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The Gross National Debt

Thursday, October 13, 2005

On last night's Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, Keith featured an accounting of the juxtaposition of terror warnings in relation to bad PR for the Administration. What follows is my summary of the ten he highlighted.

1. 5/18/2002 - PDB stating "Bin Laden Determined to attack in the US" has become public. Questions about 9/11 are swirling. 5/20/2002 - FBI Director Mueller declares another terrorist attack is inevitable. DHS issues warnings that railroads and bridges could be targeted. (Timeframe: 2 days)

2. 6/6/2002 - Coleen Rowley, an FBI agent who tried to alert superiors that suspicious pilot training was occurring priot to 9/11, testifies before Congress. This puts the Administration's handling of 9/11 in doubt. 6/10/2002 - Information about the unfolding terrorist plot involving Jose Padilla is made public by Ashcroft, who warns of possible radiation attacks. At the time it was mad public, Padilla had already been detailed one month. (Timeframe: 4 days)

3. 2/5/2003 - Powell testifies before the UN about mobile bioweapons laboratories, etc. The international community's opinion is publicly critical. 2/7/2003 - anti-war demonstrations occur around the globe. On the same day, Ridge cites credible threats by Al Qaeda and raises alert to Orange. Then fire-chief at DHS Paulison (now head of FEMA) issues plastic sheeting and duct tape advice. (Timeframe: 2 days)

4. 7/23/2003 - White House admits that CIA expressed strong doubts about the January 2003 State of the Union address assertion about the yellowcake/Niger/Iraq connection. 7/24/2003 - 9/11 report is issued. 7/26/2003 - American troops accused of beating Iraqi prisoners. 7/29/2003 - DHS issues warning about Al Qaeda once again threatening to use planes as terrorist tools. (Timeframe: 6 days)

5. 12/18/03 - 9/11 Commissioner Kane says 9/11 attacks were preventable. Courts decide that Padilla can't be detained. David Kaye, weapons inspector, resigns, critical of the Administration and its intelligence efforts. 12/21/2003 DHS raises threat level to orange claiming credible intelligence crash airliners into us cities. International flights cancelled. (Timeframe: 3 days)

6. 3/30/2004 - Chief weapons inspector tells Congress that there were no WMD's in Iraq. Condi Rice, succumbing to pressure, agrees to testify before the 9/11 commission. 3/31/2004 – Blackwater contractors murdered and their bodies are publicly dragged through the Iraqi streets. 4/2/2004 - FBI issues a warning that terrorists may try to blow up buses and trains using fertilizer and fuel bombs, a similar method to that which occurred in Oklahoma City. (Timeframe: 4 days)

7. 5/16/2004 – Colin Powell goes on Meet The Press. Russert asks Powell a question about whether or not Powell’s credibility has been damaged. Powell's aides divert the camera. Powell instructs the camera be returned to him and answers, admitting the WMD information was inaccurate and wrong and deliberately misleading. 5/21/2004 – More Abu Ghraib photos are made public. 5/24/2004 US confirms that its troops mistakenly bombed a wedding party. 5/26/2004 - Ashcroft and FBI indicate Al Qaeda's specific intention to hit the US “hard”. (Timeframe: 8 days)

8. 7/6/2004 - Kerry selects Edwards as Vice Presidential running made, causing the media attention to turn to Kerry. 7/8/2004 - DHS issues warning that "credible reporting" exists that Al Qaeda has a plan to attack during the summer or autumn of 2004. 7/12/2004 - DHS further announces that it may have to postpone the Presidential election due to terrorist attacks. (Timeframe: 6 days)

9. 7/29/2004 - Kerry formally nominated the Democratic Presidential candidate for 2004. Democrats dominate media coverage. 8/1/2004 - DHS issues alert raising the threat level for financial centers in New York, New Jersey and Washington DC. (Timeframe: 3 days)

10. 10/6/2005 - Bush pushes the success of the war on terror and asserts that 10 plots had been broken up since 9/11. On the same day, it is announced that Karl Rove will testify for a fourth time, this time without a guarantee of immunity. Later that day, the NYC subway bombing threat is announced. (Timeframe: 1 day)

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