Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The intelligence upon which the latest terrorism alerts from the Homeland Security Department was based, according to an article from the Washington Post, came from reported al Qaeda 'surveillance' of US financial institutions 3+ years ago and, most significantly, predating September 11, 2001. So, is this new 'threat', unprecedented in its specific nature, really anything substantial? or, worse, is it just a diversion? If it is the latter, that would prove that this administration really has no shame. Homeland Security Secretary Ridge today defended the new terrorism threat in lieu of criticism of its validity, stating that "the government needed to take 'preemptive action' to warn the public that al Qaeda had been casing five U.S. financial institutions [the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank (Washington); the Citigroup Center, the New York Stock Exchange (New York), and Prudent Financial (Newark)], even if the alleged surveillance was conducted before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."* Seriously, what is with this administration and preemption? Either preemptive war (actually preventive) or, such a case as this, preemptive fear.

*Emphases added.

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