I believe that part of the reasoning behind the fevered terror alerts has to do with Ashcroft & Co.'s fear of organized protest-- and the possibility that pictures of military-trained swat teams attacking American citizens will appear on the front pages of every newspaper in the world.

Their thinking might be that if people are afraid to venture to Sea Island for the G8 in June or Boston for the DNC In July or New York for the RNC in September, the Secret Service will have an easier time managing the events. All of these events are designated as "National Special Security Events", which gives the Secret Service jurisdiction over implementation of all security planning. Nearly all of what the agency does leading up to an NSSE is classified, but it's not too far-fetched to imagine that some of the lead-up to this year's events (in this post 9/11, everything-has-changed world) will involve a little psychological "maneuvering" to pacify the masses.

Just something else to think about when assessing the political/strategic advantages surrounding an Ashcroft announcement (& after all, to this administration, protesters- even if not technically terrorists- are perceived as insurgents and are treated as such wherever they show up).


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