Monday, August 02, 2004

Code Tangerine

(Written from an undisclosed location)

I work just a couple of blocks from the main World Bank and IMF buildings, and from my undisclosed office, I stare across K St. into the windows of another undisclosed World Bank building, so everyone (especially my mother) is asking how I’m coping with the latest RidgeAlerts.

Here are my responses:

The intelligence shows that al Qaeda has been methodically casing those buildings, and perhaps others, since well before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, and also since then, according to one senior U.S. intelligence official who briefed reporters on the alleged plot. Authorities said they do not know when the operatives were planning to carry out any of the bombings.
OK, so it’s creepy that the bad guys are staking us out. But according to Ridge, this thing could happen tomorrow, yesterday, it could happen next week, last week, next year, or last year. There’s no time frame. So what’s the rationale for suddenly declaring Code Orange now, unless it’s...

Playing Politics With Terror Alerts

This, from Atrios.
Tom Ridge yesterday:
But we must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror, the reports that have led to this alert are the result of offensive intelligence and military operations overseas, as well as strong partnerships with our allies around the world, such as Pakistan.
So what is one to think? Luckily, Tom Burka came up with the...

Most Credible Theory:
Sinking Bush Poll Numbers Increase Likelihood of Terrorist Attack, Says Ridge.
Connection Unfathomable, Say Rove, Cheney

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge announced today that analysts had concluded that the likelihood of a terrorist strike in America increases whenever the President's popularity rating declines.

"There's a distinct correlation between the President's popularity ratings and increased terrorist activity," said Ridge. "Whenever President Bush's numbers go down, it's far more likely that we will be attacked by al Qaeda."

"The only thing we can advise is for U.S. citizens to like President Bush as much as possible to keep us all safe," Ridge concluded.

Standing in front of a wall of high-tech flat screen monitors, Ridge addressed reporters in the new Department of Homeland Security Security Operations Center.
"I can't for the political life of me say why this is happening," said Ridge. "I'm utterly stumped."

Ridge denied that Gilligan's Island was showing on one of the many screens behind him. "Oh, no," he said. "That's an uncharted desert isle."
And sure enough, right on cue:

Kerry Leads Bush in Post-Convention Poll
Washington Post-ABC News Poll Shows Voters Favor Kerry 50-44

By Richard Morin and Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, August 2, 2004; 5:20 PM

Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry emerged from his national convention last week with a small lead over President Bush in the race for the White House and improved his standing against the president on both the economy and on who is better qualified to serve as commander in chief, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll.