To tell or not to tell ...
Hugh asked two, very simple questions.
First, why are we finding out about this now?
I can state that while I don't know for certain, I can postulate that the administrations had a significant hand in the information blackout. The media, also, likely had a hand in it, if they knew about it then. (The case for the media is different from the administrations' reasons; that being that they didn't want to upset such a "historic" inauguration.) For the incoming/outgoing administrations reasons, I can only speculate that they wanted to catch these guys in the act of trying to commit the attack, or previous to their attempt. So, why are we only finding out about this now? Those are my reasons why.
Second, should they have told the public about this potential attack?
This one gets a tad more complicated, but I'm unwavering in my opinion that no, they shouldn't have told anyone.
Why? Allow me to explain in a little more detail than the minute or so I had on the air on Hugh's show ...
If we had alerted the public to the distinct possibility a terrorist attack would go down on inauguration day, we run the risk of the terrorists doing one of two things. Either they go to ground and disappear, possibly never to be caught or pop up on our radar again, or they go to ground, and strike at a later date when we're unaware of their activities. Neither scenario is a good thing. We prefer to catch these animals when they pop up, and they will only carry out their operation when their three main objectives are met.
Body count, massive destruction, and extreme chaos.
Remember, these guys are terrorists, and terrorism is as much a weapon to them as an AK-47 is. They use it just as well as they use a firearm. 90% of this war is being conducted behind the scenes, in the shadows, and we may never know the extent of the attempts to hurt us, or the methods and tactics used to protect us. But if you take away the terrorist's incentive to strike, you will do nothing but drive them underground to strike at a later date. They will be back, and chances are they'll be back in greater numbers, or they'll lighten their logistics and strike when a better time is evident.
Earlier today I put up a post that contained the bare-bones basics of Operation: Bojinka. It involved ten aircraft, and ten four-to-six man teams to carry out that operation. That was in 1995. In 2001, our enemy accomplished virtually the same attack using four four-man teams, and a nation unaware they were about to be hit int he worst act of war this nation had witnessed since 7 December 1941. Our enemies, dear readers, know how to adapt, especially when their operation is blown.
I know a lot of people will be displeased with my answers to those questions, especially the latter. But in this war we need to catch the people just prior to, or while they're carrying out, an attack on us. Tipping our hand does us no good, and will only invite disaster at a later date that we may never be aware of.