Former congressman, governor, and secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge is a long-time GOP loyalist. But he apparently doesn’t have good things to say about the Bush administration on its vaunted war on terrorism.
Tom Ridge, the first head of the 9/11-inspired Department of Homeland Security, wasn’t keen on writing a tell-all. But in The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege…and How We Can Be Safe Again, out September 1, Ridge says he wants to shake “public complacency” over security.
And to do that, well, he needs to tell all. Especially about the infighting he saw that frustrated his attempts to build a smooth-running department. Among the headlines promoted by publisher Thomas Dunne Books: Ridge was never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings; was “blindsided” by the FBI in morning Oval Office meetings because the agency withheld critical information from him; found his urgings to block Michael Brown from being named head of the emergency agency blamed for the Hurricane Katrina disaster ignored; and was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush’s re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over.
This confirms widespread suspicion that the Bush administration’s terrorism initiatives were highly political. It also undercuts the claim that we should trust government to protect us by sacrificing our liberties and giving trustworthy public servants greater discretion.