Bin Laden To Influence U.S. Election
Former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke told CNN yesterday that Osama Bin Laden would attempt to influence the 2008 U.S. election with a terrorist attack or the release of a video tape, an October surprise to replicate that of 2004 when Bin Laden swung the election for Bush.
"At the moment, as far as I can tell, the FBI, other intelligence agencies, do not have any credible information that would lead them to believe an attack might take place. Why are we asking this, though?" said Clarke.
"Because in 2004, bin Laden did try to influence the US election. Whether or not he succeeded, who knows? But he issued a video tape on Halloween, a few days before the election, that implied that he supported Senator Kerry."
"He knew, that if he seemed to be supporting Senator Kerry, that would help President Bush. And it did."
"So, we know he likes to try to influence elections," said Clarke. "So, we can look forward to perhaps another video tape like that, or an attack. But an attack is a heck of a lot harder for them to stage than the easy job of putting out a video tape."
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The CNN panel highlighted the fact that federal law enforcement officials were less worried about an Al-Qaeda attack than they were about a "lone wolf" American because "50 per cent of the country was going to be pissed off on election day either way".
Host Rick Sanchez read from an alleged Al-Qaeda affiliated website which stated that if an attack took place, it would be in support of McCain.
Both John Kerry and George W. Bush attributed Bush's 2004 success to a video tape featuring Bin Laden that was released days before voters went to the polls. Veteran news broadcaster Walter Cronkite called the tape a Karl Rove-orchestrated set up.
As we wrote on the eve of the vote four years ago, "Bush's poll numbers have been significantly boosted and this will be enough to win him re-election."
Bin Laden's chastisement of Bush resulted in a 6 point swing, enabling Bush to seal a second term in office.
Who will the finger of suspicion point to should we witness the emergence of yet another dubious Bin Laden tape or a catastrophic event linked with Al-Qaeda?
Consider the comments of one of McCain's top advisors, Charlie Black, who in June said that a terror attack on American soil would be a "big advantage" to McCain's election hopes. Black added that last December's assassination of Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto had helped McCain to win the New Hampshire primary, a state he had to win to save his candidacy.
The "chatter" surrounding the probable entrance of Bin Laden or Al-Qaeda to impact the election is widespread.
According to a New York Sun report, in August America's military and intelligence agencies intercepted messages indicating that "Al-Qaeda" was planning to launch operations to coincide with the November election.
Earlier this month, the L.A. Times speculated that the recent incursions into Pakistan are aimed at capturing Bin Laden before Bush leaves office.
The report coincided with pulitzer prize winning journalist Bob Woodward's admission to CNN's Larry King that the U.S. had devised a new secret weapon in the war on terror. "We'll see - maybe they can use it on Bin Laden and all of a sudden the September or October surprise is gonna be the apprehension or the death of Bin Laden," Woodward said.
The fact that the media is hyping the inevitability of an "October surprise" should be cause for concern, especially when allied to reports of police departments across the country "preparing for possible civil unrest and riots" in the aftermath of the election.
Watch the CNN clip below courtesy of Raw Story.
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