U.S. officials have discussed the idea of postponing Election Day in the event of a terrorist attack on or about that day, a Homeland Security Department spokesman said Sunday.
The department has referred questions about the matter to the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said.
The department wants to know about the possibility of granting emergency power to the newly created U.S. Election Assistance Commission, authority that Roehrkasse said was requested by DeForest B. Soaries Jr., the commission's chairman.
Soaries, who was appointed by President Bush, is a former New Jersey secretary of state and senior pastor of the 7,000-member First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey.
He wrote in April to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice asking them to seek such legislation from Congress, Roehrkasse said.
Roehrkasse said the recent discussions were sparked by intelligence indicating al Qaeda wants to "disrupt our democratic process."
There's only one group of people in the world that can disrupt out democratic process, and they're in the white house.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge warned of such an attack in a news conference last week, saying it was based on intercepted "chatter" among al Qaeda operatives.
Roehrkasse noted, however, that there was no specific information suggesting such an attack would be aimed at the political conventions or Election Day.
Democratic Rep. Jane Harman of California, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, took issue with Ridge's comments Sunday.
"Six days ago, the leadership of the House and Senate intelligence committees and leadership of the House and Senate were briefed on these so-called new threats," Harman said on CNN's "Late Edition."
"They are more chatter about old threats, which were the subject of a press conference by Attorney General [John] Ashcroft and [FBI] Director [Robert] Mueller six weeks ago.
"[Ridge] sounded more like an interior decorator talking about what more we can do under the shade of yellow," she said.
What has Homeland Security officials worried is that terrorists could attempt to disrupt the election in same way that March 11 train bombings in Madrid created unrest three days before the Spanish general election, Roehrkasse said.
Although there is no evidence that the bombings influenced the Spanish election, Socialist Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero unseated Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, whose government supported the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
You see folks, it's real fucking simple: If we postpone or otherwise disrupt our elections because of a terrorist attack, then terrorists will have succeeded in disrupting our elections. If there's a terrorist attack and we do not postpone or disrupt our elections, then terrorists will not have succeeded in affecting our elections.
Fuck, this article is just so... It's freaking Orwellian, it really is. The only way a terrorist can disrupt our elections is if we disrupt our elections because of some terrorists! Terrorists cannot affect our electoral process, goddamnit! Unless they usurp all the election committee chairmen around the nation we're still in control.
This is just setting up an excuse to grab power and fuck people, that' all it is. There has to already be contingencies in place if, for example, someone blew up a polling place somewhere, the entire electoral process is in our control, not terrorists. The idea that if terrorists blow some building up or something, that we have to postpone the election, is just absurd. For the love of mike, it's not like if there was a crisis during or before the election the same damn people wouldn't be in charge, they don't switch places the day of the election...
It's just so stupid. Spain's a perfect example: did terrorists try to affect the electoral process there? If so they sure didn't succeed, did they? And why is that kiddies? Because Spain went ahead with their elections as planned.
Cripes. It's that simple. Terrorists have no power. Zero. All the power they have we give them. Same damn thing in Israel- some hamas guy blows himself up and they call off peace talks and shit? Fuck, man! Why do they give some poor bastard with bombs strapped to his bacck so much say in how things work out?
Well it's actually quite simple- the people in charge already understand this. But, for instance, Sharon knows he can be tougher, get more of what he wants, and fuck the Palestinians more and more whenever there's a suicide bomber, so they make for a handy excuse. Same here. They know things could still go off without a hitch, they're just setting up an excuse for a power grab. A couple weeks postponement so Bush can be seen hugging firefighters and shit on TV and swing things his way.