Exploiting Fear & Terrorim on the Domestic Political Front


Vice President Cheney and his team are masters at exploiting the dynamics of fear to try and move American political sympathies.
Already, Cheney and others in the White House are exploiting the foiled London terror plot to shake up U.S. citizens and to make them think that Democrats would concede to terrorism while Bush & Co. are there fighting every day on the front lines.
John Aravosis has laid out the cynical commentary from the White House quite nicely here. But here’s the zinger from an AFP piece:

“Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big,” said another White House official, who also spoke on condition of not being named, adding that some Democratic candidates won’t “look as appealing” under the circumstances.
— AFP, August 11, 2006

I’m about to spend an hour discussing political exploitation of terrorist activities with Christopher Lydon on his National Public Radio show, “Open Source“.
Feel free to listen over the internet. The show starts at 7 p.m. Eastern.
— Steve Clemons


11 comments on “Exploiting Fear & Terrorim on the Domestic Political Front

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  6. Frank says:

    Does anyone wonder why, if we knew for months that fluids could be brought on planes and could be assembled by terrorists to make a bomb, it was only now that fluids are banned? Why now?? Is the catching of terrorists above taking immediate robust action to protect against such dangers when they are known? It looks like we were open for such attacks for months.. Talk about our Nurenburg quality Bush being tough on terrorists?? A farce of moralistic implications…


  7. p.lukasiak says:

    PLEASE bring up the point that the Bush Administration KNEW about the threat posed by liquids in carry on luggage, and if they cared about the terrorist threat and National Security, they would have not waited to deal with the problem until NOW…
    Democrats weak on National Security? How could they be any weaker than the Bush Administration!


  8. Carroll says:

    We is at “Wur” with Islamic Fascist..”Wur,Wur’ I tell yur..yes the country is at “Wur”…this is the Clash of Civ-ulie-zashions and I am FDR and Chur-chill protecting my subjects furdoms…”
    Cowbaby 2006


  9. leveymg says:

    According to the Daily Telegraph (AUS), Joe Lieberman was told on Thursday about plans to roll-up the alledged UK plane bombers.
    As the article details, Lieberman and the GOP have been making political capital on this for days.
    This is really a classic case of the partisan misuse of intelligence. Lieberman, Cheney and the others who’ve been playing political games really should have their security clearances yanked.


  10. buzzie says:

    Submitted by BuzzFlash on Thu, 08/10/2006 – 10:29am. Analysis
    The pattern continues. A terrorist plot is uncovered just as the masses start to question national security strategy. The day after Senate Democrats brought a vote to pull out of Iraq, we catch a few idiots in Miami who were supposedly trying to blow up the Sears Tower, despite the fact that they lacked the means and ability to do so. Then there were the guys busted for supposedly plotting to blow up a New York subway exactly a year after the London bus bombings. And don’t forget the release of new Osama bin Laden tapes just before the 2004 election as well as the very day after the Supreme Court decision striking down the Guantanamo Bay military tribunals. And now today, a few men in England were arrested for a plan to blow up planes flying to America, just a day after Connecticut voters flatly rejected Joe Lieberman and the war in Iraq.
    We certainly can’t deny that there may have indeed been plans to commit these acts. But the timings of the arrest announcements are awfully suspicious. All three were still in the works and had been monitored for several months by very capable intelligence agencies. While the exact nature of today’s arrests is still unclear, none of the plans seemed to have been immediate or imminent threats. The decision of when to intervene has been arbitrary, making the coincidental timings pretty convenient.
    (And the question of whether some of them are “real threats,” such as the Liberty City “Insane Clown Posse” remain to be seen. And, of course, as BuzzFlash pointed out in several commentaries, the alleged plot to bomb tunnels into Manhattan in order to “flood the financial district and ruin the Wall Street economy” had one fatal flaw. Water does not flow upwards, and since Manhattan is above sea level, the plan, as the Busheviks promoted it through the press, was impossible. It defied the laws of gravity.)
    Imagine a conversation late Tuesday night between Bush and his British Prime Minister lapdog, just as Ned Lamont declares victory. “Yo, Blair,” Bush says while scarfing down a dinner role. “I gotta to do something about this sh*t. Can you finally arrest those suspected terrorists you told me about? This election business is ruining my vacation! I know you’re chillin’ in the Caribbean yourself right now, but it sure would be great if you could make a few calls for me ASAP.”
    Don’t buy it? Consider this quote from a Reuters article on the story: “President George W. Bush had known about the investigation for several days, was briefed about it regularly and knew the arrests were coming, a senior administration official said.” Both countries are surely monitoring several terrorist leads that could lead to arrests at any time. The British group would have been stopped eventually, but there has been absolutely no indication why it had to be today.
    Just yesterday Tony Snow and Dick Cheney told America that Lieberman’s loss was going to make us less safe and warned of the dangers of our supposedly weakened resolve against terrorism. What better way to drive the point home than to catch some terrorists in England immediately afterwards? Based on a quote from the U.K. Guardian, the Brits seem to have the same agenda: “The events unfolded just hours after (English Home Secretary John Reid) used a speech to a thinktank to accuse critics of the government’s anti-terrorism measures of putting national security at risk through their failure to recognize the serious nature of the threat facing Britain.”
    If the timing of the media announcement wasn’t a political ploy, the rhetoric and propaganda sure are. “It was in some respects suggestive of an al-Qaeda plot,” Homeland Security Director Chertoff said. Attorney General Gonzales also noted it was “suggestive of al-Qaeda tactics,” and FBI director Robert Mueller claimed “this had the earmarks [sic] of an al-Qaeda plot.” They still warned that it was too early to reach any conclusions, yet had no problems with dropping the name of the feared organization to implant the connection in our heads without proof. If they don’t know, they shouldn’t even make the suggestion. The Bush Administration has become masterful at scaring the bejesus out of us without actually saying anything factual. They did exactly the same thing when they were trying to connect Saddam to terrorists. The lengthy press conference today had an awful lot of “we believe” and not very much “we know.”
    For his part, Bush personally declared that “it is a mistake to believe there is no threat to the United States of America” because “this nation is at war with Islamic fascists.”
    There’s also the mixed messages. On the one hand, Bush/Blair policies have saved the day. Tony Snow said “it is safe to travel.” On the other hand, we are still in horrible danger and have to step up the terror alert warning to red. Are we more or less safe today than yesterday? While the original situation may have indeed been critical, the confusion created by ambiguities and conflicting reports have left most people in both America and Britain terrified. Airports are banning items such as hair gel and soda left and right in carry-on luggage and encouraging passengers to arrive even earlier for increased screening. While the logical conclusion should be that Bush and Iraq actually haven’t helped at all, and if anything made us worse off, too many people will get swallowed up by the scare tactics into supporting Bush even more. And Karl Rove knows it. More importantly, all those pesky stories about Lamont, Lebanon, and even Iraq are now safe in the periphery.
    The problem is that Bush has lost all credibility. He’s cried wolf so many times this could be the real deal with absolutely no impropriety and we would have no way to know. When there is this much distrust of the president, we are almost forced to assume we’re being tricked again by the use of fear to manipulate public opinion.
    As the Orwellian dictator in the film “V for Vendetta” screams to his “cabinet” at one point: “I want them to know that they need us.”
    Of course, the preservation of chaos was the goal for the rule by tyranny in “V,” as it appears to be in Bushworld.
    Terrorist threats may or may not be real. They may or may not be activated as a result of the Busheviks now becoming the motivational cause of terrorists at this point.
    We will never know, as long as one-party dictatorship prevails and incompetence and unending war are the means of maintaining power.
    But timing is something you can document. And this timing of the latest act of terrorism announcement appears more political than operational.
    A senatorial candidate who questions the strategic value of the Iraq War is denounced by the top level of the Bush Administration as an appeaser of terrorists — and then once again there is an arrest of people we are told intended to commit grievous acts of terrorism.
    There appears to be a pattern here, and it’s one employed by masters of tyranny, not democracy, to cover up for a failed war and a failed foreign policy.
    But the sheeple can only bleat.


  11. skip says:

    The Brit POLICE foiled the plot, not the Coalition Forces in Iraq.
    The latter are sapping the resources of the former.


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