The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, May 23, 2002  

Toronto Globe & Mail: Threats Not Urgent,
Motivated by Political Objectives

Granted, we’re late with this one as the story was published two days ago, but the Toronto Globe & Mail carried an interesting piece on May 21, “U.S. Issues New Warnings on Terror,” along with the “dek,” as it’s called in publishing: “White House tries to counter Bush’s critics.”

The Globe & Mail’s report casts at least some doubt on the latest warnings of possible terrorist attacks by the Bush administration, those that indicated the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and “large apartment complexes” were potential targets.

“As U.S. officials continued to issue warnings yesterday about the possibility of attacks by suicide bombers and terrorists, the White House quietly acknowledged that the threats are not urgent and that they are partly motivated by political objectives,” wrote Doug Saunders. [Ed.: Emphasis added.]

According to the report, unnamed administration officials said the warnings issued on May 19 and May 20 “do not reflect a dramatic increase in threatening information but rather a desire to fend off criticism from the Democrats.”

Saunders writes that “[a] top White House aide said that last week’s criticism [of President George Bush] prompted a two-pronged political response: Mr. Bush accused Democrats of playing politics with the issue while his advisers reminded voters that the United States is still a target.”

So, we ask, who is most actively and most cynically politicizing this issue? Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.)? Congressional Democrats as a group? The “liberal” media? Or the Bush administration itself?

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