Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | September 18, 2002

Shifting focus away from Iraq

As of this post, the Dow is barely hovering above the 8,000 mark. While Iraq may be dominating the news at this point, the story only has 2-3 weeks of life, leaving the country with a full month to mull the nation's economic chaos.

In addition to the flagging stock market, inflation is ticking up (including a nearly 5 percent increase in medical costs this year), fewer laid off workers are starting their own companies (a factor helping the US rise out of previous recessions), and more corporate abuses are unveiled. And Democrats are ready to pounce:

Democrats will focus relentlessly on the economy for the next six weeks with a barrage of speeches, news conferences and attention-getters tied to unemployment numbers and 401(k) statements. They have a detailed action plan designed to wrest control of the fall agenda from President Bush, who is putting possible war with Iraq front and center.
And there's another potential "October surprise": Congress' open hearings on 9-11. Even Republicans on the Senate panel are promising explosive revelations. In just the first day of hearings, we got the following:
The July 2001 briefing for senior government officials said that based on a review of intelligence information over five months "we believe that (bin Laden) will launch a significant terrorist attack against U.S. and/or Israeli interests in the coming weeks."

"The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning," it said.

Among other intelligence reports mentioned by Hill:

_In September 1998, the intelligence community obtained information that Osama bin Laden's "next operation could possibly involve flying an aircraft loaded with explosives into a U.S. airport and detonating it."

_In the fall of 1998, intelligence agencies received information about a bin Laden plot involving aircraft in New York and Washington areas.

_Between May and July, 2001, the National Security agency reported at least 33 communications indicating a possible, imminent terrorist attack.

Kind of puts to rest Condi Rice's post-9-11 lies about how "we never could've forseen terrorists using planes as missiles". And then there's this little gem:
Both Shelby [R] and Graham [D] have complained that the Bush administration has not been cooperating with their investigation.


Committee members say they have become frustrated by delays, blamed on both the difficulties of declassifying information for public hearings and what they see as lack of cooperation by the administration.

9-11 revelations could easily supplant Iraq as the latest media frenzy, providing weeks of anti-administration revelations and a potential reprise of last Spring's "Bush Knew" bombshell.

Posted September 18, 2002 09:05 AM | Comments (5)


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