While discussing the latest revelations from Tom Ridge's new book that the Homeland Security terrorist threat alerts were used for political purposes, Bill Kristol defends what happened just before the election where they decided it would be too obvious if they raised it again and uses that one example to claim that the program was not used for political purposes. Fox just loves them some little neo-con serial liars, don't they? Bill, just because they finally decided they over played their hand doesn't mean they weren't playing politics with the fear card.
Newshounds has the breakdown of just how the alerts were used in the run up to the election. Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid:
Oct 11: The FBI warned of imminent terrorist attacks in the US "in the next several days". Of course there was no indication of when or where these attacks would occur. There were no attacks.
Oct 29: The Administration warned of plans to strike the US "in the next week." No specifics such as dates or targets were given. There were no attacks.
Dec 3: Ridge warns that terrorist strikes "could happen within the next few weeks," possibly connected with the Muslim religious festival of Ramadan. There were no attacks.
Jan 17: Ashcroft warns that suicide attacks "might be expected because of confidential information" the US government had received. No dates or places were given. Nothing more was ever heard about the "confidential information." There were no attacks.
Feb 10: The FBI warned there was a threat of "imminent attacks on the US that might happen as early as Feb 12." There were no attacks.
Mar 27: The government issued a warning that American citizens in 4 Italian cities "would be attacked on Easter Sunday." There were no attacks.
May 19: VP Cheney states that he is "certain of new attacks against the US". There were no attacks.
May 21: The FBI warned of imminent threat of� "attacks against the Brooklyn Bridge & the Statue of Liberty". There were no attacks.
Sep 10: The government raised the National Alert Level to orange stating that there would be "strikes against American sites on the anniversary of the Sept 11 attack". Air patrols were instituted & access to government buildings was prohibited. There were no attacks.
Feb 8: Ridge & Ashcroft announced a high National Terror Alert, claiming they had "evidence that terrorists would attack American hotels & apartment buildings." There were no attacks.
Mar 17. National Alert Level raised to orange. No reasons are given. There were no attacks.
Mar 18. The Arizona National Guard was alerted & sent to a nuclear plant because "an attack by al Qaeda agents was imminent". There was no attack.
Dec 21: Ridge raised alert levels & warned that the" threat of imminent attack is now the most serious since 2001". There was no attack.
Apr 2: The Administration warns about "pending terrorist attacks on buses & trains". There were no attacks.
May 26. Ashcroft & Mueller warn of a "plane attack inside the US" & that terrorists "were poised for an immediate attack". There was no attack.
Aug 1: Ridge raised the alert level to orange, claiming knowledge of plots against US financial institutions. It was later discovered that his "knowledge" was 4 years old & very unspecific. There was no attack.
And then of course we have Keith's reporting which at the time I'm surprised didn't get him kicked off of the air at MSNBC on the Nexus of Politics and Fear, which he just updated and my friend and fellow contributor here at Video Cafe CSPANJunkie just posted for me this week.
h/t C&L'er Mugsy