Domestic terrorism

“Using the threat of terrorism to try to achieve political goals is, you know, what terrorists do.”

That was Atrios in response to this news:

Tom Ridge, the first secretary of homeland security, asserts in a new book that he was pressured by top advisers to President George W. Bush to raise the national threat level just before the 2004 election in what he suspected was an effort to influence the vote.

Nice of Ridge to let us know way after it would have made a difference. But I guess it will increase his book sales?

This isn’t the first time Ridge admitted the threat level increases were dubious. (@ Greenwald)

Update II
Watch this Keith Olbermann video from 2007 that outlines all the times the Bush administration used terror threats to distract the media.


  1. Ian

    I’m not at all surprised, but do the threat levels even mean anything anymore? Who really pays attention to them except the government agencies required to?

  2. Jordan

    The whole “threat level” system is (was?) ludicrous. It was always a broad, sensationalistic way to inform people of…what?

    If this health care thing ever gets finished I’d like to see him reform the behemoth that is DHS.

  3. Chris

    The threat levels don’t mean anything and never did. But raising the threat level did draw media attention away from things like the Democratic convention, the Edwards VP announcement and other things.

    Check out the video I posted in Update II to see what I mean.