Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The color-coded terror alert system was not awesome.

I am shocked *gasp* to find out that the Bush administration was often at odds with the Department of Homeland Security about when to raise the terror alert level. Bush politicizing the War on Terrorism? Nah. It was merely a coincidence that whenever his poll numbers got low or he wanted to shift the political focus, Tom Ridge or John Ashcroft or Robert Mueller would shuffle out there and warn us of "credible Threats."
See this visual aid courtesy of JuliusBlog.
Check It: August 1, 2004, Secretary Ridge said:
Reports indicate that al-Qaeda is targeting several specific buildings, including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in the District of Columbia; Prudential Financial in Northern New Jersey; and Citigroup buildings and the New York Stock Exchange in New York...While we have raised the threat level for the financial services sector in the affected communities, the rest of the nation remains at an elevated, or Code Yellow, risk of terrorist attack.

This is interesting for several reasons. This alert was based on intelligence gathered three years prior to August of 2004. So it kinda seemed like they had these hole cards they call "credible threats," that they could reveal to us whenever it was politically convenient. The Democrats were just wrapping up their National Convention in Boston, and the Republicans were gearing up for theirs in...yep, New York City. Look at me! Look at me! W seemed to have said.
Hmmm. Fear monger much?
This particular alert, in my opinion was a preemptive move to minimize the expected "bounce" in poll numbers that usually registers in the week following a candidate's official nomination. Also, if this was such a "credible threat," why was W's family, Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki at the CitiGroup Center (one of the terrorists' targets) on August 3, 2004? WTF?
Notice that they only changed the terror alert level for "the financial services sector in selected communities," but the rest of the country was a-ok! That is when the color-coded terror alert system seemed to lose its last vestiges of credibility with the public, and Tom Ridge started thinking about quitting.
It seems he called "bullshit" on the silly color alert system at about the same time we did. With W's poll numbers sagging to unprecedented levels, they're gonna have to find a new tool to scare/enthrall us with. Maybe they could catch a low-level Al-Qaeda brown-nosing coffee fetcher and say he's a top A-Q general? Oh, wait, they already tried that one. Where's the uptick in polls now, be-otch?? A better question is, where is Bin Laden?


largehearted boy said...

Ridge's comments made me wonder if he is starting a run for 2008 and was distancing himself from the administration by design, but I am a conspiracy theorist at heart.

nffcnnr said...

He backed off some of his "me against the administration" comments on the Today show Thursday. i'm looking for a transcript.