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Anthrax. The president said anthrax.
If there was ever any doubt that President George Bush and the Republicans intend to win or lose the November midterm elections primarily on the terrorism issue, Bush put that to rest on Wednesday by interjecting the long-dormant issue of 2001's anthrax attacks into the 2006 campaign.
In discussing his administration's efforts to break-up al Qaeda plots, Bush repeatedly referenced the group's plan for using biological warfare agents like anthrax. His administration, Bush declared from the East Room, "stopped this al Qaeda cell from developing anthrax for attacks against the United States."
Cable news über-gabber Chris Matthews almost immediately called Bush's resurrection of the abiding anthrax murder mystery a "dog whistle"—a hyper-text signal to voters that the world is still full of dangerous people out to harm Americans. And that was not the only dog whistle this week from Bush.
The week kicked off with a new counterterrorism assessment from the administration, the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism. The assessment jettisoned such problematic areas as the Middle East peace process and resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as key components of America's counter-terror efforts.
Instead, the document focused on how al Qaeda has been degraded but still remains dangerous. The "Homeland" is not safe, but safer.
Next, after sometimes going months without mentioning him, Bush found time to mention Osama bin Laden repeatedly in another speech. This was part of the great Gitmo perp walk which dredged up the scary, tongue-twisting names—and visages—of people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah.
Be on the lookout for "a terror a day", anthrax and what have you in the coming days- This is the appeal to the right that we need Republicans who seemingly are the only ones who can deal with these problems and thwart terrorism.
Personally, i think this is all for show because Mr. Bush & Co have no intentions of giving up the presidency at the end of their term. This is only my opinion, but it is not a far fetched one.