Tomorrow, Sara Taylor, the former White House political director, will be testifying before congress about her role in the firing of the U.S. Attorneys. On Thursday, former White House counsel, Supreme Court nominee, and long-time Bush friend Harriet Miers will be doing the same thing. (Although if past history is any guide, their memories will be extremely foggy.)

Bush’s poll numbers are in the sub-30 percent range. Cheney’s are down below 20%. There is serious talk of impeachment. Bush’s only remaining serious stab at a “legacy”–his immigration bill–went down in flames. The public and even his own party despises his commutation of the sentence of convicted felon Scooter Libby.

And so today, the AP reports that the White House “has called an urgent multi-agency meeting for Thursday to discuss a potential new al Qaeda threat on U.S. soil.”

The story contains all the usual fear-mongering hallmarks of this Administration: the “unnamed White House official” who warns of us of heightened fears of attack even though there’s no “credible evidence” of such; the scary (but vague) words of Homeland Security Czar Chertoff, who says “Summertime seems to be appealing to them. … We worry that they are rebuilding their activities;” and of course the ever-popular reliance on the Administrations always-accurate “gut feelings” (in paragraph 9).

If you plow through the story diligently, you will find, at the very end, this nugget:

Al Qaeda‘s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has spoken out regularly in audio-taped messages in recent months. In the latest recording, posted on the Internet on Tuesday, the Egyptian cleric threatened more attacks on Britain.

On Britain. More attacks on Britain.

So in sum, this Administration, which is monstrosly unpopular, is in the midst of hearings, is desparate to change the subject, has a record of manipulating the national terror levels to win elections and divert attention away from other things embarassing to them, has suddenly called “urgent meetings” at the White House to discuss possible terror attacks, for which there are “no credible evidence” (but there are “gut feelings!”), and the AP is reporting this as straight news without a hint of skepticism?

Personally, I’m outraged in two different directions: that the Administration is so transparently trying to manipulate the nations mood in order to escape the attention that is currently–and rightly–being focused on their many blunders and criminal activity. But I am also outraged by the press once again swallowing this line of Administration B.S. without calling them on it. As Keith Olbermann highlighted in one of his reports several months ago, the Bush Administration has done this over and over again; it is high time that the press called them on it.

Updated: Keith Olbermann, bless him, noticed the exact same thing, and highlighted it in his July 10 broadcast of “Countdown.” Good work, Keith.

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