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Commentary :: Politics
BTL: Terrorist Alerts: Genuine Threats or Political Ploy?
14 Aug 2004
Modified: 04:06:58 AM
Interview with Craig Eisendrath, senior fellow with the Center for International Policy, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Terrorist Alerts: Genuine Threats or Political Ploy?

Interview with Craig Eisendrath, senior fellow with the Center for International Policy, conducted by Scott Harris

On Aug. 1, the Bush administration's Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge raised the terror level alert to "orange" and warned the public that the government had evidence of a possible plan by al Qaeda to attack financial centers in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Security was enhanced at the sites specified in the warnings, reducing many employees and residents in these areas to helpless and fearful observers.

But news reports later revealed that much of the information the White House based their warnings on was three or four years old. As the public reacted with confusion and skepticism, former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean raised questions about the possible relationship between the terrorist warnings and the presidential election campaign, expressing concern that the alerts were being used to gain political advantage. The administration, anxious to justify the alert, responded by revealing the name of the source of their information, rendering him ineffective in any future counter-terrorism operation.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Craig Eisendrath, a senior fellow with the Center for International Policy, and co-author along with Mel Goodman of "Bush League Diplomacy: How the Neoconservatives Are Putting the World at Risk." Eisendrath assesses the usefulness of issuing terror alerts and examines the charge that these warnings are being exploited for political purposes in this election year.

Contact the Center for International Policy by calling (202) 232-3317 or visit their website at www.ciponline.org

Related links:


"The Color-Coded Fear Factor Terror Alerts raise Blood Pressure, close Streets and scare up a Few Votes," by Tom Brazaitis, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Aug. 9, 2004

"A Need to Believe That We're Not Being Manipulated," by William Raspberry, by the Seattle Times, Aug. 10, 2004

" Not Scared Yet? Try Connecting These Dots," by Ray McGovern, truthout|Perspective, Aug. 9, 2004

"The Price of Freedom," Juliusblog.blogspot.com, Aug. 3, 2004

"Timeline of Terror Alerts," Juliusblog.blogspot.com

"Chart of Bush Approval Ratings and Terror Alerts," Aug. 4, 2004 by Juliusblog.blogspot.com

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:

http://www.btlonline.org
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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: httC://www.btlonline.org
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"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
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For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at) lists.riseup.net
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For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at) lists.riseup.net
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