Raise the Error Alert!


Ridge’s Groveling Tour: I Never Meant To Accuse The Bush Administration Of Politicizing Homeland Security

A few weeks ago, former Bush Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge was thrust back into the public spotlight with news of his upcoming book, which is out today. Of particular interest was Ridge’s revelation that officials may have pushed him to raise the security alert level for political reasons on eve of Bush’s re-election. An excerpt from the book:

A vigorous, some might say dramatic, discussion ensured. Ashcroft strongly urged an increase in the threat level and was supported by Rumsfeld. There was absolutely no support for that position within our department. None. I wondered, “Is this about security or politics?” Post-election analysis demonstrated a significant increase in the president’s approval rating in the days after the raising of the threat level. … I consider the episode to be not only a dramatic moment in Washington’s recent history, but another illustration of the intersection of politics, fear, credibility and security.

Original DVD cover

Ridge was immediately ripped by loyal Bushies for speaking out. A spokesman for former attorney general John Ashcroft said, “Now would be a good time for Mr. Ridge to use his emergency duct tape.”

Ridge is now trying to get back into their good graces. He has been on an apology tour this week, insisting that he never meant to insinuate any bad motives on his former colleagues. […] In all the appearances he criticized people for misinterpreting what he had written:

– But there’s never been any doubt in my mind that any of these individuals, Secretary Powell, Attorney General Ashcroft, Secretary Rumsfeld, the FBI Director Mueller, they’ve always had the security of America as the number one reason they would say, let’s go up or let’s not go up. I don’t think it ever was politics.” [CNN, 9/1/09]

– “”Is there any other reason that’s out there and perhaps this — expressed it unartfully — but I’m not suggesting that anybody in that room on that occasion or any other occasion was interested in doing anything other than the right thing to protect America.” [ABC, 9/1/09]

– “I was musing in the book, as I was trying to think back on those discussions. … Is there something else that I am missing or my department’s missing? Pure and simple. It’s not an accusatory statement. Wasn’t intended to be. And if people want to talk about it in that fashion, in this world — see, security is not black and white.” [Fox News, 8/31/09]

(Video at link)

Speaking of Faux News, it appears that they barely even remembered who Tom Ridge was until he went on his groveling tour. From MEDIA MATTERS (August 21, 2009):

Big surprise, right? Former Department of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge admits in his upcoming book that he was pressured by very senior Bush White House officials to raise the nation’s terror level warning and to do it for purely for political reasons.

The story’s a big deal and it’s been widely reported and commented upon in the last 24 hours. Except at GOP-friendly Fox News, of course, which continues to play dumb about the news story.

According to TVeyes.com, since the terror level story broke yesterday, CNN has mentioned “Tom Ridge” on the air at least 41 times, MSNBC has done it 62 times, and CNN’s Headline News, which covers fewer stories each day, mentioned “Tom Ridge” 18 times so far.

Any guesses for Fox News? Did I mention FNC was playing dumb on an epic level?

If you guessed t-w-o, you are correct. According to TVeyes, Fox News has been able to almost completely ignore the Ridge story. It basically does not exist. Four sentences. To date, that’s been the sum total of Fox News’ reporting on the Ridge controversy. The four sentences were aired on Thursday’s Special Report, which was then re-broadcast during the overnight.

From the raw story:

During a three-part interview with former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge on Tuesday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow made some hard-hitting points on revelations that the “Terror Threat Level” system was manipulated for political purposes during the Bush Administration.

On the program to promote his new book “The Test of Our Time”, the former Pennsylvania governor seemed taken aback as Maddow took him to task as being a “crucial” part of a “false case to the American people.” As Jay Rosen aptly tweeted, “To work himself out of the bind she had gotten him into, Ridge actually disavowed the jacket copy of his own book under Maddow’s questioning.”

(Video of the entire interview at link)


Filed under Chimpy, CNN, Donald Rumsfeld, Fox News, George W. Bush, Homeland Security, humor, John Ashcroft, movies, MSNBC, parody, politics, Republicans, Robert Mueller, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

27 responses to “Raise the Error Alert!

  1. Dusty

    I knew this tool would shat himself and back track so fast he got a nasty case of whiplash. 😉

  2. I was listening to him on NPR, and I was wondering if he could actually injure himself with those twists of logic.

    Basically, he has two choices: He lied when he wrote it, or there was an attempt to twist the purpose of the HS Department. (Alright … so HS’s purpose is actually to be hysterical, but let’s pretend otherwise for a moment.) His convolutions are beyond absurd.

    • the people who were convinced by his ridiculous explanation were already marinated in the kool-aid and didn’t need the explanation. those who were not convinced are now wondering what threat was held over his head to make him change his story. chimpy is busy picking up dog poop in texas, so i’m thinking deadeye dick’s thugs got to old tom.

      good thing that one of the parting gifts for the members of the chimpy administration was a whiplash collar for all those sudden turn-arounds.

    • Friend of the court

      and that was the guy keeping me and the kids safe from threat. It’s not threats that should be….. or may be that you fight threats with threats, sort of like starting a fire to fight a fire.

      • chimpy’s minions keep trumpeting this crap about how they kept us safe. if we were so safe under their watch, why was the terror alert always high? maybe they all had stock in duct tape companies.

  3. Dusty

    Wait..I know this is off topic, but does anyone watch The Ed Show? He had one of the biggest theocratic tools in the world on today and tossed him nothing but softball questions.

    Rachel wouldn’t be caught dead doing that. Which is why I love her. She blows them to kingdom-come with her special brand of ‘polite grilling’.

    Ed needs to take some lessons from her. 😉

    • i watch the ed show, and i used to listen to him on the radio on occasion, but to tell you the truth, i don’t like him very much, and i’m not crazy about his show. i very rarely learn anything from him, and i find his persona to be very brash and off-putting. he’s very loud, and he gives airtime to idiot radio wingnuts who say the same thing over and over again. i only saw a couple of minutes of the interview with tony perkins, but i will watch the rerun later.

      p.s. i honestly don’t understand why msnbc would give ed schultz a show when they could have had lawrence o’donnell.

      • Dusty

        I agree totally Nonnie. He is all of those things. And his Perkins interview was so softball, it made me angry. Perkins is one of the Theocratic assholes that is trying to push their narrow-minded agenda at any cost..including losing our civil rights.

        I still don’t get why Lawrence didn’t get a show and Ed did..it baffles me. There is no comparison between the two men. None.

        • i don’t trust ed schultz. i don’t know how much of what he says is what he honestly believes and what is his way of trying to become the left’s rushbo.

          • Dusty

            The left’s RushBo..my thoughts exactly! I thought that from day one. I am not familiar with his radio show, just know him from his msnbc show.

  4. Oh! I thought Tom was seeing red, but now I understand his GOP fear chart has turned to brown.

    In either case– he stinks!

    • i wish rachel had asked him why the terror level never ever went to blue or green. plus, i wish she had made him wear a chicken little suit.

      • It would have been good to hold his feet to the fire in a public way.
        We KNOW the answer– the idea was to maintain a level of fear, so they could keep doing torture, and pulling patriot act atrocities- all in the name of protecting “freedom & democracy”.
        Plus he’d probably blame someone else…. not his decision alone, play the puppet on a string card, which clearly was the case.

  5. I like Eddie. I believe him when he talks about his wife being an engine for his conversion, because the same thing happened to me (I was more of a middle-roader than I am now, though I was never a Rushpubliscum.) I also believe he reaches a lot of people that Rachel, Randi, or Malloy never will.

    There are times that his “way” irritates me, but in sum I’m still glad he’s with us.

    • hi jolly roger, 🙂
      you make very good points. people can change, and i’m probably being unfair to ed. he just rubs me the wrong way. however, you are absolutely correct that he reaches a different audience, mostly for the same reasons he irritates me. the more voices the better.

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  7. MSNBC should give me my own show. I have a radio voice and, unfortunately, a radio face as well, but I’d be topical, like an ointment, and I’d be entertaining, kind of like Keith Olbermann, but with a shaved head and I’d curse more. A lot more. I mean, if MSNBC could give Shultz his own show why not me? Ahem.