Thursday, May 27, 2004

Wag the Dog 

John Ashcroft announced yesterday that the Bush administration has credible information that Al Qaeda is "almost ready to attack the United States" over the summer and has a "specific intention to hit the United States hard."

There was no information as to where or when the attack might take place, although there was a suggestion that the attackers might make use of biological or radiological WMD.

A day before Ashcroft's speech, analysts at the Department of Homeland Security said that they had no new intelligence about a summer attack. Ashcroft said that, "the public, like all of us, needs a reminder" when asked why he was making a speech when no new information had come to light.

This really looks like a "Wag the Dog" scenario to me. Support for the Iraq war is failing, and Bush's approval ratings on economic management are at an all time low. Bush's main advantage over Kerry is that he polls better on handling the war on terrorism. Making speeches about vague terrorist threats that include no specific information is just an attempt to distract voters from the Abu Ghraib scandal and the fact that the administration has no coherent plan for dealing with Iraq.

Liberal and conservative accounts of Ashcroft's speech are available at these links.
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