03 August 2004


The recent terror alert from the department of homeland security seems typically timed. At the time of the announcement, the buzz surrounding Kerry’s recent nomination seemed still to be growing; and the administration seems bent on doing what it always does when things appear to be going badly: ratchet up the fear and distract us from what’s really going on. This is a habit of the justice department whenever Ashcroft is on the hot seat, for example.

Now, it could be true that Al Qaeda will attack Citibank’s headquarters and other prominent locations, and any threat of terror should be taken seriously. Fred Kaplan has some wise words concerning how to handle the warning. For now, though, I’ll consider it yet another case of the administration crying wolf and playing politics with our national security, as they’ve done so many times before. After all, Tom Ridge sure did a bang-up job of keeping politics out of this alert when he said:

We must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the president’s leadership in the war against terror.

Where was the president’s leadership in early August 2001? Oh, I forgot: there wasn’t a war on terror yet; Al Qaeda wasn’t an administration priority.


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