Fox News guest Simmons claimed stadium terror hoax is "the perfect example" of "how vital" the detainee bill and warrantless domestic spying program areOctober 19, 2006 7:28 PM EDT ››› JULIE MILLICAN
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Moments after host Neil Cavuto noted that the FBI had officially determined that a purported terrorist plot to attack seven NFL stadiums was a "hoax," former CIA agent Wayne Simmons cited the fake plot as "the perfect example of the president's Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the NSA [National Security Agency] terrorist eavesdropping program, how vital they are." Simmons's comment came on the October 19 edition of Fox News' Your World, where he appeared with Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the conservative Center for Security Policy. Gaffney responded to Simmons's statement by saying that he "hope[d]" the fake plot would convince Americans that terrorists are "gunning for us not just in a place like Iraq, but truly worldwide," while Cavuto agreed that "[w]e dodged a bullet here, or presumably a hoaxed bullet."
As the Associated Press reported on October 19, "The threat, dated Oct. 12, appeared on a Web site, The Friend Society, that links to various online forums and off-color cartoons. Its author, identified in the message as 'javness,' said trucks would deliver radiological bombs Sunday to stadiums in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Cleveland and Oakland, Calif., and that Osama bin Laden would claim responsibility."
From the October 19 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
CAVUTO: The FBI confirming that football-stadium threat, apparently a hoax. The agency making that determination after questioning a young man connected to the Web threat, which warned of a dirty-bomb attack on seven U.S. stadiums this weekend. Intelligence officials never giving it any credibility, but it does raise this question: Is this the kind of target that Al Qaeda will opt for next time -- Main Street instead of Wall Street? Reaction now from Frank Gaffney, the president Center for Security Policy, and former CIA operative Wayne Simmons. Frank, what do you think, that this kind of thing is where they want to go?
GAFFNEY: I think that the people that we're really concerned about, and evidently that wasn't the case with this individual, but the people we're really concerned about -- I call them Islamofascists -- people who adhere to this ideology who believe they need to triumph politically, not just in a theological sense, are determined to kill as many of us as they can. They' re trying to do it wholesale through weapons of mass destruction, seemingly. But, a feature of the World Trade Center attack was not only an attack on Wall Street, but it, theoretically, could have killed as many as 50,000 people in those towers.
CAVUTO: Well, let me ask you about that, Wayne, that maybe because we had our sights set on financial centers or economic centers, we're missing a greater point here, this hoax not withstanding. What you make of that?
SIMMONS: All right, listen. I think Frank's absolutely right. And I think the big story here is, quite frankly, Neil, is that this is the, and I mean the perfect example of the president's Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the NSA terrorist eavesdropping program -- how vital they are. Without them, we cannot, as the president wants us to do, pre-emptively strike the terrorists. Now, had these threats proven to be credible, I would suggest to you that it would have been probably using these tools and others. So it just doesn't get any more clear of how perfect an example those programs are.
CAVUTO: You're nodding, Frank. You're nodding.
GAFFNEY: Well, I am. This is a clear case where the kind of enemy we're dealing with requires tools that enable you to try to get inside what are basically fairly disciplined and secretive cells in any way you can. The ideal way is human beings -- very hard to do. The next best thing, especially since we have largely dismantled that capability in the past decade or so -- the next best thing is to use these kinds of electronic surveillance tools and the like --
SIMMONS: Absolutely, absolutely.
GAFFNEY: -- that enable us at least to get indicators --
GAFFNEY: -- and enable you to go after it. But, Neil, I've just got to tell you, one of the things that I hope Americans take away from this is not only that they're gunning for us, not just in a place like Iraq, but truly worldwide. But there are things that we as Americans can do to gun back to fight back --
GAFFNEY: -- and one of them I call "divest terror," and I think it's a very powerful tool.
CAVUTO: Wayne, real quickly. We dodged a bullet here, or presumably a hoaxed bullet, but still. Are we going to be lucky In the future?
SIMMONS: Listen, we're going to stay diligent. This is, again -- so many points here. Stay diligent, stay vigilant, work with authorities, pay attention. And hopefully, hopefully we can continue to be successful in taking these terrorists down.
CAVUTO: All right. Wayne Simmons, final word on the subject. Frank Gaffney, thank you very much.