Bush: NYC Acted Alone in Unveiling Threat
WASHINGTON - President Bush said Friday that New York City officials exercised their own prerogative in publicizing a subway terror threat, declining to second-guess that decision or suggest they had overreacted.
"Our job is to gather intelligence and pass it on to local authorities. And they make the judgments necessary to respond," Bush told reporters. Administration security officials had said on Thursday the threat to New York was of "doubtful credibility," a phrase repeated earlier Friday by Bush's spokesman.
"The level of cooperation between the federal government and the local government is getting better and better. And part of that level of cooperation is the ability to pass information on. And we did, and they responded," Bush said during a picture-taking session at the White House with the prime minister of Hungary.
And the threat turned out to be nothing. Now, understandably, a lot of New Yorkers are going to be quite pissed about being frightened, and having their daily routines interrupted. But Bush still wants us to shoot the messenger. Mayor Bloomberg, however, is insisting he did the right thing.
NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday defended his decision to go public with the threat that terrorists might want to strike the New York subway system, saying it is essential that authorities err on the side of caution when protecting a city of 8 million people.
"If I'm going to make a mistake you can rest assured it is on the side of being cautious," Bloomberg said at a news conference, flanked by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. But he stressed that he did not think that any mistake had been made.
"We did exactly the right thing," Kelly said.
Damn right. Then Scotty leaps to the defense of his beloved chimp:
Asked if he thought New York officials had overreacted, Bush said: "I think they took the information we gave and made the judgments they thought were necessary. And the American people have got to know that, one, we're collecting information and sharing it with local authorities on a timely basis. And that's important."
Earlier, White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters: "In this case, we notified New York City officials early on of the intelligence information that we had received. And while it is specific, you heard our homeland security officials say it is of doubtful credibility. It is something we continue to analyze."
Excuse me? Doubtful credibility?
Officials in New York revealed the threat Thursday, saying an FBI source warned that terrorists had plotted to bomb the subway in coming days. But Homeland Security officials in Washington downplayed the threat, saying it's of "doubtful credibility."
Bloomberg called it the most specific terrorist threat that New York officials had received to date, and promised to flood the subway system with uniformed and undercover officers.
The official said the threat was "specific to place," and that the window for the attack was anywhere from Friday through at least the weekend.
So, although the credibility was "doubtful," this announcement was the most specific terrorist threat they had received to date, and was specific to place. Sounds like a pretty goddamned good reason to circle the wagons to me. (Interesting how they never received any information about those 10 9/11's that Bush was trumpeting yesterday, but I digress.)
How the hell do they expect New York to react when they're handed a "specific terrorist threat?" Of course they're going to react to protect the citizens of the city. But Bush expects us to believe that they just throw these things around willy-nilly, and the local authorities are just supposed to guess as to whether they are complete bullshit, or a real threat.
This is exactly what's infuriating me. No one, not even the Mayor of New York City can tell if Bush and his people are giving us credible, reliable information that we can work with and act upon, or if it's just an airy possibility, that we should take as seriously as a passed note stating "Do you like me? Yes/no?" The Mayor of Ground Zero had to resort to guessing.
I'm sorry, Mister Bush. You don't get to blow this off. You don't get to blame it on Bloomberg. You are the President of the United States, a self-described "War President," and the Grand Poobah of Terrorist Gettin'. You actually expect us to believe that you take terrorism seriously, but don't approve, assist with, or orchestrate a plan, or follow up on a major terrorist threat, regardless of how "credible" it is?
Don't blame me! I just said that something might go down... THEY'RE the ones that got in a tizzy!
Goddamn it, Bush needs to be publicly called out on these bogus terrorist threats that exist simply to frighten the American people. Democrats, get your asses in gear. Americans are sick and tired of being lied to, and frightened into paranoia by a pack of goddamned lies.
I don't even want to think about how many people will be killed when there really is a wolf in a subway system somewhere, and no one listens to the boy yelling his head off about it.
(All Bolds Mine.)