Monday, May 09, 2005

Skepticism of Terrorism Alerts Cited

U.S. government officials have issued confusing and at sometimes conflicting statements about the threat of terrorist attack in this country, with the result that the public often doubts the credibility of official pronouncements about terrorism, a congressional report said.
The report -- co-authored by CRS terrorism analyst John Rollins, who until a few months ago was chief of staff of the Homeland Security Department's intelligence unit -- cited as one example an episode in May 2004. Then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft announced that al Qaeda was "90 percent" ready to attack America, on the same day that then-Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge publicly played down the terrorist threat.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has said he is considering making changes to the color-coded threat system of alerting the public about terrorism dangers, as part of a larger examination of DHS programs.
In March, Chertoff, who previously headed the Justice Department's criminal division under Ashcroft, told reporters that he expects smoother coordination among federal agencies, particularly between his department and Justice. Aides have pointed out that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales has a more circumspect style than Ashcroft, his predecessor.In May 2003, the fourth time the orange alert was sounded, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said there was no specific information on potential targets or timing of an attack, but then-Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson said, "There is increased specificity in what we hear, but not necessarily in terms of the target."
The CRS report also pointed out that in March 2004, FBI officials in Texas warned the oil industry it was being targeted by terrorists, while DHS officials played down the threat. Sources said DHS concluded the source of the tip was not credible.

It's really unbeliavable that someone doesn't believe to the propaganda spreaded by people like Mueller, Chertoff and Gonzales..
Not to mention that they use nepotism Saddam-style.

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