Friday, August 21, 2009

homeland security office manipulated terror alert levels to aid bush in 2004 elections

USNews says that Tom Ridge wrote a book. The book is coming on September 1, 2009. Meanwhile the promotional materials for the book state that Tom Ridge was pressured by Donald H. Rumsfeld and Attorney General John D. Ashcroft to raise terror alert levels in order to help Bush win the 2004 presidential elections (terror Alert level was raised to 'high' from August 1, 2004 until November 10, 2004) :

Ridge 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.

I guess this why he resigned shortly after the elections?

So now everyone, including Washington Post have swarmed all over this, and the "he said; she said" has began. Politico prints a Bush-based denial:

“Under no circumstance was Tom Ridge or anyone else directed to change the threat level,” Townsend said. “It didn’t work that way, and it certainly didn’t work that way in 2004. It was always an apolitical process.”

I am not surprised. I don't understand why this comes as a shock. Politicians often use governmental resources for political reasons. Bush administration did not strike me as the most ethical one.

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