Terror! Impending Doom….ish. Sorta.
Call me cynical. Supposedly, al-Qaida is poised to strike the United States “hard.” They are “90% ready” for a major attack within the US during this Summer or Fall, or so we’re being told. The sky is falling, and rough beasts are slouching en masse towards their particular Bethlehems.
…and yet, the nation’s terror threat level not been raised.
The President not changed his schedule, still going to plenty of “soft target” campaign appearances.
Administration officials told the New York Times “there’s no real new intelligence.”
I’m sure I’m just being a nay-saying liberal. It’s entirely possible that John Ashcroft and his pals have our best interests in mind, and are being properly cautious and issuing a pro-active warning.
Of course, it’s entirely coincidental that this warning-but-no-elevated-threat-level makes for a very nice distraction from Bush’s nose-dive in popularity and approval, and bumped reports of gas prices, Iraq, Abu Ghraib, etc. to second-and-third place below-the-fold stories. Entirely coincidental.
From the NY Times:
“Attorney General John Ashcroft said at a news conference that intelligence reports and public statements by people associated with Al Qaeda suggested that the terrorist group was ‘almost ready to attack the United States’ and harbored a ‘specific intention to hit the United States hard.’ But some intelligence officials, terrorism experts — and to some extent even Mr. Ashcroft’s own F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III — offered a more tempered assessment, saying, ‘For the next few weeks we have reason to believe there is a heightened threat to the U.S. interests around the world.’ And some opponents of President Bush, including police and firefighter union leaders aligned with Senator John Kerry, the expected Democratic presidential candidate, said the timing of the announcement appeared intended in part to distract attention from Mr. Bush’s sagging poll numbers and problems in Iraq.”
“‘ … There’s no real new intelligence, and a lot of this has been out there already,’ said one administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ‘There really is no significant change that would require us to change the alert level of the country.'”
I’m sure I’m just being cynical.