In the last week before the election, ABCNEWS is holding on a videotaped message from a purported al Qaeda terrorist warning of a new attack on America, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
The terrorist claims on tape the next attack will dwarf 9/11. “The streets will run with blood,” and “America will mourn in silence” because they will be unable to count the number of the dead. Further claims: America has brought this on itself for electing George Bush who has made war on Islam by destroying the Taliban and making war on Al Qaeda.
ABCNEWS strongly denies holding the tape back from broadcast over political concerns during the last days of the election.
Most likely, the tape is an empty threat. But this is hardly the time to dismiss it off hand, or withhold it from the public.
UPDATE: I should probably have mentioned that the speaker on the tape is, or at least seems to be, an American.
No broadband access here at the sunglass store, so I’m borrowing my cousin’s AOL dialup connection. Needless to say, it sucks. What’s curious, however, is that Norton Internet Security has stopped three trojan horse attacks in the last hour.
Two from South Korea, one from Denver.
Now, with my AOL-assigned IP address, I know these are random attacks and not directly personally at me. But I don’t usually get three of them in a month, much less in an hour.
Are we seeing an uptick in net attacks because of the upcoming election, or just some hooligan scriptkiddies going after AOL?
SOLDIERS don’t beg. But an old friend of mine who’s still in uniform came close the other day. He badly wanted me to write another column before Election Day stressing that our troops are winning in Iraq.
He’s an Army veteran of three wars. Now he’s working to help Iraq become a democratic model for the Middle East. And he’s worried.
Not about terrorists or insurgents. He’s afraid John Kerry will be elected president.
Read the whole thing, of course.
[Sullivan] He knows that if he lets his guard down and if terrorists strike or succeed anywhere, he runs the risk of discrediting the Democrats as a party of national security for a generation
[Lileks] Is it instructive to note which side Sen. Kerry instinctively inhabited in the 80s? Apparently not. Because now he knows that if terrorists strike, he runs the risk of discrediting his party. Got that? Runs the risk. Of discrediting his party. Of all that the theats he might face, apparently that’s the one that seals the deal. Look: The guy voted against the first Gulf War. What else do you need to know? UN thumbs up, global test, allies coming out the wazoo, and he voted no. Because thatComments Off
For the first time in a presidential election year, Georgia is allowing early voting–and it’s a smash hit. According to the local fish-wrapper, two-hour lines have been the norm in metro Atlanta since early voting began on Monday. Two observations:
1. There isn’t a competitive race in Georgia this year above the state legislature level. George W. Bush and Johnny Isacson (U.S. Senate) are both lead-pipe cinches to win the state, and by considerable double-digit margins.
2. Regardless of observation #1, state officials are expecting a turnout well in excess of the previous record (72%) for this election.
Michael Barone or Larry Sabato could tell us for sure, but I think I’m safe in assuming that nobody alive has ever seen turnout like this for an American election. I think I’m also safe in assuming that nobody alive knows how to poll or predict the outcome of that kind of election.
If Georgia polls over 75-80%, with both national races clearly in the bag, what will the lines be like in Ohio or Florida, or other places where the outcome is seriously in doubt?
It’s gonna be an interesting six days–and maybe six weeks.
For those who’re interested, my weekly Auburn football column is up (and has been since Sunday night; my bad for being late with a Vodka-link). This one covers AU’s 42-10 win over Kentucky.
Incidentally, the store is Eye Caliber. It’s on Tejon, one door south of Jose Muldoon’s. C’mon in – I’m offering a 10% discount to VodkaPundit readers, good Wednesday, Thursday, and until 2pm Friday.
After that, you’re on your own. I have to close up shop early Friday to get to Denver to prep for all the holiday festivities.
With bombs exploding in the Green Zone, the fate of Saddam Hussein seems to many a secondary priority. But what if this logic is backward? Leave aside abstract ideals of justice and human rights and consider the practical reasons to get this tribunal underway: What if the insurgency, the bombs and the massacres are happening precisely because there has been no national discussion of the past?
If that sounds peculiar, don’t listen to me. Listen instead to Kanan Makiya, the former Iraqi dissident who has now dedicated himself to consolidating, scanning and investigating the archives of the former regime. Makiya thinks that what matters is not whether the Iraqis remember Hussein’s reign but how they remember it. Was the Baathist state a totalitarian regime under which the entire nation suffered? Or was it a conspiracy of the Sunni minority against the Shiite majority? If Iraqis come to believe the former, argues Makiya, it might still be possible for them to unify behind a new national government. If Iraqis come to believe the latter, the result could be ethnic civil war. A complete trial of Hussein, one that showed the extent of the corruption, forced collaboration, violence and terror he imposed on the entire nation, might help Iraqis understand that all of them — Shiite, Sunni, Kurdish — suffered in different ways.
“Hanging’s too good for him,” some might say. Perhaps. But a real trial could do some real good for Iraq.
And it would set a fine example for the rest of the region, too.
This is interesting:
…starting in the 1970s, religious denomination began to matter less — and religious intensity to matter more and more. Catholics who went to Mass every week started voting more like Episcopalians who went to church every week than like Catholics who didn’t. During the culture wars of the 1990s, the trend accelerated. This spring a study by the University of Akron’s John Green for the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found “that religious traditionalists, whether Evangelical, Mainline Protestant or Catholic, hold similar positions on issue after issue, and that modernists of all these various traditions are similarly like-minded.” With the critical exception of African Americans — whose religiousness has not generally inclined them toward the GOP — traditionalist Christians voted Republican while modernist Christians voted Democratic.
Jews, however, were different. As late as 2000, Al Gore and his Orthodox running mate, Joe Lieberman, didn’t just win most of the Jewish vote, they won a large majority among Orthodox Jews — the “traditionalists” whom sociologists might have expected to join their Christian counterparts. But it now appears that, like Jimmy Carter, who won the votes of his fellow evangelicals in 1976, Lieberman simply delayed his community’s migration into the Republican Party. This year, for probably the first time, Orthodox Jews will vote like “traditionalist” Christians. Conservative, Reform and non-affiliated Jews, on the other hand, will vote like secular, or “modernist,” Christians. And the Jewish vote, in a meaningful sense, will cease to exist.
I can tell you this much: the Conservative Jews I know are voting for Bush this year. So while Peter Beinart may be right about the end of the “Jewish vote,” he might want to move his Orthodox-Republican/Conservative-Reform-non-affiliated-Democrat scale one notch to the right.
People who put their money where their mouths are draw the map like this:
That’s the first time I recall seeing bettors call New Mexico for Bush. However, that could just be a quirk – bids jumped by 16 points on Tuesday.
Mike M reports again from Ohio.
Tonight was training night in Franklin county Ohio, and this election became much more real and serious in my mind. There are actually many Precinct Election Official training sessions, but tonight was mine and about 180 others in the county…about twice the number that was originally scheduled for the session. The class was held in a church, with several Board of Elections officials running things and answering questions. Of the 180 trainees, there was much more diversity than I had expected. At 26 I obviously wasn’t the oldest, but there were at least a few younger than me. Probably 20% of the class was black and slightly more than half were women. About a third were first-timers like me, and the average age was probably around 40. Partisanship was checked at the door, and everyone present seemed to take their duties very seriously.
A libertarian-minded blogger sums up his New York candidates: “Ick, yuk, blech, barf, and gimme-a-break.”
Finally, a position I can fully, completely and unhesitatingly endorse.
Enough already – stop emailing me this story! It’s from WorldNetDaily, and should be taken with a grain of salt. Just so the rest of you know what I’m talking about, here’s the juicy bit:
One freshly unearthed document, captured by the U.S. from Vietnamese communists in 1971 and later translated, indicates the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese delegations to the Paris peace talks that year were used as the communications link to direct the activities of Kerry and other antiwar activists who attended.
Kerry insists he attended the talks only because he happened to be in France on his honeymoon and maintains he met with both sides. But previously revealed records indicate the future senator made two, and possibly three, trips to Paris to meet with Viet Cong leader Madame Nguyen Thi Binh then promote her plan’s demand for U.S. surrender.
Jerome Corsi, a specialist on the Vietnam era, told WND the new discoveries are the “most remarkable documents I’ve seen in the entire history of the antiwar movement.”
“We’re not going to say he’s an agent for Vietnamese communists, but it’s the next thing to it,” he said. “Whether he was consciously carrying out their direction or naively doing what they wanted, it amounted to the same thingComments Off
Ed Lambert – a guy who knows a thing or three about space launches – sent this item:
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Increased security at Kennedy Space Center reflects heightened fears of a terrorist attack before the Nov. 2 election, a NASA official said today.
There’s been “heightened interest to certain areas around the country,” said Cal Burch, chief of the Protective Services Office at KSC, “and we believe we are a highly visible target, as other major government facilities are around the country.”
Among the stronger security measures are armed bulwarks at the gates, more officers at the Visitor Complex and hands-on badge checks.
Burch said he couldn’t confirm a specific threat, but the general concern is tied to the election. National security officials have been warning for months of a possible terrorist attack tied to the vote.
It’s not clear how long the realignment of security forces at the space center will continue, Burch said.
NOTE: Ed, tell your IT guy to tone down the spam protection at LockMart. Most of my emails to you get bounced back to me. What problem could a giant defense contractor have with some simple talk about sedition?
Mike Jericho is pretty sure Osama bin Laden is dead – but that doesn’t stop him from worrying:
But [al Qaeda number two man Abu Musab al] Zawahiri could simply side-step this, if he chose to, and with a single move restore his credibility and influence.
To do so, he would have to make a significant strike against the very belly of the infidel. Something public, something severe, with very serious repercussions… all of the things he has become known for.
I don’t pretend to know what that might be. It could be anything, but experience dictates that it will most likely be either inside the United States or a Coalition country, and it will come against a significant symbol of American power; be it economic, military or political.
Read the whole thing.
Today and for the rest of the week, I’m blogging – LIVE! – from a little sunglass store in downtown Colorado Springs. Why do something so useless and silly, you ask? It’s my cousin’s store, and he just took off for St. Louis for a little World Series action. And since his only employee is in high school, I agreed to keep an eye on the store.
Good news is, it’s quiet enough in here most days to keep up the blogging. Bad news is, I have to deal with actual members of the public.
War Plan Orange: Iraq.
NOTE: If you don’t know the “orange” reference, it dates back to the turn of the previous century. Back then, the War and Navy departments (there wasn’t yet a Defense Department, nor a Pentagon) color coded their war plans. Plan Orange was conceived in 1897 in case of conflict with Japan. It underwent many revisions, right up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Senator Richard Lugar is just too – well, senatorial to tell John Kerry to get stuffed:
Lugar is a gentleman of the old school, not inclined to call up Kerry and tell him to knock it off. Speaking Oct. 15 in Carmel, Ind., Lugar said it is ”very, very unfortunate” that Kerry is ”trying to stir up waters when we, in a very bipartisan way, on the Foreign Relations Committee support our troops.” In Culver, Ind., on Oct. 17, he said: ”It does infuriate all my friends, and they wish that somehow or other I could seize Sen. Kerry and tell him, ‘Don’t do it.’ ”
Lugar was more blunt with me last week. ”The use of my remarks is an attempt to shore up a weak position on his [Kerry's] part,” he told me, adding that Kerry ”has tried to extend the failing of reconstruction to a more general criticism of the war.”
Three quick comments.
1. It’s (not at all even close to) a wonder that no major media outlets have picked up on Kerry’s usurpation of Lugar’s good name.
2. Who says the reconstruction is a failure? It’s too soon to tell, for starters. And for enders, things in 85% of Iraq are going pretty damn well.
3. I’m not senatorial at all. So: Hey, Kerry – get stuffed.
About the same time, I got an email from someone who would know, speaking off the record. This person has been told that New York Times Managing Editor Jill Abramson is responsible for the anti-Bush flurry. They also admit that it’s her paper, and she can do what she wants with it – except for playing with the facts.
And this story (written by James Glanz, William J. Broad, and David E. Sanger) plays faster and looser than a pair of twin Balinese hookers slathered in Wesson oil.
If anyone has email addresses for Abramson, Glanz, Broad, and/or Sanger, I’d just love to post them here, so that readers might be able to share their thoughts with these four would-be assassins.
UPDATE: Frank asks, “Wasn’t Jill Abramson a major player in the Clarence Thomas smear campaign?”
I don’t know. Was she?
UPDATE: Contact information – and lots of it – here.
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 24 – The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives – used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons – are missing from one of Iraq’s most sensitive former military installations.
The huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military control but is now a no man’s land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday. United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year.
The White House said President Bush’s national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was informed within the past month that the explosives were missing. It is unclear whether President Bush was informed. American officials have never publicly announced the disappearance, but beginning last week they answered questions about it posed by The New York Times and the CBS News program “60 Minutes.”
NBC News: Miklaszewski:Comments Off
Everything is just screwy. This late in the game – there are six campaigning days left – the polls are firming up. Not this year, kids.
Zogby, who has been down on Bush all year, shows him surging. Rasmussen’s tracking polls usually shows small movements in one direction or the other, instead now has a big movement towards Kerry.
Bill Clinton – looking pretty damn good after his quadruple bypass – is going to help Kerry with black voters and some Southerners. Bush is within the margin of error in Michigan. Kerry is ahead in some polls in Ohio. Bush is looking strong in – Hawaii? Kerry is gaining in Arkansas?
Everything is just screwy.
So, how about I give you four maps this week?
UPDATE: Electoral-Vote.com, which had it for Kerry last week, has switched back to Bush. Me, I oughta switch to decaf.