Election Postponed to Preserve Democracy

Article excerpt

American counterterrorism officials, citing what they call "alarming" intelligence about a possible Qaeda strike inside the United States this fall, are reviewing a proposal that could allow for the postponement of the November presidential election in the event of such an attack, Newsweek has learned.

--Newsweek, July 19 issue

Transcript of the OCTOBER 28, 2004, speech, from the Oval Office, by George W. Bush

My Fellow Citizens,

Our democracy has flourished for more than 200 years, nourished by the courageous spirit of the American people and the blood of American patriots. Ours is the longest continuous democratic government in the history of mankind. It has been a beacon of freedom, and a symbol of hope, to generations of people the world over. The system by which we choose our leaders today is the envy of the world. Through our process of free debate and open elections, we assure our friends and our enemies alike not only of our continuing stability, but of our strength.

I have no doubt that these are the very virtues that have drawn the most evil forces in the world today to target our system for destruction. The shadowy networks of deadly terrorist groups and the criminal regimes that support them seek to sow doubts that this free and informed debate of issues, and the orderly succession of democratically elected leaders, cannot work. They want to prove that their evil vision of Chaos, Terror and Tyranny will prevail instead.

But they will not succeed. Not on my watch--and not on yours. America is too strong. America is too smart. America is too determined to remain that beacon of freedom in a world where freedom grows more precious every day.

As a citizen of this nation, I am certain you have heard the reports of efforts by the Al Qaeda terrorist network to disrupt the 2004 presidential election, and to disrupt the elections for the United States Congress, the United States Senate and the elections of state and local officials across our land.

Today, it is my solemn duty to inform you that agents of our Department of Homeland Security have confirmed without a shadow of a doubt that these reports are true. Al Qaeda operatives have been apprehended on American soil, carrying plans for placing high-intensity explosive devices and biohazardous materials in strategic voting precincts throughout the United States. These plans reveal intentions to kill and maim American voters at polling places in at least eleven states--in the South, the Midwest, in California and in my home state of Texas.

Diagrams seized with these terrorists show evidence of long-term surveillance of specific homes and places of worship used for voting. Their clear intention is to shift our attention with panic and weaken our morale with fear. They clearly hope to intimidate the American people, and to weaken our confidence in our government's ability to protect its citizens and our cherished democratic institutions.

We have seen what this kind of intimidation has done to formerly democratic regimes around the world. But they will not intimidate us. We are a peaceful people, but we are not a fragile people. We will not be intimidated by thugs and killers. But we must back up our resolve with more than words. …