Monday, August 09, 2004

Cry wolf, please - Part III

Babble on.

As I was driving home from work tonight, CFRB 1010 switched from their normal programming to a radio network out of the U.S. To be honest, I was paying more attention to the traffic on Hwy 400 than I was to the radio. That changed when I heard the interviewer say that his guest was going to be Bill Clinton.

The first question thrown at Clinton was whether or not he thought the recent terror alert put out by the Bush administration was a political manoevre. His answer was a strong 'no.' In fact, he went on to say that those questioning whether the recently-gathered intelligence was dated and therefore unreliable were off-base.

The interview moved on, and Clinton subsequently questioned the war in Iraq, applauded Kerry's voting record, and generally shilled for the Democrats. But this arch-Democrat was completely unwilling to question the terror alerts. Why? Because for eight years he sat and listened at the security briefings, he reviewed the data on the terrorists, and he went to bed with the weight of responsibility for America's safety on his shoulders.

Clinton knows the hated Republicans aren't exaggerating this threat to score cheap political points, because even pre-9/11 the intelligence made a reluctant convert out of him. The danger is real. And it's long past time the Warren Kinsellas and Lawrence Martins of the world woke up to that fact like the rest of us adults have.

Babble off.


At 9:04 a.m., Blogger Prolix said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1:40 p.m., Blogger Prolix said...

Sorry, I got click happy and decided that the garbage can symbol was a good target... I'll give you my comments again, but in a shortened version (which you can thank me for later, I'm sure).

It seems to me, and tell me if I have this wrong, that you advocate treating Bush's administration as above suspicion for playing politics with the use of terror alerts or at least their timing. Do you really think this is makes sense when the decision to issue an alert is somewhat ambiguous, the payoff for the Bush administration is high, and there is little risk that they will be caught.

When the usefulness of this system depends on its perceived credibility, controls should be in place to ensure that: a) there is some objective standard by which alerts are issued, b) there is a post-mortem review of each alert for its substantiation and effectiveness ideally done by a non-partisan third-party), c) that this is taken out of the political field as much as possible.

At 2:17 p.m., Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

I guess if you're inclined not to trust the Bush administration because it's the Bush administration, then you need some way to independently verify the alerts aren't politically motivated. OK, if that's how you want to spend your money.

What I'm pointing out is that there are Democrats out there (like Clinton and McPeak) who have practical, high-level experience and insight into the terrorist threat, who believe this issue is a molehill of a mountain. What do the sceptics know that these folks don't? Nothing.

At 5:23 p.m., Blogger Prolix said...

I don't think I'm the problem, its the 60% of the U.S. electorate that is predisposed to filtering anything Bush says through a liberal-lense though. Like it or not, you won't get them won over by saying that he's a patriot and above the political game. More, there is a strong under-current of distrust not only in Bush's administration but in government. Again, for this system to work, it has to be perceived as being credible, which I think it is at risk of losing if it hasn't already.

Point taken with Clinton et al. although I think you can only take it so far. Personally, a healthy dose of skepticism (not to be confused with cynicism) is a good thing in any democracy.

Keep on babbling.


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