Former King-Maker Under Fire
August 5, 2004 6:15 AM   Subscribe

The real center of power in the War on Terror: Katherine Harris. Officials in Indiana and Washington, D.C., said they are dumbfounded by a statement U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris made about a terrorist plot to blow up a power grid in Indiana. For those of you not familiar with Harris, she's certainly been no stranger to controversy over the years, and is not lacking for a significant fan base.
posted by psmealey (24 comments total)
Is there anyone in the BushCo circle of influence that isn't crazy?

I'm just asking.

And of course, I won't go into how if this had been a Democratic Representative that they would have been incarcerated.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:25 AM on August 5, 2004

I wouldn't call her crazy, she's calculating. If you can keep the population scared then you increase the chances of a Republican victory. Ordinarily there would be a number of things that could be done to at least test the credibility of her claims. Was somebody of Arab descent arrested in Carmel IN? What were the charges? Was the bomb squad involved? What other agencies were involved? None of this is necessarily possible though, so the lack of information doesn't mean she's a liar. If you're detained for something they label terrorism or they link with terrorism then you're not arrested, just detained. The transparency which normally is an admired trait of the U.S. is replaced with opacity. This transparency wasn't sacrificed during World War II or even the cold war. People knew what the Rosenberg's were charged with for instance.

That people who should know deny her assertions seems damning but it will still be difficult to expose her as an outright liar because of the emasculating of the system of checks and balances.
posted by substrate at 6:51 AM on August 5, 2004

Meanwhile, suspected domestic terrorists are being arrested a few states over...
posted by dhoyt at 7:04 AM on August 5, 2004

dhoyt, it seems to me that Harris could have used that story for her stump speech, rather then either (1) making something up or (2) divulging confidential information... still not clear which of those two things she did.
posted by psmealey at 7:10 AM on August 5, 2004

I live in Carmel, about 5 minutes from the Midwest ISO building I assume they are talking about. I would have known about this if it had happened. Maybe she is just really confused, since Midwest ISO was implicated as one of the responsible parties in last year's big blackout on the east coast.
posted by internal at 7:11 AM on August 5, 2004

I sincerely hope this is going to be followed up and pursued to some point of completion. Either the plot and the arrest were real or they weren't. Either the info was classified or it wasn't. "It rings true" just ain't good enough when this is the lynchpin of your argument for the success of the war on terror.

It reminds me of the USDA's Schrodinger's Cow approach to the crucial issue of whether December's Mad Cow was a downer. Their official position right now seems to be that the cow was, and yet probably was not, a downer. As with Harris, our national press just waves them by without pressing them to the wall on essential questions.
posted by soyjoy at 7:11 AM on August 5, 2004

I think it's (1).

Here is a reported apology, and a denial by the mayor she claimed to have talked to that he ever did.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:12 AM on August 5, 2004

Meanwhile, certain GOP Senators are leaking classified information to the news media.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:12 AM on August 5, 2004

But Don O'Nesky, head of the Republican Club of South Sarasota County, which sponsored Monday's event, said Harris' comments rang true. O'Nesky said there are terrorists in communities throughout America and he praised Harris for speaking out on the subject.

Anybody else think that these "terrorists" in small towns everywhere are people who support abortion rights, gun control, civil rights and anything else the 'Publicans want to outlaw? Scary.
posted by junkbox at 7:14 AM on August 5, 2004

I'm a terrorist.

posted by ook at 7:18 AM on August 5, 2004

Katherine Embarrass strikes again.
posted by piskycritter at 7:43 AM on August 5, 2004

Niedermeyer: "Who are you? what are you? What are you going to do with your life?"

Harris: "I wanna rawk!"
posted by psmealey at 7:46 AM on August 5, 2004

ah, that's my representative!

seriously, folks, she has no worry about re-election. sarasota county is about 5 or 6 times as many republicans as democrats. sigh.
posted by taumeson at 8:29 AM on August 5, 2004

she has no worry about re-election. sarasota county is about 5 or 6 times as many republicans as democrats

That explains a couple of things. Perhaps more than any other person, Katherine Harris sealed my personal transformation from somewhat right-leaning centrist to foaming-at-the-mouth Democrat. Her brief, but memorable TV appearances during the Florida recount, memorable for the bald-faced, cynical, bitter partisanship she displayed in a role that called for even-handedness, in my view, made her a detestable and loathsome character. No, I'm not repeating the old refrain that "Bush stole the election" (I still blame the loss on Gore), but a person of higher calibre would have recused him or herself from certifying the Florida recount

I was dumbfounded when I heard that the good people of Florida had elected such a contemptible person to higher office. I think I lost a great deal of empathy for conservatives that day, and still haven't recovered.

p.s.: I tried to keep these views out of the FPP, but cannot contain myself at this point, sorry.
posted by psmealey at 8:47 AM on August 5, 2004

Well...on the plus side, at least her makeup has gotten better. The old blue eyeshadow look frightened children.

And yeah, psmealey, I'm with you. If the Republicans were the 1950s Republicans...I'd probably be one. I'm all about fiscal conservativism, small government, states rights and individual freedom to succeed or fail. But these Republicans are none of those things.

They're insane with the spending, they repeatedly stomp on states rights, the government has grown by leaps and bounds under these guys, and I put it to you that many rights have been removed.

Honestly, I don't understand how *real* conservatives can get behind this bunch of theocratic lying bastards. I really don't. I've lost so much respect for both parties in the last few years that I call a pox on both their houses.

That said, I'm still going to vote against Bush. Not because I like Kerry...but because I think BushCo is insanely dangerous.
posted by dejah420 at 9:19 AM on August 5, 2004

They're insane with the spending, they repeatedly stomp on states rights, the government has grown by leaps and bounds under these guys, and I put it to you that many rights have been removed.

I'm with you. I never would have thought four years ago that my political affiliations would have changed so much. I was glad then that Gore lost, even though the circumstances were shady.

Now Republicans have had control for four years and they've bolloxed everything up. They're the opposite of the things I care about: fiscal responsibility, individual freedoms, smaller government. The deficit is higher than ever.

And the strangest thing is... so many Republicans I know who hated Clinton for these same sorts of policies, now bend over backwards defending Bush who is even worse!

It's very disillusioning to see so many people that I thought were smart and principled were actually just playing the roles... they never cared in the first place, they just want to be a good member of their tribe.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:10 AM on August 5, 2004

Bush today: They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

maybe it was pillowtalk bet. Ms. Harris and someone? ; .
posted by amberglow at 10:15 AM on August 5, 2004

They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

classic, priceless, dubyuh!
posted by quonsar at 10:34 AM on August 5, 2004

Someone better make an ad out of that one--priceless, and true.
posted by amberglow at 10:46 AM on August 5, 2004

They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

How the fuck did this all happen? It's so bad it'd be funny if so many people weren't dying because of these morons.
posted by The God Complex at 11:53 AM on August 5, 2004

ah, it made yahoo! go vote it up so it'll be a top story. ; >
posted by amberglow at 12:19 PM on August 5, 2004

Sweet jesus. Is Kathy Harris what you get when you scrape all the makeup off Tammy Faye?

Either way, that picture of her gives me the terrors!
posted by five fresh fish at 12:23 PM on August 5, 2004

Florida GOP urging members to vote via absentee ballot. Does this feel dirty to anyone else? Seriously, what the fuck is going on down there?

"The liberal Democrats have already begun their attacks and the new electronic voting machines do not have a paper ballot to verify your vote in case of a recount," says a glossy mailer, paid for by the Republican Party of Florida and prominently featuring two pictures of President Bush. "Make sure your vote counts. Order your absentee ballot today."

"I've seen that advertisement. It's appalling," said Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. "It is an acknowledgement that there are excessive error rates with touch screens even by the party in power."

"That is awful. That is disgusting. Despicable," said state Sen. Ron Klein, D-Delray Beach. "Why use dirty tricks to scare people?"

"It's unbelievable," said state Sen. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston. "They're the ones who won't certify a machine to attach a paper trail."

posted by psmealey at 1:57 PM on August 5, 2004

That bitch is an idiot
posted by WLW at 9:11 PM on August 5, 2004

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