Well, isn’t this interesting. Tom Ridge now says that the government elevated terror threat levels when the threats didn’t justify it. Of course, many people suspected this was the case every time we heard about a scary new Orange Alert, because they seemed to be happening far too often. They were obviously using it to keep the public afraid and on edge, thinking we could be destroyed at any moment, which helps boost support for this so-called War on Terror.
How’s that war going, by the way? Are we safe yet? Oh well, I guess it doesn’t matter as long as the oil keeps a-flowin’.
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.
Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or “high” risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.
His comments at a Washington forum describe spirited debates over terrorist intelligence and provide rare insight into the inner workings of the nation’s homeland security apparatus.
Ridge said he wanted to “debunk the myth” that his agency was responsible for repeatedly raising the alert under a color-coded system he unveiled in 2002.
“More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it,” Ridge told reporters. “Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don’t necessarily put the country on (alert). … There were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, ‘For that?’ “