August 22nd, 2009
04:32 PM ET
5 years ago

Ridge condemned for trying to profit from terror alert assertions

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A former Bush administration official said she thinks former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's recent charges that politics were behind raising the terror level in 2004 were "personally motivated."

In a new book, Ridge says top Bush administration officials may have tried to raise the nation's terror alert for political reasons in the days before the 2004 presidential vote.

In response, Frances Townsend, a former Homeland Security adviser to President George W. Bush and now a CNN contributor, told CNN's "American Morning" that she believes Ridge is trying to profit by separating himself politically from Bush's record.

"You have to wonder if this is not just publicity meant to sell more books," Townsend said.

Full story


Filed under: Frances Townsend • Tom Ridge
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. F-Dog

    Rather than address the issue, let's attack the messenger!!! It's the Bush White House approach!

    August 22, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Rob in Ontario

    Well... obviously.

    August 22, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. Independent

    Yea, I'm sure what Tom Ridge says isn't the truth according to the Bush Adminstration....Let's see, Scott was first and they condemned him...look at all the things that are coming out...

    August 22, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Marty, FL

    What sad hypocrisy, Townsend. The terror alerts were "personally motivated" by Bush, Rove, Cheney, and others to scare Americans into voting for their corrupt administration again. It is past time the truth is revealed for the American people.

    August 22, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Sandy Carey

    Yeah, sweetie, just jam your little head back into the sand – or wherever!

    August 22, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Joe

    Townsend is a big time hack for Bush–always has been. Cannot believe a word she says.

    August 22, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Melissa

    Sorry, I don't believe a word out of any Republicans mouth. This woman is a liar.

    August 22, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. ran

    I would believe Ridge before Townsend. Bush and his crew should be in jail for what they did to this country.

    August 22, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. Joe Terrogano

    Was Frances Townsend present and involved in every conversation that Tom Ridge had with the Bush Whitehouse? I doubt it and her statement is premature. How could anuone believe that Bush and Cheney would try to use the nation's terror alert for political reasons? Please!!! The Administration of fear innocent lambs?

    August 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. Connie, Indiana

    Maybe it is the truth that is being told now...I always thought that what was happening anyway.. Funny that the terror alert level dropped after "King George" was re-elected..

    August 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. the old sage

    WMD: We were not attack by Iraq, Iraq was an enemy of Iran, but we were lied to-now if someone would lie to us about starting a war wouldn't they also lie to us to stay in office, to be elected? why did we go to war in Iraq? what one person benefited? who was the hero at the time? WE NEED TO HAVE WAR CRIME TRIALS THE SAME AS AFTER WWII.

    Know how you can tell the last administration lied to us? they had their mouths open.

    August 22, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. max pargament

    I really hope this isn't surprising with all the shady stuff Bush and his cronies were doing in office.

    I mean think about what all the threats sounded like: "we can't tell you where or when or what is going to happen, but we have information that there is going to be another terrorist attack. Could be in a subway, could be on a bank". The threats were always too general to be true, but this country is very panicky.

    The guy who issues the terror alerts is probably the same guy who gathered intelligence for the lead up to the Iraq War.

    Luckily there are a few good news commentators out there, and Keith Olberman did a story about raising the terror alerts for political reasons, at a time when it seemed like doing so would be jorunalistic suicide.

    August 22, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. robert diogenes

    GET THE FACTS BEHIND THE NEWS. Tom Ridge has a long and distinguished public career.

    Townsend is part of the usual Bush debunking squad. Like Scott McCllean book and Allen books. The full story has not been told of the horrors of the Bush Administration. A full investigation would probably reveal criminal acts.

    August 22, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. Pragmatic

    One would wish that Ridge had the backbone to speak up years before but with a typical Republican Response – always attack the speaker – never the truth of what he/she wrote.

    Being loyal is a good trait in a dog but the truth needs to be told sooner or later ... and the really pathetic part is that no one is surprised that this was the way the White House was run.

    August 22, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. Shanon

    It seems far more likely, as is generally the case with these administration lackeys, that Ms. Townsend, who is pointing the finger at Mr. Ridge, is doing exactly what she is accusing him of in this case. Profiting from helping cover up the truth to the American people who couldnt tell already what was going on at the time. Its disgusting. It's cowardly, greedy, and dishonest all at the same time.

    August 22, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. tony

    wee wee,is an expression used in england,when a small child wants to go to the bathroom. mommy i need to go wee wee.

    August 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. xgop

    Tom Ridge is a man of high moral character. He would not lie. But I'll tell you who WILL lie>>>HYPOCRITICAL REPUBLICAN CONSERVATIVES. And Democrats? Watch those Blue Dogs. A blue dog is a dirty dawg.

    August 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. quarterback

    Why would anyone believe anything from any Bush official?

    They should all be in jail.

    August 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. dawn

    Why would he make up something like that? In the crocked world of politics, sometimes people develope a concious and I do believe this is the case. Ridge could have moved on to greater things after he resigned if it was politically motivaed.

    August 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. Craig H

    The whole color coded terror warning system was nothing but a political tool. It was useless for anything but striking fear into the hearts of people (as there were no instructions for what to do at each warning level) and to try to advertise that somone is paying attention to security threats. A warning sytem designed to actually help people, rather than advertise and make people fearful, would come with instructions for effective actions to do at each warning level. All the polling that I am aware of suggests that people "get conservative" when they are afraid and favor Republicans because Republicans have been effective at promoting themselves as "stronger on national defence." The Bush administration knew of this relationship between fear and public support for Republicans and the warning system served that purpose well since the warning sytem was first instated.

    August 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. vbabe

    It's probably not to sell books, most likely the guy's just trying to pass the buck, he's probably afraid people are gonna blame him for the war, so what does he do? Puts the blame on somebody else to take the weight off his shoulders, people do it ALL the time

    August 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. ib

    Ridge will do anything and say anything to make money. He sounds like a far left loon and next he may be saying that Bush caused 911 to help himself. Such a disagrace; Ridge go home and just shut up.

    August 22, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. David

    It's not like we don't already know and new at the time that Bush & company were trying to keep the country terrorized for political gain, they did there best to get there 100 year rule as Grover Norquist put it, the people or the country didn't matter. As it is it was, the biggest heist the world has ever seen and they've gotten away with it as far as I can tell, just look at the banks and corporations that profited as our country went bankrupt.

    August 22, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. Tony

    Of course Bush was corrupt, we keep hearing it again and again from those that were in his administration that have now penned books about their time in the Bush regime!

    August 22, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. Seattle Sue

    So, Francis Townsend can not stand the truth!

    August 22, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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