I wonder if the Senators got a little ahead of the curve here. It’s been suggested that the primary opposition was because it was a pet project of Admiral Poindexter rather than any realistic criticism (although, of course, real criticism would involve having basic understanding of the concepts involved). Will the now apparently neutral to positive portrayal in the media end up gobsmacking the objecting Senators when some one nails them with the question, “Since this seems like a reasonable idea that could benefit national security, why did you attack it?”.
One can’t really know, but perhaps the blogosphere has something to do with this. The weblogs were all over the story when it first came out and provided much good discussion of the basic idea and why it was something to seriously consider. I, personally, am still not convinced it would have worked (I’ve seen some good criticisms) but it’s certainly a plausible project. It’s more likely to produce useful data than a lot of other things I’ve seen. It would be sweet indeed to see some of the hysterical Senators get some smackie from the swinging door.UPDATE: Here’s a thematically related article about the Senate sitting on the nomination of Daniel Pipes to the U.S. Institute for Peace (I favor the nomination, although I’d favor disbanding the organization more).
It may be not be harmonic convergence exactly, but the coincidence is still worth flagging: Last week, just about the time a Senate committee was failing to muster the quorum necessary to vote on Islamic terrorism expert Daniel Pipes’ nomination to the U.S. Institute of Peace —thrilling the Islamic groups that apologize for such terrorism — the Pew Research Center was releasing a new poll finding that 44 percent of Americans now believe that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. This number is up sharply from the 22 percent who in March 2002 had begun to notice jihadis in Sudan and Nigeria and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and the Philippines and the Palestinian Authority and Malaysia (and Italy, France and Lackawanna) poking out from behind the smoother ranks of the “Islam is peace” PR professionals.Is the Senate setting itself up for a double tap for being way behind the curve?