Ridge: Bushies Manipulated Terror Threat System
Posted on Aug 20, 2009
One sinister li’l tidbit from former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge’s upcoming tell-all won’t do much to change the Bush administration’s reputation for string-pulling on as many governmental fronts as possible: According to teasers released by his publisher, Ridge was pushed by Bush & Co. to raise the terrorist threat level on the eve of W.’s second electoral victory in 2004. —KA
Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic:
The news this morning that former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge believed that President Bush and his top advisers manipulated the terror threat alert system for their political gain is really—and it ought to be—a major story. Ridge was in a position to know, for certain, whether this was the case. And though he’s hinted at it before, he now says, in his soon-to-be-released book, that he was pressured into raising the alert level before the 2004 election. Let’s see what Ridge actually writes before making too many conclusions. Let’s talk to other Bush officials and try to figure out whether we need to exercise caution about Ridge’s own perspective. For one thing, Ridge didn’t immediately resign. He resigned after the election. If he believed at the time that manipulating the terror alert system was damaging to the country, and he said nothing, and when he did resign, he said nothing, then he doesn’t come off as a particularly sympathetic figure.