Remember all the good times we had with George W. Bush's color-coded terror chart? Now there was some leadership you could believe in, huh?
For perspective today, it's necessary to read what happened December 21, 2003 as reported in the NY Times.....
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21— The Bush administration raised the nation's antiterrorism alert status a notch on Sunday, indicating a newly heightened concern about the possibility of an attack in coming days.
Announcing the change at a news conference in Washington, Tom Ridge, the secretary of homeland security, said the danger of an attack in the ''near term,'' possibly in the United States, was ''perhaps greater now than at any point since Sept. 11, 2001.''
Security officials said the decision to increase the level of alert to ''high'' from ''elevated'' -- to orange from yellow on the department's five-color scale -- came after intense consultations over the weekend among intelligence agencies, which had picked up recent talk among extremists about some unspecified but spectacular attack.
Mr. Ridge said on Sunday that he acted after consulting other agencies about new intelligence that suggested a higher level of risk ''around the holiday season and beyond.'' In particular, he cited concerns that attackers might again try to use commercial aircraft as a weapon.
Mr. Ridge said, the action was taken based on ''the quantity, the quality, and the credibility and the scope'' of intelligence from various sources. In addition, he said, intelligence analysts were concerned to hear that there was a widespread expectation among people they were monitoring that an attack might come in the near term.
''Extremists abroad are anticipating attacks that they believe will either rival or exceed'' the attacks of 9/11, he said.
Scary stuff by very, very Serious and Professional People Protectors working under George and The Dick......OR.....maybe just a pile of political fearmongering bullsh*t from naive dumb-asses. There's now new information. The Reverend reports, you decide.
The man who prompted the December 2003 Orange alert was Dennis Montgomery, who has since been embroiled in various lawsuits, including one for allegedly bouncing $1 million in checks during a Caesars Palace spree. His former lawyer calls him a "habitual liar engaged in fraud."
Working out of a Reno, Nevada, software firm called eTreppid Technologies, Montgomery took in officials in the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology and convinced them that technology he invented -- but could not explain -- was pulling terrorist-produced "bar codes" from Al Jazeera television broadcasts. Using his proprietary technology, those bar codes could be translated into longitudes and latitudes and flight numbers. Terrorist leaders were using that data to direct their compatriots about the next target.
Just in case you missed the plot line here.....Dennis Montgomery fooled CIA representatives into believing that Al Jazeera teevee was broadcasting "bar code" embedded secret terrorist info alongide their normal content. Yes, the same dangerous outfit which had planned the hijacking of 4 planes using cardboard-box cutters....were resorting to James Bond-caliber, code-decode sophistication.....and Al Jazeera was assisting them by embedding hidden bar codes of longitude and latitude and flight numbers for the next attack on the U.S.
This reminds me of the day Bush's officials walked Jose Padilla outside adorned with goggles...so ole' Jose couldn't communicate any Super-Secret Eye Signals across the teevee screens to his Terrorist Treehouse Buddies.
Apparently, the Bush administration DID watch too many episodes of "24".
The federal government was acting on the Al Jazeera claims without even understanding how Montgomery found his coordinates. "I said, 'Give us the algorithms that allowed you to come up with this stuff.' They wouldn't even do that," says the first officer. "And I was screaming, 'You gave these people f*cking money?'" ...
A former CIA official went through the scenario with me and explained why sanity finally won out. First, Montgomery never explained how he was finding and interpreting the bar codes. How could one scientist find the codes when no one else could? More implausibly, the scheme required Al Jazeera's complicity. At the very least, a technician at the network would have to inject the codes into video broadcasts, and every terrorist operative would need some sort of decoding device. What would be the advantage of this method of transmission?
A branch of the French intelligence services helped convince the Americans that the bar codes were fake. The CIA and the French commissioned a technology company to locate or re-create codes in the Al Jazeera transmission. They found definitively that what Montgomery claimed was there was not. Quietly, as far as the CIA was concerned, the case was closed. The agency turned the matter over to the counterintelligence side to see where it had gone wrong.
Go read the entire article...hey, it's at Playboy.com.
Yes, I have my own list of disappointments with our new Democratic President...but after being reminded again of the total incompetent, and often criminal, assholery of the Terror Twins ......I'm thankful Obama is now in charge.
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