Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Caught in the act of crying wolf

Those suspicious of the uncanny timing of Al Qaeda activity - terror alerts seem to occur whenever Bush is down in the polls - may be interested to know that major US newspapers are reporting that the latest hysterical alert is based on data from before 9/11:

Most of the al Qaeda surveillance of five financial institutions that led to a new terrorism alert Sunday was conducted before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and authorities are not sure whether the casing of the buildings has continued, numerous intelligence and law enforcement officials said yesterday.

More than half a dozen government officials interviewed yesterday, who declined to be identified because classified information is involved, said that most, if not all, of the information about the buildings seized by authorities in a raid in Pakistan last week was about three years old, and possibly older.

"There is nothing right now that we're hearing that is new," said one senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the alert. "Why did we go to this level? . . . I still don't know that."

[Emphasis added]

It looks like the Bush administration has finally been caught in the act of crying wolf - and that the intelligence and law enforcement communities have finally gotten sick of their attempts to boost the President's polling by sowing fear.