Terror Alert: What it really means!

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The terrorist alert announced Sunday contained much more specific information about targets and even time frame. Unfortunately for the administration, it was discovered that the basis for information regarding the alert was several years old. This prompted skepticism and doubt as to the motives of the Whitehouse in issuing the alert, with some claiming it was a political ploy to scare voters into staying the course with Bush in November's election.

In response to critics "The White House said on Wednesday it received "another new stream of intelligence reporting" on Friday that contributed to the decision to raise the terrorism alert level, brushing aside suggestions it relied solely on the dated information." ... "The Bush administration has vehemently denied any political motives behind the alerts, saying it was doing its duty to protect the country." (ibid).

Now the administration would not indicate any details about the corroborating intelligence, not even how old or dated it too was. Yet the alert was focused on specific targets in a specific time frame. Yet, there is no evidence from the White House that there was in fact any intelligence to support a terror alert at this specific time. This is evidenced in an AP story by the following quote:

The corroborating information did not specify targets in the United States or say when an attack might be planned, the official said. But it so closely tracked the other intelligence that U.S. financial buildings had already been under surveillance by al-Qaida that it contributed to the decision to issue the public warnings.

But why now if there is no intelligence to support an imminent threat? There is a logic that must be applied to this event. And when applied, voters will be much better able to determine for themselves what the terror alert means. If the U.S. has intelligence that an imminent threat may occur at specific targets, should it warn the people and the terrorists in advance? If it does this means the terrorists will call it off and select other targets the U.S. does not know about, and another time frame when there is no alert in the headlines and an opportunity to lay a trap for the terrorists and capture them is gone. If the goal of the U.S. government is capture terrorists before an attack occurs, why on earth would the Whitehouse announce the intelligence to warn the terrorists so they can escape the trap and won't be caught?

This question demands an answer. There are two to choose from.

Answer 1: The Whitehouse is incompetent and is failing to see the opportunity to capture the terrorists with information that gives authorities the times and place where the terrorists are likely to be. Either the White House had the time from their sources, or, the alert was knee jerked at this time without considering the effects and consequences. Announcing high alerts without evidence of a time frame will end up crying wolf and people will not take the high alerts seriously. Answer 1 leaves little room for any other conclusion but that the administration is incompetent.

Answer 2: The White House had no valid reason for the high alert at this time other than to scare voters into staying the course with this President in the November elections. The thinking being that if Bush can repeat daily on the campaign trail that the job isn't finished and he wants to make America safer, the terror alert supports his message by setting a backdrop of fear to which his campaign words can be reassuring. In other words, the administration is using terrorism to get votes, scaring citizens without legitimate cause, and playing on American fears to justify the campaign message on the campaign trail.

Given the facts so far, and the inescapable logic that the White House either had a specific threat and announced they knew it before hand scaring the terrorists away, or, the White House did not have a specific threat and was therefore exploiting American fears and the war on terrorism as a means to securing power for another 4 years. Since the facts revealed to date do not evidence a time frame for the attacks to occur, Answer 2 appears to be the case for this voter. But, what do you think? Incompetent or exploiting?

For those who think incompetence is the answer, there is another story floating around the web regarding President Bush's being depressed, acting erratically, and taking drugs in order to deal with the depression. In this story it is also reported that Bush may have been diagnosed as a megalomaniac paranoid. Here is another story on this topic. These stories are not well substantiated but worth following if more corroboration becomes available.

For those who believe the President is exploiting the war on terrorism and the fears in American voter's minds, consider voting for anyone but Bush come November 2.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on August 5, 2004 6:14 AM.

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