Ridge: Bush Wanted Terror Threat Raised for Election

Ridge tell-all dangles shocking revelation
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2009 3:32 PM CDT
In this Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008, file photo Tom Ridge, former secretary of Homeland Security and former Pennsylvania governor, speaks during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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(Newser) – The publisher of Tom Ridge's forthcoming book has dropped a potential bombshell: It says the Bush White House pressured the Homeland Security chief to arbitrarily raise the terror threat alert level on the eve of the 2004 election, ostensibly to boost its chances, reports US News and World Report. Ridge supposedly airs the dirty laundry in The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege...and How We Can Be Safe Again, out September 1.

We’ll have to wait until the book comes out to know for sure what he's written, cautions Mark Ambinder in the Atlantic, and even then it will be necessary to talk to other Bush officials to make sure Ridge isn't overstating the case. Even if true, however, it doesn’t make Ridge into a soldier for truth: He resigned after the election, and has kept quiet for 5 years—until he had a book to sell.