Friday, August 21, 2009

Former DHS Secretary: Threat-Level Manipulation Right Before 2004 Election

From (and other news sources):
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.
Ridge's allegation is disturbing, if true. This is the type of story that the media loves to run with, and Ridge will probably be making the rounds of the hand-wringing talk shows before long. To Ridge's credit, he refused to tamper with the pre-election threat level, otherwise we'd already be hearing calls for a special prosecutor (and maybe we'll hear that anyway). There is also some indication that Ridge himself might possibly be backpedaling or at least putting out information inconsistent with previous statements. But one thing to keep mind. In general, when publishers fork over big bucks (or medium bucks) for a boring political memoir that nobody wants to or will read, they also tend to "encourage" the politician/ghostwriter to come up with a sensational revelation to generate buzz. The buzz usually fades quickly along with sales, and before long, the book wind up in the remainder bin anyway.

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