Like so many of the dubious claims of foiled terrorist plots, last week's announcement that the Bush Administration's Keystone Kops Department of Homeland Security had uncovered and blocked a plan to blow up New York's JFK Airport reeked to high heaven.
According to the same federal guardians of national security who place six-year-old kids and infirm grandmothers on the airlines' "no fly" lists while waving a TB-infected traveler through customs with no questions during an international alert, a group of evil men with all the intellect of a five-year old planned to blow up the airport by setting fire to a fuel depot several miles away.
The plan, if you can call this comedy of errors one, was that the fire would spread to the airport and destroy it.
Of course, this "plan" depended on the ability of slow-burning kerosene to explode – something it doesn't do – and a number of other impossible actions that violate the laws of gravity and physics.
Announcement of the "plot" came as the Bush administration came off a particular bad month in the failed Iraq war and just as Democratic candidates for President headed into another debate.
It might have worked had not everyone with an ounce of common sense – from local beat cops to real terrorism experts – been willing to explain how the plan wouldn't work as laid out by the FBI and other lemmings ready to run off cliffs for the Bush Administration.
Revelations of the plot that wasn't also came as a military judge was set to rule that Bush's use of cobbled-together military tribunals to detain terrorism suspects without the usual protections of the Constitution fail not only the smell test but the rule of law.
Every time Bush suffers a setback on his loophole-filled "war on terrorism," his minions come up with claims of a foiled plot. He suffers a lot of setbacks so we get a lot of breathless claims.
Like the recent announcement of a foiled plot by other terrorists who, the Administration would like us to believe, planned to dress up as pizza delivery men to sneak into Fort Dix, kill as many American soldiers as they could, and then escape in their pizza truck.
According to the laughable premise of this plot, this handful of gun-wielding terrorists were not on a suicide mission but thought they could roar into a military base filled with soldiers trained to fight, shoot it out with them, and then escape unharmed.
The laughs you hear come from security professionals who wonder just when Bush and the Department of Homeland Security hired the writers from Saturday Night Live to devise phony terrorist scenarios.
These latest claims of foiled plots show the frantic desperation that drives the Bush White House and its complete, utter loss of touch with reality.
In Bush's fantasy world, terrorists are akin to the villains in a vaudeville skit, threatening to tie young Nell to the railroad track unless they get the deed to the ranch until a cardboard cowboy President rides in to save the day and Osama slinks back into his cave to twirl his mustache and utter "curses, foiled again."
But before we buy into this vaudeville act, we should remember that the word "foiled" is a derivative of "foil," which the dictionary defines as "to obscure or confuse."
A perfect definition of the goal of the administration of George W. Bush.