Amurrican Politics

As has been noticed here before, I occasionally find time to watch politics down south with a cynical interest that I'd usually reserve for "Reality TV" or WWE wrestling. Which, come to think of it, is probably not as much of a difference as it would seem on the surface.

At any rate, other watchers probably noticed the democratic convention and the concurrent terror alert level increase. It's more than probable that several of those that noticed jumped to the conclusion that the alert was politically motivated, geared at taking some of the steam out of the convention's traditional boost in the polls.

I feel sorry for the US intelligence community. Much like the phone company down there, and the newly deregulated utilities here and in California, they've been given conflicting and mutually-contradictory missions by the government, and more politically significant, the media.

On the one hand, they've been excoriated for failing to act quickly enough to the warning signs that preceded the september 11th attacks. At that point, there had never been a reason to believe that an attack of that nature could successfully be carried out on American soil -- the previous bombing of the WTC notwithstanding.

On the other hand, in the years since then, as the intelligence community has been more paranoid about their data, and more forthcoming with warnings and notifications, they've been torn apart in the media for being fearmongers and accused of using alert levels as a political tool.

So, if you're the government of the US of A, and you see information that -- viewed as a series of connected events over a span of several years -- strongly suggests upcoming attacks, and this happens to tie together during a political convention, what do you do?

Damned if you do

Personally, I think that the alert is a good idea. Imagine the fallout if another attack succeeded just because the CIA didn't want to appear politically motivated. _Then_ we'd see some hangings.

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