This shouldn’t come as a surprise to a single soul, given the fact that former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has indicated the Bush administration used the color-coded terror alert system as a political tool, but it’s being reported the Bush administration raised the nation’s terror alert level in December 2003 based on claims made by a Nevada con man:
The man who prompted the December 2003 Orange alert was Dennis Montgomery, who has since been embroiled in various lawsuits, including one for allegedly bouncing $1 million in checks during a Caesars Palace spree. His former lawyer calls him a “habitual liar engaged in fraud.”
Working out of a Reno, Nevada, software firm called eTreppid Technologies, Montgomery took in officials in the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology and convinced them that technology he invented — but could not explain — was pulling terrorist-produced “bar codes” from Al Jazeera television broadcasts. Using his proprietary technology, those bar codes could be translated into longitudes and latitudes and flight numbers. Terrorist leaders were using that data to direct their compatriots about the next target.
It’s important to note Montgomery’s “technology” for decoding Al Jazeera broadcasts could never be reproduced, and perhaps more disturbing, the federal government was acting on the Al Jazeera claims without even understanding how Montgomery was able to decode the supposed messages in the Al Jazeera broadcasts.