Michael Chertoff’s “Gut”

When Michael Chertoff was on television regularly during Katrina, I thought he made an even worse impression than Brownie, the designated fall guy for the federal govt’s performance. That’s why, way back in September of 2005, I suggested that Bush fire Michael Chertoff and the other dead wood in his administration.

After watching Chertoff’s mediocre public performance since then, especially his attacks on conservatives during the immigration fight, I can’t say that my extremely low opinion of the man has improved one iota.

The only thing that gives me any solace whatsoever about his continuing to remain in the Bush administration is the thought that Bush is probably keeping him on solely because he’s exactly the sort of Washington weasel who would be out with a new book 3 months after he was fired telling everyone who’d listen that he was a misunderstood genius and all his failures were caused by other members of the Bush administration.

So, with that in mind, I don’t think Michael Chertoff’s gut could reliably tell him when he’s hungry, much less when a terrorist attack is coming,

“I believe we are entering a period this summer of increased risk,” Chertoff told the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board in an unusually blunt and frank assessment of America’s terror threat level.

“Summertime seems to be appealing to them,” he said of al-Qaida. “We do worry that they are rebuilding their activities.”

Still, Chertoff said there are not enough indications of an imminent plot to raise the current threat levels nationwide. And he indicated his remarks were based on “a gut feeling” formed by past seasonal patterns of terrorist attacks, recent al-Qaida statements, and intelligence he did not disclose.

There is an assessment “not of a specific threat, but of increased vulnerability,” he added.

There have been reports already that suggest intelligence warnings at a similar level to the summer before Sept. 11, 2001 and that al-Qaida may be mobilizing.”

Yeah, stock up on bottled water, grab a rifle, and keep an eye on the neighbors, folks, because Michael Chertoff has a “gut feeling.”

Here’s an idea for Chertoff: if “intelligence warnings (are) at a similar level to the summer before Sept. 11, 2001 and…al-Qaida may be mobilizing,” how about raising the terror alert level based on that? If there’s intelligence out there that suggests we’re in danger, but it can’t be revealed, say just that. But, what nobody wants to hear are terror warnings based on the “gut” of a mediocre little man with terrible instincts.

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