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May 26, 2004

Make a Run on Duct Tape?

So what are we to make of the latest terror warnings? I have to ask, considering they will not be raising the actual threat warning (thus not implementing the actual protocols meant to respond to an elevated threat level), why the frightful scenarios...

The intelligence... is among the most disturbing received by the government since the al-Qaida attacks of Sept. 11, 2001... "There is clearly a steady drumbeat of information that they are going to attack and hit us hard"
...
Of special concern... is the possibility that terrorists may possess and use a chemical, biological or radiological weapon that could cause much more damage and casualties than a conventional bomb.

... and, considering Tom Ridge's own insistance that current information that "talks about an attack" is really "not unlike what we’ve seen for the past several years," why now?

And just what the hell am I supposed to do with this information? Is this just the occasional exercise in maintaining Homeland Security's visibility in the public consciousness? ('Don't say we never warned you.') Making the threat present, but instilling confidence in our leaders' ability to thwart it? Ridge: "Americans' jobs is [sic] to go about living their lives as Americans... We'll provide the security, they have to figure out how to have fun themselves."

'Worry not, citizen. We are on a war footing and the FBI is on the case. Still, if you could just do us a solid and keep a watchful eye on those dark-skinned neighbors of yours, we'd really appreciate it.'

Would it be too cynical to point out that Fearless Leader's only positive polling numbers seem to be on the terror front? That may be pushing it a bit far but, for all their obsession with secrecy and opacity, I doubt the decision to come forward with this startling intel received a veto from Rove's office.

But honestly, would this administration really stoop to harnessing fear for political gain?

"McClellan says Americans should be vigilant -- because the nation 'is in a serious threat period.'"

"Make a Run on Duct Tape?"
Posted by Dan at 11:31 AM

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Referenced in this post:

AP: Administration 'ramping up' terror defenses; no spike in 'chatter' seen
AP: Artist's unusual materials alarm police, prompt removal
Brookings Institution: Inevitably, The Politics Of Terror: Fear Has Become Part Of Washington's Power Struggle—E.J. Dionne, Jr.
CAE Defense Fund: FBI Abducts Artist, Seizes Art
CBS: Iraq Taking Toll On Bush
CBS: Summer Terror Threat For U.S.
MSNBC: Terrorism threat for summer won't raise alert level