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Monday, September 27

Election disruptions

NY Times reports today that al Qaida is perched on the Afghan border ready to disrupt their elections.
Al Qaeda is present along the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan and is encouraging Afghan insurgents to disrupt presidential elections scheduled in just two weeks, on Oct. 9, the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David Barno, said Saturday.
"We see indications that Al Qaeda is encouraging a disruption of elections,'' General Barno said.
WaPo contends that the US will not allow any al Qaidan disruptions at our elections:
Counterterrorism officials concede they do not have new or specific intelligence outlining plans for an attack, but they say they remain alarmed by indications that al Qaeda and other terror groups might seek to influence U.S. elections as they did in Spain last spring by setting off bombs on commuter trains in Madrid. By publicizing the government's disruption efforts, which will begin in earnest later this week, authorities say they hope to forestall any plans for similar attacks here. And also from WaPo:

"The information that the federal government has tells us the prudent thing is to make sure we do everything we can to reduce anxiety, and to make sure the process of democracy goes on uninterrupted," said George W. Foresman, homeland security adviser to Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D), chairman of the National Governors Association.
We have other problems besides international terrorists disrupting our elections. We have the BushCrimeFamily to deal with. We have international election inspectors checking out our upcoming elections. These are the people who observe fledgling democracies: Miami Herald:

The international team - among five visiting swing states Missouri, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Ohio - next month expects to report its findings, offer suggestions and assess whether they'll monitor in smaller groups the November elections in the selected locales.

The four local visitors - from South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Philippines - were part of a 20-person contingent organized by Global Exchange, a San Francisco human-rights group.

Four years after Florida's recount exposed weaknesses in U.S. election systems, the international group from 15 countries and five continents hopes global pressure helps boost voter confidence and head off potential headaches.
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