"Wolf!" As John Ashcroft warns of "disturbing" intelligence that Al Qaeda is "almost ready to attack the United States," another administration official says: "There's no real new intelligence, and a lot of this has been out there already. There really is no significant change that would require us to change the alert level of the country." Ashcroft himself says there is no new information indicating when, where or how an attack might happen.
Could the administration be crying wolf to distract the public (yet again!) from Bush's dropping poll numbers, the 806 dead American soldiers and the ever-increasing reports of torture throughout Iraq? ... It turns out the Homeland Security department was shocked by Ashcroft's announcement and the Justice Department didn't bother to inform state and local police forces of any alleged threat. The FBI's field offices were also kept in the dark. ... And the seven people Ashcroft says pose a "clear and present" danger to the US? Newspaper links here indicate that several of them have been in custody for quite some time.
Remember back in May 2002, when the mainstream media first reported that the Bush administration had known of bin Laden's threats to hijack airplanes for terrorist activity? White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer admitted the terror warnings at that time were issued to change the subject. When asked if the warnings were to "raise the awareness [or] to arouse the American people to a new danger, Fleischer said: "[I]t was just more as a result of all the controversy that took place last week."