Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Are Bush Administration Terror Warnings Political?

Hi Everyone,

The most recent terror alert sparked a considerable amount of security measures in New York especially. However, it now turns out that the supposed new information was 3 years old. This has led to some open speculation that the Bush administration is using terror alerts for political gain.

This is almost impossible to prove - a good thing for Bush because if it were proved he would be doomed in the elction and possibly vulnerable to criminal prosecution of some sort.

So far the only terror announcement that had details of a planned attack had to do with the supposed plot to bomb a shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio (a swing city in a swing state). A Somali immigrant and small businessman, Nuradin Abdi, was arrested the day before Thanksgiving 2003 and held incommunicado in Cincinnati. On June 14th, 2004, John Ashcroft made a grandiose announcement that “America’s heartland has been targeted for death and destruction!” The announcement was made because the Feds were about to – finally – give Abdi his day in court. Ashcroft’s announcement said that Nuradin Abdi was a known Al Qaeda operative who was planning on “blowing up a shopping mall” in Columbus. The spin from the Attorney General was that an Al Qaeda cell in Columbus was bout to activated but had been stopped in the nick of time by heroic efforts of the Bush administration.

However, when Abdi showed up in court he was clearly not in command of his faculties. Having declined counsel, he swayed back in forth muttering to himself incoherently during the hearing. Occaisionally he would bang his head on the table in front of him. The judge ordered the prosecution to take Abdi to a mental institution to determine if he was mentally fit to stand trial. The story has yet to be picked up again. I suggest that after 7 months in custody it should have occurred to the Justice Dept. that Mr. Abdi was possibly schizophrenic. So why did they make such a big deal about it only to almost immediately stop making public announcements about it?

I suggest that this case is a likely example of the Bush Administration using arrests and terror announcements for political purposes. I think they rushed to make the announcement because of its obvious potential to solidify shaky support for Bush in the critical state of Ohio. Then when it showed signs of being an embarrassment, they hushed up. The media has been all too willing to let Bush and Ashcroft off the hook on this one.

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