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The bottom line on Tom Ridge: Weasel

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 21, 2009 05:18 AM

What a weasel.

Former Bush DHS head Tom Ridge is hyping his upcoming tell-all book, which claims that the Bush administration pressured him for political reasons to raise threat level assessments.

But not a single official will back him up…including himself!

The money paragraphs in the New York Times today on Ridge’s allegations:

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.

…The most sensational assertion was the pre-election debate in 2004 about the threat level, first reported by U.S. News & World Report. Mr. Ridge writes that the bin Laden tape alone did not justify a change in the nation’s security posture but describes “a vigorous, some might say dramatic, discussion” on Oct. 30 to do so.

“There was absolutely no support for that position within our department. None,” he writes. “I wondered, ‘Is this about security or politics?’ Post-election analysis demonstrated a significant increase in the president’s approval rating in the days after the raising of the threat level.”

Mr. Ridge provides no evidence that politics motivated the discussion. Until now, he has denied politics played a role in threat levels. Asked by Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times if politics ever influenced decisions on threat warnings, he volunteered to take a lie-detector test. “Wire me up,” Mr. Ridge said, according to Mr. Lichtblau’s book, “Bush’s Law.” “Not a chance. Politics played no part.”

Let me repeat the bottom line:

He “suspected.”

He “wondered.”

But:

Mr. Ridge provides no evidence that politics motivated the discussion.

Just to be clear:

Mr. Ridge provides no evidence that politics motivated the discussion.

So, either he lied to Lichtblau. Or he’s deliberately fudging now to create book hype and interest among Bush-hating liberal journalists.

Who’s politicizing national security, Mr. Ridge?

***

Caleb Howe compares the publicity spin with what Ridge actually wrote.

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