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White House Tones Down Terror Warning (Rice Zaps Dashole)
NewsMax ^ | 11/16/02

Posted on 11/15/2002 2:38:42 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection

The White House and the FBI began back-pedaling Friday from a warning the bureau issued saying al-Qaeda was plotting "spectacular" attacks against the United States, after critics latched onto it to claim progress in the war on terror was faltering. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said at a White House briefing that the FBI's warnings this week were "really are a summary of intelligence, not a new warning. This is a summary of intelligence as we know it."

Daschle Goes From Badmouthing the Economy to Badmouthing the War on Terrorism

Her statement came as the Bush administration rushed to offset the FBI's startling language and refute charges by former Senate plurality leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., that the war on terror was faltering and that an attack on Iraq would distract the nation from the more pressing danger posed by al-Qaeda.

Deputy Press Secretary Scott McClellan told reporters that although the terrorism risk level remained unchanged, the FBI report showed "we are taking additional precautions to meet the threat." He said the intelligence behind the reports was unspecific and did not lend itself to clear warnings.

He said that the bureau's warning, sent to local law enforcement agencies Thursday and then published Friday on the National Infrastructure Protection Center's Web site, had been reviewed by the White House and other agencies before it was issued.

But the bureau's warning came in a week in which world attention turned once again to al-Qaeda, the shadowy terror organization blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

An audio recording, apparently the voice of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, was broadcast by the Arab language Al Jazeera news network earlier this week. Although U.S. intelligence agencies have not completed a final analysis of the tape, the recording is the first piece of evidence that bin Laden survived the U.S.-led assault on his Afghan sanctuary last year.

After the broadcast, United Press International reported unnamed senior government officials as saying that "chatter," intercepted communications between al-Qaeda operatives, was at its highest level.

Two other warnings preceded Thursday's alert.

On Wednesday, FBI told officials in Houston, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington to be alert for threats against hospitals.

The State Department warned Americans abroad, particularly in Pakistan, that the execution Thursday night of a Pakistan citizen for a shooting rampage at CIA's headquarters 1993 might be avenged with attacks. 'Abundance of Caution'

By Friday, the FBI itself was throwing cold water on its own alert. A spokesman said that "nothing is corroborated. It's done out of an abundance of caution."

Rice said that the Bush administration issued these warnings, which have often in the past been criticized as alarmist and unspecific, because "it is important that Americans know when this sort of thing comes to the attention of the administration."

Note to Tommy

Without mentioning Daschle's name, Rice refuted his charge about the progress of the war on terror. She said the United States had eliminated several key al-Qaeda leaders, eradicated training camps in Afghanistan, destroyed terror command and control and hardened many of its own defenses. Rice said the 60-nation anti-terror coalition shared intelligence and that movement for al-Qaeda was much more difficult.

Later Friday, U.S. officials reported the arrest of an unidentified "senior al-Qaeda member ... one of the "top handful of al-Qaeda leaders."

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: daschle; rice; terrorism

1 posted on 11/15/2002 2:38:42 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
We're about to get bombed, we're not about to get bombed. Brillant intelligence interpretation like this is a good arguement for expanding big government(der Department of Homeland Security).
2 posted on 11/15/2002 2:41:28 PM PST by Sparta
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Daschle = PATHETIC. What a sorry excuse for a United States senator.
He is so transparent. The idiot should know it doesn't matter who is at the head of Al Queda. When Bin Laden is gone another just as bent on our destruction will pop up, probably inheriting Bin Laden's *Turban.

*Also serves as a port a potty when turned upside down.

3 posted on 11/15/2002 2:46:13 PM PST by Warren
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To: Warren
If the government knew we were about to be hit with "spectacular" attacks and did not lock down every foreign national in this country, they would be guilty of gross dereliction of duty.
4 posted on 11/15/2002 2:52:14 PM PST by BigBobber
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To: Sparta
c'mon....this is super-duper serious!
5 posted on 11/15/2002 2:56:38 PM PST by gorush
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
I'd love to know how Tom Daschle can be as engrossingly "concerned" as he says he is, and keep breathing. No one can stay in such a state of constant "concern" and not implode.
6 posted on 11/15/2002 2:57:28 PM PST by Deb
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To: Deb
Well, Deb, he's not concerned all the time, so it won't necessarily reach critical mass. You see, other times he is "troubled". He is concerned today but I believe tomorrow he will be troubled. I think his staff has troubled on his schedule for this weekend. As long as he can balance his concerns with his troubles, he'll be alright.
7 posted on 11/15/2002 3:07:04 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: Sparta
Somehow, Sparta, I get the feeling that you have a better idea. Will you please share it with us?
8 posted on 11/15/2002 3:14:07 PM PST by layman
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To: layman
Love to. I want to create a domestic spy agency based on MI5 to spy on foreign nationals only and have no arrest powers. We can also have a FBI/CIA liason program where agents from one agency go into the other agency and report the needed information to the proper in their home agency. Your beloved Department of Homeland Security doesn't even include the FBI or the CIA and has the power to spy on American citizens, in addition to shaky criteria for accusing American citizens of being terrrorists.
9 posted on 11/15/2002 3:21:35 PM PST by Sparta
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
charges by former Senate plurality leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., that the war on terror was faltering and that an attack on Iraq would distract the nation from the more pressing danger posed by al-Qaeda.

This is where Democrats hose themselves up. Maybe Daschle thinks he's making some sort of rational argument here. But that isn't at all how it comes off. People see Democratic Congressmen on the TV, live from Baghdad, criticizing the President of the United States from the enemy camp. It looks and sounds like Hanoi Jane all over again. Then Gore gets up there and makes some goofy speech about Bush being some kind of war-mongering madman, and he sounds like Ramsey Clark or one of those jerks. Finally they have a Congressional vote on the thing, and most of the Democrats vote 'no.' The next week the UN Security Council votes unanimously to go with Bush, leaving the Democrats holding a position behind Syria in the common sense parade. Then we have an election, and the Democrats lose seats in both houses.

Now comes Daschle with some lame reason to leave Saddam alone to play with his chemical weapons. Pelosi will probably be next, claiming that war will harm the environment, like she did last time.

What is it with these people? Is it a death wish? Are they that stupid? Did not even getting trounced in the election knock some sense into their heads?

Hello, Tom? People do not want to hear another lame reason from Democrats about why we should leave this despot in possession of weapons of mass destruction. What part of "we do not want to be mass destructed" do you not understand?

Look Tom, nobody believes that if you were in charge, we'd have gotten Osama by now. Any criticism of any aspect of this effort from the party of Baghdad Bonior sounds like anti-American Berkeley hippie stuff from the 1970's, because that is the reputation your party has, which is well deserved. Your best move is to shut up about it, and go take your seat in the back of the Senate, where you belong.

10 posted on 11/15/2002 3:38:09 PM PST by Nick Danger
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To: Alas Babylon!
You're RIGHT!!

I completely forgot about the "troubled" thing.

I realize critical mass wouldn't be achieved unless he was troubled and concerned at the same time. Then....


11 posted on 11/15/2002 3:40:43 PM PST by Deb
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To: Sparta
Good ideas!
12 posted on 11/15/2002 3:54:53 PM PST by BigBobber
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