Monday, July 05, 2004

Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid!

Welcome to the post 7/4 world. It's time to be afraid again:

The federal authorities, concerned about a terror attack during this summer's national political conventions, have begun a new effort to identify potential extremists inside the United States, including conducting interviews in communities where terrorists might seek refuge, government officials said.
The fears about an incident during the conventions or later in the year have also led state and local officials to impose extraordinary security precautions. Persistent if indistinct intelligence reports, based on electronic intercepts and live sources, indicate that Al Qaeda is determined to strike in the United States some time this year, the officials said in interviews last week.
Almost half the budgets in each convention city will be spent on security, local officials said. The Democratic National Convention will be held in Boston at the Fleet Center from July 26 to 29. The Republican National Convention will be held in New York at Madison Square Garden from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2.
New York is regarded as a higher risk than Boston by counterterrorism officials because George Bush is a Republican and because of consistent intelligence.

Clearly, the counterterrorism officials have been busy protecting George Bush already from possible terrorists. In his ninth visit to West Virginia since taking office, Bush told Americans that their country is safer because Saddam Hussein is in a prison cell. However, his own security seems to have been seriously endangered by this brave public appearance:

Two Bush opponents, taken out of the crowd in restraints by police, said they were told they couldn't be there because they were wearing shirts that said they opposed the president.

Ok. We've got Saddam in a cell and probably the Bush protesters as well (no, turns out that they were let loose, after all!). How about catching some of Al Qaeida, too? Or is this just not doable given the current budgeted expenditures needed in Iraq? To be honest, I'd much rather pay taxes for Al Qaeida hunting than either the fiasco in Iraq or the fiasco that took place in West Virginia. Though I guess we'll soon have nothing left to protect of the freedoms that Bush argues make the terrorists so mad at us.
Thanks to Tena at Eschaton for the link to the second quote.