Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Ridge: Terror Alerts Raised on "Flimsy Evidence"

Tom Ridge gave us the lowdown on Bush Administration political manipulation of the terror alert system at a Washington forum yesterday:

The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.

Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.

His comments at a Washington forum describe spirited debates over terrorist intelligence and provide rare insight into the inner workings of the nation's homeland security apparatus.

Ridge said he wanted to "debunk the myth" that his agency was responsible for repeatedly raising the alert under a color-coded system he unveiled in 2002.

"More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it," Ridge told reporters. "Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don't necessarily put the country on (alert). ... There were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, 'For that?'

Apparently code orange meant Bush's poll numbers were plummeting below 45% and in need of immediate resuscitation. That's when Ashcroft and Rove would leap into action and raise the alert on some nebulous, outdated, debunked evidence. This cynical manipulation of the terror alert system fooled millions of Americans into thinking they were safer under a Texas Air National Guard veteran who went AWOL when he found completing his terms of service inconvenient than they would be with a decorated Vietnam War combat veteran who had the guts to protest the stupid war when he came home.

You know, there are times when I think the morons who re-elected Bush because they thought he would keep them safer from terrorism deserve everything the Bushies are giving them - from the unraveling of the social safety net to the prevalence of lower wages, poor health care and bankrupt pension funds.

But only sometimes. Because while 51% of voters re-elected Bush, 49% voted to throw the bum out. And it's the 49% who are really getting screwed.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?