photo: neutralSurface via Flickr

Just as our chronically constipated Senate bore down and pushed out the second bolus of the Food Safety Bill upon the megacorps that have been impatiently swimming about for it, the ever so apolitical impresarios at Homeland Security fed CBS a steaming heap of fresh scoop.

NEW YORK, Dec. 20, 2010
Latest Terror Threat in US Aimed to Poison Food
Exclusive: The Dept. of Homeland Security Uncovered a Plot to Attack Hotels and Restaurants Over a Single Weekend

(CBS)  In this exclusive story, CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports the latest terror attack to America involves the possible use of poisons – simultaneous attacks targeting hotels and restaurants at many locations over a single weekend.

A key Intelligence source has confirmed the threat as “credible.”

Mind you, this is in the same week when NORAD will issue credible reports of Santa’s flight path from the North Pole.

Speaking of credulity credibility -  don’t you just love the way the professional jouranimalists at CBS capitalized “Intelligence”?  What a great way to emphasize that this week’s terrah alert comes from Authority.  And isn’t anonymous authority just the most convincing source of fear?  After all, what could be scarier than a voice without a body!  . . .

Meanwhile, just in time for Pearl Harbor Day, Fatherland Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano took a break from justifying mass sexual battery in airports to warn us that our feces-ridden food supply is in danger of sneak attack.

We operate under the premise that individuals prepared to carry out terrorist acts are in this country,” said Sec. of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on Dec. 6, 2010.

The plot uncovered earlier this year is said to involve the use of two poisons – ricin and cyanide – slipped into salad bars and buffets.

Of particular concern: The plotters are believed to be tied to the same terror group that attempted to blow up cargo planes over the east coast in October, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

In online propaganda al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has praised the cargo attack, part of what it called “Operation Hemorrhage.”

The propaganda says in part, “…attacking the enemy with smaller but more frequent operations” to “add a heavy economic burden to an already faltering economy.”

Manuals and videos on jihadist websites explain how to easy it is to make both poisons.

“Initially it would look very much like food poisoning,” said St. John’s University professor of pharmaceutical sciences Dr. Susan Ford.

Poisoning our food supply is like dampening a river: al Qaeda and co-conspirators, meet E. Coli and pals.

To get to know our microbial gut bombers really well, you can drop back to an FDL post from three years ago: Drop That Patty! (before it drops you).  Or you can just wipe the counter clean and run ahead to the CDC’s new food poisoning treat.

Foodborne Germs Sicken 48 Million in U.S. Each Year, CDC Says
By Molly Peterson -

Almost 48 million people, or one in six, are struck by food-poisoning each year, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Unidentified contaminants cause more than 38 million cases, the Atlanta-based CDC said today. Known pathogens led by norovirus strike in an additional 9.4 million illnesses annually, according to the report.

The study marked the agency’s first comprehensive food- poisoning estimates in more than a decade. CDC estimated in 1999 that 76 million people contract food-borne illnesses in the U.S. each year, with 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths.

OK, death from cyanide is painful and horrific – and death from ricin is also dreadful.  So too is death from E. Coli 0157.  Or salmonella.  And thanks to the dual curses of centralized meat packing and processed food manufacture combined with the willful sabotage of Federal food safety inspection that began under Reagan and continued right through Clinton and Shrub, our shit-laden food system already kills so many of us that an al Qaeda franchise would have to kill off more than a bakers’ dozen of us a day just to get ahead of the usual carnage.

Shit, if they want to go in for killing us off when we eat big time they may as well do it the way the big boys do it: own a meat packing plant.

And with that delicious thought, we now return you to your regularly scheduled three minutes of terror: sponsored by the useful idiots on the national security beat – a wholly owned subsidiary of the serial groping squads and The People Who Go To Work With Guns On Their Belts.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said, “A threat you might feel is sufficiently specific and credible to tell the people who are professionally involved might not be specific or credible enough to tell the general public.”

Chertoff says it’s important to let public health officials know that what looks like food poisoning could be a terrorist attack.

Anyone want to wager a meal on a bald ex-Homeland Security chief selling bald faced lies to push product…or just to push fear?

Bon Appetit!