RealNews

Homeland Security, a Politicized Issue

To Suspicious Candidates, the Threat of Attack Is No Longer Above the Fray. Hours before Attorney General John D. Ashcroft announced a new threat of a terrorist attack last month, the presidential campaign of John F. Kerry was ready with an unusual response. Harold A. Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which has endorsed Kerry, told reporters that he found the timing of the news conference “very suspicious” because it followed a fall in President Bush’s approval ratings. Kerry aides, it turned out, had e-mailed “talking points” to sympathetic Democrats urging such a response, and organized the telephone news conference that featured Schaitberger. Homeland security was once a field in which Democrats and Republicans largely avoided savaging each other, to show unity to enemies and allies alike. But the episode suggests the degree to which the issue is becoming politicized as the first presidential election since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks approaches, according to government officials, members of both political parties and experts on terrorism. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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