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Commentary: Conspiracy D'Jour

By Jerry Kelly

Buffalo, NY – My wife and I have a ritual that we refer to as Conspiracy Tuesday. Each Tuesday, we watch movies or TV shows that have a conspiracy theme. It's a low budget form of entertainment at its best. Just give us an alien autopsy film of dubious authenticity and we're happy. And sometimes, these programs tempt you to spin conspiracy theories of your own.

It all started in March 2004. I began making predictions that something would be engineered by Bush and company prior to the elections to ensure his chances of staying on the throne. Although I'm a novice in the whole conspiracy game, I predicted that:

There will be the threat of a terrorist attack that is narrowly thwarted prior to the election. It will be prevented "just in the nick of time" as George W. Bush spreads out his big "He Man" arms to enfold and comfort us all. Who's your Daddy?

Recently, my conspiracy theory has been given some credence. On July 8th, Homeland Security Czar Tom Ridge announced that there is evidence to suggest that Al-Qaida is planning a major terrorist attack to upset the general election. Mr. Ridge is a little fuzzy with the details - once again, we're just "keeping you in the loop" America. And a Reuters report from July 11th states that DeForrest Soaries, Chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission has requested that Homeland Security ask Congress for the power to postpone the election in the event of an attack. The agency is reviewing the matter to determine what steps need to be taken to "secure the election."

Am I crazy, or is there something that's a little suspect about all of this?

First, let's examine some recent history. Al-Qaida destroyed several trains in Madrid, Spain just three days prior to their election. When it went ahead as scheduled, the pro-Bush Spanish government was trounced, and their troops were brought home from Iraq. When I hear messages from our government about "securing the election" in the event of an attack, I have to ask myself - "Secure it from what?" "Secure it for whom?" Secure it from millions of outraged voters throwing Bush out of the White House like a used paper towel? Secure it so that Halliburton and other corporate giants can continue to make millions of dollars as war profiteers?

History has shown that illegitimately elected, self serving governments don't relinquish power gracefully, especially when its misdeeds are unchallenged. Since 9/11, Bush and company have used our fear and trauma as a pretext to ram home their own agenda. An administration that is capable of such acts is capable of anything. And with this latest act, I really feel that we, as Americans, are being played for a sucker. Call it conspiracy, but Bush and company have no plans to simply fade quietly into the night. And the latest warning about Boogie man Osama hiding under our beds and the possible need to cancel the election smack of yet another salvo in the disinformation campaign. Please, someone, convince me that this doesn't have all the makings of a coup.

Tom Ridge is half correct when he says our democratic processes are under attack. He only fails to mention that they have been eroding and under attack for the last four years. I thought I could spin conspiracy with the best of them. But next to Bush and his inner circle, I confess that I am a rank amateur.

Listener-Commentator Jerry Kelly is a former radio broadcaster who lives in Buffalo.