yet surprisingly few derisive comments, surprisingly few comments accusing us of fearmongering or grandstanding. What does this tell us about our present day circumstances? To me, it says that people really do want as much information as they can get about this volatile environment we all share. To me, it says that many people are very aware of the threats we face and want to stay as informed as possible. And to me, this an encouraging sign. -rg
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Posted by Roger W. Gardner at 4:05 AM