Somewhat disappointing news, really, from former SecDHS Tom Ridge. In a forthcoming tell-all book, Ridge exposes that Rumsfeld and Ashcroft asked him to raise the terror threat level before the 2004 election, in hopes that a nervous America would be more inclined to vote for Bush. They even provided out-dated material as a bogus premise for doing so, but Ridge proved smarter than that.
Ridge states that he refused to do so, which is backed up by historical fact since the alert did not rise after the Democratic convention, but adds that he knew it was time for him to leave that position. The Czar cannot imagine why, given that Ridge’s first office was a bucket to sit on and an travel-sized ironing board to put across his lap as a desk. The DHS, even today, is not taken very seriously as a respect-worthy department within the cabinet.
Ashcroft and Rumsfeld should have known better, given their experience in politics: anything like that is doomed to explode in on you, so they owe Ridge a debt of thanks for refusing to do it. This would almost certainly would have been caught and exposed by the Democrats, and the embarassment that followed would have been disastrous. The Czar does not know whether Ridge is being completely honest here, but his background does not paint him as a fantasist who would concoct something like this. The Czar will add, though, that Bush probably only learned of this recently. Generally, the complaint goes, his closest aides generally liked to feed him good news so they could take credit for the result. This smacks as the kind of think that Rumsfeld and Ashcroft dreamed up on their own and would have withheld from the President until the day after his re-election. Bush, from all accounts by those who know him, would have been furious with them even if it had worked.
That all said, here is how the liberals will apply the not-very-faded logic of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Bush ordered Ridge to keep the terrorist levels incredibly high in order to justify the illegal war in Iraq, and Ridge did it, which cost Kerry the election (which Kerry probably did win anyway). As the Mandarin reminded the Czar this week, Bush is a total mastermind genius at this kind of manipulation because he is such an idiot.
In keeping with ODDS, of course, the liberals will not admit that the terror levels are as high now as they were during the 2004 election, and that POTUS Obama continues to maintain and endorse the allegedly illegal war in Iraq. Sigh.
[UPDATE: There are those who naturally disagree with Ridges recollection. K. J. Lopez supplies the link.]
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.