Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Chertoff's Gut Feeling Makes Me Queasy

Almost six years after the September 11 attacks, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff stated that he had a "gut feeling" that the United States is facing a heightened risk of attack this summer. Although Mr. Chertoff offered no concrete evidence, the Associated Press is reporting that U.S. Intelligence Analysts have concluded that Al-Qaida may be at its strongest level since just before the attacks.

But is it true?

The timing is curious. As pressure mounts on the Bush Administration to end military operations in Iraq, Mr. Chertoff's nebulous comments seem to be right out of the President's playbook. Create doubt and fear in the populace. Afterall, if Al-Quaida is getting stronger, leaving Iraq is tantamount to handing the country over to them. Or so they would like us to believe.

What if it is true?

The problem is that the Bush Administration has beaten the Al-Quaida drum so often that it has become the political equivalent of crying wolf. If the terrorism threat has increased, the credibility of the Bush Administration may be so threadbare that no one is listening. Interestingly enough, the intelligence seems to indicate that Al-Quaida has regrouped strongest along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Gee, I wonder how that happened . . .

Following 9/11, military action in Afghanistan made sense and was effective. Evidence that Al-Quaida was operating within Afghani borders was irrefutible and the Taliban government was clearly aware of it. But instead of a swift and decisive victory against terrorism and religious based totalitarianism, we sit mired in a war launched on faulty or false intelligence; approaching 4,000 dead American soldiers; as Iraq teeters on the precipice of civil war; and the Taliban and Al-Quaida rebound and approach pre-9/11 strength in Afghanistan.

It is disgraceful, it is criminal and if God forbid Mr. Chertoff's "gut feeling" turns out to be right, the blame and the blood falls squarely on George W. Bush.


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