Monday :: May 19, 2003

If Tom Ridge Has Time to Hunt Texas Democrats, Why Hasn’t the Threat Level Been Raised?


by Steve

In light of the recent bombings by Al Qaeda, (and how stupid those bombings make Bush and Cheney’s victory laps look,) do you wonder why the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has yet to raise the threat level? I mean, these Tom Ridge guys have enough time on their hands to chase down Texas Democrats for purely Rovian political purposes last week, but the DHS doesn’t have the evidence, visible threat, or energy to raise the color-coded threat level since the bombings? It is not like they don’t have reason to.

Our own FBI tells local law enforcement in a bulletin last Friday that further attacks against American targets are likely.

Al Qaeda attacks against American and Western targets are "likely" and "attacks in the U.S. cannot be ruled out," the FBI said in a special edition of its bulletin to law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

In the bulletin, issued on Friday, the FBI said last week's homicide car bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, indicate "further refinement in Al Qaeda operational capabilities.''

"The May 12 bombings in Saudi Arabia indicate that the Al Qaeda network remains active and highly capable," the FBI said. "The U.S. Intelligence Community assesses that attacks against U.S. and Western targets overseas are likely; attacks in the United States cannot be ruled out.''

President Bush said on Monday that the United States is slowly but surely dismantling Al Qaeda, despite a wave of attacks in Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Israel.

Even the Saudis themselves feel that bigger attacks are coming, possibly within America.

Bush himself says that threats against Americans are real, but only goes so far as to say that Americans need to be on alert.

Yet the Administration only says, in essence, that “well, I guess we were wrong about Al Qaeda being on the run, but instead they are still a threat because of their new bases in Iran and on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.” So we see what is being set up here, don’t we? The next step in the PNAC grand plan will be rolled out as the need for an attack against Iran because of their alleged harboring of a reconstituted Al Qaeda. The Bushies, in need of another diversion between now and next November, will begin the war drive again, this time against Iran. And if Al Qaeda attacks us domestically again between now and then, it presents the ideal melding of the PNAC agenda and Karl Rove’s election strategy.

Just like the 9/11 tragedy delivered unto Rove the Iraq diversion in 2002 when things domestically were going downhill for Bush, now an unattended Al Qaeda has regrouped so much that the threat of another attack between now and next November will provide an Iranian diversion for 2004. Just when things are starting to go downhill domestically again for Bush.

Aside from the outright duplicity behind such a strategy, and the calculated and accepted loss of American life to support a cravenly political agenda, the common thread is that these developments were spawned from inattentiveness by the Bushies. After eight months of warnings from departing Clinton staffers, the Rudman/Hart Commission, and overseas intelligence agencies, the Bush Administration let it’s guard down on 9/11, resulting in the catastrophic loss of life. This came after eight years of foiled attacks and prevention by the Clinton Administration, aside from the first WTC bombing early in Clinton’s term, the planning for which attack was carried out under Bush I’s administration.

Then, seeing the advantages that 9/11 delivered to both the PNAC agenda and Rove’s midterm election survival strategy, Rummy/Cheney/Wolfie used 9/11 to build a false case against Iraq based on alleged imminent WMD threats and a phony connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq. For Rove, seeing that Gephardt and Daschle did nothing to set the negatives against Bush last fall, he had little work to do in using the same for a diversion in the midterms. But the redirection away from going after Al Qaeda full-time with an internationally supported effort towards a coalition-dissolving fixation on Iraq not only left Afghanistan ripe for a Taliban and Al Qaeda resurgence, but also allowed North Korea to proliferate a nuclear capability and Al Qaeda to catch its breath and regroup into a possibly more dangerous foe than before.

Now, faced with the calamity caused by their own bungling, manic fixation, and inattentiveness, they are putting this country once again at risk for another domestic attack from an enemy that should have been truly on the run by now. Such an attack, like 9/11, was preventable, and any loss of American life here at home between now and November 2004 is squarely on the head of George W. Bush.

But Bush and his cabal are not interested in destroying Al Qaeda. They are interested in using the threat of the next attack to justify a war against Iran sometime between now and November 2004. They have seen the benefit of allowing such threats to grow into political diversions that can be used to keep voters’ minds off domestic problems.

Again, in light of the recent spate of bombings, why hasn’t the Department of Homeland Security raised the threat level, aside from the fact that doing so would make George’s Top Gun routine look outright silly? Is the best that Bush can do now is to say, “be alert”? In the face of such indications from the FBI and overseas, why would the threat level not have been raised by now?

What does Bush know about why such a move would be unnecessary that we don’t? Didn’t we raise the threat level based on much less than this in the run-up to the Iraqi invasion? Was that just to create a linkage between Al Qaeda and Hussein in the minds of Americans? Or is this Administration’s use of the threat level indicator also a purely political maneuver?

Wake up Tom. The Texas Democrats are back home. We do not want a replay of 9/11. Raise the threat level. We are dealing with Al Qaeda here, right?

Right?

Steve :: 2:35 PM :: Comments (7) :: Spotlight :: Digg It!