Jewish World Review August 4, 2004 /17 Menachem-Av, 5764

Joe Scarborough

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The media should trust, but verify


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | The Department of Security — of Homeland Security — is warning Americans of impending attacks on U.S. soil. You may have heard Howard Dean saying that these latest terror warnings may be politically motivated. Americans, it seems, are responding to this latest dire warning with a collective yawn.


Meanwhile, terror experts are telling me that they have grave concerns about the information that was gained from a terrorist's computer that was seized in Pakistan. So this is a question I think you should be asking yourself: Should you and your family be scared at the latest terror warnings or is the White House using this new threat as a way to increase the president's approval rating?


Now, I know that sounds like a very cynical question. But I worked in Washington. So I want you to take note of four realities that surround the presidential campaign this year.


  • No. 1, the president and John Kerry are locked in the tightest of all political battles.

  • No. 2, Americans trust the president more than John Kerry when it comes to winning the war on terror.

  • No. 3, the threat of future attacks on America's homeland will politically aid the president.

  • No. 4, this administration, like all administrations before it, is filled with political operatives whose only mission in life is to reelect their president.


Now, terror threats like the latest one may help them do that. These are the realities that exist today. Unlike Michael Moore, I don't believe that President Bush would wag the dog by playing politics with national security. But I do believe this: National news organizations have to remain vigilant in tracking down intelligence sources that form the basis for terror warnings like the one that was issued this weekend.


And the Department of Homeland Security is going to have to bend over backwards over the next several months to protect Americans while assuring all of us that their mission is free of political influence, because if they can't do that, then their warnings are going to carry no credibility. And if their warnings carry no credibility, then Americans from coast to coast are going to be as ill-prepared for terror attacks in the future as we all were on September 10.


Now, that's a real reason to be afraid.

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Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) hosts “Scarborough Country,” 10 p.m. ET, weeknights on MSNBC. Comment by clicking here.


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