Tom Ridge Confirms That Terror Threat Warnings Were Used For Political Purposes
Remember all the times we wondered if the Bush Administration was using the color-coded terrorism threat level indicator for political gain? Remember the number of times the Justice Department and not the Department of Homeland Security was hyping a terror threat beyond what the CIA or FBI said the intelligence warranted? And we questioned whether or not the terror-threat level was nothing more than a political tool?
It was. Who says so?
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?'"
The level is raised if a majority on the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council favors it and President Bush concurs. Among those on the council with Ridge were Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI chief Robert Mueller, CIA director George Tenet, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Ridge and Ashcroft publicly clashed over how to communicate threat information to the public. But Ridge has never before discussed internal dissention over the threat level.
But of course there was no relationship between Bush declining poll numbers and these terror threats, right?
So much for the Bush Administration having any credibility ever again on the issue of terror threats. But it doesn’t matter now; he scared enough people into electing him for another four years. Remember, the ends justify the means to these guys.