Law School Discussion

Recent Terrorist Threats politically motivated?

Bman

Re: Recent Terrorist Threats politically motivated?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2004, 01:37:59 PM »
well the senate intelligence committee sees it too.

buster

Re: Recent Terrorist Threats politically motivated?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2004, 01:45:26 PM »
Al Qaeda struck in Spain right before the election and managed to swing the election
(emphasis mine)

unknowable

...and many observers predict the same thing will be attempted here. So, assume that the Bush Administration gets a flood of intelligence predicting attacks and it gets the information about four days before the election. The intelligence is not overly vague but not incredibly specific either. Officials identify a series of cities (Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City) as particularly high risk targets. What should the President do? If he lets the voters know about potential dangers, he will be of course pilloried as trying to distract and scare the electorate before an election. If he doesn't and a terrorist attack takes place, he will be given a thorough lashing by the same people.

So, what can President Bush do under these circumstances in which you won't criticize him? If the answer is nothing, then this speaks volumes.  

Probably nothing. And you're right, it speaks volumes about his lack of credibility in my eyes. Please convince me that there's something he could do to surprise me with his masterful handling of the situation. (That last sentence was only partially sarcastic.)

Many people would say the same of Kerry. That's part of why I suggested above a moratorium on anything less than specific information. (What does "specific" mean in this context? Next question, please.  ;))

dsong02

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Re: Recent Terrorist Threats politically motivated?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2004, 01:48:35 PM »
is 'unknowable' a word?

Al Qaeda struck in Spain right before the election and managed to swing the election
(emphasis mine)

unknowable

...and many observers predict the same thing will be attempted here. So, assume that the Bush Administration gets a flood of intelligence predicting attacks and it gets the information about four days before the election. The intelligence is not overly vague but not incredibly specific either. Officials identify a series of cities (Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City) as particularly high risk targets. What should the President do? If he lets the voters know about potential dangers, he will be of course pilloried as trying to distract and scare the electorate before an election. If he doesn't and a terrorist attack takes place, he will be given a thorough lashing by the same people.

So, what can President Bush do under these circumstances in which you won't criticize him? If the answer is nothing, then this speaks volumes.  

Probably nothing. And you're right, it speaks volumes about his lack of credibility in my eyes. Please convince me that there's something he could do to surprise me with his masterful handling of the situation. (That last sentence was only partially sarcastic.)

Many people would say the same of Kerry. That's part of why I suggested above a moratorium on anything less than specific information. (What does "specific" mean in this context? Next question, please.  ;))

Bman

Re: Recent Terrorist Threats politically motivated?
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2004, 01:49:20 PM »
I don't know Buster, I mean, I think that's problematic. I have my impressions of Kerry too. Like, for example, I think he's soft on defense. But if he came out tomorrow calling for an air strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, I wouldn't conclude that he had no credibility and ignore it. I would conclude that, however unlikely, he had come up with a good idea. Similarly, when Senators in both parties are talking about how serious the threat situation is right now, I guess I don't see how Bush can be criticized for upping the terror level and pointing to recently obtained intelligence that indicates buildings under special risks, whether you dislike him or not. But I suppose that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

dsong02

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Re: Recent Terrorist Threats politically motivated?
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2004, 01:49:29 PM »
wow, it is a word...funny how i am so unknowable.

Bman

Re: Recent Terrorist Threats politically motivated?
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2004, 01:49:53 PM »
Fair enough. It may not be knowable. But my hypothetical doesn't require it.

jgruber

Re: Recent Terrorist Threats politically motivated?
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2004, 01:51:12 PM »
Assuming all that you've written would be true, we should not change the election at all.  That would be giving into terrorists, which the president has said he will never do.

But you forgot that the Spanish PM said well before the attack that he would remove Spanish troops.


Here's a question I have for the many Bush critics on this board (I'm not being sarcastic, I think it's a genuinely important question for both sides to answer):

Right before the 2004 election, there will almost certainly be increased terrorist chatter and intelligence predicting an attack on election day or close to it. Al Qaeda struck in Spain right before the election and managed to swing the election, and many observers predict the same thing will be attempted here. So, assume that the Bush Administration gets a flood of intelligence predicting attacks and it gets the information about four days before the election. The intelligence is not overly vague but not incredibly specific either. Officials identify a series of cities (Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City) as particularly high risk targets. What should the President do? If he lets the voters know about potential dangers, he will be of course pilloried as trying to distract and scare the electorate before an election. If he doesn't and a terrorist attack takes place, he will be given a thorough lashing by the same people.

So, what can President Bush do under these circumstances in which you won't criticize him? If the answer is nothing, then this speaks volumes. 

buster

Re: Recent Terrorist Threats politically motivated?
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2004, 01:51:19 PM »
agreed

Fair enough. It may not be knowable. But my hypothetical doesn't require it.

Bman

Re: Recent Terrorist Threats politically motivated?
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2004, 01:51:38 PM »
And I'm not sure how specific information can be released without giving terrorists a lot of information about U.S. intelligence gathering capabilities and secrets.

Bman

Re: Recent Terrorist Threats politically motivated?
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2004, 01:52:53 PM »
Aznar never said that. That was his successor who won the election after the attacks. I didn't say he gave in. Aznar may have promised to get them out eventually but he most certainly did not support removing them immediately like the current pm does.