Ace up the sleeve

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
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Polls are showing Kerry ahead. Assuming Kerry puts Bush away in the coming debates, what can Team Arbusto do to avoid elimination?

I'm thinking they're holding the bin Laden card, and will announce his "death" just before election day. It will be presumed, of course, after a bombing attack. "Officials still need to verify DNA samples, but the body matches the profile" will be the clause.

Then, even if we haven't killed him, it will take a week or more for bin Laden to rush a new videotape onto the scene, by which time Bush will have (if the ploy works) won the election.

Call me crazy, but I'll bet they've got this one in the playbook.
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
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toronto
i'm still of the belief the election date may slip. i'm sure there are a number of scenarios cooked up to make that happen.
 

Sayhey

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2003
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I'm not buying into the "they've got bin Laden on ice waiting to announce his capture" conspiracy theory. What I do think will happen is heighten terror alerts approaching the elections, including the use of such threats to place fear in the minds of people going to the polls. All they need is some announcement by Ashcroft about attacks against voters to hold down the numbers. Of course, al Qaeda will be eager to make such threats real. I would hope it would backfire, but who knows?
 

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
5,693
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LaLaLand, CA
Bin Laden? Who's that? I thought Saddam planned 9/11?

J/k BTW.

I think the whole "we got Bin Laden" thing might backfire. So many people are expecting it to happen that way. Besides, we're pulling people out of Afganistan and Pakistan, so where would we catch him? Iraq? That would look mighty suspicious, and I would hope most people wouldn't fall for it.

If they do catch Bin Laden and announce it right before the election, I hope there is time for questions to be asked.
 

wwworry

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2002
235
0
a lot of right wingnuts are already claiming Bin Laden is dead, conveniently!

I just heard the justice department issue a special terror alert for schools "not based on any specific information" just after what happened in Russia. This goes along with what Sayhey was saying - fear for your children etc. But I would not be surprised by anything this administration pulls. We have seen Cheney publicly lie a number of times already and with Bush you never know if he is lying or just crocked.
 

blackfox

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2003
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I really wonder about demographics...

As for the traditional voter(s), who are well-represented in the polls, it seems that only a slim margin have not already decided who they are voting for. That remaining margin is trumped up as the deciding factor in deciding the Election. That could very well be the case, and they might be receptive to last-minute spin.

There is, however, the group of mostly youthful, left-leaning voters who are being mobilized by grass-roots campaigns such as ACT. They are traditionally not very politically active and perhaps subsequently not taken into account by "experts" forecasting the Election. It is doubtful that this group would be significantly swayed by anything out of the Bush Campaign.
I beleive that it may be this group that actually decides things.

Perhaps it is merely wishful thinking...but if there is any monkey-business to do with effecting the Election, I believe it would be done in the vote-tabulation arena.

I have a feeling that it will be a little messy, with both sides crying foul, if they lose...

oh democracy, take a look in the mirror.
 

mischief

macrumors 68030
Aug 1, 2001
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Declaring Bin Laden DOA would be the biggest tactical error concievable. If the USA, Britain or Israel claimed to have waxed the guy it would make him the ultimate Jyhadi Martyr. It would be even worse if we had proof or, god forbid... video tape.

I think that if this administration has any un-coke-fried braincells left they better keep the Martyrdom thing in mind.
 

blackfox

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2003
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Sayhey said:
I'm not buying into the "they've got bin Laden on ice waiting to announce his capture" conspiracy theory. What I do think will happen is heighten terror alerts approaching the elections, including the use of such threats to place fear in the minds of people going to the polls. All they need is some announcement by Ashcroft about attacks against voters to hold down the numbers. Of course, al Qaeda will be eager to make such threats real. I would hope it would backfire, but who knows?
for the sake of argument, here's a contender:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 - A computer disk found in Iraq with diagrams and photographs of some American schools has prompted the F.B.I. to contact several districts around the country, but officials said Thursday that they saw no immediate threat.

"We are unaware of any information that indicates a specific terrorist plot toward any school in the United States," said Brian Roehrkasse, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.

American military officials in Iraq discovered the computer disk several months ago. It had photos of schools in about a half-dozen states, including New Jersey, Florida and California, as well as diagrams and emergency information for the school districts that had apparently been downloaded from government Web sites, officials said.

In what officials described as a precautionary move, the F.B.I. several weeks ago began contacting school districts to alert them to the material found on the disk and determine where the information had originated.

"We don't know what any of it means, and we don't have any information on actual threats to U.S. schools," said a federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity. "But we take everything seriously these days, and we wanted to ascertain where this information came from, so the schools could help us with that."

The existence of the computer disk was first reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune after a school district there was contacted by the F.B.I.

Peri Lynn Turnbull, the director of communications for the San Diego school system, said school districts across the country received a bulletin from the federal Department of Education asking that they be vigilant in their safety procedures.

"We're very comfortable with the practices we have in place," she said, adding that the fatal school siege in Beslan, Russia, over the summer "has certainly raised the level of awareness.''

Homeland Security officials said the alert issued by the Education Department was not related to the discovery of the disks in Iraq.
...could be ripe for the pickin'

FWIW (from washpost)
 

Lyle

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2003
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Madison, Alabama
blackfox said:
for the sake of argument, here's a contender:
I am admittedly a partisan Republican, so I'd like to throw out the question just to understand the "other side" sees this. Suppose that Kerry were to win the presidency, and that this discovery (a computer disk with diagrams and photos of several U.S. schools) were made sometime next year, after he takes office. What would be an appropriate response by the F.B.I. and/or the DHS?
 

Don't panic

macrumors 603
Jan 30, 2004
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having a drink at Milliways
Lyle said:
I am admittedly a partisan Republican, so I'd like to throw out the question just to understand the "other side" sees this. Suppose that Kerry were to win the presidency, and that this discovery (a computer disk with diagrams and photos of several U.S. schools) were made sometime next year, after he takes office. What would be an appropriate response by the F.B.I. and/or the DHS?
I'll bite first.
If the disk was real, then there would be only one way to deal with it, and it would be to do "whatever it takes" to prevent anything from happening. I don't know specifically what the "correct" course of action would specifically be, but -regardless of their previous screwups- I would still hope that the fbi, cia and dhs agencies would know best what to do.
But here comes the problem: the current administration has flooded us with so much lies (or blunders, incompetence, mistakes, misunderstandings, misjudgements, whatever you want to call them), that they are left with zero credibility, and almost anything they do will be suspicious and suggest second motives. This alone should be reason enough (but far and away not one of the major ones) to vote them out.
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
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Lyle said:
I am admittedly a partisan Republican, so I'd like to throw out the question just to understand the "other side" sees this. Suppose that Kerry were to win the presidency, and that this discovery (a computer disk with diagrams and photos of several U.S. schools) were made sometime next year, after he takes office. What would be an appropriate response by the F.B.I. and/or the DHS?
Invade something.
 

wwworry

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2002
235
0
Scare First. Explain Later.

Here is the follow up that no one will hear about. Most people will just thing there is credible information that terrorists are targeting specific schools.

Scare First. Explain Later.

U.S. officials say no terror threat linked to disk with school data

Federal officials said Friday there is no terrorist connection to a computer disk found in Iraq that contained information about schools in six states.

The disk was made by an unidentified Iraqi man who was doing research and had no connections to al-Qaida or the Iraqi insurgents battling U.S. forces, according to the FBI. The man did have links to the Baath Party that ruled Iraq under Saddam Hussein, but that's true of many former government officials and community leaders.

The material on the disk appeared to be randomly downloaded from a publicly accessible Education Department Web site and included such things as manuals on workplace safety, crisis management studies and building security diagrams. It also contained an Education Department report on school crisis planning that was published in May 2003.

''It's not about schools, it's about policy,'' said FBI Agent William Evanina, spokesman for the FBI field office in Newark, N.J. ''There's no terrorism threat to these schools.''
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
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toronto
wwworry said:
Scare First. Explain Later.
i'm surprised the terror light hasn't been flicked on and off as of late. that would move the polls a few points into the bush column, i bet. or maybe that's the plan for next week.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
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I dunno, Bush did tell us that when you are being shot at is when you need to vote most, right? So if there is a terrorist attack, that's even MORE reason to vote according to the president.

All I know is that they better be damn careful if they pull anything like that. The Spainish government tried to pull a fast one on their citizens and got voted out because of it.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,652
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With Bush playing the 'you're safe with me' card, it's hard to tell exactly what would happen if there was some terrorist-type incident on US mainland 48-96 hours before the polls open, particularly if considerable casualties were involved.

Because it would have happened 'on his watch' it could go heavily against the Republicans OR people may just rally around... it may play like the Reichstag fire or it may not.

As mactastic just pointed out, the Spanish government badly miscalculated the effect on the public's mood of the train bombings and were booted out...
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
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In the case of Spain, the backlash against the government was mainly a function of their attempting to sandbag the evidence that the attack was perpetrated by Al Qaeda. A terrorist attack in the US before the election would have an unpredictable impact on the outcome, but a foiled attack attempt would be a big plus for Bush.
 

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
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zimv20 said:
and how would we learn of a "foiled attack?"
If they were doing their job, you'd never hear about the successes, only the failures. Unless they wanted to publicize and politicize and success, and use it to scare people. It could very well backfire on him, though.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
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Palookaville
zimv20 said:
and how would we learn of a "foiled attack?"
What, you think the White House would be too shy to tell us that they'd apprehended a person or persons in the process of planning or carrying out an attack? In fact if I had to guess at an October Surprise, it would be the arrest of "major terrorist suspects" in US who were "planning an imminent attack on _____." It'd take weeks at least before anyone could begin to sort out whether the government had any kind of case against the arrestees, and by then of course, the election is long gone. That dog is just way too easy to wag.
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
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toronto
IJ Reilly said:
In fact if I had to guess at an October Surprise, it would be the arrest of "major terrorist suspects" in US who were "planning an imminent attack on _____." It'd take weeks at least before anyone could begin to sort out whether the government had any kind of case against the arrestees, and by then of course, the election is long gone.
exactly. the annoucement would come from those who would benefit from it the most.