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12 October 2005

The Nexus of Politics and Terror

Ain't no terror threat unless approval ratings slumpin. - Paris

Not too long ago Keith Olbermann, Sportscenter commentator turned host of MSNBC's Countdown, ripped the Bush administration in an on-air editorial for its response to Hurricane Katrina. It was a stunning reminder that, though Jon Stewart certainly deserves all buzz he's been getting the past couple of years, Olbermann is also among the best in the business.

On tonight's Countdown, Olbermann had a very interesting piece on the correlation between terror alerts in this country and bad news for the Bush administration. Olbermann provides a timeline for 13 different times the terror threat level has been raised in the four years since 9/11. On each of these 13 occasions the Bush administration was either sinking deep in a mire of bad news or the Democrats were getting considerable favorable media coverage. It would seem that perhaps these are more than coincidences:

Number Two:

June 6th, 2002. Colleen Rowley, the FBI agent who tried to alert her superiors to the specialized flight training taken by Zacarias Moussaoui, whose information suggests the government missed a chance to break up the 9/11 plot, testifies before Congress. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Graham says Rowley’s testimony has inspired similar pre-9/11 whistle-blowers.

June 10th, 2002. Four days later, speaking from Russia, Attorney General John Ashcroft reveals that an American named Jose Padilla is under arrest, accused of plotting a radiation bomb attack in this country. Padilla had, by this time, already been detained for more than a month.
Now, as Olbermann admits right out of the gate, and as everyone should learn in Psychology 101, correlation does not mean causation. And yet there does seem to be something here, something that has been largely ignored until now. The Bush administration's curtain is being pulled away, and the general public is getting a chance to see that the great and terrible wizard is not so great and terrible after all.

At any rate, you should watch the video and see for yourself (here for WMP video or watch Crooks and Liars for more feeds). Also read Olbermann's blog entry on the subject.

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