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Ridge: Bush Aides Pushed to Raise Threat Level

Guest mz.

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More manipulation of the 'tards by their hero, G. W. Bush. How do you guys feel about possibly being lied to about the threat level...creating unnecessary fear/paranoia/etc?


As Glenn Greenwald said on Twitter, "I just want to make sure I have this straight: so the Bush administration exploited the Terrorist threat for political gain?"


Ridge: Bush Aides Pushed to Raise Threat Level


Published: August 20, 2009


WASHINGTON — Tom Ridge, the first secretary of homeland security, asserts in a new book that he was pressured by top advisers to President George W. Bush to raise the national threat level just before the 2004 election in what he suspected was an effort to influence the vote.


After Osama bin Laden released a threatening videotape four days before the election, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld pushed Mr. Ridge to elevate the public threat posture but he refused, according to the book. Mr. Ridge calls it a “dramatic and inconceivable” event that “proved most troublesome for all of us in the department.”


The provocative accusation provides fresh ammunition for critics who have accused the Bush administration of politicizing national security. Mr. Bush and his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, were locked in a tight race heading into that final weekend, and some analysts concluded that even without a higher threat level, the bin Laden tape helped the president win re-election by reminding voters of the danger of Al Qaeda.


Keith M. Urbahn, a spokesman for Mr. Rumsfeld, said the defense secretary supported letting the public know if intelligence agencies believed there was a greater threat, and pointed to a variety of chilling Qaeda warnings in those days, including one tape vowing that “the streets of America will run red with blood.”


“Given those facts,” Mr. Urbahn said, “it would seem reasonable for senior administration officials to discuss the threat level. Indeed, it would have been irresponsible had that discussion not taken place.”


Mr. Urbahn said “the storyline advanced by his publisher seemingly to sell copies of the book is nonsense.”


Mr. Ashcroft could not be reached for comment. But Mark Corallo, who was his spokesman at the Justice Department, dismissed Mr. Ridge’s account. “Didn’t happen,” he said. “Now would be a good time for Mr. Ridge to use his emergency duct tape.”


Frances Fragos Townsend, who was Mr. Bush’s homeland security adviser, said that “there was a fulsome debate” about the threat level but that “the politics of it were not ever a factor.”


Mr. Ridge’s book, called “The Test of Our Times” and due out Sept. 1 from Thomas Dunne Books, is the latest by a Bush adviser to disclose internal disagreements and establish distance from an unpopular administration. Mr. Ridge complains that he was never invited to National Security Council meetings, that Mr. Rumsfeld would rarely meet with him and that the White House pressured him to include a justification for the Iraq war in a speech.


He also writes that he lobbied unsuccessfully before Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to replace Michael D. Brown as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and that the White House killed his proposal to open a homeland security regional office in New Orleans.


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 said that confirmed for him his decision to resign the next month but he 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.”


via here.

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This is not any different than the Clinton's using Y2K to scare everyone.



If it keeps the dumb sheep at home and hiding in the closet then it worked.



:lol: meanwhile..... Ridge is going to sell a hell of a lot of books to liberals.

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Tucker Carlson, 2004, ladies and gents...


CARLSON: Peter Fenn, Peter Fenn, one the reasons, I think -- maybe the main reason George W. Bush I believe is going to be reelected is because Democrats have gone insane, as you well know.






CARLSON: I want to give you one example.


A character named Harold Schaitberger, he is the president of the firemen's union, along with a lot of other Democrats last week accused the White House of essentially manufacturing a terror alert for political gain, if you can even imagine -- quote -- this is Harold Schaitberger, if there is such a person -- "I do find it awfully convenient and suspicious that Ashcroft's announcement happened to be tied in right behind the president's recent message to the nation, as well as his troubling plummeting poll numbers" -- in other words, just sort of pretending there are terrorists out there for short-term political gain.


via here.



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The info keeps pouring in:


Glenn Greenwald had a very good rundown of some of the epic wrongness back in 2004. Let's add a few more to the pile.


Tom Ridge:


We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security. Our job is to identify the threat.


Mitch McConnell:


I don't think the American people believe that George W. Bush, the man who's led us so effectively on the war on terror, would politicize something like this.


Bill O'Reilly:


Howard Dean came out, and said, oh, the terror alert's a phony thing, like he knows anything. Like where did you get your intelligence, Howard, Ben & Jerry? Like Dean knows anything. What an irresponsible jerk.


Jim Turner:


CARLSON: In other words, Bush is making up the terror threat for his -- for political advantage. Is this the position of the John Kerry campaign? And, if not, why is this character speaking for the campaign?


REP. JIM TURNER (D), TEXAS: That's not the position of the Kerry campaign. In fact, I heard John Kerry just a few minutes ago disavow what Howard Dean said about the recent alert.


James Carville:


I want to first say I'm in the John Kerry- Jim Turner camp here...But I want you, because you know this, to assure these Democrats and help convince me that they're [the Bush administration] not doing this [politicizing terror alerts] because of the disastrous economic news and the disastrous news from coming overseas to try to protect themselves. I don't think they would do that.


Joe Trippi:


I could be wrong about this, but I don’t think the administration is practicing manipulative politics when it comes to terror alerts.


Chuck Schumer:


And I think most people -- I mean, you know, Mr. Dean said something that it was political, but I haven't heard any incumbent Democratic officeholder say it was political. I certainly don't think so.


And -- wait for it....


Joe Lieberman:


I don't think anybody who has any fairness or is in their right mind would think the president or the secretary of homeland security would raise an alert level and scare people for political reasons...That's outrageous.


Looking forward to Short Ride blasting Tom Ridge as an outrageous crazy person. Any moment now, right?


via here.


This just in: Bill O'Reilly is an ignorant loudmouthed asshole.

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ZZZZZZZZZZZ. Who cares? I don't believe Ridge. Think he is just trying to sell books. A real scum bucket. And if it was done? So what. Move on. Get current. Quit trying to distract the public from what is happening now by bringing up things that supposedly happened 5 YEARS AGO. :rolleyes:
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We get ten UFO threads, but this story gets no real commenting. Well done, Palinites.


PS You still haven't told me what you do for a profession, Jeffro...

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I believe it happened.... I suppose a fair counter argument would be Obama admin has influenced specific economic income for a popularity gain?


Its sad but it politics both sides play with equal fervor. the guy just sold about 500k extra copies for putting this "bombshell" in his book and his publisher preleasing this....

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