May 19, 2004

This afternoon's paranoid ramble.

About an hour ago, we were emailing with a friend on the Other Coast. At one point, we had this exchange:

Other Coast:  The only good thing about the lousy economy and gas prices and so forth is that maybe, just maybe, it will send George Bush home to Texas.

Magpie:  It's looking real good for that right now. Let's just hope we actually have an election.

Other Coast:  Yeah, they may have to cancel the election if there's a terrorist threat or something.

Magpie:  And while I don't think this lot is quite evil enough to manufacture a terrorist incident, I'm certain they'd be willing to find out about a probable attack & do nothing to stop it ... if they'd benefit politically from the fallout of the attack.

Not much more than the usual sort of US lefty paranoia, right?

Just now, though, we were cruising around the web and found a link (via Corrente) to an interesting item in US News:

White House officials say they've got a "working premise" about terrorism and the presidential election: It's going to happen. "We assume," says a top administration official, "an attack will happen leading up to the election." And, he added, "it will happen here." There are two worst-case scenarios, the official says. The first posits an attack on Washington, possibly the Capitol, which was believed to be the target of the 9/11 jet that crashed in Pennsylvania. Theory 2: smaller but more frequent attacks in Washington and other major cities leading up to the election. To prepare, the administration has been holding secret antiterrorism drills to make sure top officials know what to do. "There was a sense," says one official involved in the drills, "of mass confusion on 9/11. Now we have a sense of order." Unclear is the political impact, though most Bushies think the nation would rally around the president. "I can tell you one thing," adds the official sternly, "we won't be like Spain," which tossed its government days after the Madrid train bombings.

Sounds an awful lot like a trial balloon to us — that Washington's starting to get the country used to the idea that there will be an attack during the run-up to the November election. The use of the term 'sense of order' especially gives us the creeps.

Posted by Magpie at May 19, 2004 11:15 PM | War on Terrorism | Technorati links |

Sometimes paranoia is justified, I think this is one of those times. These arrogant, incompotent, rapture driven megalomaniacs will do anything to stay in power.

Posted by: Ron In Portland at May 19, 2004 11:29 PM

A sense of order? We won't be like Spain? Right. Our trains will run on time.

I think I'm going into the tinfoil hat business. I believe there's going to be a great and regrettably justified demand for them between now and November.

One observation: if, heaven forbid, there is in fact another major terrorist event on American soil between now and November, that would be two of them on Bush's watch. How would that make him the tough-on-terrorism president? why should anyone vote for him if that happens?

Posted by: Steve Bates at May 20, 2004 03:46 AM

Vote for him? They didn't vote for him the first time. "Oh, we can't _possibly_ go ahead with an election the day after thousands of Americans were killed by terrorists. We'll just postpone it till the state of emergency is over and we've won the War on Terror".

If this lot isn't evil enough to manufacture a terrorist incident, then who is? Somebody has to, or it won't happen. Are rich white fundamentalist Americans all inherently less evil than fundamentalist arabs?

Posted by: felice at May 20, 2004 04:46 AM

Oh, I get it: Capt Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise came across Kahn Noonian "Dubya" Singh and his band of neo-con cohorts on the Botany Bay.

Only in America can we understand our history through our fiction!

--ventura county, ca

Posted by: Darryl Pearce at May 20, 2004 06:10 AM

The single best reason to not shrug this off as paranoia has been that everyone I've heard to the left of Matt Yglesias and to the right of Democratic Underground hasn't been nearly paranoid enough. The bad just keeps coming, really.

We would have laughed at ourselves in 2000 if we'd worried about the shape of the PATRIOT Act, the possibility that America would set up its own system of extraterritorial gulags, that government agencies would remove scientific information from their websites for partisan reasons, that opposition to affirmative action would be announced by Mr. Yale Legacy on MLK day, or a host of other perversities. Not even the Onion was too far off the mark.

To steal from the Big Lebowski, everything's a travesty with these people.

Posted by: natasha at May 20, 2004 08:42 AM

I think BushCo watches too many movies, is what I think. In spy movies, the enemy's motives are sussed out by quick-thinking spies who know human nature very well. In real life, of course, we just have pain-staking intelligence agencies who send information along to leaders who ignore it because they are too busy crafting the plots of the next big blockbuster/election fraud.

Posted by: Amanda at May 20, 2004 08:26 PM

I've been known to put my tin foil hat on and blog about this. We need to be prepared to tell Congress "not only no, but hell no" if such an eventuality arises.


Posted by: Scorpio at May 21, 2004 12:04 AM