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Author Topic: Ridge Cites Pressure Before 2004 Election  (Read 945 times)
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The Stink Eye is Watching You, Barry

« on: August 21, 2009, 11:43:54 AM »

tom ridge was a pretty lousy choice for homeland security in the first place.  he was a former us representative (almost zero foreign policy responsibility) and governor (absolutely zero foreign policy responsibility).  more domestically oriented agencies do come under DHS jurisdiction (FEMA, for example), but it was international terrorism that compelled the creation of DHS . . . . surely they could have found a more suitable person to run the agency.  (although he is a hell of a lot better than the silly person in charge at the moment)

as far as his book goes, if this is the best they've got, then this is one boring ass book.

Ridge Cites Pressure Before 2004 Election

Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, the first director of the Department of Homeland Security, says that he was pressured by other agency heads to raise the terrorism threat level on the eve of the 2004 presidential election -- a move he rejected as having political undertones.

The disclosure comes in promotional materials for Ridge's new book, due out Sept. 1, in which he writes that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Attorney General John D. Ashcroft tried to pressure him to raise the threat level.

"After that episode, I knew I had to follow through with my plans to leave the federal government for the private sector," Ridge writes in the book, "The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege . . . and How We Can Be Safe Again," according to publisher Thomas Dunne Books.

He submitted his resignation within the month.

Another official in George W. Bush's administration, White House homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend, told the Associated Press on Thursday that Ridge "was certainly not pressured," while a spokesman for Rumsfeld rejected Ridge's assertion.

"The story line advanced by his publisher seemingly to sell copies of the book is nonsense," Keith Urbahn said in a statement. "During the fall of 2004, Osama bin Laden and an American member of al-Qaeda released videotapes that said in no uncertain terms that al-Qaeda intended to launch more attacks against Americans. . . . Given those facts, it would seem reasonable for senior administration officials to discuss the threat level."

Ridge's publicist, Joe Rinaldi, said Thursday that the former secretary was not doing interviews.


"Dumb people elect dumb people." -- Natstew
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