Whether it pans out that this was a legit threat or something thrown out because the elections are drawing near. Americans of all parties need to ask themselves why it seems that over the past few years some key threats or talk about threats surfaced around summer, right before November elections. Is this truly coincidence? Because terrorists get more active near election time? Or is there political manipulation? (The counter question becomes: are charges that it's manipulation indicative of massive political paranoia?) The question has been raised by the left and it's a legitimate one. It we suddenly see a spate of terrorism-related threat annoucements and stories the closer we get to November, it will even more legitimate. Is the timing all happenstance? The next few months are worth watching (particularly August/September/Oct)....as are the months after an election to see if the threats are still being reported or have seemingly vanished.Now is there a reason for "massive political paranoia". Now there are times when paranoia is justified and when we are dealing with the Bush administration that is more often than not. Remember Tom Ridge? He had this to say after he left the administration:
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.
Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.
Now I will be the first to admit that the US and much of the world is threatened by Islamic terrorism which makes the Bush administration's lack of credibility even more dangerous. As Joe Gandelman says:
Why is government believability on terrorism news being 100 percent valid without any political motives imporant? Because after 911 there was incredible and genuine American unity. If a similar tragedy happens again, calls for unity by administration leaders may generate some skeptical raised eyebrows instead of a unified nation with stiffened backbones.