has a new book coming out in which he claims the Bush Administration was playing politics
with the issue of terrorism. Specifically, Ridge charges then Attorney General John Ashcroft
and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tried to get him to raise the terrorism threat
level condition (you remember orange, yellow, green, puce, etc.) four days before the 2004
Presidential election! Ridge says the only reason to elevate the threat level would be to help
Bush get re-elected by scaring the American people. He claims there was no support in
his department for raising the threat level, and he had to "talk Ashcroft and Rumsfeld
back from the ledge". They did not raise the level ultimately.
This revelation comes on the heels of recent information released by the House
Judiciary Committee stating that the Bush Administration played politics in the firing of
a number of U.S. Attorneys who weren't willing to use the power of their office to investigate
and indict Congressional Democrats in the hopes of defeating them in the next election.
The information shows the White House political advisor Karl Rove acted as the point man
for political complaints against U.S. attorneys who are supposed to be unbiased in applying
Pardon me if I suppress a yawn. The Bush Administration used the issue of
terrorism to boost it's political fortunes. Really? I'm shocked! It's as if we have discovered
that Dick Cheney blew the cover of a covert CIA agent involved in tracking the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction, in order to punish her husband for telling the truth about
Administration lies regarding Saddam Hussein's pursuit of such weapons. Would an
American politician put a CIA operative's life in danger to settle a political debt?
I'm shocked!!! Shocked!!!
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill wrote a book in which he says at the
first cabinet meeting of the new Bush Administration, the dominant subject was Iraq and
how to bring Saddam down. (Can anyone say The Project for a New American Century?)
O'Neill goes on to say one of the differences between the Ford Administration, during
which he worked, and the Bushies was Ford was interested in security and intelligence
and military policy; while the Bush gang was only interested in politics.
O'Neill is not alone in his observations. The former head of Bush's Office of
Faith-Based Initiatives, John Delulio, wrote an article for Esquire in which he was
shocked to discover every decision made in the White House passed through a political
filter. Whether they funded a particular church program or food bank was predicated
on it's political impact. Even God had to serve Rove's political ends or She would end up
being fired too.
That the media is making a big deal about Ridge's accusations says a great deal
about this issue. The corporate media worked hand-in-hand with Bush and Cheney in
scaring the American people and allowing the Bushies to make political hay out of the
issue of terrorism. Does anyone remember Judith Miller's and the New York Times'
breathless stories of nuclear and biological weapons programs in Iraq? Do you remember
Paul Wolfowitz, in an interview in Vanity Fair, admitting the only way they could sell
a war with Iraq was by pushing the issue of weapons of mass destruction? Have we so
quickly forgotten Cheney and Rice talking about how we couldn't wait for a "smoking gun"
because the smoke might be coming from midtown Manhattan when al Qaeda gets a
nuclear weapon from Saddam?
The "Downing Street Memos" (a record of a meeting between Tony Blair and
his top security chiefs in July of 2002) tells us Bush had decided to go to war with Iraq
almost a year before he attacked. The British head of MI6 reported to Blair that Bush's
people told him they would "...have to cook the books" in order to get the American
public to accept going to war.
In January, 2002, less than four months after the attacks on New York and
Washington, Karl Rove met with the Republican Governor's Association and told them
the events of September 11th would be a political bonanza for the Republican Party.
President Bush scheduled the vote authorizing the Iraq war a week before the 2002
midterm elections. Right after the Democratic National Convention in 2004, the Bush
Administration raised the terrorism threat level allegedly because information had been
discovered that al Qaeda had been conducting surveillance in New York City. It later
came out that the information was over three years old, but the damage had been done
politically. The message had been if you elect a Democratic president, the country will
be less safe and the terrorists will be thrilled.
So now we are to be shocked, shocked I say, to discover the Bushies were playing
politics with the issue of terrorism. What should truly shock you is that Tom Ridge only
discovered this after couple of years working for Bush. He wants to sell a book. So now
he tells us he quit because he didn't want to play politics with an issue as important as
Homeland Security. Did Ridge say anything at the time? No. Did Paul O'Neill say anything
at the time? No. Did Colin Powell say anything at the time when he found out the CIA and
the Pentagon had lied to him about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? No. What about
former CIA director George Tenet? Did he tell anyone about Cheney's frequent visits to
Langley to pressure analysts to "cook the books"? (a CIA analyst's words, not mine) No.
Even though everyone in the Bush Administration knew and helped them politicize the
issue of terrorism; no one spoke up until they were out of the game, and for many, not
until they decided to make money by writing a book. In fact, one of the few people to tell
the truth was Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who told the truth about Saddam and Niger;
and because he committed truth, Cheney blew his wife's cover, caused a CIA front
organization to shut down, put his family's life in danger, seriously compromised an
important CIA asset, and did serious damage to the agency's ability to track the trafficking
of weapons of mass destruction by our enemies.
What is equally shocking is everything I have chronicled here was known by
the corporate media. It was common knowledge that Bush and Cheney were politicizing
the issue of terrorism. Karl Rove leaked the name of Valerie Plame to recently deceased
columnist Robert Novak. Novak was frequently used by the Bushies to leak damaging
information on opponents. Did CNN report that? No. The corporate media was afraid
of Bush and Cheney. They refused to press them on how they were politicizing terrorism
and war. Almost 5,000 Americans are dead, 50-100,000 are wounded, as many as one
million Iraqis are dead, and al Qaeda is stronger now than it was prior to September 11th
(not my conclusion, rather the CIA's). All of this carnage was used to advance the political
fortunes of the Bush Administration.
Now some Bushies are pushing back saying Ridge doesn't know what he is talking
about. Things didn't happen the way he says. He didn't have to talk Ashcroft and Rumsfeld
back off the ledge. There is only one way to find out the truth. Once again, there has
to be an investigation. This is the most serious charge yet against Bush, et. al. Lives
were lost, families devastated, a nation wrecked. We have to know the truth. Put Ridge
and Ashcroft and Rumsfeld under oath. Add Rove, Bush, and Cheney to that list. Include
Rice, Wolfowitz, Pearl, Feith, and Libby on the subpoena list. It is time. Obama and
Congressional leaders can't continue to try to avoid this. The American people have a
right to know. Maybe you can't prosecute any of these people, but we are about to get
books from Bush and Cheney and Rice and Powell all telling and lying about their side
of the story. Isn't it time the American people got to know the truth?
The healthcare debate shows there is no bipartisan spirit in Washington. The
Republican Regressives have publicly disclosed that killing healthcare reform will kill
Obama. In the past, Obama has stated opening up investigations would poison the well
of bipartisanship and make progress difficult on his agenda. Maybe now it is time to do
what's right and let the chips fall where they may. If that occurs, I will be shocked!!!
Shocked!!! What do you think? I welcome your comments and rebuttals. Please send
them to firstname.lastname@example.org