Saturday, August 07, 2004


Howard Dean's dangerous political games were detrimental to the War on Terror. Bloggers like Kevin Drum make matters worse by poisoning the discourse, giving credibility to conspiracy theories and engaging in paranoid ruminations over the Homeland Security terror warnings.

Playing with matches can start a disastrous fire. Playing politics with terror alerts can also have serious consequences. Last Sunday, Howard Dean accused the Bush Administration of using cynical methods to manipulate terror alert warnings. The national media and other Democrats followed suit, saying that the basis for the latest alerts were based on old information. The political hits were taking a toll. Many Americans were beginning to wonder if their fears of terrorism were being plied with carefully and politically calculated announcements. The subsequent response to produce timely evidence of the reason why the terror threat level was raised has caused consternation in other countries fighting the war on terrorism.

MSNBC - Pakistan: U.S. blew undercover operation: "The al-Qaida suspect named by U.S. officials as the source of information that led to this week's terrorist alerts was working undercover, Pakistani intelligence sources said Friday, putting an end to the sting operation and forcing Pakistan to hide the man in a secret location.

Under pressure to justify the alerts in three Northeastern cities, U.S. officials confirmed a report by The New York Times that the man, Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, was the source of the intelligence that led to the decision."

This administration will be damned if it does and damned if it doesn't. President Bush was assailed for blaming Al Qaeda and Afghanistan for 9/11 before there was "overwhelming" evidence. Then, he was blamed for attacking Iraq instead of focusing on only one terrorist group, Al Qaeda. Now, President Bush has been blamed for relying on "old" evidence even though terrorists take years to create an attack. When evidence of a recent arrest was released to appease critics it only served to have consequences abroad.

Kevin Drum is one particular blogger who seems to make sure that the world spins on an axis of his own choosing. Today, he is criticizing the ones who released the name of the man arrested in Pakistan. Last week, on August 3rd, Drum thought the release of the name was part of a conspiracy to arrest terrorists only after the Democratic convention - as if our soldiers had that luxury and the terrorists were so accommodating. He sneeringly called it a "miraculous capture." Later that day, Drum openly wondered about the reasons behind the terror warnings and gave credence to the fact that the cited "old" evidence might mean the terror warnings were not legitimate. To his credit, he did say he was keeping an open mind, sheesh. By August 5th, Drum has lathered himself in all sorts of conspiracy theories regarding the terror threats. But, he tries to maintain a shred of dignity by saying that national intelligence should be taken seriously. I kid you not!

Which brings us back to today. After a week of bellyaching, indulging conspiracy theories, attacking the Bush Administration for manipulating terror warnings and wondering if old evidence is good enough, Drum has the audacity to attack the release of new evidence that he was begging for. Kevin Drum plaintively wailed, "What kind of idiots are running our counterterrorism operations?" It gets even better, Drum has the audacity to say,
I'm beside myself that Bush administration officials are so spineless that they'd kill an undercover operation just to remove some political heat from themselves. But: I'm also angry that the reaction to Sunday's terror warning from Bush critics was so hysterical that the Bushies got panicked into doing this. And yet: I'm furious that Bush and his cronies have so corrupted our intelligence services that deep skepticism was hardly an unfair reaction.

Kevin Drum has taken all sides of an issue in one week. Bravo, good job, Mr. Drum. Someone like John Kerry should look to you for advice when it comes to shamelessly attacking President Bush from all sides without rhyme, reason or a bit of honesty.

Update: Here are the lemmings following Kevin Drum off the cliff... Random Thoughts, Dohiyi Mir, Majikthise, Rooftop Report, Talk Left, Logical Realism, Law and Politics, and Stumax.

Update II: Those who have a clue are... The Fat Guy, Right Thoughts and Arguing with signposts

Sunday Update: See... Wizbang and In the Bullpen. Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin highlights intriguing information about Al Qaeda's computer files.


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