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Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Kessler Hauls Out the Scaremongering
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler is up to his old scare tactic of baselessly portraying Democrats as the preferred candidate of terrorists in his Sept. 30 Newsmax column.

Kessler quotes "former top FBI counterterrorism analyst" Frederick Stremmel as claiming that "Al-Qaida or affiliated groups probably will attack the United States in the months after the election to 'welcome' the new president," adding:

Al-Qaida knows that an attack before the election would help elect Republican Sen. John McCain, Stremmel says. The terrorists would prefer Democratic Sen. Barack Obama because they believe he would “swing the pendulum back” to more lenient anti-terrorism policies, Stremmel says.

“The months following the election or inauguration of the new administration is prime time for an attack,” he says. “They will want to impact the new administration and its policies. There is a history of Islamic terrorists wanting to make life miserable for successive administrations.”

That is why al-Qaida attacked the U.S. less than eight months after President Bush took office.

Kessler added a similar claim by "former FBI profiler" James R. Fitzgerald:

Al-Qaida knows that, if it attacked before the election, “It would get McCain elected,” Fitzgerald says. “For obvious reasons, they would much prefer Obama.”

Kessler, Stremmel and Fitzgerald offer no actual evidence that Al-Qaeda "prefers Obama" or that Obama favors "more lenient anti-terrorism policies." Indeed, one major piece of evidence Kessler fails to cite demonstrates the opposite. As we've noted, author Ron Suskind in his book "The One Percent Doctrine," reported that CIA analysts agreed that a videotaped message by Osama bin Laden's that surfaced just before the 2004 presidential election "was clearly designed to assist the President's reelection." Conservatives promoted the video as bin Laden's expression of support for John Kerry -- and, thus, played into bin Laden's hands.

If history is any indication, look for much more scaremongering by Kessler as we get closer to the election.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 PM EDT

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