In a soon-to-be published memoir, the United States’ first secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge alleges he was pressured to raise the terror alerts on the eve of the 2004 presidential election.

In the book titled "The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege…And How We Can be Safe Again," Ridge says then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wanted him to raise the terror status so that voters would favor George W. Bush. Ridge refused, and the terror level was not raised.

We’re looking at a variety of media perspectives from the blogs Hot Air and Greg Laden’s Blog, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

The conservative blog Hot Air points out the media’s coverage of Ridge’s uncertainty about political pressure.

“I believe this is a process known better in Washington as ‘talking out of one’s ass,’ and I’m not referring to the Democratic Party mascot… It’s not difficult to guess that Ridge may have wanted to make a big splash for his book, and this kind of unsupported allegation … would help.  I’m sure it will sell big on the Left.”

On the other hand, the leftist Greg Laden's Blog says conservatives never give whistle blowers a chance.

“I'm tired of people demanding hard and fast proof that would pass muster before the Supreme Court of the nefarious nature of the right wing. All thinking liberals ... all ... knew that Bush raising the terror alert when he did was a election related gambit.”

But MSNBC’s Morning Joe takes an even different perspective from the truth and lies debate. They look at Ridge’s financial benefits.

“I’m not surprised about the story he tells. I’m just surprised that it came in the form of a book that produces money, like Scott McClellan and his book. And I wish people would just speak when they are supposed to, if it’s the right thing to do. Is that naïve and stupid?”

“I frankly would have been surprised with a sitting administration that’s known for going after people, if he had spoken up more aggressively in ’05.”

On Countdown with Keith Olbermann, author John Dean discusses the legal issues involved with Ridge’s claim.

“The statute of limitations has run. As I say, if there was pressure, if you do manipulate an agency of government, it is a criminal offense. This is one of the things that caught a lot of people in Watergate.”

Also, Olbermann looks back at Ridge’s statements just after his resignation. Olbermann says he never wished he was more wrong about something.

“Mr. Ridge said, ‘More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it. Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don’t necessarily put the count on (alert)… there were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said ‘For that?’’ The Nexus of Politics and Terror. Please, judge for yourself.”

So, what would be the implications if Ridge is telling the truth? Or if he’s lying?

Whistleblower or Bestseller?

by
0
Transcript
Aug 24, 2009

Whistleblower or Bestseller?

In a soon-to-be published memoir, the United States’ first secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge alleges he was pressured to raise the terror alerts on the eve of the 2004 presidential election.

In the book titled "The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege…And How We Can be Safe Again," Ridge says then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wanted him to raise the terror status so that voters would favor George W. Bush. Ridge refused, and the terror level was not raised.

We’re looking at a variety of media perspectives from the blogs Hot Air and Greg Laden’s Blog, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

The conservative blog Hot Air points out the media’s coverage of Ridge’s uncertainty about political pressure.

“I believe this is a process known better in Washington as ‘talking out of one’s ass,’ and I’m not referring to the Democratic Party mascot… It’s not difficult to guess that Ridge may have wanted to make a big splash for his book, and this kind of unsupported allegation … would help.  I’m sure it will sell big on the Left.”

On the other hand, the leftist Greg Laden's Blog says conservatives never give whistle blowers a chance.

“I'm tired of people demanding hard and fast proof that would pass muster before the Supreme Court of the nefarious nature of the right wing. All thinking liberals ... all ... knew that Bush raising the terror alert when he did was a election related gambit.”

But MSNBC’s Morning Joe takes an even different perspective from the truth and lies debate. They look at Ridge’s financial benefits.

“I’m not surprised about the story he tells. I’m just surprised that it came in the form of a book that produces money, like Scott McClellan and his book. And I wish people would just speak when they are supposed to, if it’s the right thing to do. Is that naïve and stupid?”

“I frankly would have been surprised with a sitting administration that’s known for going after people, if he had spoken up more aggressively in ’05.”

On Countdown with Keith Olbermann, author John Dean discusses the legal issues involved with Ridge’s claim.

“The statute of limitations has run. As I say, if there was pressure, if you do manipulate an agency of government, it is a criminal offense. This is one of the things that caught a lot of people in Watergate.”

Also, Olbermann looks back at Ridge’s statements just after his resignation. Olbermann says he never wished he was more wrong about something.

“Mr. Ridge said, ‘More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it. Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don’t necessarily put the count on (alert)… there were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said ‘For that?’’ The Nexus of Politics and Terror. Please, judge for yourself.”

So, what would be the implications if Ridge is telling the truth? Or if he’s lying?

View More
Comments
Newsy
www2