ActionDemocrats.org: Progressive Narrative FOR British Terror Plot

*Introduction
I am working hard on several web sites and web communities to take our learning from the San Diego and Connecticut races and channel them into effective, constructive Progressive narratives. I'm about 50% there, hoping for a 9/11/06 launch (date chosen purposefully). The main web site at http://www.actiondemocrats.org/ will contain developing projects, narratives and commentary in line with a Progressive message for Democrats. Thank you for helping me by reading this cross-posted diary!

*What Happened
Last night at 2AM, British authorities captured 24 suspects, many of Pakistani descent, in a raid designed to thwart an alleged terrorist plot during the planning stages. The plot would have involved detonating homemade bombs from over-the-counter ingredients such as peroxide in mid-air, taking down 10 airplanes bound for the U.S. from Britain.

*What The Bush Administration Knew
It is verified that British intelligence alerted President Bush, on vacation in Crawford, TX, about the details of the plot and the upcoming raid on Sunday 8/6/06. TSA action was taken on 8/10/06 in the U.S. restricting liquid or gel-based items in carry-ons after the raids. There is NO SPECIFIC evidence that ANY attacks or terrorist acts were being planned for within the U.S. Mueller of the F.B.I. said a month-long investigation in conjunction with British intelligence revealed no American connections.

(more in Extended Entry)

*What The Bush Republicans Are Saying
The War On Terror is still ongoing. It would be a mistake to think that we've controlled or debilitated Al Qaeda. Democrats--currently symbolized by Connecticut Senate candidate Ned Lamont according to the RNC and others--are the "extreme left" who want to "cut-and-run" and are "weak on national security" or "don't want to do anything to protect America."

*What The Democrats Are Saying
Bush Republicans haven't made America safe. They aren't checking cargo, don't have the proper scanning equipment and haven't trained TSA to properly prevent threats.

*Rating What The Democrats Are Saying
The response by Democrats is INADEQUATE (3 out of 5 stars, 5 being the best, strongest response). It doesn't develop a narrative, appears reactive and doesn't provide sound bites to combat the coordinated Bush Republicans response.

Furthermore, it appears that Bush Republicans and their mouthpieces calculated and orchestrated their response to score political points, not to protect the American people. This is our jumping off point for a POWERFUL response, 5 out of 5 stars!

*Analysis
Is there any proof that Bush Republicans orchestrated this response for political gain? Yes. Strong evidence. First, Bush knew about the investigation and raid, including the date according to Time, Sunday 8/6/06. No action was taken until 8/10/06. Remember, in the past prior to the 2004 election and last year, intelligence, both non-specific and non-corroborated such as that from interrogation, was used to put whole cities on alert. Bush could have ordered similar vigilance starting on Monday 8/7/06. He didn't. Second, Bush Republicans used the same "playbook" in response to this situation: they encouraged Republican Governors to deploy  National Guard troops to airports to supplement security during this threat. This is the same tactic used during the anti-immigration "focus" as RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman puts it in his talking points, a politicization of our state armed forces. Third, every mouthpiece of the administration whose speech is politicized including Tony Snow, Michael Chertoff, Ken Mehlman, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove spoke in the same language. They even framed the Connecticut Democratic primary--starting this weekend--as a national security issue. Coincidental timing? Not at all.

*A Progressive Democrat's POWERFUL Response
The Bush Republicans in cahoots with the Administration sacrificed credibility and security for political gain in their handling of the British Terror Plot.

First, Bush Republicans sacrificed credibility for political gain. Had Bush taken immediate action Monday 8/7/06 by adding security at airports nationwide, he would have been pro-active in dealing with the threat. Sure, because of the Administration's past history many would have questioned such action. But, by Thursday when the plot was revealed publicly after the arrests, the Administration's caution and rhetoric would have been validated. Thus, the Administration would have GAINED credibility. Furthermore, after having already taken steps to put airports on alert, today's security measures would have been easier to implement by simply being added on to existing security measures.

Second, Bush Republicans sacrificed security for political gain. Pro-active anti-terror measures are more effective, have greater support and are more disarming to terrorists. In fact, the Rand think tank believes pro-active security measures are the ONLY effective methods. On many, many occasions Bush Republicans were only reactive: famously on 9/11, after the London bombings, in Iraq against the insurgency and today. Also in March of 2006, NBC reported that 21 airports failed to block the EXACT SAME materials that were to be used in the British Terror Plot from making it past U.S. TSA screenings http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11863165/.  The Bush Administration should have taken immediate action in March to make America safer. It didn't. Instead, hair dye (peroxide) and African-American hair-straightening products (lye) are banned, trashed and discarded.

*Conclusion
Hammer these points home. Use it to build a narrative AGAINST the Bush Republicans and Administration. They have not made us safer. They continue to trump up and overstate threats to scare the American people. They have sacrificed credibility and security for political gain.

UPDATE
An AFP article confirms my suspicion about Bush, Republicans and the rest of the Administration using the British Terror Plot for political gain. Please use the ideas in this diary to further a POWERFUL message against them.

Tags: administration, Britain, Bush, messaging, war on terror (all tags)

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