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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

BUSHWHACKEDUSA: NATIONAL ITEMS, 5 AUGUST 2004 

FUBAR
Source for New Terror Alerts Fed U.S. False Information in 2002

Capitol Hill Blue, 4 August 2004

EXCERPT: An imprisoned terror suspect that the Bush administration says provided "vital" information that led to increased alerts in Washington, New York and New Jersey is the same suspect who provided false information that led to false alerts in 2002, angry intelligence officials say. The administration claimed it learned from an imprisoned terror suspect, separately from the documents and two prisoners named this week, that al-Qaida was plotting to attack U.S. financial buildings, officials. The White House described the latest information as "another new stream of intelligence" that supported its decision to issue warnings. It arrived days before the public alert, even as officials were reviewing reams of documents and photographs that showed surveillance of five such financial buildings in New York, New Jersey and Washington carried out years ago by al-Qaida. But Capitol Hill Blue has learned the terror suspect is Abu Zubaydah, an al-Qaida honcho captured in Pakistan in March, 2002. At that time, Zubaydah claimed suicide bomb attacks against the same financial institutions were imminent and U.S. officials responded by raising the terror alert status only to lower it a short time later and admit Zubaydah's information was "questionable." "Old information isn't irrelevant information - particularly with this kind of enemy," Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn. "Horseshit," muttered a DHS agent who, for obvious reasons, asked that his name be withheld. "We're chasing ghosts and we're chasing our tails. How many times must this clown lead us around by the nose before we learn we have been made fools of once again?"
SEE ALSO: Despite "Terror" Warnings, Laura Bush Visits Citicorp Building in New York (CNN/Money)


NYT Editorial: The Terror Alerts
New York Times, 5 August 2004

EXCERPT: Given the unprecedented circumstances and the costs of making a mistake, it's easy to understand why the administration has had so much trouble managing the way it informs the public about potential danger. But after 17 months in which alerts blinked from yellow to orange and back a half-dozen times, the White House should be past its learning curve. It isn't. The events of this week showed starkly that the system is not working. The administration was obviously right to warn the country that Al Qaeda had apparently studied financial institutions in three cities with the idea of a possible attack. But the delivery of the message was confusing. The color-coded threat chart doesn't serve the purpose for which it was invented, and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is hopeless as a public spokesman on this issue. The Bush administration needs to come up with a method of communication that informs the public in a calm, clear way. Perhaps most important, people need to be made totally confident that this critical matter is not being tangled up in the presidential campaign.

Bush Announces 20 Recess Appointments
Associated Press, 31 July 2004

EXCERPT: President Bush on Friday announced his intention to make 20 appointments during the congressional recess, including a new chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, a manufacturing czar and three ambassadors.

The Sultan Brought Cheesecake
The Smoking Gun, 4 August 2004

EXCERPT: Three hundred pounds of lamb. A $12,000 Franck Muller watch. Christian Dior after-shave lotion. A Lady McDuffies gourmet lemon cheesecake. Those are just a few of the fabulous gifts received last year by the Bush family from foreign leaders, according to a list released this week by the Department of State's Office of Protocol (below you'll find excerpts from the 52-page report). It will probably come as no surprise that the most valuable gift came from Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdallah, who gave First Lady Laura Bush a matching set of diamond and sapphire jewelry valued by U.S. officials at $95,500. The Saudi royal also gave the president an $8500 mantel clock and the "first family" (that would be first daughters Jenna and Barbara) received Bulgari necklaces valued at $8500 and $8000 apiece. Other recipients of Saudi largesse were Chief of Staff Andrew Card and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, both of whom got small daggers priced at $1500.

Playing Dirty: Negative Ads Aren't the Only Weapons in the GOP Arsenal
By David Corn
TomPaine.com, 4 August 2004

EXCERPT: Here come the dirty bombs. I’m not referring to the most recent terror alert, which just so happened to coincide with the conclusion of the Democrats’ successful convention. (Isn’t it awful that the public—quite justifiably—cannot approach the Bush administration’s terror announcements without a healthy dose of cynicism?) No, the dirty bombs being launched these days are coming from GOP HQ. No sooner had Commander Kerry accomplished his mission in Boston—by presenting himse

Bush's Daughters Get Ride on Rare Diverted Flight
WRAL, 3 August 2004

EXCERPT: A representative for US Airways said the decision to divert the plane had nothing to do with the Bush twins. In fact, the representative said US Airways often diverts planes for such problems, but could not provide an exact number when asked. Several passengers at Reagan National Airport said they have never heard of such treatment. Industry experts say such diversions are extremely rare.

Maybe two wrongs sometimes make a right...
Liberals Want Their Own Network

By Mark Baard
Wired News, 30 July 2004

EXCERPT: A group of progressive media activists covering the Democratic National Convention in Boston plans to launch a new television network to counter the conservative news coverage they see on Fox News and CNN. The group includes one of the producers of the Clinton documentary, The Hunting of the President, and the author of a book about corporate influence on politics, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Truth About Corporate Cons, Globalization and High-Finance Fraudsters. Also on board are a veteran record producer, multimedia producers for the Democratic Party's website, leftist bloggers and the former head of the Dean Media Team Network, which produced online ads for the Howard Dean presidential campaign.

Action Alert: Join the Million Worker March on Washington D.C.
Sunday 17 October 2004

EXCERPT: This mobilization is being proposed in response to the attacks upon working families in America and the millions of jobs lost during the Bush administration and with the complicity of Congress. The working class has not suffered such hardships since the Great Depression.


Bush Zones Go National

By Jim Hightower
The Nation, 3 August 2004

EXCERPT: At the 2000 GOP nominating convention in Philadelphia, candidate Bush created a fenced-in, out-of-sight protest zone that could only hold barely 1,500 people at a time. So citizens who wished to give voice to their many grievances with the Powers That Be had to: (1) Schedule their exercise of First Amendment rights with the decidedly unsympathetic authorities. (2) Report like cattle to the protest pen at their designated time, and only in the numbers authorized. (3) Then, under the recorded surveillance of the authorities, feel free to let loose with all the speech they could utter within their allotted minutes (although no one--not Bush, not convention delegates, not the preening members of Congress, not the limousine-gliding corporate sponsors and certainly not the mass media--would be anywhere nearby to hear a single word of what they had to say). Imagine how proud the Founders would be of this interpretation of their revolutionary work. The Democrats, always willing to learn useful tricks from the opposition, created their own "free-speech zone" when they gathered in Los Angeles that year for their convention. Once ensconced in the White House, the Bushites institutionalized the art of dissing dissent, routinely dispatching the Secret Service to order local police to set up FSZs to quarantine protesters wherever Bush goes. The embedded media trooping dutifully behind him almost never cover this fascinating and truly newsworthy phenomenon, instead focusing almost entirely on spoon-fed soundbites from the President's press office.

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