February 06, 2004

Why can't we have a better media? (stolen from Delong, but probably not the way he means it)
Posted by Jon Henke

Anybody else notice the lede of just about every major article on the Tenet speech from yesterday focused on one thing: "[Analysists] never said there was an imminent threat"

Reuters highlights it in the first sentence. MSNBC has it in the sub-headline. The WaPo waited all the way to the third paragraph to get to it. Do a Google search for "tenet imminent" and see just how many articles cited that particular headline over the past 24 hours.

Early this morning on the APwire, the only information available about Tenet's speech was that....(suprise)...he said the analysts never called it "imminent".

Well, no kidding. Maybe that's why Bush called it "gathering threat". Unfortunately, critics have pulled up obscure press conference remarks and out-of-context answers and claimed that they represent the "Message of the Administration".

Yeah, Ari Fleischer saying "yes" to prod a paused reporter along is what swayed the american people.....who watch C-Span. All those State of the Union speeches in which Bush said the opposite? Well, nobody watches those things, anyway.

Frustrating, isn't it? A vitally important speech was given by George Tenet, but we can't seem to get past the fact that Tenet says they never claimed it was imminent. Well, that makes just about everybody.



The left seem to have a problem understanding the difference between a gathering threat and an imminent one.

Suppose we work in the same office. You know I have a record for felony assault and battery. You pass by my desk and see me VERY agitated, angry, muttering to myself with a lead pipe on my desk. Now this is a GATHERING threat, because there is a chance I may bash you now, later or never. Is this a situation you would feel comfy allowing to continue? This is the situation GWB described in his State of the Union Address.

Now if you see me grab the pipe, point at you and bellow "I'm gonna bash your head in" and start to run at you, this is an IMMINENT threat.

Of course, if you wait for the gathering threat to become imminent, you may have about 10 seconds to avoid being clubbed by my lead pipe once it starts to happen. You better run fast! Is this what the left advocates that Pres. Bush should have done? Wait until it was possibly too late?

But what about the fact that the intel. on the gathering threat/imminent threat was false you say?

Ok, you walk in, see me agitated, angry and with a lead pipe at my desk. You see this and ask your boss, other people in your department, heads of other departments and the bosses of other companies their opinion. Overwheling consensus is that I am in fact deranged, and a possible threat. Do you say to yourself "but there is also the chance that he is playing a practical joke on me, I will sit and inspect him"? Do you try to get your bosses permission, the permission of the other department heads to act? What if 4 out of 5 bosses say you should act, but the mailroom head thinks you should not act? What then? DO you run the risk that instead of acting, you watch and wait and I suddenly jump up and bash you, or my cubicle-mate with my lead pipe? Of course not. Prudence and common sense dictate that you act using the intelligence and information you have.

Posted by: Shark at February 6, 2004 01:36 PM

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