This doesn’t prove a thing, of course, but at least one news outlet, The Daily Telegraph in Australia, was reporting over the weekend that the transatlantic bombers were planning to unleash their terror on August 22:

THOUSANDS of people would have died in the air and on the ground on August 22 if the terrorists managed to carry out an evil plan to use liquid bombs disguised as sports drinks to bring down the trans-Atlantic aircraft.

UK authorities yesterday named 19 terrorists aged between 17 and 35 suspected of being involved in the plan. Alarmed British security chiefs launched emergency raids to foil the plotters after intercepting a message from a possible ringleader in Pakistan which said: “Do your attacks now.”

The four-word command was viewed as a signal for plotters to bring forward their plan to destroy as many as three aircraft an hour for three hours.

Full article here. Most other sources seem to be saying that August 16 was the planned date for the attacks — so this Daily Telegraph piece might just be shoddy reporting.

In particular, it does not prove any of the following:

  • that Iran had anything to do with the Transatlantic Plot;
  • that if British and American authorities were correct in thinking that it was an Al-Qaeda plot, that Al-Qaeda was paying close attention to its Islamic calendar and had chosen the date for reasons of religious symbolism; or
  • that the Western intelligence community has just spoiled the first inning of the Armageddon ball game rapturously anticipated by apocalyptic Christians.

Meanwhile, Mike Wallace’s interview with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which aired on 60 Minutes last night, does prove one thing that many of us have been suspecting for some time: whatever happens on August 22 (27 Rajab or 31 Mordad, if you prefer), Ahmadinejad has essentially already given the West his answer — nothing will deter Iran from continuing its nuclear program. Through brilliant white teeth and with every nuance of his body language, Ahmadinejad may as well have told the West to go pound salt last night.

You gotta love Mike Wallace, though — I’m not entirely sure where he gets his assessment of Ahmadinejad as a rational fellow (there’s a certain system to his thinking, but I’m not sure it’s a rational system) — but throughout the interview Wallace showed that, at the age of 88, he really doesn’t give a shit what people think of what he says — whether it’s Americans complaining about his complimentary observations about an Islamic ruler, or whether it’s an Islamic ruler who goes on the offensive when Wallace asks him about his goal to wipe out Israel.

I do agree with Wallace that Ahmadinejad is a smart guy, though. He’s certainly got the West running rings around itself — making us wait for an answer, distracting us with Hezbollah, stirring up trouble in Iraq, waving his oil card. Unfortunately, it must be said he’s gotten the better of the U.S. and the Europeans in the first stage of this complex skirmish we’ve got going. Time now for the West to get smarter.