Friday, August 21, 2009

Former DHS Head, Tom Ridge: "I Was Pressured To Raise Terror Alert To Help Bush Win."

This just in from the "Duh!" Department: former Homeland Security chief, Tom Ridge, admits in his new book, "The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege...and How We Can Be Safe Again," that he was pressured by the Bush administration to raise the Terror Alert threat level in the lead up to the 2004 presidential elections to influence the outcome.

You remember the color-coded system that was a rip-off of our Rainbow Banner? Yeah, that one. Republicans frequently use homophobia and the fear of a terrorist attack to rally their base. I don't think it's a coincidence that the color-coded Terror Alert system resembles our symbol of Pride.

The Huffington Post reports that according to his new book, "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."

Cry me a river! Why didn't he do anything at the time, like tender his resignation? Apparently when you reported for work at the Bush White House, you had to check your balls at the door.

Ridge's "tell all" really isn't news. I remember that the Terror Alert level always went up before an election, or whenever Bush's popularity dropped. It became a running joke. Like the boy who cried wolf, it happened so often, we stopped paying attention.

The real story should be that during the eight long, dark years of W's reign, the press bought into Carl Rove's strategy of calling Bush/Cheney critics unamerican. It was an effective tool that silenced the truth, kept their dirty little secrets hidden and allowed the neo-con nitwits to run roughshod over the constitution.

With congress away for summer recess, pundits and talking heads will be feeding on this non-story for weeks, but they'll conveniently leave out the part where they were asleep at the switch.

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