Tom Ridge: we were all a bunch of f*cking liars
The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.
Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or “high” risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.
I just want to remind folks that millions, if not billions of dollars were spent (and lost) as a result of these mindgames. While it may be abstract to Ridge or Bush, it caused a nightmare in NYC last August, for instance. From my post at the time (Kate and I were in NYC the week after the alert was raised in advance of the GOP convention. It was chaos there.
BTW, what I call the “orange-plus” alert up there had everyone that I ran into pissed at Bush. These were just random folks chatted up on the bus and subways. Not one person felt comforted by the “extra security”. Went down Saturday to ride the Staten Island ferry and we had to walk through the terrorist bullseye that is Wall Street. I guess they figure the area isn’t a target on weekends, since we saw a single lonely officer at the NYSE with an automatic weapon, two sleeping (bomb-sniffer) Labs, and a couple of cops shooting the breeze.
They finally eased up on the bridge vehicle searches while I was there because businesses were taking such a hit because of delays and searches (the alert meant only the Manhattan Bridge was open to commercial traffic). For instance, a 40 minute trip from Manhattan to Brooklyn for a delivery vehicle could take 6 hours.
What a joke. The Bush/Tom Ridge fright exhibit only snarled traffic and caused local businesses to lose who knows how much money.
My cousins that work in Manhattan plan to get the hell out of there when the GOP convention comes to town. Midtown will be a living hell to get around in for locals.
UPDATE: Buddy Radical Russ did up a nice revamp of the alert: