Specific Chatter

Something was bugging me quite a bit about the recent specific terrorist threats and how they're being handled, but I couldn't put my finger on it until I watched some of the news coverage last night, as well as an episode of "Command Decisions" on the History Channel. News commentators were asking whether or not giving the specifics of threatened buildings and institutions would force the terrorists to go to Plan B and pick new, unknown targets. Coincidentally, the Command Decisions episode was all about Nimitz and how he knew the Japanese were going to attack Midway with aircraft carriers. Instead of warning Midway that there was an attack coming, he positioned his forces and lured the Japanese fleet into a trap.

With no information, it's tough to know what's the right choice here, but I wonder if making public the knowledge that we know where the terrorists are planning to attack robs us of an opportunity to catch them and round many of them up. I don't want to suggest that we should use people as bait, but is there a better way to do this than to warn everybody very publicly that we know about this stuff? Maybe we should have warned just the financial institutions that have been targeted and worked out something on the QT so that we might catch some of these terrorists and interrogate them. Maybe that's right and maybe that's wrong - maybe we could make more informed decisions if we knew more.