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Discovered Two Years Ago, Shot in 1997

Reported by Melanie - August 10, 2004 -

At the bottom of the hour (1:33 p.m.) today (August 10, 2004) on Dayside w/Linda Vester, Fox ran a report about the "terror threat" to Las Vegas. The report talked about a two year old video tape, a "casing video" showing film of several buildings in Las Vegas, and discussed the controversy over who knew what and when about the information behind the threat. The Bush administration says it tried to tell Las Vegas authorities about the threat and the tapes, but those authorities say something different.

According to Las Vegas' mayor, he knew nothing about these tapes until Monday when he heard about them from the Associated Press:

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said Monday he was never told about the tapes until learning about them from AP this week. ``If I were told, I would certainly tell the public," Goodman said.

FBI and other federal officials say they tried (long ago) to show the tape to local Las Vegas officials but those officials weren't interested, allegedly in part for financial reasons - they didn't want to scare off tourists. Those local officials completely deny that allegation. See AP article entitled U.S. Didn't Warn Las Vegas of Threats, which appeared in today's New York Times, and from which the above quote was taken.

COMMENT: This is an intriguing story about the competence of the government's handling of homeland security; whether or not it's sharing information as much as it says it does; the timing of the release of information; whether the government is willing to lie about local officials in order to protect itself, etc. Maybe Fox should report than rather than including such a strong dose of fear mongering in stories like this.