Terrorist Alerts: Genuine Threats or Political Ploy?
Interview with Craig Eisendrath, senior fellow with the Center for International Policy, conducted by Scott Harris
On Aug. 1, the Bush administration's Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge raised the terror level alert to "orange" and warned the public that the government had evidence of a possible plan by al Qaeda to attack financial centers in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Security was enhanced at the sites specified in the warnings, reducing many employees and residents in these areas to helpless and fearful observers.
But news reports later revealed that much of the information the White House based their warnings on was three or four years old. As the public reacted with confusion and skepticism, former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean raised questions about the possible relationship between the terrorist warnings and the presidential election campaign, expressing concern that the alerts were being used to gain political advantage. The administration, anxious to justify the alert, responded by revealing the name of the source of their information, rendering him ineffective in any future counter-terrorism operation.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Craig Eisendrath, a senior fellow with the Center for International Policy, and co-author along with Mel Goodman of "Bush League Diplomacy: How the Neoconservatives Are Putting the World at Risk." Eisendrath assesses the usefulness of issuing terror alerts and examines the charge that these warnings are being exploited for political purposes in this election year.
Contact the Center for International Policy by calling (202) 232-3317 or visit their website at www.ciponline.org
"The Color-Coded Fear Factor Terror Alerts raise Blood Pressure, close Streets and scare up a Few Votes," by Tom Brazaitis, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Aug. 9, 2004
"A Need to Believe That We're Not Being Manipulated," by William Raspberry, by the Seattle Times, Aug. 10, 2004
" Not Scared Yet? Try Connecting These Dots," by Ray McGovern, truthout|Perspective, Aug. 9, 2004
"The Price of Freedom," Juliusblog.blogspot.com, Aug. 3, 2004
"Timeline of Terror Alerts," Juliusblog.blogspot.com
"Chart of Bush Approval Ratings and Terror Alerts," Aug. 4, 2004 by Juliusblog.blogspot.com
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