Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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September 8th, 2011 · No Comments · Media

New York City was on high alert this week, even before Thursday night’s announcement that there was a “credible but unconfirmed” terrorist threat to New York and Washington, D.C. Newspaper headlines screamed about a city on lockdown.

Credible but Unconfirmed is truly a contradiction in terms.

Let me translate this New York Post article just so you can see what’s going on here. Granted the media assumes that most people are brain dead or just plain don’t care but just in case, I want to make sure that there’s an interpretation somewhere for those of you who get it.

First let me say for any of you reading that I was one of the people close enough to the Twin Towers to have them fall on me that day. You can read my account

I take what happened to me (and my ex-wife Nico who had an even scarier experience at 1 Chase Plaza) very seriously. And while I understand the necessity to be “vigilant” (how many times we’ve heard that word in the past weeks), there’s something else going on here that I’m sure Alex Jones would be only too ready to point the finger at.

New York was in lockdown mode (we should all get increasingly used to being treated as persons in custody), yesterday amid heightened fears (I would say concerns is a better word but the term fear sells more papers), of a 9/11 anniversary terror attack — with an army of cops (that should make anyone feel safe right? WRONG) flooding the streets and transit hubs as traffic was snarled at checkpoints across the city.

NOTE: On television they showed “a quarter mile of cop cars on West Street, one lined up after the other. It’s ridiculous. Why have them all there? To get blown up if there IS an attack. Also what about Times Square or other New York Landmarks?

The show of force — including car stops, bag checks at subway stations and machine-gun toting (machine gun toting sounds intimidating right. Guess those terrorists should be scared) officers in front of sensitive buildings — came as authorities investigate a “credible” threat (a credible threat that is unsubstantiated by their own admission. So what does that mean?), that three al Qaeda car bombers are bound for the Big Apple. (Wait I saw that movie – it kind of sounds like the Clint Eastwood Movie “High Plains Drifter).

“The traffic is insane!” (It’s INSANE!!!), fumed Steve Troz, who was driving a delivery truck that got caught in a huge snarl on Central Park South caused because of police vehicle checkpoints. “Bloomberg says to go about your business, but you can’t go about your business because of traffic.”

It took Troz nearly two hours to get across the 59th Street Bridge because of a checkpoint — and then another 40 minutes to get through a checkpoint on Park Avenue. “We’re four hours late!” he yelled, before driving away. (Um… maybe don’t drive in Manhattan?)

Police at all checkpoints were closely checking truck manifests to make sure their loads matched the documentation.

They were also paying close attention to vans.

Car drivers were randomly selected to stop and open their trunks for visual inspection.

At 59th Street and Fifth Avenue, Alejandro Colon’s car was stopped by cops on his way to his job working to get the Sept. the 11 Memorial ready downtown.

“I like what they’re doing,” said Colon, 27, who was wearing a 9/11 Memorial shirt. “You can never have too much caution.”

At Penn Station, commuters on Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and the Long Island Rail Road were subjected to random (meaning warrantless) searches by federal officers who used portable X-ray machines (didn’t know they had those) to check bags before people boarded trains.

Three K-9 explosive detection teams patrolled Amtrak’s main waiting area.

“We’ve been preparing for heightened security all week, even before this latest threat (like a shut down of the entire subway system for a tropical storm),” said a cop on the NJ Transit floor.

Near the World Trade Center site, police clearly displayed their manpower and firepower (sounds manly).

“When you come out of the train, you can tell the police have really amped up their presence,” said Cynthia Bizarro (from the Seinfeld episode), 43, who works at the city Buildings Department. “When I got off the ‘A’ train on Fulton Street, I saw guys with assault rifles. My nerves are still rattled, but you try and move on the best you can.”

That presence reassured Rebecca Rivera, 25, of Brooklyn on her way to work at Digital Media near Ground Zero.

But Carolyn Kim, 25, who works in advertising nearby, said, “I don’t feel safe.”

“I think only a nuclear warhead-proof tent would make me feel safe.”

Cops didn’t have that — but they were equipped with radiation detectors as they checked cars on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Lizette Arzola, a 30-year-old Peace Corps volunteer from Los Angeles, said she was “scared” walking over the bridge yesterday after hearing about the terror threat, but did it because her mom wanted to.

“I had fantasies and bad ideas of what was going to happen (which is what they want), didn’t want to be in New York for the anniversary of 9/11, but it just happened this way,” said Arzola. “I won’t be coming into Manhattan on Sunday.”

Sources (how easy it is to use that term. WHO? Who are these sources?), told The Post that officials are urging local authorities to aggressively tow any illegally parked cars in the run-up to tomorrow’s 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, and to keep cars at a distance from events memorializing those attacks.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said that 911 emergency phone calls about suspicious packages and vehicles were significantly higher (18th person is a winner!), yesterday on the heels of the terror warning.

From 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. yesterday, there were 43 calls to police about suspicious packages, compared to 15 on average on a typical Friday in September. There were 196 calls reporting suspicious automobiles during that time span yesterday, compared to an average of about 104, Browne said.

Oh my my….

Here’s Iron Maiden with RUN TO THE HILLS.

RUN TO THE HILLS! CREDIBLE BUT UNCONFIRMED. Translating the media's fear mongering

Click for Iron Maiden's RUN TO THE HILL'S VIDEO

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