Friday, August 21, 2009

Heartbreak Ridge

In his new book, former Homeland Security czar Tom Ridge claims that political pressure to raise the terror alert level prior to the 2004 election helped convince him to leave the Bush Administration.

This is an old story and Bush's homeland security advisor Frances Townsend denies Ridge was ever pressured. She gives a credible rebuttal to the charge of political motivation pointing out that raising the alert is the president's decision based on the recommendations of several security department heads.

In this case the alert was not raised, maybe for the political reason that it would look political. But Ridge's charge does serve to distance him from the administration he served. Something that could be useful to him should he decide to run for president himself in 2012.

Efforts to get him to run for Arlen Specter's senate failed, as I understand it, because he was making too much money on the lecture circuit. Maybe too, he has grander political ambitions. Getting a book out a couple of years before a presidential run seems to be the thing to do these days.

In the meantime, the Obama Administration, flailing as it over healthcare and other issues, seems to be doing everything it can to encourage ambitious Republicans to consider their prospects for the Commander in Chief.

Ridge has every reason to believe he's as plausible a candidate as anyone right now.


Blogger /mr said...

Use of the threat of terrorism in order to manipulate the political process....which is of course, what terrorists do.

But let's not dwell on that, we've a birth certificate to find, and death panels to uncover.

August 21, 2009 at 11:39 AM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

similar to the 90s when the FBI and CIA couldn't talk to eachother?

Hey wait, the terror alert wasn't raised? So is this a non issue or is this fodder for MSNB-Left?

August 22, 2009 at 12:15 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is nothing political about the Obama administration. He is so wonderful. He is even giving Brazil $2 Billion to help the drill for oil. We get windmills and non-existent green jobs, Brazil gets to drill for oil. I can't wait until Obama fixes the climate and it starts raining gumdrops.

August 22, 2009 at 9:20 AM 
Anonymous Bob said...

And now the race is on to paint Ridge as a liar. Maybe they will pull a Scott Ritter on him. And I guess Powell was lying to Tim Russert when he said portions of his UN speach were intentionally deceptive. Or Richard Clarke. Or Scott Mcclellan. All adding up to an incompetent president leading this country into a seemingly bottomless pit of a war based on lies. No Steve. This wasn't similar to the FBI & CIA not talking to each other. That was a failure to communicate. This was an attempt to lie and manipulate.

August 22, 2009 at 7:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"She gives a credible [but false/misleading] rebuttal to the charge of political motivation"

The timing of the terror alerts was always suspect. Some of them were even based on old and out-of-date information that clearly represented no imminent threat.

Anyone with even half-a-clue (which is half a clue more than Gil) realizes that Ridge hates politics and right-wingers that won't accept his pro-choice position. Ridge not only is not a plausible candidate (in a party that treats Sarah Palin like the Virgin Mary, and little Trip like baby Jesus), but he has an obvious distaste for it.

He's got a cushy gig giving lectures, being on boards, and dealing with his book. He's not running for ANY office.

August 23, 2009 at 2:10 PM 
Anonymous jake said...

What a coincidence that these lame allegations come out just as Ridge releases his book. Do you think there might be a connection?
If Ridge thought his office was being politicized, wouldn't the right thing have been to speak up then? Or maybe resign in protest?
No, it's far better to wait 7 or 8 years and then write a book.
Sorry Tom, I respected you before, but this latest is a little too self-serving for me.

August 26, 2009 at 8:01 AM 

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