Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Editorial: Government must heed strong national voice

A new audio tape allegedly containing the most recent commands of Osama bin Laden was revealed this week, and further evidence uncovered yesterday suggests that the United States government had known of its existence – and supposed authenticity – long before the message fell into the public sphere.

The message was broadcast on Tuesday, carried out over the air on the Arab satellite network Al Jazeera, and called for a seemingly contradictory partnership between Muslims and Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party – long thought to be at bitter ends – against the United States and its impending military strikes, maneuvers which grow by the day into a state of “when” and not “if.”

To compound that variable relationship even further, the CIA revealed this week that intelligence suggest an al-Qaeda attack could be imminent on U.S. grounds. The announcement, coming one week after the national terror alert was raised to “orange,” cites a wide survey of individuals with “strong ties” to al-Qaeda, though CIA Director George J. Tenet could offer no further details.

In the brisk and sudden pace of just a few days, a common concern for both domestic and global affairs has multiplied to an almost infinite level as new “sources” and “intelligence” continue to place our collective well-being on the brink of absolute disaster. Certainly these are precarious time and each of us should consider that appropriately, but left to reason alone, it’s often too broad a concept to digest. We have only circumstantial hearsay. Alleged tapes. Possible connections. The color orange.

No further information.

It’s been written in this space before, but can’t be said enough: our government needs to widen its breadth to include the people it, in theory, serves.

There is without a doubt an enormous amount of care to be afforded to the situation by our government – more so than we could hope to wholly understand and more so than we would care to admit. However, a broadcast in the vein of what took place over Arab airwaves is a jolt to the awareness of this country and the citizens who rightly expect to be reasoned with and informed, even at the basic level, of the problems being compacted and thus affecting daily life.

President George W. Bush has taken his “if you’re not with us, you’re with them” routine around this country and back again, warming some to the cause and reinforcing to others how singular his one-trick show is. If it’s a statement he and the rest of his peers in the government endorse, however, then he should be subjected to the same standards and resulting classifications. With so little information provided, with so little attention given to those voicing an opinion to the contrary, the Bush administration doesn’t seem to be with anyone but themselves, and that can only serve to hurt everyone as time goes on, more than either of the two options above would suggest.

Information from The Boston Globe and ABC News was used in this editorial.

Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of The Collegian editorial board.

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