Well done to the Canadians for nabbing 17 suspected terrorists in a massive swoop on Friday night. Reports indicate that after following the group for months, Canadian authorities came to believe that some form of terror attack was getting closer and so they suddenly decided to move quickly and make the arrests.
Officers seized three tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer which they believe was to be used for bomb-making, along with a 9mm pistol and a crude detonator made from a cellphone.
I have nothing but admiration for these law enforcement officers doing a difficult job under possibly dangerous conditions. Well done, again, I say. For developments on the story I heartilly recommend The Reaction, written by Toronto resident Michael Stickings.
Now for the nuance:
Contrary to what the blinkered cheerleaders of the Right are saying, the fact that Canadian authorities found out about this cell by monitoring internet sites is NOT a vindication of Dubya's wiretapping and datamining programs. In fact, it is exactly the reverse. (I will let Barbara O'Brien deal admirably with their deafness to the distinction of WARRANTLESS wiretapping being what liberals actually object to.)
The Canadians used actual warm bodies to do specific monotoring of specific sites and caught a massive homegrown terror cell. The NSA have been using massively automated collection and interpretation software that has, according to experts in the field, little chance of catching anything except a cold. Yet again, we see the advantage of HumInt over SigInt, something BushCo has never been happy with because then you have to trust people with information - something they hate doing because they are paranoid sociopaths!