The Bush administration raised the terrorist threat level even when Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify it, USA Today reports. Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said yesterday that he often disagreed with officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or “high” risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled. Ridge told a Washington, D.C., form, that he wanted to “debunk the myth” that his agency was responsible for repeatedly raising the alert under a color-coded system started in 2002.
“More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it,” Ridge said. “Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don’t necessarily put the country on (alert).” Homeland Security Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said “improvements and adjustments” in the code system may be announced within the next few months.