Via ThinkProgress, I found two stories which have a connection.

First, there was Homeland Security Michael Chertoff yesterday:

“Summertime seems to be appealing to them,” he said of al-Qaeda. “We do worry that they are rebuilding their activities.”

Still, Chertoff said there are not enough indications of an imminent plot to raise the current threat levels nationwide. And he indicated that his remarks were based on “a gut feeling” formed by past seasonal patterns of terrorist attacks, recent al-Qaeda statements, and intelligence he did not disclose.

There is an assessment “not of a specific threat, but of increased vulnerability,” he added.

Of course you’re not going to raise the “threat levels,” Michael. Your administration milked that pea-brained scare tactic for all it was worth leading up to the 2004 presidential election, so now you and the corporate media use it merely as background. But what motivates you to come out and offer your vague, unsubstantiated fear-mongering this time around?

Maybe this is somehow related:

Former White House aide Sara M. Taylor will refuse to testify today about matters President Bush has deemed shielded by executive privilege, but she will offer to respond to other questions from senators that do not breach White House confidentiality, her attorney said yesterday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Taylor to testify this morning about the dismissals of nine U.S. attorneys last year and the Bush administration’s response to the controversy that followed. Bush this week invoked executive privilege, and White House counsel Fred F. Fielding sent Taylor a letter directing her not to discuss internal communications.

Could it be that a White House awash in negative publicity from its myriad, now-impossible-to-hide corrupt behavior and its failed imperial overreach in Iraq is once again falling back on cheap scare tactics to try and cover its ass?

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