Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The United States of Alarmism

Yesterday, Homeland Security Head Michael Chertoff (yes, he still has a job after Hurricane Katrina, which he oversaw) made a quite shocking announcement in a very public forum yesterday. From the LA Times:

Fearing complacency among the American people over possible terrorist threats, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Tuesday that the nation faced a heightened chance of an attack this summer.

"I believe we are entering a period this summer of increased risk," Chertoff told the Chicago Tribune's editorial board in an unusually blunt assessment of America's terrorist threat level.

"Summertime seems to be appealing to them," he said of Al Qaeda. "We do worry that they are rebuilding their activities."
Notice the language in the quote. "I believe," "summertime seems to be," "we do worry." See the waffling, the self-assurance, the total lack of proof in making these statements. I didn't even need this paragraph to tell me that Chertoff has no idea of what's going on:
Chertoff said there were not enough indications of an imminent plot to raise the threat levels nationwide. He indicated that his remarks were based on "a gut feeling" formed by previous patterns of terrorist attacks, recent Al Qaeda statements and intelligence he did not disclose.
I'm OK with the government telling me to watch out for a strike that they KNOW will happen. But, Chertoff, oh no. He wants to keep the entire country scared shitless of a perpetual terrorist threat, even if he made it up in his head. The thing that surprises me about this all is the fact that I know this is par for the course. Everything that the Bush administration has done is with the intent to frighten us and keep us blind to the fact that they are stripping us of rights while also being horribly inefficient in implementing actual policy instead of stumping. I thought presidents stopped stumping once they actually won the election. I guess this alarmist rhetoric is also why so many feel that we aren't safe from terrorism.