Tom Ridge: "I Was Pressured To Raise Terror Alert To Help Bush Win!"

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    Aug 21, 2009 4:45 AM GMT
    In a new book, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge reveals new details on politicization under President Bush, reports US News & World Report's Paul Bedard. Among other things, Ridge admits that he was pressured to raise the terror alert to help Bush win re-election in 2004.

    Ridge was never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings; was "blindsided" by the FBI in morning Oval Office meetings because the agency withheld critical information from him; found his urgings to block Michael Brown from being named head of the emergency agency blamed for the Hurricane Katrina disaster ignored; and was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over. Dave Weigel, writing for the Washington Independent, notes that in the past, Ridge has denied manipulating security information for political reasons. In 2004, for example, he said, "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security."

    "What Tom Ridge disclosed confirms our worst suspicions," said Sen. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who criticized the color-coded system back in 2003. "Just like they did in Iraq, the Bush Administration manipulated intelligence to cause fear in the public to further its political goals."

    The Bush administration was forced to admit in the days after the 2004 alert that it was based on intelligence three or four years old. Officials then claimed there was a previously unmentioned "separate stream of intelligence" that justified the warning -- but offered little tangible information to support their new story..

    ThinkProgress recalls, the AP reported that "even 'some senior Republicans' privately questioned Ridge's timing of a terror alert that came just three days after the Democratic National Convention."

    Ridge's book, "The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege...and How We Can Be Safe Again," comes out September 1.

    * * *

    Well, well, well, many of "us" suspected this, even attempted to raise the national conversation to debate whether that "terror alert" was justified much less true - but certain persons (actually a huge chunk of the American public) slammed us as "un-American" for doing so. FYI: raising questions is first and foremost, our patriotic duty!

    B787

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    Aug 21, 2009 7:51 AM GMT
    Is that from a news report? And if so, can you provide a link to the story?
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Aug 21, 2009 12:13 PM GMT
    WHY am i NOT su-prised? icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Aug 21, 2009 12:26 PM GMT
    It's being reported everywhere. Me and many of my friends thought this all along. I hope that the people behind this are prosecuted. icon_evil.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 21, 2009 1:48 PM GMT
    The more I hear, the more I realize we should have had Al Gore in 2000.

    Unfortunately there is no "Dream season" like on Dallas (where they basically erased an entire season of the show). No do overs.
    Too bad the entire country can't "wake up" and suddenly its 2000 again and we all realize what a devastating mistake it would be to vote for this jerk,


    I've often wondered how much better off we would have been. How much set back we had at the hands of this idiot.

    icon_sad.gif

    icon_evil.gif
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    Aug 21, 2009 1:59 PM GMT
    He is so brave to stand up to the Bush administration.

    I mean, to disagree with orders but carry them out anyway, raise the terror alert to sway an election, and then to resign after the boss you stood up to won. That takes integrity and is totally not related to a desire to make money selling a book.

    Another Profile in Courage.
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    Aug 21, 2009 2:00 PM GMT
    rnch saidWHY am i NOT su-prised? icon_rolleyes.gif

    Because it's probably true.
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    Aug 21, 2009 2:05 PM GMT
    "D U H ..."icon_rolleyes.gif
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Aug 21, 2009 2:10 PM GMT
    Raise your hand if you are shocked by this revelation. What, no one? Bueller? Bueller?
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    Aug 21, 2009 2:16 PM GMT
    I am shockedicon_exclaim.gif

    I am more shocked why some of these people are not behind barsicon_exclaim.gificon_evil.gif
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    Aug 21, 2009 2:17 PM GMT
    Thank you.


    MunchingZombie saidHe is so brave to stand up to the Bush administration.

    I mean, to disagree with orders but carry them out anyway, raise the terror alert to sway an election, and then to resign after the boss you stood up to won. That takes integrity and is totally not related to a desire to make money selling a book.

    Another Profile in Courage.
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    Aug 21, 2009 2:19 PM GMT
    Resigning on the spot and not waiting to say something until publishing your book years later, after the damage has been done, might be a more impressive act of courage & integrity.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32501273/ns/us_news-security/
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Aug 21, 2009 2:32 PM GMT
    Blackguy4you saidI am shockedicon_exclaim.gif

    I am more shocked why some of these people are not behind barsicon_exclaim.gificon_evil.gif


    AG Holder is quietly working on it. The President, as in many other instances, refuses to have his fingerprints on this so he can't be accused of being politically vengeful...
  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    Aug 21, 2009 2:39 PM GMT
    Tom Ridge gladly accepted the award Bush gave him when he departed.

    I just don't understand why someone isn't pushing for an investigation into the whole 8 Bush years. The number of people killed, both Americans, and others, is staggering for no apparent reason other than the greed of the War Machine and their friends.
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    Aug 21, 2009 3:20 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidHe is so brave to stand up to the Bush administration.

    I mean, to disagree with orders but carry them out anyway, raise the terror alert to sway an election, and then to resign after the boss you stood up to won. That takes integrity and is totally not related to a desire to make money selling a book.

    Another Profile in Courage.


    Courage would have been standing up and doing the right then when it actually mattered. Now, it's just convenient.
  • mustangd

    Posts: 434

    Aug 21, 2009 3:25 PM GMT
    Koaa2 saidTom Ridge gladly accepted the award Bush gave him when he departed.

    I just don't understand why someone isn't pushing for an investigation into the whole 8 Bush years. The number of people killed, both Americans, and others, is staggering for no apparent reason other than the greed of the War Machine and their friends.


    have to go with Koaa2, Ridge got the medal of freedom from Bush. people who deserve medals stand up when its easier to sit down, Ridge stayed seated.

    there should be an investigation of the Bush years, one day there will be, and, it will be a whitewash... we must protect the politicians, we can't prove them wrong of anything worse than infidelity, otherwise we might lose faith in them, can't have that.

    Cheney is the one to go after, he was the puppetmaster....
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    Aug 21, 2009 3:38 PM GMT
    badmikeyt said
    MunchingZombie saidHe is so brave to stand up to the Bush administration.

    I mean, to disagree with orders but carry them out anyway, raise the terror alert to sway an election, and then to resign after the boss you stood up to won. That takes integrity and is totally not related to a desire to make money selling a book.

    Another Profile in Courage.


    Courage would have been standing up and doing the right then when it actually mattered. Now, it's just convenient.


    Somebody needs to learn sarcasm.
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    Aug 21, 2009 4:41 PM GMT
    Another non-story for conspiracy-minded Bush haters to sport a little wood... predictable.

    Members of the Bush Administration, responding to the charge of politicizing national security threat levels, explained to Politico that the process for establishing threat levels was specifically designed to prevent that kind of political manipulation, and expressed puzzlement over how Ridge could have been “pressured” in a process that was deliberately passive to the NSC and President.

    For that matter, a New York Times report seems to indicate that Ridge wasn’t entirely sure, either:

    "Top officials from the George W. Bush White House are disputing claims in former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge’s coming book that they pressured him to adjust the terror threat level for political gain.

    “We went over backwards repeatedly and with great discipline to make sure politics did not influence any national security and homeland security decisions,” former White House chief of staff Andy Card told POLITICO. “The clear instructions were to make sure politics never influenced anything.”

    “I’m a little mystified,” former homeland security adviser Fran Townsend added in an interview. “Never in my experience did I see any political influence exerted on the cabinet secretary.”

    Townsend and Card also said that the process used to change the terror threat level made almost any claim of political influence impossible. Both said any change originated with DHS and was then referred to the National Security Council. The NSC then made a recommendation to the president which was then either agreed to or rejected.

    So what did Ridge see that made him feel pressured? (Even Ridge seems unsure):

    The most sensational assertion was the pre-election debate in 2004 about the threat level, first reported by U.S. News & World Report. Mr. Ridge writes that the bin Laden tape alone did not justify a change in the nation’s security posture but describes “a vigorous, some might say dramatic, discussion” on Oct. 30 to do so.

    “There was absolutely no support for that position within our department. None,” he writes. “I wondered, ‘Is this about security or politics?’ Post-election analysis demonstrated a significant increase in the president’s approval rating in the days after the raising of the threat level.”

    Mr. Ridge provides no evidence that politics motivated the discussion. Until now, he has denied politics played a role in threat levels. Asked by Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times if politics ever influenced decisions on threat warnings, he volunteered to take a lie-detector test. “Wire me up,” Mr. Ridge said, according to Mr. Lichtblau’s book, “Bush’s Law.” “Not a chance. Politics played no part.”


    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/us/21ridge.html?_r=1&hp

    So basically what we have here is a ginned-up story designed to help Tom Ridge sell books and/or provide a fall-back to the tired strategy of the left to "bash Bush" -- even though that date they were all salivating for as noted on their bumper-stickers - 01-20-09 - has come and gone and Bush is no longer President, and doing so in order to divert from the flailing and floundering of the Oval Office's current occupant.


  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 21, 2009 4:42 PM GMT
    Oh goodness gracious icon_rolleyes.gif

    Like we're surprised?
    The most corrupt and inept administration in American history and this is a relevation?
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Aug 21, 2009 4:57 PM GMT
    GwgTrunks said
    badmikeyt said
    MunchingZombie saidHe is so brave to stand up to the Bush administration.

    I mean, to disagree with orders but carry them out anyway, raise the terror alert to sway an election, and then to resign after the boss you stood up to won. That takes integrity and is totally not related to a desire to make money selling a book.

    Another Profile in Courage.


    Courage would have been standing up and doing the right then when it actually mattered. Now, it's just convenient.


    Somebody needs to learn sarcasm.


    icon_lol.gif

    Agreed with MZ though. It's just another moderate coming home to roost in the current political environment.

    I also think Falconer should realize that people like Ridge have a certain credibility with the center of the country that the far-right currently lacks.
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    Aug 21, 2009 5:06 PM GMT
    Yeah i just read this today in an article in military.com's email they sent me

    and it is said he was pressured from former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft.

    Ridge Ties Terror Alerts to '04 Election

    i read another articel one day that said that former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld controlled alot of stuff by fear in order to what they claim is save and protect America.
    Which they use to try to Convice former President Bush himself to some events and make descesions in thier favor. It also said that Bush on his 2nd term started not to listen to Vice President Cheney and started to pull apart from him. They both have books comming out about the events.

    It made me start to think that mabey President Bush was not behind all the Fd'up carp that went on & in fact Cheney and others of his cabnite were twisting and trying to control this

    Legacy Fight: Inside Bush and Cheney's Tense Final Days
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Aug 21, 2009 5:08 PM GMT
    Bill Clinton was brought up on impeachment charges for lying about a blow job. And George Bush's administration lied over and over and over about far more important things and get a pass.

    Republicans, from moderates to wingnuts, should STFU for the next eight years.
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    Aug 21, 2009 5:15 PM GMT
    I think we've only just begun to hear about some of the screwed up stuff that happened the last 8 years. It will be interesting as more and more stuff is talked about in books and memoirs.

    And this story really shouldn't be a shock to anyone, just a confirmation of what we all knew was going on.
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    Aug 21, 2009 5:21 PM GMT
    Shocker... the government uses terror tactics to manipulate people.

    From Dictionary.com

    Terrorism:

    1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
    2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
    3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.


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    Aug 21, 2009 5:22 PM GMT
    usmcblkscorpion saidYeah i just read this today in an article in military.com's email they sent me

    and it is said he was pressured from former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft.

    Ridge Ties Terror Alerts to '04 Election

    i read another articel one day that said that former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld controlled alot of stuff by fear in order to what they claim is save and protect America.
    Which they use to try to Convice former President Bush himself to some events and make descesions in thier favor. It also said that Bush on his 2nd term started not to listen to Vice President Cheney and started to pull apart from him. They both have books comming out about the events.

    It made me start to think that mabey President Bush was not behind all the Fd'up carp that went on & in fact Cheney and others of his cabnite were twisting and trying to control this


    So, what are you saying! it's not Bush's fault. Historically the vice presidency has been a lame duck position. A man waiting for the other to die. Bush elevated the powers of the vice presidency by deferring to Cheney and empowering him. The buck did not stop with Bush when it should have. So he is responsible for all the bad decisions and directions the zealots have taken us on as a country with there lies in pursuit of riches. Follow the money, has wealth been built for these treacherous men and there deeds. I don't know but I would have to guess yes. Haliburton grew bigger as Cheney's power grew. Though he wasn't the CEO i'm sure he was financially vested in the company through family and investments.