Tom Ridge, first Secretary of Homeland Security, says the G.W. Bush administration pressured him to raise the public terrorism Threat Level before the 2004 elections and for other politically-motivated reasons, when objective measures indicated no increased threats. He refused. His book detailing the charges comes out soon.
Mr. Ridge says the pre-election pressure came from Attorney General John Ashcroft and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Understandably, GOP critics are attacking the charge (Rhetorical Threat Level Orange) and asking why Mr. Ridge didn’t resign his post as DHS Secretary back in 2004 if he was so aghast. In fact, within months of his 2005 resignation, Mr. Ridge did complain about being over-ruled on elevating Threat Level warnings by other members of the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Council.
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