The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary - H. L. Mencken
US editor (1880 - 1956)

Osama bin Laden:
A Weapon of Mass Convenience

March 14, 2002

Bush says bin Laden no Threat

"We haven't heard from him in a long time," Bush told reporters at the White House. "I truly am not that concerned about him."

Bush's attitude to ex-CIA asset bin Laden proves he is a nemesis wheeled out of his casket whenever the 9/11 terror factor is required.

"The elevation of the threat level in New York, and New Jersey, and Washington DC is a serious reminder, a solemn reminder, of the threat we continue to face." [8/2/2004]

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The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.

Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled. [USA Today 5/10/2005]

Last Thursday on Countdown, I referred to the latest terror threat - the reported bomb plot against the New York City subway system - in terms of its timing. President Bush's speech about the war on terror had come earlier the same day, as had the breaking news of the possible indictment of Karl Rove in the CIA leak investigation.

I suggested that in the last three years there had been about 13 similar coincidences - a political downturn for the administration, followed by a "terror event" - a change in alert status, an arrest, a warning. We figured we'd better put that list of coincidences on the public record. [Full details]

The following graph shows how Bush's approval ratings benefited from terror alerts:

Click image for full size

Osama bin Laden is, quite literally, a weapon of mass convenience.

"Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people. It can add fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that." [Osama bin Laden 09/28/01]

See also:

Outright Deception: bin Laden's Hi Tech Mountain Fortress
Is 'Al Qaeda' the Modern Incarnation of 'Emmanuel Goldstein'?
Osama bin Laden - What Really Happened Index

What Really Happened

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