you can vote for kerry, but your kids will die like those kids in russia

On the eve of Friday’s presidential debate, government officials in the U.S. decided to come out with information they’d been holding since July. Within hours it was all over the news — public schools in the U.S. were being targeted by terrorists for attacks.

Now, a lot of cynical people out there looked at this announcement as just one more instance of the fear-mongering Bush administration trumpeting questionable, old intelligence for political gain. As the computer disks found in Iraq that prompted this most recent alert (disks that contained the layouts for several American schools, including their emergency exit plans) were in the possession of a man with no known terrorist connections, who is actually working to build schools in the war-torn country, it would appear that there might very well be cause to yell, “foul.”

Here’s a quote from the CNN story (see first link):

The Department of Homeland Security official said the material was associated with a person in Iraq, and it could not be established that this person had any ties to terrorism. He did have a connection to civic groups doing planning for schools in Iraq, the official said.

That last little factoid, that the guy had a legitimate reason for carrying around school construction plans, wasn’t mentioned by most of the press though. They just focused on the possibility that our kids might be the next targets. Coming out as this did, on the night before the debate, and shortly after the tragedy at the Russian school, I can certainly see how people might believe there’s a political agenda driving the decision as to when these terror alerts get issued. (Be ready for a level “Dark Red” in the days preceding the election.)

While we’re on the subject of manipulating the media for political gain, did any of you hear that the day after Bush’s first miserable debate failure, he called for the press to come out and cover a speech in which he’d be announcing a major new policy initiative? It turned out, however, after all the news organizations showed up to cover this announcement, that it was little more than his regular stump speech, with a few extra jokes about Kerry and a humorous comment or two explining his own poor showing at the debate. Bush and Rove had essentially just bought themselves a hell of a lot of free airtime on the cable networks that they would have had to buy otherwise, and thereby were able to slow to some extent the deceleration of their campaign in the wake of Bush’s public humiliation at the hands of John Kerry.

So, for those of you who thought that, money aside, Kerry and Bush were competing on a level playing field, think again. The sitting president always has an upper hand, especially when he’s the kind of man that wouldn’t hesitate to take unfair advantage.

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One Comment

  1. dorothy
    Posted October 11, 2004 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    i heard the greatest quote on CNN this am.


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