Tom Ridge Admits Bush Administration Politicized Terror Alert

Tom Ridge Admits Bush Administration Politicized Terror Alert


Our first head of the Department of Homeland Security has written a tell all and it’s more of the same we’ve heard from insiders about the former administration. They politicized nearly everything and made the wrong decision and nearly every turn.

From US News:

Among the headlines promoted by publisher Thomas Dunne Books: Ridge was never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings; was “blindsided” by the FBI in morning Oval Office meetings because the agency withheld critical information from him; found his urgings to block Michael Brown from being named head of the emergency agency blamed for the Hurricane Katrina disaster ignored;

Never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings? The director of the government agency that was created in the aftermath of 9/11?


So yes, that’s a bombshell, but the one in the title seems to be even more craven…

and was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush’s re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over.

Yes, 3 years after the worst terrorist attack in our country’s history, Bush and company were scaring people into voting for him. I think that tells you all you need to know about the guy and his crew.

My question…we finally going to get some mea culpas from the right or will Tom Ridge simply be smeared like Paul O’Neill, Richard Clarke and Scott McClellan?

I’m not holding my breath.

  • Mike

    Doesn’t surprise me. But I think Obama’s going way overboard with his whole “right wing extremist” talk. If you ask me they’re just two sides to the same coin.

  • gerryf

    Republicans lying and scaring people?

    Getouttahere….that would NEVER happen.

    Next you will be writing that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 911, Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, healthcare reform is not really about death panels and government trying to take control of our lives, Obama doesn’t want to take away our guns……

    You’re just a liberal nutjob who hates our country, patriots….and, uhm, white people…yeah.

  • Chris

    that was pretty obvious if you watched anything on tv at that time. only a couple of phrases came out of their mouths: 911, terror, osama bin laden. that’s it. nothing else.

    Now they’re using the same tatics to create any failure they can get out of the current administration, and americans, like the lovable idiots that they are, are falling for it again.

  • Paul

    Frankly this revelation makes me sick to my stomach as an American! It seems like the Bush/Cheney crowd would resort to any means to get their way. It’s low down dirty politics ! yafront Pal

  • rpfree

    Quite frankly I’m getting sick of rehashing the Bush years, especially when I see likewise crap being magnified in spades by the current administration. Bush happened it’s over. Obama is current and happening now and I don’t see many improvements. Republicans are in a minority and Democrats have huge majorities, this is where we are now. Further, I don’t want to hear about the time it will take to clean up Bush’s mess, I can sense incompetence, see corruption and smell arrogance with this current bunch to rival all.

    David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel and Company are as bad or worse than Karl Rove and Company in all departments. Quite frankly Biden is too much of a joke to compare to Cheney, maybe that is a good thing. I no longer concern myself with Bush’s arrogance or inability to admit he was wrong however I am damned concerned about Obama’s nature on such things. There are glaring conflicts of interests, and certainly politicization and scare tactics… Justin it takes a blind partisan to point back in such righteous disgust to Republicans and Bush ignoring any sense Déjà vu to what is happening today with Obama and the Democrats.

    Don’t let such sentiment cloud your realities too much my friend. I voted for Bush (once) and I voted for Obama. I voted for Jim Webb (D), Mark Warner (D), Jim Moran (D), and as of now Jim Moran will certainly not get my vote next time, I will make a decision on the others when that time comes. There are Democratic players on the field today that not only rival but exceed anything the Republicans gave us. Was Gingrich or Delay worse than Pelosi or Reid? I am disgusted with what I see. What campaign promises has Obama kept compared to what he has broken? No corruption, no earmarks, uniting a nation? He is the leader now not Bush.

    I am sick to the core. Looking back at Bush at this point is just a damn waste of time, what good does it do but provide a distraction to all the hell that is going on today? I am more concerned with Senators Dodd and Conrad being declared clean by the ethics committee… oh really? How about Axelrod’s clear conflict of interests and all the money made by Rahm Emanuel and others close to this administration sitting on the boards of Freddie Mack/Fanny May as it all was burning down… for what?

    Screw Halliburton, Delay has resigned and Bush is retired. What I see is the current Administration appear to carry on with the ethics of a Richard Nixon along with incompetence of a Jimmy Carter, this is what concerns me. Heaven help Obama and us if the MSM ever turns on him as bad as they did Nixon, Bush or Carter, it will get messy indeed.

  • Alistair


    I don’t know what world you’re living in but the to support the action of former President Bush is like supporting Richard Nixon his administration. Besides President Obama has only been in office for 8 months and I right now I perfer his administration and even Jimmy Carter than President Bush’s paranioa scare tactics.

  • http://sidewaysmencken.blogspot michael reynolds


    We pay attention to the past because we hold on to the admittedly faint hope that we’ll learn from it.

    As for your screed against Obama. Eight months ago we were talking seriously about a major depression and a banking collapse. Now we’re impatient over the pace of recovery.


    We were going off a cliff. Obama grabbed the wheel and now we’re not going off a cliff. That’s really all I ask for from emergency management.

  • Trescml

    I guess it doesn’t surprise me that the terror color was manipulated and it looked like a campaign tactic at the time. I think the question is why do people fall for such tricks? I guess that we look for data that supports our world view. Heck, the other day I saw a sign in Alexandria VA that was against a 7-11 permit because the Japanese owners would be giving profits to Obama, so I guess some people will believe just about anything.

  • rpfree


    Who said I supported the actions of the last Administration? I don’t support the action of the last administration, but I certainly don’t look back in moralistic judgments that I am unwilling to place on the current President. If supporting the last administration is in your supporting Richard Nixon his administration than so is supporting this one, I condemn both, but I worry more about what is happening now

    The point is to hold Obama and his Administration today to the same standards and not give him a pass. I am one of those that argued and fought for Democrats to take over Congress and feel I have been sentenced to hell for doing so. Nancy Pelosi…Harry Reid…please!

    If one is going to reach to the past and hold others to account for yesterday, doing so while overlooking like behavior that is occurring even as we speak dooms us to repeat history and repeating them we are. I am living in the same the world you are, but in my world judgment and accountability is no respecter of person or party.

    I don’t need 8 more days let alone 8 months to realize what we voted in. This administration is as horrible as any I’ve seen in my lifetime, and that says a lot. They have broken just about every promise they made. I was born in the fifties and have lived through the people I mentioned, I campaigned for McGovern, voted for Carter, and last November I put my political faith into a false hope named Barak Obama. True faith is to hope in things that are true… I’ll let you squander the rest of this term figuring out how true Obama and the Democrats in Congress are.

  • rpfree

    Mike Reynolds,

    As I said in my last post I am concerned about not just learning, but not reliving bad history. Do you really believe…

    we were going off a cliff. Obama grabbed the wheel and now we’re not going off a cliff. That’s really all I ask for from emergency management.

    He saved us from going off a cliff? Wasn’t the first stimulus brought about under Bush, did Obama not keep Bush’s financial people? Didn’t Stimulus II just repeat Stimulus I with added pork and earmarks galore he promised to eliminate? Did he not only keep Bush’s financial people but also Robert Gates to continue with Bush’s Defense/Security Policy? There is hope and change! If this is good to keep them then credit Bush for supplying Obama some stability while he screws the rest up… it is all such B.S! You can call it a screed, I just want honesty and accountability, and we are getting less of this not more.

    I’ll make a prediction, If we weren’t happy with Bush than we’ll be hilarious with Obama. You can be like the Bush supporters, faithful until it’s too late.

  • Mike A.

    “Bush happened it’s over. ”

    I am so sick of hearing this. ANYTHING that has happened, is over. Ignorance of history should never be glorified by a colloquial expression. It is a poor excuse to avoid responsibilities.

    “So like, yea, I got this girl pregnant..and…well it happened and it’s over”

  • http://sidewaysmencken.blogspot michael reynolds


    Did he keep some Bush policies? Of course. Some Bush policies were right.

    Did he save us? Yeah, he did. The banks were a millimeter away from collapse and that’s not about the stimulus, the stimulus is something completely different. In the midst of a major meltdown Obama’s team worked with the Fed and the outgoing admin and saved our sorry asses. I’m happy to score an assist for the Bush team. Which is somewhat mitigated by the fact that they managed to completely miss this train wreck until about eight seconds before it hit. And that they screwed up Lehman which about killed us.

    Obama was being pushed hard to nationalize the banks. He refused. He kept his head. He thought he could manage it without a government takeover being urged on him by liberals and being demagogued by conservatives. It seems to have worked. So lose the mournful, depressed, seen-it-all tone. We were going off a cliff and now we’re not. Enjoy the moment when the bullet goes whistling past.

  • gerryf

    I don’t even know where to begin….while I am not too pleased with the Obama administration to say they are two sides of the same coin and that you cannot tell the difference is more a reflection on you that on Obama and the Dems.

    Stop getting your news from right wing talking heads.

    Obama’s broken promises…care to list them? I actually can name a few that he has actually broken (lobbyists working in the white house, public comment before signing a bill, $3000 tax credit for businesses that create jobs), but it’s pretty hard to live up to every promise in 8 months given the crisis we’ve been in. Some “promises” were made two years ago before the the economy hit the crapper thanks to — wait for it…the idiotic right wing policies of the past 30 years.

    Pelosi and Reid are have you riled? Why? Hell, if anything Reid has been little more than a GOP doormat. I know why I am mad at him, but what are you ticked at him for? What exactly are you ticked off at Pelosi for?

    I’ll give you that looking back doesn;t do us a great deal good, but you need a little more than general angst to justify your sense of outrage.

  • Nick Benjamin

    Obama is current and happening now and I don’t see many improvements.

    He’s not using the Terror Alert level to artificially inflate his poll numbers. In the past 8 months we have not started any avoidable wars. Under Bush both finance and auto industries swore they were on the verge of collapse. Eight months later finance swears all is well and that they wanna pay back those loans ASAP so they can go back to giving themselves multi$billion bonuses, and the car companies are much more stable.

    Rather than using MediCare’s cost overruns to justify totally modifying Social Security Obama has proposed a plan that he says will solve the problems. It my not pass, and it may not work, but trying to fix the major problem with entitlement costs is an awful lot smarter than the Bush strategy of saying “Medicare and Social Security are in deep doo-doo, therefore we have to change Social Security.”

    Obama hasn’t been a saint. He’s a politician. But it’s pretty clear that he’s improved the country quite a bit in eight months.

  • Technology Slice

    This doesn’t surprise me at all considering we are talking about George Bush.

  • kranky kritter

    Boy, dontcha just HATE it when politicians politicize things. Oh, wait a minute… .

    I don’t think anyone sane has to be a republican or a bush supporter to be tired of this sort of regular “more proof we were right back then about the evil Bush” posts like this.

    Because I am neither a republican nor a Bush supporter. I voted for Obama, and I REALLY wish we could just move on.

    we were going off a cliff. Obama grabbed the wheel and now we’re not going off a cliff.

    I would amend that to “and so far we still haven’t crashed.” If we’re still seeing positive trends come next march, I’ll climb out of the tree and take off my tin hat. Right now, this economy feels like whistling through the graveyard to me.

    At minimum, I expect any economic rebound to come with lots of big bad bumps. For starters, there are the aftereffects of dealing with the grotesque overspending of the last 2 (and counting) federal budgets. These are practices which many of the folks here regularly demonstrate are easily dismissable so long as you are innumerate.

    IF on the other hand you can actually do math, then you know that there must be a reckoning of some sort.

  • mike mcEachran

    @ rpfree: “Bush happened it’s over.”

    Does anyone else recall a press conference with a small group of ramshakel Taliban just after 911, when the US military was preparing for war, saying, “Okay, 911 happened, it’s over. Get over it.” I remember quite well, and remember thinking, how foolish that these people were to think we would forget. I’m sure that Bush appologists weren’t watching that and thinking, gee they’re right, we should just get over it. I’m sure no American was. I’m still not thinking that.

  • Michael LaRocca

    Actually, I was always scared to vote FOR him, so I guess he didn’t shock and awe everybody.

  • Kenneth Zadwick

    Cut the BS. Here are the facts, and add 10%++ out of work.
    Our national debt is more than $13 trillion.

    That is how much the United States has borrowed, and how much we have to pay interest on. To put $13 trillion in perspective, our national debt is larger than the total economies of China, the United Kingdom, and Australia combined.

    The combined gross domestic products of China, the United Kingdom, and Australia, as estimated by the International Monetary Fund in 2008, are $10.89 trillion.
    —and under current policies, our national debt will continue to grow by hundreds of billions every year.

    According to the Congressional Budget Office, the national debt held by the public will grow an additional $9 trillion over the next decade, to more than $20 trillion.
    This year, the United States will accumulate over $3.5 billion in new debt each and every day. That’s more than $2 million per minute.