8.20.2009

tom ridge reveals more u.s. lies

From Huffington Post:
In a new book, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge reveals new details on politicization under President Bush, reports US News & World Report's Paul Bedard. Among other things, Ridge admits that he was pressured to raise the terror alert to help Bush win re-election in 2004.

Ridge was never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings; was "blindsided" by the FBI in morning Oval Office meetings because the agency withheld critical information from him; found his urgings to block Michael Brown from being named head of the emergency agency blamed for the Hurricane Katrina disaster ignored; and was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over.

Dave Weigel, writing for the Washington Independent, notes that in the past, Ridge has denied manipulating security information for political reasons. In 2004, for example, he said, "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security."

The Bush administration was forced to admit in the days after the 2004 alert that it was based on intelligence three or four years old. Officials then claimed there was a previously unmentioned "separate stream of intelligence" that justified the warning -- but offered little tangible information to support their new story..

ThinkProgress recalls, the AP reported that "even 'some senior Republicans' privately questioned Ridge's timing of a terror alert that came just three days after the Democratic National Convention."

Go here for links.

Recently one of my anti-war posts was noticed and belittled by a pro-war Canadian blogger - not a Conservative, but a Green voter. (Underscoring that the Greens are not necessarily progressive.) When I succumbed to the temptation to comment, he asked (paraphrasing), "If we didn't invade Afghanistan, then how would we retaliate for 9/11?"

There was obviously no question in his mind that the US and Canada should retaliate, that they must retaliate. The only question was how best to retaliate. He called the idea of not retaliating "masochistic". I believe he said masochistic didn't come close to describing such an idea. He was flabbergasted at the idea that the attacks of September 11th might themselves have been retaliation.

The same blogger was also aghast to hear that the war in Afghanistan has nothing to do with democracy or women's rights.

So here is Tom Ridge with some new information - only unsurprising as to its source - about the phony terror alerts. Every day we learn more about the lies and propaganda that were used to sell the invasion of Iraq, the so-called War on Terror, the unlawful imprisonment of Afghans and Iraqis, the clampdown on civil liberties at home.

Yet people cling to the simplistic fantasy that 19 guys with a couple of box cutters caught the mighty United States napping, and that the current wars - in coincidentally oil-rich and pipeline-laden countries - are saving Western civilization.

15 comments:

redsock said...

And so Ridge confirms the truth of yet another wacky "conspiracy theory".

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Right after 9/11, I read more than one newspaper column that stated it did not much matter who the US struck back against, only that "we gotta bomb somebody"!

parliamentshill said...

I was in an international relations class a couple years later and one of the chapters in our textbook on the post-9/11 world order was (I kid you not) titled "Whom May We Bomb?".

Anyways, I was surprised to hear Ridge come out with something that (presumably) controversial in his book, but I guess it just confirms what many of us have been saying all along.

impudent strumpet said...

"If we didn't invade Afghanistan, then how would we retaliate for 9/11?"

Even if we assume retaliation is necessary and appropriate, why should Canada retaliate? The US is a sovereign country - just because they look and talk like us doesn't mean it was intended as an attack against us. Since conventional wisdom is that we're not nearly as well defended as the US, I think if they'd had a beef against Canada they would have attacked us personally.

L-girl said...

Even if we assume retaliation is necessary and appropriate, why should Canada retaliate?

He says it's because some Canadians died in the attacks.

L-girl said...

I was in an international relations class a couple years later and one of the chapters in our textbook on the post-9/11 world order was (I kid you not) titled "Whom May We Bomb?".

!!! What was the criteria of whom we may bomb?

L-girl said...

By the way, besides being war-mongers, they were grammatically incorrect. It would be "who" may we bomb, not "whom".

impudent strumpet said...

That's a trick construction. It does take "whom", because "we" is the subject of "may bomb".

WhoM may we bomb? We may bomb hiM.

If it requires "who", that would have come out with "he" instead of "him".

Who may bomb us? He may bomb us.

And now back to serious political discussion.

L-girl said...

That's a trick construction. It does take "whom"

Really? Thanks, I never would have known that.

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Sure, they exploited America's utter post 9/11 paranoia for the most base political reasons. Ridge's book is not news. The only thing newsworthy is the fact that someone who was in the know is finally admitting it. He should have written his book five years ago.

I knew what was going on in the hours leading up to the election of 2004. It was so freaking obvious, you had to be an idiot to miss it.

On the first posting on my blog on June 2, 2006, I wrote the following:

"PREDICTION: George W. Bush will be remembered in history, primarily, as the first (pray last) former chief executive to go to federal prison. Sound crazy? Stay tuned.:

I stand by those words.

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

parliamentshill said...

L-girl and Impudent Strumpet -- Hmmm. Well, I put in the "whom" myself. I looked up my notes to answer this question and the chapter is actually titled who, not whom. I don't pretend to know which is right.

The answer, it may not surprise you to learn, was effectively "everybody." The author was Barry Buzan, a conservative English political theorist, and he argued, essentially, that we should have the right to bomb civilians if they have "the government they deserve."

Buzan was complaining that we're too concerned about protecting civilians from the harm of war, which he said we should only try to do if they very clearly are being repressed by a government they "didn't deserve." (How one defines such a government is unclear, but Buzan drew the lines pretty loosely, saying that many of the people in Afghanistan and North Korea, for example, probably "deserved" their governments.) Typical militarist mishmash.

It was weird stuff, but really just a sign of the times. All kinds of anti-humanitarian nonsense came crawling out of the woodwork after 9/11, as I'm sure you remember all too well.

L-girl said...

I knew what was going on in the hours leading up to the election of 2004. It was so freaking obvious, you had to be an idiot to miss it.

No one here said Tom Ridge's admission was news, or that it surprised us. It's more noteworthy that someone on the inside admit that what the mainstream media called paranoia and conspiracy theory was indeed happening. In other words, it's the admission itself that is news, not the content of that admission.

George W Bush will not go to federal prison, nor prison of any kind. Indeed, most of the Cheney policies that he carried out will never be reversed.

[Why do I think Tom Degan from Goshen NY will never even see this reply?]

Amy said...

The only thing that surprises me is that people think this is surprising. Did anything motivate Bush and his henchman other than grabbing power?

I guess the other thing that surprises me is that Ridge has been willing to write about this. I thought it was interesting that one Republican spokesperson, denying the truth of Ridge's claim, said something like, "Politics was never discussed at that meeting." Well, duh, they were not dumb enough to say out loud, "Let's raise the threat level to help sway the election our way." They were not dumb, just evil.

L-girl said...

L-girl and Impudent Strumpet -- Hmmm. Well, I put in the "whom" myself. I looked up my notes to answer this question and the chapter is actually titled who, not whom. I don't pretend to know which is right.

I easily defer to Imp Strump here, because of her translation expertise, but my first thought was whom was incorrect, and I'm usually pretty good on that one.

The answer, it may not surprise you to learn, was effectively "everybody."

Ha. Oh yes, of course. If you've got the might, you make your own rules.

I don't suppose Buzan feels with less might are ever justified in striking back.

It was weird stuff, but really just a sign of the times. All kinds of anti-humanitarian nonsense came crawling out of the woodwork after 9/11, as I'm sure you remember all too well.

Yes! And it's yet to crawl back in!

Thanks for your comments, Parliament Shill. Your blog looks very good.

L-girl said...

I thought it was interesting that one Republican spokesperson, denying the truth of Ridge's claim, said something like, "Politics was never discussed at that meeting." Well, duh, they were not dumb enough to say out loud, "Let's raise the threat level to help sway the election our way." They were not dumb, just evil.

Indeed. And here we thought plausible deniability was a relic of the 1970s.

redsock said...

Glenn Greenwald (bold by me):

Powerful political leaders are, as Jay Rosen often puts it, the ruling priests in the journalists' church of Savviness. Trusting the politically powerful is the establishment religion and carrying forth their message is the prime function of establishment journalists (note how Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, just two months ago, argued that the "public option" was crucial but then, like so many liberal pundits eager to maintain and build close relations with the White House, got dutifully on board with the White House message, by completely and shamelessly changing course the minute the White House did). Distrusting the statements and actions of government leaders was once the central value of our political system and of basic journalism. But now, especially in the eyes of establishment journalists, it is the hallmark of the unSerious, fringe, leftist loser, no matter how many times it is proven right.

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