Terror Warning Withheld Until Yesterday By Washington
"I am truly not that concerned about him."
--Bush, March 2002
"Bin Laden has stated the whole world is watching this war and the two adversaries: It's either victory and glory or misery and humiliation."
--Bush, yesterday, now concerned once again with Mr. Dead or Alive
When in doubt, pull Osama off the shelf.
It's good to see that the Bush Administration can at least still manage one thing. Yesterday, when Bush was set to give his "hey, look over here, more terra' and fear!" speech to take folks' attention off of the multitude of problems he is now facing, there was a new terror threat to scare the public. It turns out that this was a well-timed prop for the speech itself (see below).
As for the speech itself, Bush regurgitated the same old lies plus some new ones. Aside from reinforcing the linkage between 9/11 and Iraq, Bush reintroduces us to Mr. “Dead or Alive”, by mentioning Osama Bin Laden five times, after telling us back in 2002 that Mr. Dead or Alive is a nobody. Mr. Bush also tells us that his administration has foiled 10 terror plots since 9/11, yet administration officials had to hastily produce a listing of these ten plots several hours after Bush’s speech, using incidents previously reported and others that weren’t significant threats. In fact, the administration didn’t release any details on the two alleged hijacking plots that Bush mentioned.
Bush did mention this dubious formulation:
Some have also argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals.
I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001, and Al Qaida attacked us anyway.
I would remind Mr. Bush that neither was Bin Laden in Iraq on September 11, 2001, and yet Al Qaeda attacked us anyway.
He also said:
Together, we've killed or captured nearly all of those directly responsible for the September the 11th attacks.
Except Mr. Bin Laden, who you let go at Tora Bora.
And on the day of the president’s speech, New York's up-for-reelection Mayor Bloomberg, acting on information that the Department of Homeland Security said was of “doubtful credibility” that he had last weekend, issued a terror warning for the city’s subway system. But was it Bloomberg, or the Bush Administration that rolled this story out yesterday?
It happened yesterday because the media was asked to sit on the story by Washington. According to Newsday, a local TV station had the story about the "doubtful credibility" threat since Tuesday, but was asked by federal officials in Washington to hold off until yesterday.
Dienst said the calls asking him to hold the story came from "high-ranking federal officials in New York and Washington" and from one local official. Ultimately, he said, he chose to trust the officials.
The story interestingly came out a day after Dick Cheney was discovered to have a spy working right under his nose for three years; a day after a Pentagon analyst with ties to Cheney and Rummy pled guilty to conspiracy in passing national security documents to a foreign power; several days after a former OMB official was charged with lying and fraud; and on the same day that Bush’s brain was requested to appear before a grand jury to explain why he shouldn’t be charged with espionage.