Friday, February 18, 2005

Surely it was just a coincidence

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge met Republican pollsters twice in May before starting a series of road trips around the country where almost half of the stops were in battleground states, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Sounds a little fishy, sure, but I remain unconvinced. Yes, the AP had to wage a year-long battle to pry the appointment calendars out of his reluctant aides' hands with a Freedom of Information Act request, but that proves nothing. After all, as Ridge himself told us during the campaign, "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security." Besides, a Ridge deputy who attended the May 17 meeting between Ridge and a GOP pollster assured us that they "did not discuss homeland security in a presidential campaign context."

Well, that puts my mind at ease, especially since unnamed U.S. officials dominated the headlines about a week after that meeting with an assertion that major summer terrorist attacks were possible. I'd have hated to think that claim might have had anything to do with other considerations, like President Bush's approval rating falling to 46 percent that month, or the continuing embarrassment of the unfolding Abu Ghraib scandal, or the public revelation that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, then the White House counsel, warned Bush that he could be prosecuted for war crimes if the Geneva Convention applied to novel interrogation methods used on al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners.

Fortunately, I don't have to think any of that, because a homeland security official said I shouldn't. I feel much better now.


Blogger Joshua Smith said...

Good research there. I'd like to know who the GOP operative was and just what exatcly was discussed.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

And now drink a beer every time a dittohead answers with "everybody does it! Four more years!"

1:23 PM  

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