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The Bush regime is now working out procedures for postponing the coming November general election. This is totally unprecedented -- even in 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, the Lincoln vs. McClellan presidential contest took place according to the schedule established by the Constitution and relevant statutes. This represents further planning for a cold coup designed to perpetuate the power of the current gaggle of discredited neocon ideologues and their Wall Street backers.
In a shamelessly partisan move, Homeland Secretary Ridge today announced that al Qaeda has advanced its preparation for a terror attack in the US designed to disrupt the Democratic process. One wonders how Ridge is able to know so much about the specific intent of the terror attack he says is coming, in particular the part about the intent to disrupt the election. Ridge said during his press conference that we are now in a "post-Madrid" atmosphere. He also confirmed that planning for postponing the general election is now in full swing.
Ridge's press conference marked a crude new low in the shameless terror demagogy of the Bush regime. Even Democratic politicians and CNN talking heads were able to surmise that this outing was largely aimed at deflating the five-point approval bounce which Kerry had acquired by naming Edwards. It is clear that the Bush campaign will rely on a relentless pounding of the electorate with terror warnings, alerts, and alarms over the next four months -- in the first place as psychological warfare to strengthen the regime. At a deeper level, the option of an actual ABC/WMD terror attack at least one order of magnitude greater than 9-11 must be reckoned with, possibly as an October Surprise, or perhaps sooner.
Finally, the Congress is looking into the June 9 incident in which a small plane lacking a transponder caused the panicked stampeding of the entire US Congress, including Senators, Congressmen, and staff. This was a transparent ploy to terrorize the Congress, where both parties have lately been giving Bush some embarrassing moments over Abu Ghraid, the national debt, the budget, and related issues.
FEDS EYE POSTPONEMENT OF US NOVEMBER ELECTIONS
Associated Press, 1 July 2004
WASHINGTON -- The government needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again, says the chairman of a new federal voting commission.
Such guidelines do not currently exist, said DeForest B. Soaries, head of the voting panel.
Soaries was appointed to the federal Election Assistance Commission last year by President Bush. Soaries said he wrote to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in April to raise the concerns.
"I am still awaiting their response," he said. "Thus far we have not begun any meaningful discussion." Spokesmen for Rice and Ridge did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Soaries noted that Sept. 11, 2001, fell on Election Day in New York City -- and he said officials there had no rules to follow in making the decision to cancel the election and hold it later.
Event! s in Spain, where a terrorist attack shortly before the March election possibly influenced its outcome, show the need for a process to deal with terrorists threatening or interrupting the Nov. 2 presidential election in America, he said.
"Look at the possibilities. If the federal government were to cancel an election or suspend an election, it has tremendous political implications. If the federal government chose not to suspend an election it has political implications," said Soaries, a Republican and former secretary of state of New Jersey.
"Who makes the call, under what circumstances is the call made, what are the constitutional implications?" he said. "I think we have to err on the side of transparency to protect the voting rights of the country."
Soaries said his bipartisan, four-member commission might make a recommendation to Congress about setting up guidelies.
"I'm hopeful that there are some proposals already being floated. If there are,! we're not aware of them. If there are not, we will probably try to put one on the table," he said.
Soaries also said he's met with a former New York state elections director to discuss how officials there handled the Sept. 11 attacks from the perspective of election administration. He said the commission is getting information from New York documenting the process used there.
"The states control elections, but on the national scale where every state has its own election laws and its own election chief, who's in charge?" he said.
Soaries also said he wants to know what federal officials are doing to increase security on Election Day. He said security officials must take care not to allow heightened security measures to intimidate minority voters, but that local and state election officials he's talked to have not been told what measures to expect.
"There's got to be communication," he said, "between law enforcement and election officials in preparat! ion for November."
Ridge Warns of Election Terror Plot
8 July 2004, Associated Press
By KATHERINE PFLEGER SHRADER, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The United States is tightening security in the face of a steady stream of intelligence indicating al-Qaida may seek to mount an attack aimed at disrupting elections, the White House and Homeland Security officials said Thursday.
Ridge Warns of Election Terror Plot (AP Video)
The Department of Homeland Security is addressing the threat and has efforts under way to "ramp up security," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the Bush administration based its decision to bolster security on "credible" reports about al-Qaida's plans, coupled with the pre-election terror attack in Spain earlier this year and recent arrests in England, Jordan and Italy.
"This is sobering information about those who wish to do us harm," Ridge said. "But every day we strengthen the security of our nation."
U.S. officials do not have specific knowledge about where, when or how such an attack would take place, but the CIA (news - web sites), FBI (news - web sites) and other agencies "are actively working to gain that knowledge," Ridge said.
Notwithstanding the heightened air of vigilance, the government is not raising its color-coded terror alert status, he said.
A continuing stream of intelligence, including nuggets of information gleaned from sources including militant-linked Web sites, indicates an attack is being planned, said a senior intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Plans for such an attack are believed to be near completion, the official said, echoing what officials said earlier in the summer before the Memorial Day weekend.
When asked if the threat is considered higher at the political conventions this summer or as the nation gets closer to the presidential election in early November, the official said concerns are high from this point in time forward.
In addition to ramping up security at the conventions in Boston and New York, authorities have begun working through the process of how to secure the thousands of polling sites that will be used around the country this fall, said another senior intelligence official, also speaking on condition of anonymity.
"We have briefed the campaigns, both campaigns — the Kerry-Edwards campaign as well as the Bush-Cheney campaign — about the security measures that are being put in place for those conventions in New York and Boston," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist told reporters that Americans should not expect a major announcement on homeland security any time soon, indicating that the nation's threat level could remain at its "elevated" level.
"There's, obviously, no reason for panic, or paralysis," Frist said after a briefing for senators on intelligence matters. "The country is at some increased risk between now and the time of the presidential election. It's important for people to be aware of that."
"What is clear is that law enforcement has generally been notified. ... There are enhanced activities on behalf of law enforcement around the country to engage in deterrence and prevention," he said.
In April, a working group made up of representatives from agencies that touch on law enforcement, homeland security and intelligence was established to deal with a series of events through the election that may be attractive targets for terrorists, including the presidential nominating conventions.
Senior administration officials and counterterrorism experts view the coming months as a time to increase vigilance out of concern that Islamic militants may try to replicate the political success they had in Spain with coordinated pre-election train bombings.
Nearly 200 died in the March attack, and the prime minister's ruling Popular Party lost to a rival who promised a pullout of Spanish troops from Iraq (news - web sites).
Elaborate plans are already in the works to protect the Republican and Democratic party conventions in New York and Boston, which have been classified as National Security Special Events. With the designation — a concept that evolved from the 1996 Summer Olympics (news - web sites) in Atlanta — comes federal funds, increased preparations and heightened security.
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