Monday, July 16, 2007

Chertoff's gut feeling

This week we take a look at the announcement by Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of Homeland Security, from last week, on July 10th. He describes what has given him "gut feelings" about possible upcoming attacks and "increased vulnerability" from Al Qaeda.

Here is the video and the transcript:

"I believe we're entering a period this summer of increased risk. We've seen a lot more public statements from Al Qaeda. There are a lot of reasons to speculate about that but one reason that occurs to me is that they're feeling more comfortable and raising expectations. In the last August, and in prior summers, we've had attacks against the West, which suggests that summer seems to be appealing to them. I think we do see increased activity in South Asia, so we do worry about whether they are rebuilding their capabilities. We've struck at them and degraded them, but they rebuild. All these things have given me kind of a gut feeling that we are in a period of increased vulnerability."

A couple of things stand out. First, Chertoff shows a little bit of anger, as shown on the left. His most common expression throughout this clip is sadness (see top image at right). He was discussing the ways one could speculate about as to what the increased activity means when the image was taken.

What stood out even more was how often he closed his eyes and/or looked down. This is a sign of sadness, but it might also indicate that Chertoff is exhausted. Each of the two groups of images at the right (the left column in a red border and the right column in the blue border) were taken over a five second period. He showed this nine times over the ten seconds. He also displayed it at other times during the segment.

Is he really sad at the prospect of the increased vulnerability, or is he just exhausted? Is Chertoff really sad and indignant about this possible threat? Unfortunetly, at this point, your guess is as good as mine.

No comments: