“Terrorism: act of terrorism, terrorist act (the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear). ”
Just so we’re startin’ out clear.
You might be surprised to discover that the Bush Administration apparently falsely elevated the Terror Alert Levels for political purposes, including days after Kerry’s acceptance speech at the DNC, leading up to the 2004 elections.
Oh, I forgot. You read. So you’re not surprised by this. You may even recall, as I do, sensing the manipulation at play and deciding that you wouldn’t be terrorized into not living, which means you found yourself in a major airport just months after 9-11, trying to fly internationally.
As you worked your way through a grim airport filled with fearful faces and bomb-sniffing dogs and the loudspeaker droned in an eerily Running Man-esque way, “The Terror Alert Level is Code Orange”, you studied the effectiveness of the Terror Card. Americans were scared, and they were willing to give up all of their freedoms in order to get the Bad Guys. You may have even watched as they willingly submitted to public humiliations, now called “screening”, with nary a whimper. You watched their eyes dart around for the “suspicious” person in a turban, or maybe someone just not right. A Bad Guy. Could be anyone!!!!
Orange of course is “high”, second from the top of the Terror Alert Levels, and was implemented along with “Operation Liberty Shield” as we invaded Iraq. Interestingly, even back then, officials admitted, “Several officials said the security increase was not related to a specific body of intelligence, but a general belief that terrorists may try to respond to the U.S.-led war on Iraq by striking at American interests, either at home or overseas.”
A general belief, you say? Is that like the general belief that Gog was in Iraq, and that’s why we needed to put our troops in harms way? Or was this just another gut-level reaction of the criminally inept bush Administration? One wonders why we couldn’t have dealt in facts. Just once. I thought liberals were supposed to be the “touchy feely emoting” losers, and conservatives the patriarchal father knows best types, dealing in reason. What goes on here?
Liberals, in their “paranoid, anti-patriotic” way, suspected that the terror alerts were being used politically, but of course, the rabid left would say anything to criticize the guy who was appointed King by the SCOTUS instead of duly elected. Just to prove them wrong, the right was determined to get that man elected for real the second time around.
All they needed was a little help from their friends at the DHS. Like say, the Secretary, Tom Ridge? Yeah, that guy who’s releasing a book on September 1, titled “The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege…and How We Can Be Safe Again”. In this gem, Ridge admits that he considered resigning when asked to raise the terror alert levels on the eve of Bush’s “election” in 2004.
“Among the headlines promoted by publisher Thomas Dunne Books: Ridge was never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings; was “blindsided” by the FBI in morning Oval Office meetings because the agency withheld critical information from him; found his urgings to block Michael Brown from being named head of the emergency agency blamed for the Hurricane Katrina disaster ignored; and was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush’s re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over.”
So, with the Americans duly terrorized, they were reminded to go pull the lever for the guy who was good on homeland security. The war president. You know, the one who ignored the intelligence about the 9-11 attacks….It’s true, some days I just don’t want to get out of bed at all.
Ok, so you knew all of this, but it’s nice to have it confirmed. And you can say hey, it was just Ridge and his “feelings”, but the super bad news is that even some Republicans (this was back in the day when there were still moderate Republicans who in fact did not foam at the mouth and lie automatically when speaking), privately questioned the timing of the alert and worried that the voters might just get wise to the tactic.
Privately, I said. I mean, just because they weren’t out and out liars doesn’t mean they were going to put liberty or justice ahead of winning. I mean, the concern here was that the voters might catch on, not that it was wrong. Sheesh. Wake up. Not to worry, where-have-you-gone-moderate Republicans! The voters were easily fooled. And the King was “elected” (Florida notwithstanding). Finally.
Just in case you’re not convinced yet:
“The Bush administration was forced to admit in the days after the 2004 alert that it was based on intelligence three or four years old. Officials then claimed there was a previously unmentioned “separate stream of intelligence” that justified the warning — but offered little tangible information to support their new story.. ”
But we shouldn’t look back! Oh, no. Must look forward. Nothing to see here. So, how is this relevant today, you ask. Well, gosh, that’s a darn good question. Today, we learn:
“Nine Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Eric Holder Wednesday saying the U.S. could face a terrorist attack if the attorney general appoints a special prosecutor to investigate the CIA’s use of torture against “war on terror” suspects.”
So, if we investigate the Bush Administrations’ use of torture as a method to get confessions (not even looking for intelligence! But what did you expect from the Poujadist party?), the terrorists will come to get us? I’m just sayin’, it’s kinda funny how those terrorists know just when the right needs cover, and they don’t mind makin’ a few threats anytime we go pokin’ around a Diebold machine or investigatin’ the existence of WMD or tryin’ to regain our moral authority by actually investigating the US’s use of torture.
Sure, there are legitimate issues about where and when to release such sensitive information, but to suggest that the terrorists will attack us if we appoint an investigation is…well….sorta transparent. Seems like those terrorists have the same agenda as the Republican party! They want us to spy on ourselves, vote a certain way, and now they don’t want us investigating Republicans! Since when were Republicans worried about us being attacked, anyway? Seems to me they just sat on their behinds, playing golf, while intelligence reports of imminent attacks lay unopened on their barely used desks.
Modern day Republicans are using and have been using terror to control and manipulate the American people for years. Death Panels, you say? Yeah, this stuff just keeps on working. On the same people. They keep buying the fear. FEAR: Tingly, paralyzing, and juicy! Fear created by the threat of terror. Terror of attacks, terror of “Obamacare”; it’s all terror, all the time. And beneath the bold-faced lies told to produce such terror lay the glittering political agenda of the Republican party. Supposedly the second major political party of the US, a “democracy”. I just felt like I had to remind y’all of that.
Since we haven’t been below Level Yellow since 2001, when we were first attacked, I can’t think of a more fitting color to describe the current Republican party. The Republican Party: Yellow-Bellied Cowards Playing the Terror Card Every Chance They Get for Political Purposes.
Isn’t that the definition of terrorism?
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.