June 18th, 2008

Black Helicopters Buzz Site of Democratic Convention; Officials Dismiss Link, But VDB Scents “Powerful Smell of Mendacity”

by Philip Baruth

Let’s take a minute to refamiliarize ourselves with the scene outside the New York Stock Exchange some four years ago, on August the 2nd, 2004. John Kerry’s Democratic National Convention had ended just three days earlier in Boston; the Convention had been well-received, and pollsters were noting a small bounce for the Democratic nominee.

But the Democrats’ carefully crafted domestic agenda and their critique of Bush’s Iraq policy were suddenly swept away by an urgent Homeland Security bulletin to New York officials, warning of potential attacks on “financial institutions” of all sorts.

So three days out from the Democratic National Convention, Americans saw policeman and soldiers wielding sub-machine guns in the streets of New York.

Thus began the Bush Administration’s subtle attempt to refocus the election on global terrorism — a push aided by the fact that the GOP would hold its convention in New York City later that month, and speaker after speaker would thank God for George W. Bush, who “kept us safe.”

And if this seems like a jaundiced bit of revisionist history, the sort to which wild-eyed bloggers are prone, VDB recommends this New York Times piece debunking the alert, which turned out to have been based almost exclusively on information “three or four years old.”

Administration officials admitted as well that they had “not yet found concrete evidence that a terrorist plot or preparatory surveillance operations were still under way.”


Of course, those were the bad old days, when Bush was desperate for a second term, if only to keep the dirty secrets of his first term under wraps.

The DHS threat-level was dialed up and down like a thermostat, whenever high-level Administration officials thought the temperature in the country was getting a little chilly. Or at least so says Tom Ridge, who decided to set the record straight when he stepped down as Director of Homeland Security:

“The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.”

But that was then, and this is now. Except maybe not so much.

John McCain remains George W. Bush’s last best hope to keep all of the bodies buried from the last eight years. McCain is his last best chance to continue the long occupation of Iraq, in the hopes that ten years or twenty years will accomplish what five and a half have not.

With all of that said, precisely how paranoid should Democrats be in the run-up to and the aftermath of their own Party’s 2008 Convention in Denver?

Well, put it this way: “Black Hawk assault helicopters and MH-6 ‘Little Bird’ choppers” buzzed the Pepsi Center last night, actually flying between high-rise buildings to reach the location where the Democratic faithful will gather in a few weeks.

Officials denied any connection to the upcoming convention whatsoever.

The coverage from the Denver papers is certainly worth the read. Sketchiest detail of a very sketchy exercise? City officials seem totally in the dark about which government agency was conducting the training mission:

“‘That’s a Department of Justice deal. It’s their baby,’ Denver police spokesman Detective John White said today. ‘They gave us the heads up that they were going to be conducting the exercise.’

“But U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Jeff Dorschner said: ‘This is not our deal.’ The Special Operations Command’s Ruh confirmed the Justice Department had nothing to do with it.”

Clearly, it was someone’s deal.

Look, this may have been some routine training mission; everyone involved may be pure as the driven snow. Sometimes a black helicopter is just a black helicopter, after all.

But having been so egregiously fooled four years ago, fooled in ways that the media almost immediately dissected and openly mocked, Democrats owe it to themselves not to be fooled again in 2008.

It’s the oldest saying in the world, really: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on VDB.

[Hat tip to the mighty Neil Jensen for the boffo BBQ ad.]

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  1. on June 21st, 2008 at 1:23 am

    […] Earlier this week we brought you the disturbing news of military helicopter maneuvers above the Denver Pepsi Center, site of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Not the most soothing news for someone planning to shoehorn him or herself into the crowd of 50,000 plus in August, but at least black helicopters are a vague and impersonal threat. Not like the 88 MK-IV pepperball rifles the Denver police have just added to their arsenal. […]