Better To Plan Now Than Improvise Later

To borrow a hoary old line from John McLaughlin, it’s a metaphysical certainty that al-Queda or one of its close relations will try to kill a large number of Americans in a flashy manner sometime between now and November 2. The purpose of that attack will be to affect our elections.

Given all of the above, we’d damn well better start thinking about how we’re going to respond, if our safeguards fail, and the barbarians succeed again. For the record, I agree with Steve: this is a dumb idea. But it’s far better to talk now, and get the dumb ideas supplanted by smart ideas, than to have to figure out our responses from scratch in the aftermath.

I’m not just talking about military responses, either. It’s incumbent (no pun intended, honest) upon all of us to think now about what a pre-election terrorist attack means, and that includes what it means politically, both on a national scale and to us as individuals.

Oh, I know, I can hear the hue and cry already: “This is no time for politics.” “How dare you talk about a what a terrorist attack means politically?”

Sorry, kids, but those are empty platitudes. Terrorism is a political issue by definition. It is violence committed against innocents intended to move other people into doing the terrorists’ bidding, either at the ballot box or in a government office. It’s evil, despicable, unforgivable–and it has worked.

Terrorism has already moved one nation to change its government and leave the field of battle. We dare not allow it to work here, but we cannot discount the possibility, either. It’s time, right now, for all of us to think, and talk, and reach our own level of resolve about how we’re going to react, how we’re going to carry on, and yes, how we’re going to vote if and when more of our countrymen are slaughtered in the name of Islamofascism.

Again: we dare not allow their designs to work here. And so we’d better get ready to foil those designs, now, rather than let ourselves be caught up in post-attack turmoil, when we are psychologically weakest.

After all, no one expected the Spanish Capitulation.


29 Responses to “Better To Plan Now Than Improvise Later”

  1. Cybrludite Says:

    As I said two posts down,
    “Never hurts to think ahead. What do you do if someone anthraxes the warehouses where the voting machines are stored in half a dozen states? What do you do if a major city goes up in a nuclear fireball or someone cracks the containment dome on a reactor just before election day & everyone downwind has to be evacuated? What worries me is that there aren’t plans drawn up already for this sort of a mess…”

    These things need to be planned for. After all, how would having a few thousand voters dispaced from a “Red” district in a close state that holds many electorial votes change the outcome? (Say in Florida, to use an example from last time)

  2. Mike M Says:

    Same thoughts as above. The government should have contingency plans for all kinds of potential election problems. What if there’s a major earthquake in California on election day? What if terrorists car bomb a dozen voting locations in Florida at the same time? What if someone floods the postal system with anthrax, disrupting the arrival of absentee ballots?

    The news shouldn’t be that this is being discussed, it should be that we don’t have plans in place yet.

  3. hudson Says:

    “No one expects the Spanish Capitulation”

  4. Sandy P Says:

    Reading this, well, the left would blame the pubbies because that’s the only way that W could suspend voting.

  5. Frank Martin Says:

    It’s “The Bush Dilemma”: If you prepare for disaster, they say you are manipulating events to serve you politically, If you dont, they say you are too stupid to see an obvious threat.

    I personally think its only “prudent” to prepare, in light of New York City and its experience with an election right after 9/11. Those that think this is the first signs of the takeover of the country by Bushitler, need to reserve their seats on Black Helicopter Airlines.

    The Jihiadi War** is not over kids, its only just begun, prepare accordingly.

    ** – I refuse to call it “the war on Terrror”, Terror is a method. WWII wasnt “the War Against Stukas and Bettys”, WWI wasnt ” the barbwire war”, first step to winning is calling it what it is.

  6. Yehudit Says:

    I have some links about this. The MSNBC article is spinning this as a shady power grab by the Bush admin, but if you read Soaries’ actual remarks, he is attempting to open up the issue for discussion, which is the right thing to do. Also no one noticed that he is calling for a bipartisan commisssion. The country does need a policy on this.

  7. c u l t u r e k i t c h e n Says:

    The best way to steal the elections and do away with them all together : Fear by terrorism

    MSNBC – Exclusive: Election Day Worries The hawks ennable 9/11 so four years later they can do away with their major obstacle : the electoral process. As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait and Cheney & Co. have been waiting for this mo…

  8. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Stephen Green
    RE: When

    An attack on election day would be too late to impact the results of the election, on a large scale.

    An attack after the election would be of the same overall affect, negligable.

    An attack before the election, a la Madrid 3/11, could influence the election. Therefore, the most probably problem will ocur before, not during or after.

    They succeeded with Madrid. They’ll expect to have similar results with US.

    RE: What

    But what affect could it have on the election?

    Would it sway people more towards the war camp or away from it?

    That might depend upon the magnitude of the attach. A small series of attacks, a la Clancy’s The Teeth of the Tiger, would probably just piss everyone off.

    What about a large attack such as Clancy’s ebola epidemic in Executive Orders? It would probably do the same. Piss a LOT of people off, and cross the line for nuclear release, under our current doctrine of we don’t use biological or chemical weapons, but if attacked with such, we’ll respond with our prefered WMD, nukes.

    What about a nuke attack?

    Somehow, I think that would have the same affect on our overall mentality as the other options. We’d get REALLY pissed-off. But that’s just my opinion.

    RE: Where

    Where would such attacks occur?

    Small ones, would probably be as described by Clancy. A number of different little shopping malls.

    A big, wide-scale one would probably be as Clancy described too; high-traffic conventions, where a bug could be released and then spread throughout the country.

    A nuke? New York, DC, Chicago, LA, San Fran, Las Vegas.

    RE: Why

    Most of those places (above) voted Democratic last cycle. So that would be fewer electoral votes for the Democratic candidate. More of a chance the Republicans would retain the White House and probably gain positions in the Congress.

    It would behoove the Islamicists to attack Red State areas. But those population centers don’t have that much sex appeal for them.

    RE: Preparation

    Well, I’ve always been a big fan of the Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared”. Even after my days in that group. It was reinforced by two tours with the 82d. [Note: During DRF1 periods, you could only be two hours away from the contonment area, if you got the ‘call’.] Today, there are two ruck-sacks packed, a tent capable of supporting three people, a solar/crank AM/FM/SW radio, several 2-way FRS radios and batteries, two 5-gallon water cans, two 5-gallon gas cans, a case of C-rats, a case of MREs, assorted vitamins and medicine and a Jeep Scrambler and odds and ends of various calibers.

    I can be loaded 15 minutes. There’s a nice cabin with it’s own spring up on the Sangre de Christo range.

    Personally? I don’t think I’ll have to displace from here. We’re too small a target for a nuke or other WMD.

    But those people up in Denver shouid have a care….


    [Chance favors the prepared mind. — Louis Pasteur]

  9. Fred Boness Says:

    We have a plan: The election will be November 2nd. No other plan is needed.

    The Civil War didn’t stop the 1864 election. Nothing today compares to those times.

  10. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. For my friends and associates in Denver.

    Feel free to drop by, if the situation requires it. We can put up a lot of you here. Or, if you’ve got the gear, we can put you up on the land in the mountains for a while.

  11. resurrectionsong Says:

    Violating a Trust (Updated)

    A stable, long-lasting government is something like marriage: it is based on mutual trust, respect, and well-established borders. Anything that…

  12. Cybrludite Says:

    Fred Boness,

    Check the examples I gave. What effect does it have if the (surviving) population of Dade County, Fla is displaced a day or so prior to the election? In the Civil War, neither side had the ability to vaporize a city or make vast stetches of land uninhabitable. I’m still suprised that we don’t have plans left over from the Cold War available to update for this…

  13. Gary Says:

    The Election Plan in Case of Terrorist Attack . . .

    GOP votes on Tuesday

    Dems vote on Wednesday

  14. Matt Says:

    Not to sound crass, but so Dade County is displaced. CA can have an earthquake on 11/2 with or without the James Bond scenario. None of that should affect a national election.

    True, it may benefit one candidate or the other, but that’s the way it’s always been in peace and in war. Elections are part of the social compact of the nation – was Lincoln any less the president even though none of the states of the Confederacy voted? Lincoln, you may recall, did not recognize those states as having left the Union. You can bet yer bottom dollar their not voting had an impact on the outcome.

    I agree with Fred Boness: we have a plan. Vote on November 2nd come Hell or dirty bomb. And accept that some of us might not make it to the polls.

  15. Forbes Says:

    As I ‘ve stated elsewhere, NYC could’ve held its primary election on 9/11, if it had to. If it was told in advance to have contingency plans in place to relocate the affected polling places, and perhaps allow those, and only those with relocated polling places, an extra couple hours to cast their ballots.

    Polling places get moved all the time, without any disruption of the electoral process. It just means that what election officials deal with in a small way, all the time, has had its profile raised. What we don’t need is any confusion regarding whether the polling will go off, with the appropriate focus on completing the polling. The total fiasco occurs when some local officials decide on their own, that they want a do-over because its all too confusing. The answer should be tough. Have a plan in place to carry out the polling, factoring any and all disruptions, and get it done.

    When people start supposing what will happen in the event of an incident at a nuclear power plant, or other such nonsense, step away from the glue bottle, you’re inhaling the vapors. Because something is possible doesn’t mean you plan your life around it.

    For example, if Three Mile Island happened on an election day, should we postpone the polling? If the San Francisco earthquake happened on election day? The answer should be no. These are things that can happen, and we should be prepared for the possibility. But the answer to the possibility is not to postpone the election, so as to have a fair outcome–whatever the definition of fair is.

    And that’s because we already know that there are enormous errors in the electoral polling systems across the country as it is, and that we blindly accept by our ignorance, and failure to address and correct these problems.

    If reasonable minds believe that al Qaeda can mount an attack today that is even more disruptive than 9/11, then we do need a change of national leadership–because we haven’t been prosecuting this battle against the Islamofacists hard enough.

  16. Sekimori Says:

    I bought a Glock and a Kel Tec today…does that count as preparedness?

  17. David [.net] Says:

    It doesn’t take the next Tom Clancy novel or huge destruction. A bomb goes of int the Lincoln Tunnel about 4 pm, not even a big one. Or someone hijacks a bus in the Tunnel. No big deal, and the pros take care of it in a matter of hours. A million New Jerseyans (Jerseyites?) don’t get home until 2 am. Do they get to vote? How that is handled could decide who wins that state.

    I’m sure we can all think of ways that can be handled, but it sure as hell better be worked out in advance.

  18. Cybrludite Says:

    Matt, with that policy in place, what happens if the fringe nutballs from one party or another anthraxes polling places in an area opposed to them & issues a claim of responsibility in the name of Al Queda? And it’s not discovered until much later?Or if a fringe element does it as a double false-flag trying to frame their opponents to better scream about disenfranchinesment? Postponing things would avoid that whole mehgellia.

  19. Bostonian Says:

    If Al Qaeda thinks that they can affect our elections by an attack, then they’ve misunderstood us very much. If they did launch a major attack in our country again, that would pretty much guarantee that Bush would win.

    No matter what AQ did, we will have voters on election day, and thousands of polling places, and the voting will go on.

  20. Fred Boness Says:


    You left out the asteroid strike and the alien invasaion. Other than that, a pretty complete set of outlandish speculations.

    Vote November 2nd.

  21. rosignol Says:

    Ah, guys, I hate to interrupt some entertaining speculation, but the framers thought of this. Really. No, not the al-qaeda-dirty-nuke part, but ‘what if something interrupts election day’?

    The answer is pretty simple. States have X days to tally their votes and send them to the electoral college, if they go over that time limit, they can be challenged, and Congress gets to resolve the mess.

    But my position on all this is very simple: GWB is president until Jan 20, 2005. I don’t know who’ll win the next term, but if Al Qaeda thinks that hitting us in November is going to get them anything but at *least* three months of payback, they’re *really* stupid.

  22. Cybrludite Says:

    Fred Boness,

    Actually, I was sticking to the inlandish ones. I’m not worried about the Dero coming out of the Hollow Earth to run off with our voting machines or the USS Eldridge re-appearing in Norfork harbor & colliding with an LPG bulk freighter. I am worried about Islamic Terrorists (or the violent fringes of our own political system) pulling something to either change the results of our election or to call into further question the legitimacy of the results. Not planning for the possible but unlikely scenarios is a Bad Thing.

  23. noone Says:

    America is now a thoroughly politicized society,literaly everything,from where you live the,job you do,the food you eat to the car you drive and the poeple you hang out with is now grist for government.

  24. DrSteve Says:

    Wow, a spambot beat me here.

    I think a delay plan is a terrible idea. What if Al-Q or some other organization put together a hoax attack? The government responds, suspends the election, and we all learn later that there was no “real” threat. Bush would never live it down.

    I’m not sure the government can even coordinate steps to enhance polling-place security, given the complaints to the USCCR about the handful of police cars parked near polling places in 2000.

    I suppose the moonbat template is that Bush will manipulate this election somehow, but there’s no sense in providing those folks with any actual ammunition.

  25. Who Can Really Say? Says:

    First Tuesday After the First Monday

    I ran into this bit from Eugene Volokh about some preliminary thoughts from the Dept. of Homeland Security (reported by Newsweek) on what might be involved in postponing the Presidential election come November if we’re attacked by terrorists. My favori…

  26. Karl Gallagher Says:

    A simple solution–everybody votes absentee ballot. An 11/2 attack just delays the counting, and the ballots can probably be moved out of the disaster zone. This also eliminates all the hanging chads, restricted poll station access, and electronic voting machine paranoias.

    Unfortunately my state forbids voting absentee w/o a short list of qualifications.

  27. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Sekimori
    RE: Be Prepared

    “I bought a Glock and a Kel Tec today…does that count as preparedness?” — Sekimori

    It’s a good start. Not a big fan of the glock, but it’s okay.

    Always plan based on 35MM; Class III (Fuel), Class V (Ammo), Maintenance and Medical. That’s for strictly military purposes. For civilians also add 1; Class I (Food). So I guess it’s 135MM.


    [Gideon went to God’s War College, You’ll go there too, oh Lordy. — Special Forces “Spiritual”]

  28. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: David
    RE: How Do They Vote

    “A million New Jerseyans (Jerseyites?) don’t get home until 2 am. Do they get to vote? How that is handled could decide who wins that state.” — David

    See my lengthy post earlier.



  29. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: David
    RE: Oops

    Guess I put that comment elsewhere.

    What I’d do, in the event that an attack disrupted a groups ability to vote, would be to make absentee ballots available to anyone whose ability to vote was definitely interfered with by any attack and extend the time in which they could get them submitted.



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