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September 10, 2002

What sound does an Orange

What sound does an Orange Alert Make?

Ok, I just don't get it. Today, the "Homeland Security Advisory System" was turned up a notch to orange because of

possible attacks on American facilities in southeast Asia or possible suicide attacks on U.S. interests by individuals in the Middle East.

Last time I looked, American facilities in southeast Asia and U.S. interests in the Middle East didn't have diddly-shit to do with the Homeland. Yes I realize that technically American embassies are American territory, but they're not exactly the Homeland, now are they? To most Americans, the Homeland is the 50 states, plus or minus D.C. and Puerto Rico depending on how they feel that day. Johnnie has a more inclusive view of America, though

Likely targets included symbols of American power like corporate interests in the energy and transport sectors

"Corporate interests in the energy and transport sectors" are targeted! Boo fucking hoo. Corporate interests in the energy and transport sectors are where the damn terrorists get their money, it's just filtered through the Saudis first. But that's a rant for another time. After all, "Corporate interests abroad" probably keep a couple of Americans on staff, and they don't deserve to get killed anymore that a housewife in Dubuque would. Even so, ratcheting up the Homeland threat level because some Islamikaze is threatening to bomb a Nike factory in Indonesia is.....just plain stupid.

No one even hints that there has been a credible threat to the actual homeland. So why kick the color up? If embassies and military bases abroad are basing their security practices on Ashcroft's Rainbow of Danger, then we might as well write those places off as losses that haven't happened yet. The average Joe is going to think that there is a threat to the internal US when he hears about this, because after all, it's the "Homeland Security Advisory System", not the "Security Advisory System for Americans Abroad"

So one, maybe Ashcroft knocked it up based on a threat abroad, because he figured it would give him some face time on tonight's evening news. If so, his ass needs to be impeached. He's jerking Americans around, causing unnecessary fear, and exploiting the War on Terrorism for domestic political gain. Or two, there really is an internal threat, and Johnnie boy wants to get that across without mentioning the specifics of the threat, either to avoid causing panic or because he thinks we can catch the bad buys before they act, and mentioning the specifics might scare them off, which means he's either underestimating us or overestimating the abilities of the Justice Department to deal with the bad guys. In all likelihood, it's both. And if Americans die because of Ashcroft's miscalculations, I don't want his ass impeached, I want his ass imprisoned.

I don't think it's either of the above, though. I don't think Johnnie has any evidence whatsoever that there is a heightened threat, certainly none that he didn't have last week, or last month. I think he's scared of the anniversary, and playing a game of preemptive CYA, so if there is an attack tomorrow, he can appear on national television and woefully talk about how close they were to catching these guys, and how if we would just quit worrying about silly little things like civil liberties, secret trials and indefinite incarcerations, than he could get back to the task at hand, accumulating power, er, fighting the terrorists. Speaking of "accumulating power", why isn't the White House homeland security adviser announcing the color change? Is Tom Ridge anything more than a complete figurehead? I'll bet you if something does happen, his is the head that falls, and Ashcroft will continue skipping down the merry road to Hell.

Posted by Bigwig at September 10, 2002 11:56 PM | TrackBack
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