Bush’s Boogeyman: Scaring America for Political Gain
By W. David Jenkins III
Pity poor Howard Dean. The man seems to be the only person on the left who has the spine to call them as he sees them. With Kerry and the Democrats starting to get some decent press after the convention, along come the Bush Gang acting like the Lost in Space robot yelling "Warning! Warning!" again. Tom "Captain Crayola" Ridge not only told us that they had "new and specific" evidence regarding this latest alert, but he also assured everyone that it was all due to Bush’s "leadership" in the war on terrorism that they found out about the threat. A few days later he needed to also assure everyone that the Department of Homeland Security "doesn’t do politics." Yeah, okay sure, Tom.
Dean had the audacity, according to some, to question the timing of this alert and actually stating that it seemed to him that every time Bush’s numbers took a dump, they’d issue another warning of some sort. How dare that Howard!
Now, granted, Ridge and Co. "forgot" to initially state that the information was over three years old and it was a duplicate of a warning from April 2002, according to the CNN archives (don’t they even research their own stuff?). And let’s not even consider the fact that the administration had been leaning on Pakistan to give them a "July Surprise" to rob the Democrats of any publicity or, that after Pakistan delivered, the Bushes sat on the information for about three weeks. Now, a week later, we have to be afraid of helicopters and scuba divers as well. And if that’s not enough overkill for you, we have right wing mouthpieces like Drudge and the Washington Times going off about assassination and such.
Hey, wait a minute. Weren’t scuba divers on the top ten list of things to be afraid of back in July of ’02? Remember? That was when the government spooks were watching the movie "Godzilla" for clues. Naw, they wouldn’t really recycle terrorist warnings would they? Nope, perish the thought because there’s nothing to see here and shame on anyone who would even entertain the thought that Bush would use terrorism and fear as a diversion. The timing is just a coincidence.
The problem is that there have been far too many "coincidences" since 9/11 and I get the feeling that the Bush Gang is riding so high up on their horses that they don’t think anybody will notice. For example, let’s go back to the spring of ’02.
If you remember, we had been hammered with warnings about large trucks, synagogues and large apartments as targets for the terrorists. There was still a small bit of publicity about the anthrax killer(s) –remember that? – and Bush was still fighting the establishment of not only the Homeland Security Department but, any independent commission to look into 9/11. In fact, 9/11 was beginning to work against the Bush Gang. People were starting to ask questions concerning the administrations’ stone-walling and the Patriot Act was getting a second look. Not only that, but the FBI and the CIA were coming under some severe scrutiny as far as missed opportunities and intelligence failures regarding the time span leading up to 9/11.
To make matters worse, there was to be an international press conference to be held on June 11, 2002 by members of the surviving family members and a former Bush I administration official concerning these intelligence failures regarding 9/11. The press conference was held, I hear, but nobody ever saw it. Why? Picture John Ashcroft singing the theme to Mighty Mouse.
"Here I come to save the daaaaaay!"
That’s right, good old Reverend John shocked the world that same day with his announcement from Moscow (just what the hell was he doing over there anyway?) that they had caught a "dirty bomber" just in the knick of time! Abdullah al-Muhajir, aka Jose Padilla, had been busted in Chicago because he was "suspected" of planning to detonate a dirty bomb someplace. All the media rushed to the story like a pack of puppies from a Pepsi commercial and distracted everybody for the desperately needed time Bush required. But there was one minor thing Ashcroft or anybody in the media forgot to mention. They had busted Padilla over a month before the announcement! Sound familiar?
February 12, 2002 - Attorney General John Ashcroft called on "all Americans to be on the highest state of alert" after an FBI warning of a possible imminent terrorist attack.
September 24, 2002 – Ashcroft elevates the terror alert to Orange
February 9, 2003 - Citing credible threats that al Qaeda might be planning attacks on American targets, the U.S. government raised the national color-coded threat level to orange, indicating a "high" risk of a terrorist attack
July 29 - Department of Homeland Security issues a warning about the possibility of suicide attacks on airplanes.
March 21, 2004 The State Department issues a terror alert.
Here’s one of my favorites. On May 10, Bush’s approval rating hit 46%. A week later, Colin Powell tells Meet the Press that he was deliberately misled about WMD information. Powell's aide tries to cut him off mid-air. Newsweek reports that President Bush's top lawyer warned two years ago that Bush could be prosecuted for war crimes as a result of how his administration was fighting the war on terror. Then the White House stonewalls UN on papers about Halliburton’s contracts in Iraq and Captain Crayola testifies before 9/11 Commission and the Senate Armed Forces Committee holds hearings on Abu Ghraib abuses.
Seven days after all this happens, Ridge warns of a major threat of a terrorist attack during the summer. But these, like all the others – even the ones I haven’t mentioned – were all coincidences.
The fact remains that Bush hasn’t a damn thing to run on except the war on terrorism. One week he’s ranting about how much safer we all are, and then a week later that al Qaeda boogeyman is coming to get us.
Well, George, which is it? Talk about "flip-flopping!"
But from all appearances, it would seem that Howard Dean is onto something. Almost half of the population thinks that either Bush did use or is capable of using terrorism as a political tool. The fact that people even entertain that thought is a sorry commentary on this administration. And in all honesty, seeing that this administration has covered itself in secrecy since before 9/11, beginning with the underhanded way it came to power and the disgusting tactics it used in order to sneak into the White House, it is not so far-fetched to imagine them using the threat of terrorism in order to control uneducated voters.
George W. Bush’s term has been a failed presidency in almost every way since he became the leader of the free world. His only real success has been to scare many Americans into thinking he’s in control and that he knows what he’s doing – and that we’re safer with him in charge.
A simple opening of the eyes should be enough to prove to voters that that is just another in a long history of lies. The truth is the only people who are safer now are the Bush Gang but their safety is contingent on just how scared they can keep everybody. Bush needs a boogeyman because he has no power without one.
Now how safe do you feel?
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