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So now we have Paul O'Neil, Scott McClellan, and Tom Ridge all confirming that the Bush White House lied, misled, and used government agencies to get elected and stay in power. Shocking!!!!

We will now witness the counter-attack of Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the neo-cons whose disasterous warped view of the world have put us in the position we are in today. They will go after Ridge like ravenous hounds. It's their nature.

Don't buy it. Ridge was the Governor of my state, a decorated military man, and straight shooter. Paul O'Neil is also a straight shooter. Cheney told him he had to resign. O'Neil told him to go F%$K himself, got in his car and drove back to Pittsburgh.

Don't let Rove and the other revisionist historians in the Republican party convince you they were right. They weren't. They were terribly terribly wrong and we will pay the price for decades.


Bush White House politics linked to terror alerts
WASHINGTON — Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge says pressure from fellow Cabinet members to raise the nation's terror alert level just before the 2004 presidential election helped convince him it was time to quit working for President George W. Bush.

In a new book, Ridge says that despite the urgings of former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft he objected to raising the security level, according to a publicity release from the book's publisher.

In the end the alert level was not changed.

Bush's former homeland security adviser, Frances Townsend, said Thursday that politics never played a role in determining alert levels.

Two tapes were released by al-Qaida in the weeks leading up to the election — one by terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and the other by a man calling himself "Azzam the American." Terrorism experts suspected that "Azzam the American" was Adam Gadahn, a 26-year-old Californian whom the FBI had been urgently seeking.

Townsend said the videotapes contained "very graphic" and "threatening" messages.

Ridge's publicist, Joe Rinaldi, said Ridge was out of town and was not doing interviews until his book, "The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege ... and How We Can Be Safe Again," is released on Sept. 1.

In 2004, Ridge explained why he didn't feel the alert should be raised. "We don't have to go to (code level) orange to take action in response either to these tapes or just general action to improve security around the country," he said then.

In 2005, months after he resigned, Ridge said his agency has been the most reluctant to raise the alert level. "There were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, 'For that?'" he said during a panel discussion in May 2005. But his book appears to be the first time he publicly attributes some of the pressure to politics.

The Homeland Security Department, which Ridge was the first person to lead, faced criticism in 2004 from Democrats who alleged that raising the alert level was designed to boost support for the Bush administration during an election year.

Ridge, who resigned on Nov. 30, 2004, said the episode convinced him to follow through with his plans to leave the Bush administration.

Townsend said that anytime there was a discussion of changing the alert level, she first spoke with Ridge and then, if necessary, called a meeting of the homeland security council comprising the secretaries of defense and homeland security, the attorney general and CIA and FBI directors. The group then made a recommendation to the president about whether the color-coded threat level should be raised.

"Never were politics ever discussed in this context in my presence," she said.

Asked if there was any reason for Ridge to have felt pressured, Townsend said: "He was certainly not pressured. And, by the way, he didn't object when it was raised and he certainly didn't object when it wasn't raised."

A former Republican congressman and governor of Pennsylvania, Ridge was widely named as a potential running mate to John McCain in 2008 before the GOP candidate chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.