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"How gullible does the administration take the American citizenry to be?"

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Richard Clarke and his fellow terror error expert Roger Cressey have an op-ed in the NY Times today that examines the recent blow-up about monitoring money. That revelation has the entire GOP at war with the NY Times.

The answer to the question is that Bush and company think the American people are incredibly gullible:

Terrorists have for many years employed nontraditional communications and money transfers including the ancient Middle Eastern hawala system, involving couriers and a loosely linked network of money brokers precisely because they assume that international calls, e-mail and banking are monitored not only by the United States but by Britain, France, Israel, Russia and even many third-world countries.

While this was not news to terrorists, it may, it appears, have been news to some Americans, including some in Congress. But should the press really be called unpatriotic by the administration, and even threatened with prosecution by politicians, for disclosing things the terrorists already assumed?
And, Clarke knows why the Bush team is playing this game. Too bad most of the reporting class (and that means you, CNN) haven't clued in:
There is, of course, another possible explanation for all the outraged bloviating. It is an election year. Karl Rove has already said that if it were up to the Democrats, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would still be alive. The attacks on the press are part of a political effort by administration officials to use terrorism to divide America, and to scare their supporters to the polls again this year.

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