Tom Ridge kisses and tells on Bush's 'terror levels'
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On the other hand, Jay Bookman, columnist and deputy editorial page editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, dug back into news stories from the summer of 2004 to find that Ridge may not have been the total white knight his publicists claim.Skip to next paragraph
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An Associated Press story with a lead that described the essence of John Kerry’s failing presidential campaign – “The politics of terrorism has Democrats tied in knots” – has Ridge warning of “possible al-Qaeda terrorist attacks to financial institutions in New York City, Washington, and Newark, N.J.”
In other words, he wasn’t always fighting off the pressure to send sober warnings that just happened to benefit his boss running for reelection from the White House in the middle of a war that wasn’t going all that well. The AP story went on to point out that “the Bush administration let a 24-hour news cycle pass before acknowledging that most of the intelligence, while recently obtained, was three or four years old.”
Not long after the election that November, Ridge resigned.
“After that episode [involving Ashcroft and Rumsfeld], I knew I had to follow through with my plans to leave the federal government for the private sector,” Ridge writes in “The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege ... And How We Can Be Safe Again.”
It’s not unusual for former government officials to recount their version of history – for profit and as a means of shaping their reputation. Five years later, Tom Ridge is doing just that.
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