FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Warnings the State Department Sent Its Own People, But Not You

Earlier this week Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted that the State Department’s boast that terrorist attacks against America were down in 2003 was a fraud (it only looked at part of the year and in fact attacks were at a record high). Powell claimed that the earlier assertion that terrorism was down had been a mistake.

Some mistake.

In fact, way back on April 29, Powell’s State Department was quietly warning Americans abroad through its consulates and embassies, that things were getting worse, not better.

While average citizens in the U.S. didn’t see it, here’s the message that the State Department was having its embassy personnel relay to Fulbright scholars and American officials abroad more than a month ago:

SUBJECT: PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT

WORLDWIDE CAUTION

This Public Announcement is being updated to remind U.S. citizens of the continuing threat of terrorist actions and anti-American violence against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. This supersedes the Worldwide Caution dated March 23, 2004 and expires on October 23, 2004.

The Department of State is deeply concerned about the heightened threat of terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and interests abroad. The Department is also concerned about the potential for demonstrations and violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. U.S. citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.

The Department of State remains concerned by indications that al-Qaida continues to prepare to strike U.S. interests abroad. Al-Qaida and its associated organizations have most recently struck in the Middle East and in Europe but other geographic locations could also be venues for attacks. Future al-Qaida attacks could possibly involve non-conventional weapons such as chemical or biological agents as well as conventional weapons of terror. We also cannot rule out that al-Qaida will attempt a catastrophic attack within the U.S.

Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, hijackings, bombings or kidnappings. These may involve aviation and other transportation and maritime interests, and may also include conventional weapons, such as explosive devices. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. These may include facilities where U.S. citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit, including residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels and public areas. U.S. citizens are encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.

U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time to assess their security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. Americans abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Next time the president or vice president—or our equally veracity-challenged secretary of state–claim that the War in Iraq has made America safer, Americans, and credulous American journalists, should go to the State Department’s website, and see what they’re telling their consular offices and Americans abroad.

DAVE LINDORFF is completing a book of Counterpunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” to be published this fall by Common Courage Press.


More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
September 16, 2019
Sam Husseini
Biden Taking Iraq Lies to the Max
Paul Street
Joe Biden’s Answer to Slavery’s Legacy: Phonographs for the Poor
Paul Atwood
Why Mattis is No Hero
Jonathan Cook
Brexit Reveals Jeremy Corbyn to be the True Moderate
Jeff Mackler
Trump, Trade and China
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima’s Radioactive Water Crisis
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Democrats and the Climate Crisis
Michael Doliner
Hot Stuff on the Afghan Peace Deal Snafu
Nyla Ali Khan
Spectacles of the Demolition of the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh and the Revocation of the Autonomous Status of Kashmir
Stansfield Smith
Celebrating 50 Years of Venceremos Brigade solidarity with the Cuban Revolution
Tim Butterworth
Socialism Made America Great
Nick Licata
Profiles in Courage: the Tories Have It, the Republicans Don’t
Abel Prieto
Cubanness and Cuban Identity: the Importance of Fernando Ortiz
Robert Koehler
Altruists of the World Unite!
Mel Gurtov
Farewell, John Bolton
Weekend Edition
September 13, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
The Age of Constitutional Coups
Rob Urie
Bernie Sanders and the Realignment of the American Left
Anthony DiMaggio
Teaching the “War on Terror”: Lessons for Contemporary Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: They Are the Walrus
T.J. Coles
Jeremy Corbyn: Electoral “Chicken” or Political Mastermind?
Joseph Natoli
The Vox Populi
Sasan Fayazmanesh
The Pirates of Gibraltar
John Feffer
Hong Kong and the Future of China
David Rosen
The Likely End to Roe v. Wade?
Ishmael Reed
When You Mess With Creation Myths, the Knives Come Out
Michael Hudson
Break Up the Democratic Party?
Paul Tritschler
What If This is as Good as It Gets?
Jonah Raskin
Uncensored Tony Serra: Consummate Criminal Defense Lawyer
Ryan Gunderson
Here’s to the Last Philosophes, the Frankfurt School
Michael T. Klare
The Pompeo Doctrine: How to Seize the Arctic’s Resources, Now Accessible Due to Climate Change (Just Don’t Mention Those Words!)
Luke O'Neil
I Would Want To Drink Their Blood: God Will Punish Them
Louis Proyect
The Intellectual Development of Karl Marx
Tom Clifford
How China Sees the World
Kelsey Hawkins-Johnson – Negin Owliaei
Who’s Burning the Amazon?
Yasin Khan
Rideshare Drivers are Employees, Not Contractors
Ralph Nader
Big Business Lies Taught a Watchful Donald Trump
Binoy Kampmark
The Sacking of John Bolton
Andrea Maki
Wild Love Preserve Founder: Our Path Forward
Jeremy Kuzmarov
The War in Eastern Ukraine May be Coming to an End But Do Any Americans Care?
Tim Davis – Stan Grier
Protect the Sacred Grizzly Bear, Follow Those Who Know Grandmother Earth
Clark T. Scott
Super-Delegated and Relegated
Jim Britell
Lessons From America’s Greatest Grassroots Campaigns 
Howie Hawkins
Workers Need More Rights and Economic Democracy
Ramzy Baroud
‘Justice is Indivisible’: Screams of Israa Ghrayeb Should Be Our Wake-up Call
Jill Richardson
It’s Not About Your Straws and Your Light Bulbs
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail