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Dems: Desperately Seeking Division
May 20, 2002

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Like hotdogs and watered-down beer, they're together again. The Dems and the left-leaning press, that is. Folks are hardly surprised to see the disinformation duo seize an opportunity to line up against a Republican White House. But during wartime?

For days the public has been forced to endure Watergate sloganeering that resembles bird droppings on a windshield. In synchronized fashion, scores of media outlets have belted out, "What did he know and when did he know it?"

The implications created via tone and headline are that somehow President Bush knew in advance of a homicide hijack-bombing plot.

And what did he do? Nothing.

The whole story concerns a warning the White House received weeks before Sept. 11. But some major journalistic problems are evident here.

First, there's no new news. The public record shows that, as early as Sept. 15, Vice President Cheney already disclosed that the administration had received general warnings about terrorist activity.

Second, since 9/11, whenever the administration has issued a warning based on undefined dangers, it has been roundly belittled by a host of media mouthpieces for its lack of specificity.

Many closet TV and press adversaries don't seem to care about the lack of specificity in the pre-Sept. 11 warning, which was generic in nature and indicated that a hijacking might occur by an OBL operative, somewhere in the world, sometime in the future.

Third, the reporting lacks perspective. An intelligence briefing is a composite from across the globe, which attempts to spot the most serious dangers. Sometimes the CIA examines in excess of a thousand threats a day.

In the real intelligence world, there is no way to separate the needles of clues from the haystack of data. Lifting a small portion of a daily briefing and looking at it as if it were a singular piece of information, which should somehow stand out from a multitude of potential threats, is patently illogical, vaguely conspiratorial and ugly as heck in its insinuation.

Wisdom garnered by hindsight is rarely impressive, except to those who will sacrifice looking foolish in the long run for momentary approval.

Still, legitimate questions need to be answered, particularly concerning the coordination and sharing of information between agencies assigned to domestic and international intelligence. As it stands now, the intelligence committees are conducting a joint investigation that will correctly look for signs of intelligence failure.

Unfortunately, many Democrats would rather focus on poll numbers. They have attempted to grind down the president's popularity with issues such as tax cuts, budget deficits, Social Security, Enron and even unplanned Kodak moments.

So far, they have failed big time. But now some Democrats hope to create the perception of scandal so they can at least minimize Bush's influence in the November elections.

The game being played is dangerous. The stakes for the nation are staggeringly high. Everyone knows that an enemy who thinks we are divided or have turned on our leader will jump to take advantage of such weakness.

If a scenario such as this were to occur, the measly political win achieved would hardly be worth the blood-soaked trophy.

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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