On Tuesday, in Chicago, das Homeland Security Chief of the Americas, Michael Chertoff, claimed he had a “gut feeling” we were all in for another terrorist attack because “al-Qaeda likes to strike during the summer.”

Chertoff’s crude assertion — a cruelty where instinct becomes reason, when wonderings are warnings and scaring has no rationale — have now proven without a moment of pause for purpose that we have no sort of accountable national leadership when it comes to serving the true protection of das Homeland.

What Chertoff’s off-the-cuff comment fails to realize — but can never quite forget — is how many of us have been sick to our stomachs for over five years.

What took him so long to share our sickness?
Are there others in the current administration who are similarly ill but we don’t yet know about them?

14 Comments

  1. Hi David,
    Yesterday I read a very insightful editorial in the local paper that commented on the fact there are many al Qaedas, and Bush, et. al., keep trotting out that phrase because it strikes fear and they can use it to link the Iraq War to the “War on Terror.”
    The article pointed out that the al Qaeda in Iraq is not the al Qaeda of 9/11. The al Qaeda in Iraq is linked to the extremist faction of the Sunni insurgency and uses that name because it gives instant notoriety.
    Fifteen of the al Qaeda behind 9/11 were not Iraqi, they were from Saudi Arabia. Further, the al Qaeda behind 9/11 has flown to the hills of Afghanistan and beyond.
    His point was that several extremist factions use the “al Qaeda” label, but they have different agendas and are not one unified front, as Bush suggests by putting them under the same umbrella in order to promote fear.
    Donna

  2. That’s an insightful comment, Donna.
    I do think “al Qaeda” has become the new monster under the bed — waiting to strike us in our dreams — and the current administration helped resurrect that boogeyman across the Middle East.

  3. Frank Rich tears into Chertoff in today’s New York Times:

    It was Mr. Chertoff who announced that the Superdome in New Orleans was “secure” even as the other half of the split screen offered graphic evidence otherwise. It was Mr. Chertoff who told NPR that he had “not heard a report of thousands of people in the convention center who do not have food and water,” even after his fellow citizens had been inundated with such reports all day long.
    With Brownie as the designated fall guy, Mr. Chertoff kept his job. Since then he has attracted notice only when lavishing pork on terrorist targets like an Alabama petting zoo while reducing grants to New York City. Though Mr. Chertoff may be the man standing between us and Armageddon, he is seen as a leader of stature only when standing next to his cabinet mate Gonzo.
    None of this is accidental. The administration knows that its last stated mission for the war — “an Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself” — is as doomed as the Iraqi army that would “stand up” so we could stand down. So now there’s a new “mission” — or at least new boilerplate. “Victory is defeating Al Qaeda,” Tony Snow said last week, because “Al Qaeda continues to be the chief organizer of mayhem within Iraq.” What’s more, its members are, in Mr. Bush’s words, “the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th.”
    This is hooey, of course. Not only did Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia not exist before we invaded Iraq in 2003, but it isn’t even the chief organizer of the war’s mayhem today. ABC News reported this month that this group may be responsible for no more than 15 percent of the attacks in Iraq. Bob Woodward wrote in The Washington Post on Thursday that Michael Hayden, the C.I.A. director, told Mr. Bush last November that Al Qaeda was only the fifth most pressing threat in Iraq, after the insurgency, sectarian strife, criminality and general anarchy.

    http://select.nytimes.com/2007/07/15/opinion/15rich.html?th&emc=th

  4. Hi David,
    Great quote. I like Frank Rich.
    “Tony Snow said last week, because ‘Al Qaeda continues to be the chief organizer of mayhem within Iraq.’ What’s more, its members are, in Mr. Bush’s words, ‘the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th.’”
    The Bush quote is the one that sparked the editorial I commented on.
    I guess I never really thought about who al Qaeda really is until I read the editorial– I mean that to use the term broadly, as Bush did, implies it is one, unified organization, when in reality there are many extremist factions calling themselves al Qaeda and do not function together, but rather separately.
    It’s just incredible, literally, how Bush continues to try to strengthen his link from 9/11 to the Iraq War. How many Americans were like me, in that they didn’t realize, or really stop to think that there are separate al Qaedas? Bush is counting on that and playing us for fools– at least he’s trying to play us for fools.
    Donna

  5. Donna —
    Frank Rich’s argument today is Bush has changed the scenario from the Iraq war to “al Qaeda.” Bush used “al Qaeda” last week something like 17 times in one speech and the press releases from the military last week used “al Qaeda” like 33 times. “Iraq” was barely mentioned at all.
    So forget “We’ll stand down when they stand up,” and realize we’re “Rooting out the 9/11 “al Qaeda” terrorists.” The war is now not Iraq, but the entire Middle East.

  6. Hi David,
    That writing on the barn wall keeps on changing: WMD to Operation Iraqi Freedom to War on Terror and now War on Al Qaeda. A complete redefining and destruction of the word “credibility.”
    Donna