US News reports that in a new tell-all book, Tom Ridge admits manipulating terror threat levels for political motives. In the forthcoming book, Ridge reportedly acknowledges for the first time that he 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." But as The Atlantic points out, Ridge apparently gave in to the White House demands anyway, resigning only after the election. Huffington Post also provides additional discussion on this developing story.
Rehearsing the next terror attack. before 911, the government paid little attention to the role of media and public communications in its national exercises. In 2003, Ogilvy PR was asked by the Department of Homeland Security to develop and manage a full-scale, sophisticated media element in support of TOPOFF 3, its most comprehensive terrorism response exercise ever. The result was a simulated yet eerily realistic news broadcast via the Virtual News Network. The TOPOFF 4 exercise is scheduled to take place October 15-19, 2007.
The terrorists in New Jersey have been captured. They're, uhm, like 15 years old. A fine example of how anti-terror laws like the Patriot Act can be subject to mission creep. (The "terrorists" at the Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Justice in Pittsburgh seem to be still at large.)
Ethnic profiling by dummies. A group of Sikh tourists visiting New York were "identified" as "foreign looking (read muslims). They were then handcuffed with their arms behind their backs and ordered to kneel on the pavement. Maybe this Sikh man has the right idea.
The Homeland Security Bill. It has passed the House, on to the Senate where it is believed that it will pass. The President will sign it. Yet the text of H.R.5710 is unavailable to the American public.