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Terrorist Attacks to Win Washington for Republicans in 2008?

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To President Bush the 9/11 attacks are nothing less than a gift. He said as much when he referenced the event along with several other factors giddily as "trifecta."

His glee contrasts sharply with the feelings of 300 million Americans who witnessed the face of horror on that day, but it may help explain why he ignored the infamous August 6, 2001 presidential daily briefing headlined: "Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S."

As Frank Rich pointed out in his column this weekend, intelligence and counterterrorism officials are once again desperately trying to get the Administration's attention.

First, as he noted, a front-page account in the New York Times detailed a resurgence of terrorist training camps and networks in Afghanistan. It characterized Al Qaeda's "hierarchy as intact and strengthening."

Then there is Michael Scheuer, the former head of the C.I.A., who told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann last week that Al Qaeda is "going to detonate a nuclear device inside the United States."

Remember that August 6, 2001 daily presidential briefing? A transcript of the briefing on CNN's website shows Bush was warned that FBI surveilence "indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks."

Then there were the warnings prompted by the arrest of French nationalist Zacarias Moussaoui. A suspicious Minnesota flight instructor contacted the FBI when Moussaoui attempted to train on a 747 flight simulator without any previous flying experience.

The FBI contacted French authorities who warned them that Moussaoui had ties to Islamic millitants. The Minnesota bureau tried to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveilence Act (FISA) warrent to search his belongings, but FBI headquarters (manned by officials close to the Bush Administration) dismissed their concerns, and even went so far as to verbally reprimand a Minnesota agent for getting people "spun up" about Moussaoui.

The agent replied that he was worried Moussaoui would "take control of a plane and fly it into the World Trade Center."

Then there was the "Phoenix Memo," sent on July 10, 2001 by Phoenix FBI agent Kenneth Williams to two units at FBI headquarters describing 10 foreign students at aviation students with ties to Sunni extremists. Headquarters shelved the memo citing more important priorities.

Essentially, the men and women charged with protecting our lives were shut up and closed down by top Washington officials in the month leading up to 9/11.

A similar scenario is unfolding as terrorism officials are screaming warnings about an impending attack.

Consider the dark days that have fallen on this administration. Consider the soaring ascent of Bush's popularity after 9/11. Consider his wicked utterance of "trifecta" in the aftermath of all those deaths on American soil.

Democratic leaders like Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada), Rep. Nancy Pelosi(D-California), and Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) must do everything they can to protect us from a nuclear attack.

In the event that they fail, they must prepare for a day when Republicans will try to link an Al Qaeda attack in America to the Democrats' "cut-and-run" policy in Iraq--their sole objective being control of this country in 2008.

The time to set the record straight is now--before an attack takes place.

If the public is hearing about imminent nuclear attacks, Bush and his administration know far more. Democratic leaders must pre-emptively assail the Aministration for inaction in the face of a grave threat from Afghanistan.

It's quite possible that the only way Republicans will win in 2008 is if there is a major attack in the US, thousands of people are killed, and the Dems are saddled with the blame for pushing "cut-and-run" policies in Iraq.

Rue the day when of these pre-conditions Bush can say, "Trifecta."
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Dean Powers lives in Castleton, VT. He has apprenticed at several newspapers including The Nation. He currently writes for OpEdNews. He can be found at facebook.com/deanppowers.

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