Monday, July 12, 2004


The following came straight off the wire from kaymo. If it’s true, it so serious, it scarcely bears thinking about. This I’m posting it just as it came by email...

Off the Beeb (BBC) this morning..

.US 'may delay vote if attacked'

The Bush administration is reported to be investigating the possibility
of postponing the presidential election in the event of a terror attack.

US counter-terrorism officials are examining what steps would be needed
to permit a delay, Newsweek reports.

Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge last week warned al-Qaeda was planning
to attack the US to disrupt the poll but conceded he had no precise

A senior Democrat in Congress has said talk of postponement is

Doomsday scenarios

In its latest edition, Newsweek reports that Mr Ridge has asked the
Justice Department to examine what legal steps would be needed to permit
the postponement of the 2 November election.

This follows a letter from the chairman of the new Election Assistance
Commission, DeForest Soaries, who urged Mr Ridge to seek emergency
legislation from Congress that would allow his agency to reschedule the
vote in the event of an attack.

If they do this, boy, my God, they're extremely desperate
Ciro Rodriguez Democrat Congressman Mr Soaries noted that while New York's board of elections suspended primary elections on 11 September 2001, "the federal government has no agency that has the statutory authority to cancel and reschedule a federal election."

Homeland Security Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse told Newsweek,
"We are reviewing the issue to determine what steps need to be taken to
secure the election."
Republican Representative Christopher Cox, who chairs the House Homeland
Security Committee, told CNN that it was prudent to prepare for a

"These are doomsday scenarios. We don't have any intelligence to suggest
that it is going to happen, but we're preparing for all of these
contingencies now."

Old information

But Jane Harman, the senior Democrat on the House of Representatives
Intelligence Committee, said proposing a postponement would be
"excessive based on what we know".

She also criticised Mr Ridge's suggestion that al-Qaeda was planning to
disrupt the election, saying the warning was based on old information.

The BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says the Democrats' unspoken fear is
that the White House will play on the nerves of Americans as the
election nears, hoping to gain support from a nation fearful of any
change in course.

It is a difficult strategy for the Democrats to counter.

If they appeared complacent and terrorists did strike, they would be
politically destroyed, he says.

CRYPTIQUE -- Bad? As opposed to what?