Monday, September 27, 2004

This is a tough one and I await the predictable angry emails from the right. The Washington Post has a story about the administration's all-out efforts to thwart any terrorist threat come the November election. OK, all well and good.

However, keeping in mind the accepted rule that more fear favors the incumbent, one has to wonder if Rove hasn't issued the order to crank up the appearance of massive threats to further instill fear in voters when they arrive at the booths. Notice some of the specifics in the story: "unusually open offensive," "...ordered a number of his officers to wear sophisticated new equipment to protect them from a biological or chemical attack," "counterterrorism officials concede they do not have new or specific intelligence outlining plans for an attack," "several sources who have been briefed on the results, and who declined to be identified because the material is classified, said little fresh information has been gleaned," and "one senior European intelligence official said his country has seen no direct evidence that al Qaeda has the ability or specific intent to launch an attack in the United States before the November elections."

The point being it's obviously expected and strongly encouraged that anti-terrorist efforts be stepped up as we approach the election (even though indications are no new evidence exists for such attacks), yet to do so in ways that are very much overtly noticeable, and therefore stirring palpable fear in the voting public, is fair game for criticism. Recall that the Clinton administration thwarted many a threat with very little notice to John Q. Public. Even bowing to the "9-11 changed everything" mantra, one could still make the case that Bush/Rove should stress extra vigilance but for the sake of fair elections, efforts should be conducted in more of a covert, less openly-alarming fashion. Attempt to calm fears, not stoke them.

As I said, the right-wing loons will no doubt scream, "You want protection, but you don't want Bush to do anything! If something were to happen, you'd then scream that he didn't do anything!" etc. etc. Anyone with a brain in their head knows exactly what I'm referring to in the above, but it will be purposefully twisted by the intellectually dishonest.

Once again, Rove is smiling. He simply can't wait for Election Day to come and as we all approach the voting booths, there to greet us will be a fully armed soldier or officer, completely suited up in heavy anti-terrorist gear, including a disturbing looking face mask with oxygen tank, etc. Upon entering the booth, you'll then have that final terrifying glimpse of what could happen -- IF YOU VOTE WRONG!

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