Will the 2004 Election
Be Called Off? Why Three Out of Four Experts Predict a Terrorist
Attack by November
by Maureen Farrell
On Dec. 31, 2003, New York
Times columnist and former Nixon speech writer William Safire
offered his standard New Year's predictions. This time, however,
one item stood out. In addition to speculating on everything
from which country would next "feel the force of U.S. liberation"
to who would win the best picture Oscar, Safire predicted that
"the 'October surprise' affecting the U.S. election"
would be "a major terror attack in the United States."
[Salt Lake Tribune]
While such speculation is
hardly worth a trip to the duct tape store, when combined with
repeated assaults to our democratic process and troublesome assertions
from noteworthy sources, it warrants further investigation.
In Nov. 2003, you might recall,
Gen. Tommy Franks told Cigar Aficionado magazine that a major
terrorist attack (even one that occurred elsewhere in the Western
world), would likely result in a suspension of the U.S. Constitution
and the installation of a military form of government. "[A]
terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the
Western world -- it may be in the United States of America --
[would cause] our population to question our own Constitution
and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat
of another mass, casualty-producing event," he said. [NewsMax.com]
Right around the same time,
former Clinton administration official David Rothkopf made similarly
distressing observations. In a Washington Post op-ed entitled,
"Terrorist Logic: Disrupt the 2004 Election," he described
a meeting in which nearly 75 percent of the professional participants
(characterized as "serious people, not prone to hysteria
or panic") also foresaw another terrorist attack occurring
on American soil before the next election. "Recently, I
co- chaired a meeting hosted by CNBC of more than 200 senior
business and government executives, many of whom are specialists
in security and terrorism related issues," he wrote. "Almost
three-quarters of them said it was likely the United States would
see a major terrorist strike before the end of 2004." [Washington
Saying that "history
suggests that striking during major elections is an effective
tool for terrorist groups," Rothkopf explained why terrorists
will most likely target us soon. And though he and Safire made
these observations months before terrorists changed Spain's political
landscape, they were not alone in thinking along such lines.
"Even before the bombings in Madrid, White House officials
were worrying that terrorists might strike the United States
before the November elections," USA Today reported, before
commenting on how terrorists could "try the same tactics
in the United States to create fear and chaos." [USA Today]
The New York Times also reported
on the possibility that Al Qaeda would try to "influence
the outcome of the election" by striking U.S. oil refineries.
"The Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned the Texas
oil industry of potential attacks by Al Qaeda on pipelines and
refineries near the time of the November presidential election,"
the Times reported. [New York Times]
MSNBC, CNN and other news
organizations also chimed in, raising concerns about this summer's
political conventions. "In the wake of what happened in
Madrid, we have to be concerned about the possibility of terrorists
attempting to influence elections in the United States by committing
a terrorist act," FBI Director Robert Mueller told CNN.
"Quite clearly, there will be substantial preparations for
each of the conventions." [CNN]
Right-wing columnists and
pundits have since (surprise, surprise) tried to capitalize on
such fears. "If a terrorist group attacked the U.S. three
days before an election, does anyone doubt that the American
electorate would rally behind the president or at least the most
aggressively antiterror party?" David Brooks opined in the
New York Times on March 16, [Libertypost.org] before Richard Clarke revealed that
the Clinton administration was actually more "aggressively
anti-terror" than the bumbling Bushes. (Could that be why
the Bush administration refuses to turn over thousands of pages
of the nearly 11,000 files on the Clinton administration's antiterrorism
Sean Hannity twisted things
further. "If we are attacked before our election like Spain
was, I am not so sure that we should go ahead with the election,"
he reportedly said. "We had better make plans now because
it's going to happen."
And, of course, what usurpation
of democracy would be complete without Rush Limbaugh weighing
in? "Do [the terrorists] bide their time and wait, or do
they try to replicate their success in Spain here in America
before our election?" Limbaugh asked, before revealing how
"titans of industry," and "international business
people (who do not outsource, by the way)" were "very,
very, very concerned" that one true party forever rule the
"They all were seeking
from me reassurance that the White House was safe this year,
that John Kerry would not win," Limbaugh said. "Who
do you think the terrorists would rather have in office in this
country -- socialists like those in Spain as personified by John
Kerry and his friends in the Democratic Party, or George W. Bush?"
Saying that a pre-election
terrorist attack is not a question of "if" but "when,"
Limbaugh concluded that should anyone but Bush occupy the White
House, the terrorists will have won. [RushLimbaugh.com]
Given the bizarre mind-melding
between the government and media and the Soviet-style propagandizing
that's been taking place, one has to wonder: Is there is any
significance in the fact that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and
David Brooks are all beating the same tom-tom? As former White
House insider Richard Clarke recently told Jon Stewart, "[There
are] dozens of people, in the White House. . . writing talking
points, calling up conservative columnists, calling up talk radio
hosts, telling them what to say. It's interesting. All the talk
radio people, the right wing talk radio people across the country,
saying the exact same thing, exactly the same words."
Stewart noted that a 24-hour
news network was also making observations that were "remarkably
similar to what the White House was saying."
Even though Andrew Card admitted
that "from a marketing point of view, you don't introduce
new products in August," in May, 2002, Wayne Madsen and
John Stanton revealed that the government's marketing preparations
for the war were already underway, with U.S. Air Force scientists
consulting with CNN "to figure out how to gather and disseminate
In an article entitled, "When
the War Hits Home: U.S. Plans for Martial Law, Tele-Governance
and the Suspension of Elections," Madsen and Stanton delved
into the more frightening aspects of what might be in store.
"One incident, one aircraft hijacked, a 'dirty nuke' set
off in a small town, may well prompt the Bush regime, let's say
during the election campaign of 2003-2004, to suspend national
elections for a year while his government ensures stability,"
they wrote. "Many closed door meetings have been held on
these subjects and the notices for these meetings have been closely
monitored by the definitive www.cryptome.org."
To make matters worse, if
martial law is imposed, Air Force General Ralph E. Eberhart will
be able to blast through Posse Comitatus and deploy troops to
America's streets. Gen. Eberhart, you might recall, is the former
Commander of NORAD, which was in charge of protecting America's
skies on Sept. 11. But instead of being scrutinized for NORAD's
massive failures, he was promoted and now heads the Pentagon's
Northern Command. And, as military analyst William M. Arkin explained,
"It is only in the case of 'extraordinary' domestic operations
that would enable Gen. Eberhart to bring in "intelligence
collectors, special operators and even full combat troops"
to bear. What kind of situation would have to occur to grant
Eberhart "the far-reaching authority that goes with 'extraordinary
operations'"? Nothing. He already has that authority. [Los
Which brings us to the inevitable
(and most important) question. How primed is the American public
to accept suspended elections, martial law, or whatever else
the White House decides to "market"?
Consider, for a moment, what
an invaluable propaganda conduit the media was during the lead
up to war in Iraq -- and just how weird things have become since.
Howard Stern insists he was targeted by Clear Channel and the
FCC after speaking out against George Bush [BuzzFlash.com]; former White House Aide Anna Perez (who worked
under Condoleezza Rice and served as former first lady Barbara
Bush's press secretary) is slated to become chief communications
executive for NBC; and MSNBC featured a story entitled, "White
House: Bush Misstated Report on Iraq" on its Web site only
to have it disappear down the Memory Hole in the course of a
few hours. [TheMemoryHole.org]
Moreover, last year's Clear
Channel sponsorship of pro-war/pro-Bush rallies was so Orwellian,
that former Federal Communications Commissioner Glen Robinson
remarked, "I can't say that this violates any of a broadcaster's
obligations, but it sounds like borderline manufacturing of the
news." [Chicago Tribune] Meanwhile, the mysterious Karen
Ryan (of "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting"
fakery fame [Journalism.NYU.edu]) was featured in the New York
Times. "Federal investigators are scrutinizing television
segments in which the Bush administration paid people to pose
as journalists, praising the benefits of the new Medicare law.
. . , " the Times reported.
Need more proof that something
is amiss? As of Feb. 5, 2004, CBS News was still reporting that
one of the hijackers' passports was "found on the street
minutes after the plane he was aboard crashed into the north
tower of the World Trade Center," [CBS] and for far too
long, pundits have taken to spreading White House rumors without
checking facts --while denying any White House connection once
these rumors prove false.
And most baffling of all,
whenever anyone does tell the truth, a bevy of Stepford Citizens
reveal that they'd rather hear lies. After Richard Clarke spilled
the Bush beans on 60 Minutes, for example, the mail was overwhelmingly
negative -- with some writing that Clarke should be tried for
treason and others asking CBS, "Why can't you be 'fair and
balanced' like FOX?" (Perhaps those viewers are denizens
of the Free Republic Web site, where posters actually pondered
the question: "Should the US have elections if attacked?"
The most bizarre example of
the White House's dysfunctional domination of the media, however,
occurred last week -- with the surreal controversy involving
David Letterman and CNN. In case you missed it, on Monday, Letterman
showed a video clip which featured a bored, fidgety kid standing
behind George W. Bush, who was giving a speech in Orlando. The
next day, CNN also ran that clip, but anchor Daryn Kagan returned
from commercial break to inform viewers, "We're being told
by the White House that the kid, as funny as he was, was edited
into that video." Later, a second CNN anchor said that the
boy was at the rally, but wasn't necessarily standing behind
George W. Bush.
"That is an out and out
100 percent absolute lie. The kid absolutely was there, and he
absolutely was doing everything we pictured via the videotape,"
Letterman said on Tuesday.
through Wednesday and Thursday, with Letterman referring to "indisputable"
and "very high-placed source" who told him that the
White House had, in fact, called CNN. "This is where it
gets a little hinky," Letterman said on Thursday, rehashing
the back and forth nonsense that played like a bad SNL sketch.
"We were told that the White House didn't call CNN. That
was the development the other day. So I'm upset because I smell
a conspiracy. I think something's gone haywire. I see this as
the end of democracy as we know it; another one of them Watergate
kind of deals. And so, I'm shooting my mouth off and right in
the middle of the show, I'm handed a note that says 'No no no
no, the White House did not contact CNN. The White House did
NOT call CNN.' So now I feel like "Oh, I guess I'm gonna
do heavy time.'
"Ok, so now it gets a
little confusing. So, the next day I'm told, 'Oh, No. The White
House DID contact CNN. . . . They WERE contacted by the White
House. They were trying to SHUT CNN up because they didn't want
to make these people look ridiculous because they were big Republican
fund raisers and you know, I'm going to disappear mysteriously.
In about eight months, they'll find my body in the trunk of a
"So now, we're told,
despite what everyone says. . . that this high-ranking, high
placed unidentified source says, "No No The White House
did call them."
Although he displayed his
customary wit and joked throughout his explanation, unless Letterman's
acting skills extend far beyond those displayed in Cabin Boy,
there's no doubt that Letterman was serious when he asserted
that "despite what everyone says" the White House was
involved in this fiasco.
Meanwhile, CNN apologized
and accepted the blame, letting the White House off the hook.
While the Letterman episode
is a lesson in abject absurdity, nearly two years ago, Madsen
and Stanton warned that following a major terrorist attack, seditious
web sites would be blocked (something that is already happening
to howardstern.com) and "the broadcast media would
similarly be required to air only that which has been approved
by government censors." (How will we know the difference?)
Though it seems surreal that
people are actually wagering that another terrorist attack will
occur on our soil by November (and it's even more bizarre that
on-air personalities are calling for the suspension of elections),
the fact that this un-elected gang who barreled into power and
forever changed the course of a nation, is so completely untrustworthy
makes the situation even more disturbing. On Sept 11, 2003, William
Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News asked, "Why don't we
have the answers to these 9/11 questions?" [The Philadelphia
Daily News] before addressing a variety of concerns, which, thanks
to the 9/11 commission, are finally making their way into our
national consciousness. And now that another whistle blower,
FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, has come forward, saying, "'I
saw papers that show US knew al-Qaeda would attack cities with
airplanes," [The Independent] it's clear we've been under
attack for quite some time. [BuzzFlash.com]
But before the Madrid bombings;
before Richard Clarke's revelations; before more whistleblowers
peeked out from under the muck, David Rothkopf made everything
oh-so-clear. Writing about the "military officers, policymakers,
scientists, researchers and others who have studied [terrorism]
for a long time," he explained how the majority of experts
he spoke to not only predicted that the pre-election assaults
would "be greater than those of 9/11," but that any
act of terrorism would work in the President's favor. "It
was the sense of the group that such an attack was likely to
generate additional support for President Bush," he wrote.
Citing how "assaults
before major votes have [traditionally] benefited candidates
who were seen as tougher on terrorists," Rothkopf catalogued
events in Israel, Russia, Turkey and Sri Lanka before explaining
the symbiotic relationship between terrorists and hardliners.
"So why would [terrorists] want to help [hardliners] win?"
he asked. "Perhaps because terrorists see the attacks as
a win- win. They can lash out against their perceived enemies
and empower the hard-liners, who in turn empower them as terrorists.
How? Hard-liners strike back more broadly, making it easier for
terrorists as they attempt to justify their causes and their
William Safire's and David
Rothkopf's and three out of four experts' speculations aside,
there are those who believe that the Bible predicts the ultimate
battle between good and evil and that George Bush is doing God's
work. But then again, the Bible also says that "the truth
will make you free."
And according to Bible Code
author Michael Drosnin, there is another, more mystical way to
look at Biblical text, and he contends that the Bible also predicts,
you guessed it, that there will be another terrorist attack in
America in 2004.
Personally, I don't give much
credence to predictions, but when this many people peer into
the crystal ball and see Al Qaeda gearing up for our presidential
election, I take note -- especially given what's transpired since
the last stolen election. [EricBlumrich.com]
So, what the heck. If others
can do it, I can, too. So I'll go out on a limb a make a prediction
of my own: If the truth continues to seep out about the way the
Bush administration has failed us, suspending the election may
be the only way Bush can win. My darkest fear is that G.W.'s
handlers believe this, too. "