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Better Off Now Than You Were Five Years Ago?


     (Jason Reed/Reuters — amazing eye.  Love his photos.)

In case anyone had any question that the latest foiled terror plot was being used to political advantage by the Bush Administration, let me rid you of that doubt right now:

…But Bush’s Republicans hoped the raid would yield political gains.

"I’d rather be talking about this than all of the other things that Congress hasn’t done well," one Republican congressional aide told AFP on condition of anonymity because of possible reprisals.

"Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big," said another White House official, who also spoke on condition of not being named, adding that some Democratic candidates won’t "look as appealing" under the circumstances.  (emphases mine)

You tell me — crass, wrong, opportunistic, or arrogant?  I lost people that I knew on September 11th, 2001, and the crass opportunism and cynical use of their deaths to provide CYA for the repeated failures of this Republican President and this Republican Congress is more than I can tolerate this evening.  That the Administration has known about the potential terror plot in Britain for two weeks, but chose to build up this announcement of the information to the press just as Congress was letting out on a month-long campaigning recess…beyond crass. 

And, might I ask, in what Administration EVER beyond George Bush’s has the Vice President been the person to whom reporters were to go for National Security quotes?

Read the entire AFP article.  And then read it again.  And then contemplate this:

“A similar plot, hatched by Ramsey Usef, to take down airplanes over the Pacific Ocean with liquid explosives was thwarted ten years ago. Our aviation system was attacked by al Qaeda five years ago on September 11. The 9/11 Commission recommended improving security screening to detect explosives at the checkpoint four years ago. And knowing of al Qadea’s affinity for repeating patterns like this, we have had ample reason to screen for these threats. It’s time for a new direction in homeland security which includes next generation technologies at our airport screening checkpoints that detect liquid explosives and plastic explosives.

“It’s also time to assess how much progress we’ve made in the war on terrorism. With resources diverted to an ongoing civil war in Iraq, Osama bin Laden still at large, a nuclear arms race in Iran and North Korea, the Taliban regaining strength in Afghanistan and escalating violence in the Middle East, are we safer than we were five years ago?”

I have had enough of the failure of this Administration to do anything but run a continuous public relations campaign so that it can keep covering it’s own ass for its own failures.  The buck stops on their doorstep tonight.  I have some questions for the rest of the country.  Take your time and really stop to think about them, and be honest with yourself about the answers.  Really honest.

– Do you feel safer now than you did five years ago?

– Is our military better equipped, stronger, and more fully staffed than it was five years ago?

– Have the President and his Administration done every possible thing to ensure more Homeland Security and Disaster Response than we had five years ago?  (You may use the words Katrina and Gulf Coast in your response.)

– Do you feel that world affairs are going more smoothly than they were five years ago?  Has the United States gained in stature among world powers?  Are we more or less powerful today than we were five years ago?

– Is our economy better run and less volatile now than it was five years ago?

– Do you feel that your health care benefits are better now than they were five years ago? 

– Is the nation a better place to raise your children than it was five years ago?  How about the world?

– Are you and your family better off and more secure now than you were five years ago?

Had enough?  Because I can keep going…and I bet you can, too.

(H/T to four different readers who sent me the link to this at nearly the same time.)

UPDATEThe DCCC has a timeline put together of the "scare the bejeebers out of the public" GOP fall campaign tactic.  And you thought I was peevish before…

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com