|BuzzFlash News Analysis|
July 7, 2006
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Connecting the Dots: GOP Using Scare Tactics to Get Votes
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
We need George Bush to protect us from the deadly terrorists. At least, that's what Karl Rove wants you to think. The headlines today are filled with reports that we have all been saved from a plot to blow up something in New York City (reports vary on what exactly this is). How convenient it is that the arrest of the suspect falls on the first anniversary of last year's deadly London bombings.
It seems like it was just yesterday when the government announced the arrests of seven "terrorists" in Miami who discussed blowing up the Sears Tower (BuzzFlash wrote an analysis exposing how exaggerated the claims were). This, of course, occurred immediately following Senate votes calling on Bush to finally develop an exit strategy in Iraq.
As if the supposed plans were not bad enough, we are supposed to be afraid of Mexican immigrants, too. Robert Novak recently wrote about a "terrorist loophole" in the Senate's immigration bill because it might limit the ability of local police to arrest illegal aliens for minor civil offenses. He uses this to connect the issue to 9/11 because a few of the hijackers were pulled over for speeding before the attacks. Of course, police had no way to know that these men were terrorists and had actually the power to detain them at the time. The translation, then, is that any illegal immigrant could well be terrorists, so we should lock up all the ones we find.
The Republican leadership has been following this logic. A subcommittee on terrorism is holding hearings on immigration, and most testimony has been focused on national security instead of several other of the important facets involved. One witness has echoed Novak, calling the Senate's bill "Pro-Terror." A Republican on the subcommittee, Rep. Ted Poe, has said "We are being invaded, we are being colonized, and there are insurgents from the nation of Mexico and their allies further south." (Click here to read his very disturbing speech, "The United States are Under Attack.")
A congressional staffer told BuzzFlash that the hearings were initially supposed to be low-key and unimportant, but once the Republican leadership decided to shift its focus back to immigration, the hearings were transformed into what Rep. Brad Sherman called "dog and pony shows" to make Americans believe extreme measures are needed on the Mexican border.
Karl Rove hopes people see all of these events as a series of unrelated instances of danger which, of course, can only be solved by Republicans. When you start to connect the dots, patterns begin to emerge which suggest that the real problems are not as they appear.
Let's go back and look at today's reports about the supposed New York threat. Just like in Miami, the plan was "largely aspirational," consisting only of chats on the internet, and, according to an MSNBC.com report, "not advanced and never moved beyond the discussion stage. According to a counter-terrorism official with knowledge of the plot, the plotters never cased the tunnels, never had any bomb-making materials to pull off the job, and were not even located in the U.S, but rather overseas. Apparently some tunnels are more problematic than others, but according to the official, the alleged terrorists in this case were unaware of which tunnels were problematic and which were not."
Interestingly, most of this information has been removed from the page since this morning. Also questionable is that Bush is all too happy to report on exactly how he apprehended this suspect and those in Miami, but seemed horrified when the New York Times reported the SWIFT financial records monitoring by the NSA, even though it was already widely known.
It must be an election year when so much attention is given to a few terrorist wannabes who, according to Sen. Chuck Schumer, "don't seem to be the brightest bulbs in the terrorist lot." With the facts completely opposed to the Republican agenda, all they can fall back on is an appeal to fear.
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
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