Most public announcements include a specific who, what, where, when and why. Attorney General John Ashcroft”s recent announcement that there is a credible threat of more terrorism in the next few weeks lacked all of these. Allow me to summarize. Who? Some terrorists. What? Some terrorism. Where? Somewhere in America. When? Sometime in the future. Why? Because they hate our freedoms. Wow, thanks John, I”ll be sure to keep my eyes peeled.

Ashcroft”s real reasons for his public warning have nothing to do with protecting the populace and everything to do with manipulating the public. His announcement accomplishes two things: First, it shields the U.S. intelligence community. Immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks they received a lot of negative press for having been caught with their pants down. If US intelligence agencies continue to come up short, Ashcroft”s alert will remove the blame they may incur.

There is a second and more disturbing effect: It galvanizes the public for continued and escalated attacks against Afghanistan. If the threat of terrorism constantly looms over the country, then the American people will be more willing to support drastic action against those supposedly responsible.

The bombardment of threat alerts from Ashcroft and his ilk is propaganda designed to instill panic and build retaliatory anger.

Jess Piskor

In Passing views are those of individual members of the Daily”s editorial board, and do not necessarily represent the opinion of The Michigan

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