Tuesday, August 3

Twice Baked Potatoes

Turns out that the elevation of the Terror Alert in Newark, DC and NYC,
The federal government raised the terror alert level yesterday to orange for the financial services sectors in New York City, Washington and Newark, citing the discovery of remarkably detailed intelligence showing that al Qaeda operatives have been plotting for years to blow up specific buildings with car or truck bombs.
was based on pre 9/11 intelligence.
More than half a dozen government officials interviewed yesterday, who declined to be identified because classified information is involved, said that most, if not all, of the information about the buildings seized by authorities in a raid in Pakistan last week was about three years old, and possibly older.
"There is nothing right now that we're hearing that is new," said one senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the alert. "Why did we go to this level? . . . I still don't know that."

One piece of information on one building, which intelligence officials would not name, appears to have been updated in a computer file as late as January 2004, according to a senior intelligence official. But officials could not say yesterday whether that piece of data was the result of active surveillance by al Qaeda or came instead from information about the buildings that is publicly available.

If we had any questions about the motives or integrity of the bush administration, we might answer the "senior law enforcement official" with "because that terrorist hairball coughed up by the Pakistani's didn't have the bang that they had hoped, and since Kerry is leading in the polls, they want to steal some of his thunder." That is of course, if we had any questions. From an op/ed in the NYT titled Mr Bush's Wrong Solution:

At a time when Americans need strong leadership and bold action, President Bush offered tired nostrums and bureaucratic half-measures yesterday. He wanted to appear to be embracing the recommendations of the 9/11 commission, but he actually rejected the panel's most significant ideas, and thus missed a chance to confront the twin burdens he faces at this late point in his term: the need to get intelligence reform moving whether he's re-elected or not, and the equally urgent need to repair the government's credibility on national security.

There do seem to be a lot of appearance based administrative program activies, going on in the whitehouse and the campaign trail. In fact It seems to me that the whole term has been either that or thoecratic related program activities, with a dash of politically convenient terror alert-related program activities. The op/ed continues:
But it's unfortunate that it is necessary to fight suspicions of political timing, suspicions the administration has sown by misleading the public on security. The Times reports today that much of the information that led to the heightened alert is actually three or four years old and that authorities had found no concrete evidence that a terror plot was actually under way. This news does nothing to bolster the confidence Americans need that the administration is not using intelligence for political gain.
This administration crys wolf for politcal gain, would gangbang a goat in the rotunda if it would guarantee re-election. They have plenty more looting to accomplish and war crimes trials to avoid. I won't be suprised when another attack makes it past the dragnet of faith based security.