August 21st, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Would gov't manipulate public fear of terror for political gain?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Former Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, is taking his turn talking about his time served in George W. Bush's White House. In his new book, "The Test of Our Times," Ridge says he successfully squashed a plan to raise the nation's terror alert level to orange or "high," on the eve of the 2004 election.

Ridge says the push from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft was based on a pre-election message on tape from Osama bin Laden.

Ridge writes that he felt the message alone did not warrant the increased threat level and points out that there was no additional intelligence information indicating an increased likelihood of a terrorist attack. He also says increased security measures were already in place for the election. He writes, "I wondered, is this about security or politics?"

During the 2004 election one in five voters said terrorism was the most important issue to them, according to exit polls.

Ridge was able to help convince a group of other officials that there was no reason to cause what he calls, "undue public alarm" and in the end the threat level was not raised.

He said the incident was one of the major reasons he eventually decided to step down from public service.

Here’s my question to you: Do you think the government would try to manipulate the public's fear of terrorism for political gain?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Gilbert writes:
Jack, Fear is the main tool of manipulation. Read Machiavelli's "The Prince." This is why it is necessary to keep the population ignorant and stupid. Feed them a steady diet of lies and b.s. and you can scare them any time you want. The Bush administration did it all the time.

Mary from Wisconsin writes:
What do you mean "would" the government do this? The Bush administration did this all the time, obviously. My question would be to Mr. Ridge: If you are such a patriot, great public servant and a good citizen, why did you save this story for your book? Why weren't you out the door screaming from the rooftops about this as soon as it happened so that these criminals didn't get re-elected?

Scott from Oklahoma writes:
The last administration did it and the current Obama administration has done it too. How many times have Obama administration folks tried to scare us about the economy, the banking system, the auto industry, health care, global warming? That is how administrations get things done, scare the people with some "great evil" then pass laws to remove the fear from people. What a great gig.

Tom from Newark, Delaware writes:
Jack, I think our leaders are too honest to pull that stunt. I don't think that the government would ever be so low as to claim that Iraq had WMD's in order to "manipulate the public's fear of terrorism for political gain" to justify going to war unless they knew for sure that the weapons were actually there!

Ken writes:
Of course the government uses fear as a political tactic. Not to compare our system to the Nazi regime but that’s how Hitler and his cronies did it. However it worries me that we are at a point that we treat the question as a pun or laugh when in reality it is sad and dangerous for our elected officials to treat us in such a manner.

John writes:
Jack, did that just occur to you? I never understood why there should be a color coded system for how scared I should be. You're either under threat or your not. Why categorize it?

Filed under: Government
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. Paul

    You just find out! The FEAR is working again. When officials are telling their consituencies that Obama is going to kill their grandmothers, that's more than fear. Republicans can't win without spreading fear. They are still talking about communism, socialism... do you see that in Russia? They lie and spread fear. They were having meeting every Thursday to demonize gay community, and you know the airport bathroom with senator, sex with gay by prominent republican pastor, and PAGE things? They were ready to kill Clinton, in process, Newt Gingrich, and others congressmen did more than Clinton. Look at what they are doing now to their wives...traveling to Argentina, sleeping with their aides wfves...

    August 21, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  2. Doug - Dallas, TX

    I believe the Bush administration would have done whatever they thought would give them political gain regardless of the consequences. You only have to look at Iraq as proof of that!

    August 21, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  3. Barry Wantagh NY

    Is that a question or a joke. If the past has taught us anything it is that he who controls the message control the situation.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  4. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    I have always believed that Osama Bin Laden video that surfaced right before the Presidential election was a shrewd political move by the Republicans. I believe that the Bush administration did successfully manipulate public fear from 9/11 right up to the last day of his presidency. I'm sure that more manipulation will be uncovered in the years to come.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  5. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    You betcha! If they have a fear of losing seats in the next election because of what they are trying to do to the people in this country with their health care plan, I wouldn't put anything past Pelosi and Reid to stir up this controversy to try and keep their seats.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  6. Ed Tant in Athens, GA

    Yes, and it's nothing new. During the post World War I "Red Scare," which made the 50's-era McCarthy witch hunts seem like an ACLU picnic, President Wooidrow Wilson's Attorney General Mitchell Palmer stoked the fires of terrorism and elevated J. Edgar Hoover to political power. During World War II, loyal Japanese-Americans were rounded up and imprisoned. It can happen here and it has..

    August 21, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  7. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    I like that Andy Card, Bush's chief of staff, stated "The clear instructions were to make sure politics never influenced anything."

    That pretty much confirms this too fell under the ruberic of NeoCon crime and corruption.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  8. Al - Syracuse, NY

    Do you really have to ask? Didn't you notice that the fluctuations in the terror alert stopped right after the election?

    August 21, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  9. Gary - Woodhave, Michigan

    Over the centuries of American politics there has been conspiracy, extortion, murder, kidnapping, blackmail, and every law broken in the name of political gain and power.

    Why would manipulation surprise anyone, fear and shame are a patriarchal society's preferred forms of control.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  10. Amber - Austin, TX

    Jack, we lived through that in 2004 when the Republicans played that card to win another election.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  11. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I am from Pennsylvania and Tom Ridge has a good reputation and is well liked. I do not believe he would lie to sell a book. He is just one of many that worked for the Bush administration to come forward with the truth. If the Bush administration could lie to the public about weapons of mass destruction to invade Iraq. Then changing the terrorist level to orange to scare the hell out of people in order to win an election had to be a no brainer for them. Back in 2004 the word terrorist raise the hair on people's necks. They knew it and they used it.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  12. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    Jack does a bear poop in the woods?
    Didn't you ever wonder why Tom Ridge was the head of homeland security such a short time? His successor didn't look smart enough to tie his shoes, guess that's why he got the nod.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  13. Kuol Awan

    Jack, we all people and we do what favor our ideology everyday. There was nothing that can prevent any kind government to manipulate the system in order to get what they want. Either Bush's government or Obama's government can drive policy thier way. Belame all it on Bush but personal interest is our daily preference as people.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  14. Rae from Indiana

    Well, I think it was mentioned at the time. How many more people from the previous administration need to speak out before you see that almost everything done was with an eye to how they could benefit from it?

    August 21, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  15. Kerry Florida

    Anybody with any common sense could see the way threat levels and bogus terrorist threats would very conveniently appear around important dates during the past 8 years after 9/11.

    And the Republican fools continue to say "Well we haven't been attacked since 9/11 on Bush's watch." Why should they attack again when our own government continued the terrorism for them in our country for political gain?

    We should be ashamed of our ignorance and the US government during those 8 years. And we wonder why the world quit taking us serious during that time...

    August 21, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  16. Steve

    Don't know if democrats would do it but obviously republicans did it with terror alerts and they're doing it again with their health reform scare tactics. Republicans are so bereft of ideas. Manipulating fear is all that they've got.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  17. Eleanora Feucht, Mt. Laurel, N.J.

    It depends on who is running the government. During the Bush administration, I would aways say thsat when Bush got into hot water, he would get in touch with his friend Bin Laden and lo and behld, Bin Laden would come up with a tape threatening us. Then things would calm down until Bush got into a fix again ad another Bin Laden tape would surface. ERGO – Manipulation !

    August 21, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  18. Terry from North Carolina

    Yes the government is much like the media, both manipulate the public to their advantage and would easily come up with a story concerning terrorism even if it didnt happen to put fear in us to get what they want whatever it is at the time.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  19. j/NJ

    Do you think the government would try to manipulate the public’s fear of terrorism for political gain?

    Absolutely, there is nothing the govt would not do for political gain, manipulating fear is likely the most effective and desirable strategy...in any event fear manipulation is used routinely at all levels and branches of govt with varying degrees of acceptance...but manipulating fear requires assistance from a well entrenched and influential news media, one that is willing and able to shape public opinion exclusively in the State's interest...

    August 21, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  20. Bill from pa

    The Bush administration lied to the American people non-stop from day one. Why would this surprise anyone?

    August 21, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  21. Kevin SW MI

    Jack, President George W. Bush did it for eight years! Remember WMD's and nerve gas. The GOP is known for politics of fear.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  22. Dan

    Of course the gov't would try to do it again. Politicians are people and people only care about one thing: keeping their jobs.
    St. Louis, MO

    August 21, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  23. Mark in OKC

    You mean like manipulating public FEAR of our HEALTH CARE system failing if we DON'T pass the President's health care reform ideas? Something like that? Why, heavens no!

    August 21, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  24. Ralph Nelson

    You'll find the Republicans have already done this, fear is their weapon of democracy. Tell them anything but scarce the life out of them, divide them, and march to the presidency. It's an old Richard Nixon song from 1968 starring "I have a secret plan to end the war." The answer is YES. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  25. Alex in Seattle

    The last administration certainly did! How do you think Bush got reelected, Jack? Why appeal to reason when manipulating emotion is much more effective with a poorly informed populace?
    Take the current debate on health care for example. President Obama can explain the economic trends that necessitate reform until people's eyes glaze over and persuade nobody except a few policy wonks. While the conservatives successfully rally their people with talk of "death panels" and killing granny.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  26. Dolores Surprise AZ

    Duh!!! of course they would. This country wouldn't have been in the shambles it is in now if Bush hadn't have gotten in by the Florida Supreme Court and their cronies, he wouldn't have gotten in the 2nd time without the miscount in Ohio and tricks like Tom Ridge wrote about. What a different country this would have been without the Bush Administration.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  27. David E Smigas

    I find it amazing how some people can remember EXACTLY what was said and how things went down , who said what and who was there at what time , one minute on one subject , but completely forget EVERYTHING about another matter of equal importance the next. Manipulate information to the public??? It could NEVER happen. Now let me uncross my fingers!!!!

    August 21, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  28. David Alexandria, VA

    Probably not "the Government." But an adminstration might. Take, for example, the phrase "let no good crisis go to waste." There was a lot of scare tactic being tossed around over the urgency of passing a morbidly obese, porcine stimulous package. There seems to be some of that being whupped around about health care. Must be in the DC water.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  29. Joe CE

    The Bush Admin did, I don't think Obama would do it but unfortunately can't be sure.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  30. Joe CE

    The Bush Admin did, I don't think Obama would do it but unfortunately can't be sure. Not duplicate.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:48 pm |


    August 21, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  32. Bruce St Paul MN

    Its no more likely than believing that they would ask U.S. Attorneys to put Democratic candidates in handcuffs as often as possible just before an election, and fire those who don't. No more likely than withholding FEMA support from New Orleans in order to discredit the sitting Democratic Governor.No more likely than tapping into the Ohio electronic voting machines, or sending thugs to disrupt and stop a vote recount in Florida. And Karl Rove wants an apology?

    August 21, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  33. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    100% YES!! What doesn't the government manipulate for Political gain........enough said!

    August 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  34. william fitzwater

    I think they (the media) are reading things into this. I do think Osama bi ladin did use this to manipulate the Bush administration. Not the other way around because if there is proof then there is culpability . I also think it is popular to bash on a unpopular president to say everything in the world that has gone wrong is his fault . Easy. While I disliked Former President Bushes polices and I feel he was dead wrong on many things I don't feel they manipulated the terror alert levels for political gain.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  35. Brian


    Are you kidding? We learned years ago from the Downing Street Memo that manipulating public sentiment with fear and lies was par for the course during the Bush Years. It is shocking how quickly people are forgetting how bad we had it for so long – President Obama has made great leaps for our country in a very short amount of time and yet Americans are already so comfortable with him they take him for granted. President Bush, Inc. was a manipulative, thieiving liar and if we forget this, we are doomed to elect his direct successor.

    Boise, ID

    August 21, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  36. S, Michigan

    Of course, anything under control of anyone (govt or individual) can and may be manipulated. For god's sakes, feels like the level has been at Orange for almost 8 yrs now- they may need to start changing colors- orange feels like Green (or no risk).

    August 21, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  37. T. G. from the virgin islands

    Of course! When George W. bush realized that the War in Iraq was becoming controversal, it was the only way he could been reelected as president.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  38. Brad, Memphis, TN

    The terrorist acts of 9/11 were obsolete before the first tower fell. Following that day the government took these opportunistic simpletons (who used nothing more than box cutters) and inflated their image into that of a James Bond super villain. And for only one reason; to give them an enemy that they could use to their political advantage. In our office we had a pool going to see who could call which day before the 2004 election that the threat level would go up. Tom Ridge owes me money.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  39. Patsy, Texas

    Obviously, Bush/Cheney & Co. would, could, and did. They fired
    anyone who questioned them, or did not agree wholeheartedly.
    Now you have hired Frances Townsend, one the most
    irritating people I have ever heard. Here she is, denying what
    Tom Ridge asserts.
    I don't believe her and I am sorry you hired her.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  40. Mike Armstrong TX.

    That weapon really has'nt been used in the Obama administration but good ol George used it several times it seem's to me that Obamas more of a lover then a fighter.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  41. Jack Martin in Florida

    Of course they would. The Bush administration practiced it constantly.
    We Americans can be duped easily. Look at the behavior of the people attending town hall meetings on healthcare. The politicians must be laughing themselves silly.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  42. Robert Clayton

    Ah, wouldn't they! When fear is your primary political weapon, you use it. And you use it when out of power, too. After all, it's all you've got! Witness today's cultish Republican party, font of all wacky talking points and claimants of the world's worst liars crown.

    If only people would stop to consider this, instead of reacting to the made-up boogieman BS from the Republicans, then it wouldn't work. Alas, after eight years of rule by fear, and 30 years of being threatened every election by fears, the American public is so accustomed to it they don't stop to think, they just react.

    Thus is our body politic led astray.

    Bob Clayton
    Silver Spring, MD

    August 21, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  43. JWC in Atlanta

    I don't think "government", as in "we the people", would manipulate ourselves that way, but it's proven that an administration or a political party certainly will. We should pay focused attention on the lessons such as going to meaningless war based on conjecture as the Bush administration used with WMD etc. Men, particularly unwise ones, are capable of anything, and our suspicions in the role of "we the people" must be ever vigilant.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  44. Barbara from Coral Springs, Fl

    Of course the goverment would, it uses everything for political gain, republican and democrats alike. I don't however think this particular example is that. Had Ridge said they told me to do it because the election is tomorrow that would be one thing, but to just assume it is just another example of using politics to sell a book.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  45. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    "911, 911, post 911 world, that's a pre-911 mentality, 911"
    Does the above statement not remind you of the past eight years of news cycles? It should because that's all we heard from the government and the news media, between stories of Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton. The use of terror threats for political purposes became a running joke on late night comedy shows. The fact that this is a new story to the news media may explain why most of the public now gets the news from the internet .

    August 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  46. Terresa from Bland, VA(yes, that is the real name of the community)

    Is this a trick question like the ones my high school history teacher used to put on his tests? Like...Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?

    Everything they do is political and the truth and politicians don't seem to be acquainted.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  47. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Is this a joke or what? We have all seen how President Bush raised the threat level just when he wanted a piece of legislation passed. The entire Administration played games with the fears of the American People to get what they wanted, when they wanted it.

    I guess he never heard of the story of the Boy who cried Wolf.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  48. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Dear Jack

    Where there is great power there is great scope for corruption. The previous administration was populated by the most corrupt, morally banrupt SOBs since the Nixon era. Come to think of it Cheney and Rumsfeld among others cut their White House teeth in the Nixon Administration.
    So the answer is YES, manipulation of terror to achieve political advantage is possible. You just have to be low enough and cowardly enough to attempt it, and brother, the Bush Administration was.... and then some!

    Arlington Texas

    August 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  49. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    It happened the day that we were attacked on 9/11! Bush wasn't above manipulation on any subject.....especially our fear of another terrorist attack. This administration....NO! President Obama would not stoop so low as to play on the countries fear like that. He's not that kind of man.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  50. Deb in Lancaster, PA

    Depends on what government you're talking about. During The Bush Administration, the answer was obviously a resounding "yes." In the future, only if the governed are stupid enough to not see through the manipulation. I didn't need Ridge to tell me this. My husband and I figured it out when it happened in 2004. I'm proud to say I never voted for The Duo of Deception.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  51. Darren

    It was pretty clear from the word go that George W. Bush and Dick B. Cheney were focused on getting in Iraq ... and look where we are today, trlllions of dollars poorer.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  52. Cecilia Walker

    For the pass 8yrs the bush/channey regime used any kind of tacted to get a vote and destroy our image around the world. People like these clown's make you wonder how they sleep at night.But they don't care about america,it was their own behind they were looking out for period.And the whole Republican has the same state of mind' there nothing but sick loser's with no moral's.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  53. David A Whitaker

    Yes Jack they do it everyday with these called gas prices, crude oil go down gas prices still go up. It amazing how gas have the tendencies
    to go up at every holiday. Give me a break


    August 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  54. SHARON: Anchorage, Alaska

    There is nothing the government would not manipulate, to it's political or ideological benefit. As Robert Novak said "Always love your country, never trust your government & a govenment that can give you everything can take everything away."

    August 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  55. Mary Texas

    So why do you keep asking for comments on any subject. I know who controls everything and feel as though I'm never heard. I believe in the old adage"Just wait and see what happens."

    August 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  56. Mike from Denver

    Political gain? Jack, don't forget monetary gains. They can swing votes for political or budgetary gains by playing with our sense of security. What is worse is that they can hide behind the title of "national security", get away with it, and then make even more money on the whole thing later with a cushy book deal.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  57. Doug Fitzgerald

    Jack- Yes, the previous administrations did exactly that.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  58. Christine Higgins

    FROM: Mt. Carmel, ILL

    Our government has manipulated everything ... and I mean everything. What happened to all that money from Wall Street? Did anyone go to jail and/or prison over the loss of all OUR money? No. Did anyone have to pay back ANY of that money? No. Did all that money just vanish in the air and we should forget all about it because nothing can be done? Is anyone at Blackwater going to jail or having charges filed against them? No! We'll see........... GOD HELP US ALL!

    August 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  59. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, you KNOW the answer to this question. The politicians manipulate the public every day through the media and almost every time it is with the "fear factor"! Dems are pushing fear with the health care reform (bankruptcy, economic disaster, blah, blah), the Republicans push back with the " fear factor" (deficeits, lose of jobs, pull grandma's plug). Crap, it's no wonder the nation is drugged to the gills, with fear coming at us from every direction, and no way out according to the D.C. crowd. It is no wonder the radicals from both sides are getting more rabid every day. Insanity IS catching, we are getting it from our government.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  60. Bob In Florida

    Those WITHIN government would and DO manipulate fear of terrorism to get what they want. How do you think the (UN)PATRIOT ACT was pushed through Congress in 45 days? The (UN)Patriot Act was the first thousand page "DO NOT READ BEFORE VOTING" bill to start the now standard "rush, rush" legislation.

    The Bush years WERE ALL ABOUT fearmongering 24/7/365. Not only do I believe Tom Ridge's charges, I believe there was FAR MORE done. I would NOT be surprised that the Bin Laden tape put out four days before the election was a composite of earlier Bin Laden messages put together by the CIA. BUT, we will probably never know because the MEDIA does not investigate while Congress does NOT read.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  61. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, in today's America I wouldn't put anything past politicians. They'll do whatever it takes to stay in office, regardless of party affiliation. Ridge's accusation that Rumsfeld and Ashcroft encouraged him to raise the security threat level just before the 04 election puts the onus on the Republicans. Surely the Democrats can come up with something equally creative when the time comes. They're all a bunch of bums.

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    August 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  62. Ruie - Brownstown, MI

    Dear Jack: Not sure if you're kidding or not on this question!?!? Seems to me they did that for 7 1/2 years then wrapped themselves in the flag and said "My look what a Patriot am I."

    August 21, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  63. Cheryl

    I think it was the motto for the Bush Administration and the Republicans in general. Now it's "death panels" and "socialism".

    August 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  64. Deborah in Blue Springs, MO

    The question should be "what WOULDN'T the government manipulate for political gain?". The answer: nothing.
    From fear of financial doom to fear of a drug-crazed society, the government and politicians prod their speechwriters into lulling us into complacency with their political agendas.
    The wool has been pulled over the eyes of gullible Americans for hundreds of years by these polished liars – all in the name of funding and re-election.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  65. K

    Bush did this for 8 years!

    August 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  66. Rosemary Robertson

    You bet the Cheney-Bush cabal of corruption would (and did) manipulate the risk level for political purposes. It's the eqivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater and they should be prosecuted for doing it. Why are these jerks literally getting away with murder?

    August 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  67. James Lenon - Chuckey TN

    Nope, never happened. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, gentlemen all who would never place political gain above honesty and truth when dealing with the American citizens.

    Ridge, on the other hand is welcome at my dinner table any night.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  68. Linda in Arizona

    Is this a joke question? The bush administration never stopped lying from day one. Of COURSE, they manipulated the "Terror Alert Level" for political gain. ROFL to think you would need to ask. Political reasons were the only reason for instituting the "Terror Alert Level" in the first place. After all, what could citizens do about it, no matter what the color was? The politics of fear worked very well for cheneybush.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  69. Dale Portland, ME.

    The Bush/Cheney administration was certainly capable of such a vile act but I couldn't conceive of the current adminstration doing it! The Bush/Cheney people left a legacy of deception and immoral acts. It is Certain to happen again and again because we are all fools for charisma and charm more than intelligence and are never happy with the status quo.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  70. Jackie in Dallas

    Duh, Jack. What do you think we just spent 8 years under? In actuality, we were in as much danger of a terrorist attack during President Clinton’s terms as we were under President Bush or now under President Obama. The main difference is that President Clinton didn’t push it down our throat to accomplish political goals and neither is President Obama. President Bush ignored terrorism until 9/11, then used it to steal personal rights to privacy, freedom of speech, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure from us under the guise of making us safer and forcing the Patriot Act on us. Time after time, we are hearing of times when major decisions were made in the name of National Security that were, pure and simple, for political gain.

    Benjamin Franklin once said “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” So we are now reaping what we sowed. Or, at least all of us are reaping what those who voted for Bush’s second term sowed.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  71. Ken in NC

    The government may not have manipulated but Bush and Cheney would. I would not be suprised now to learn that they knew about the plan to hit the Twin Towers on 9-11 and used that to establish a reason to go to war. I think Cheney would do anything to get what he wanted.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  72. Jane/Seattle

    This government and business here manipulate for profit as a way of life. It is not the government per se that is guilty as so many Conservatives would have us believe. let me re-state that: It is the Neo"Cons" who do this bidding of the free market God. Started at the U. of Chicago in the Milton Freidman School Economics. This slash and burn approach is what is driving the destruction of the world's eco-systems and 100 species go extinct daily. This greed is also driving the corruption world-wide which directly or indirectly causes the crisis in many places such as Darfur, Somalia, the Middle East, israel/Pakistan. If the marriage of corporations and government (Fascism-look up Mussilini) could be broken, we might be able to return to a reasonable and sustainable model for a future that does not include self-destruction by economic policy. I am so sick of listening to the lies of the corporate/government whores who would kill the Planet for another vacation home. Enough already! Many of us are not fooled by the Deception/Obfuscations of Truth so rampant. Republicans: Educate yourselves and stop listening to the divisive Hate of the Reich Wing as personified by the Republican Network-Faux News.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  73. Christine Higgins

    Health care? TAKE AWAY all health care benefits from Senators and Congressmen/women; let them pay their own way; and then you have enough money left to pay for full health care for All Americans! How many people are dying of cancer, diabetes, heart problems, all because they do not have the benefits of good health care like our politicalf idiots have. Take it away from them and give it to us!
    Good job, Jack

    August 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  74. martha j. pierce

    The government would manipulate the public on anything they deemed in their ideologic interests. Jane Mayer has documented all of this excellently in her book The Dark Side. Read the book Blackwater to discover how even the CIA was manipulated to use contractors as assasins. We need to clean house and it will not be easy to do. There are hard working sincere bureaucrats trying to do their best in government. At the same time there are those protecting their own self interests and these are the ones who need to be eliminated from government.

    Lacey, WA

    August 21, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  75. roger

    Ask the Iraq vets! Bush and Cheney would do anything they could get away with, no matter how vile or illegal (to say nothing of immoral) to get what they wanted for personal reasons! Starting from the stealing of the first election to the corrupt way they implamented the first economic boost without any rules or safeguards at the end of their second term, theirs was the most corrupt presidency in recent history!

    August 21, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  76. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Manipulation by the Government by using fear for political gain lead to financial gain for many subcontractors. Just follow the money trail and it will lead you right back to politicians.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  77. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    what do you think the cold war was all about. we are talking about money and power anything goes

    August 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  78. Henya, CA

    This sows there colors the Republicans only think about themselves. Manipulating elections scaring the American people, this is very scary the American people need to pay attention to this, maybe now people will realize how they spared miss leading information about health care reform.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  79. Mike in St. Paul

    Geez, Jack. You're just asking this now? I figured it out when they dismantled the CIA's Osama bin Laden task force so we would still have a boogey man out there for the government to exploit. Actually, even before then, back when Bush started saying that the terrorists' motive was to attack our freedom. When he started preaching that on 9/11 Saddam Hussein attacked our freedom I started to worry about who to worry about. Later, when they they found no WMDs and Bush started saying that it didn't matter, it was only a matter of time until Saddam would have attacked our freedom anyway, then I knew who to fear.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  80. tritiumae

    If you think the corruption that comes out without an investigation, can you imagine what they might be keeping a tight lid on? Are there any living investigative reporters left? Pelosi needs to be held accountable as well. Play dumb all she wants, she had a repsonsibility, and she is equally to blame at this point for all the Bush era mistakes. Hope she enjoyed her special treatment via military resources. Now let's send her to the brig.

    Gene in Seattle

    August 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  81. Author J Darroll Hall Indianapolis In. writes

    They would, and it appears did JACK! We are now just learning what the Bushes’ were capable of and how Integrity had no corner to hide in for these people in the Whitehouse. The last administration is making Nixon look like Saint of a president. Kudos top Ridge for the backbone to finally speak the truth. If you recall Ridge did resign shortly after the statement. Is he the only one who had any moral backbone in the last administration..
    Never has one administration had so many buffoons lying like floating dead rotten stinking fish on a lake of lies distortions and utter agency fabrications, the entire cabinet seems to be corrupt… When do the hearing start, Time for the republicants grilled and fried up for the American people like they did the Clintons.
    It’s time for the party of law and order to be called to the pulpit of the American public opinion and be held accountable for the lies and pure breaking of laws on what seems like a daily basis. What a spin of the table turning this is, karma comes back to haunt Chain Gang Cheney, and Rummy.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  82. William Courtland

    Not so much Government, as it is: the people in Government; the individuals.

    If you ask me the party system is terrorism against the Constitution, and during campaign season: look out!

    In America: The government is the Constitution: when the Federalists lost: so to was the path of true, democratic, intelligent function which was instructed by the Constitution for purposed operation in a republic.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  83. Nick Del Monte

    Hey Jack I'll let you answer by asking you a question. Do fish swim underwater?

    August 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  84. JT in OH

    This would surprise you why? I was not alive during the Pentagon Papers and "yes we are winning Vietnam" war days, but I read about them and saw us go into Iraq looking for WMD only to discover that our entrance upset the entire middle east and created a black hole that benefited Iran. So believing that the U.S. govt., under Bush, would purposely lie to obtain political gain seems just in line with their past behavior and, unfortunately, too much historical proof. Remember – Cheney was part of Nixon's camp, need I say more?

    August 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  85. Thomas

    Any politician, Republican, Democrat, or otherwise would manipulate public fear of terrorism to help them get elected. All politicians are the same and all want the same thing, power. The question should be, when do you think it will happen again?

    August 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  86. Doug in Montana

    Yes. That's what got us into Iraq. Some people made a lot of money off of that war and it wasn't the foot soldiers. It's a crime.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  87. Tom Chapman, Newark, DE

    Jack, I think our leaders are too honest to pull that stunt.

    I don't think that the government would ever be so low as to claim that Iraq had WMD's in order to "manipulate the public's fear of terrorism for political gain" to justify going to war unless they knew for sure that the weapons were actually there !!

    August 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  88. Barry

    Well now Jack, didn't President Bush and president Clinton both say there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and then we found none? That is only a tad bit of an example of what politicians will tell you to get you to believe or endorse something. As much as I hate to use the word politicians are nothing but a bunch of whores selling themselves and their ideals and unfortunately with politicians we are all going to get screwed like it or not.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  89. John

    Jack, did that just occur to you? I never understood why there should be a color coded system for how scared I should be. You're either under threat or your not. Why categorize it?

    August 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  90. Princeofthebes

    I am shocked that you would insinuate that our pristine and pure government would do such a thing. President Bush was the most humane and honest president of my time (i've lived through 8). I just don't believe that honest, truth telling Bush Administration would stoop to those lows to aide McCain in winning a race that he couldn't have one even if he was running unopposed.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  91. Tom in Iowa

    Jack, I remember the period from 2002 to 2004 quite well and I also remember that EVERY TIME the president's poll numbers declined the Threat Level was raised and he got an instant jump in the polls. There is NO question in my mind that the administration was using the terror scale to manipulate public opinion. Not just the one time Tom Ridge is talking about either, they did it time after time.

    Tom in Iowa

    August 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  92. James Richmond, VA

    Come on, Jack, it was obvious to all thinking people that George Bush and the Republicans used the alerts to scare people into thinking that Bush could protect them.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  93. Derek

    Manipulation and capitalism are inseparable parts of the whole. We are manipulated by marketers, pollsters, pundits, special interest groups, corporations and even some non-profit organizations. Some day folks may come to realize that Congress is merely one of these cogs making the economy go 'round. If it has a price; there's manipulation selling it.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  94. Marian

    Absolutely! Some will hold on to power by "any means necessary."

    August 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  95. Steve Carpenter

    There hasn't been a single threat level change since Bush won (yes, he did win the second one) his second term. That alone should leave no doubt in anyone's mind that politics was the central focus around the color coded threat levels.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  96. WolfK

    Are you kidding Jack?

    I always took it for granted that the alert level had little to do with the risk of terrorism and more to do with the risk my civil liberties would be further dismanteled.

    By the way, who's actually known (or cared) what the current alert level has been for the last few years?

    August 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  97. dglenn

    Would the Obama admistration do so? I don't _think_ so, but I'm not terribly confident in that answer (especially when we consider that there are others who might stand to gain from doing so than the folks at the very top).

    Would the Bush administration do so? I'm fairly certain that it did do so.

    Would "the US gov't" in the abstract, not a particular administration, do so? Yes: some administrations would, some wouldn't; I'm guessing most would be tempted.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  98. Ron

    Would the U.S. Government under 43 presidents manipulate the public this way. No, I don't think so. But given all of the illegal or bordering on illegal machinations pulled by Bush, Cheney, and especially Rove, et. al., I absolutely believe–and believed at the time–that they were once again lying to the American public for purely political reasons. The sad thing is that it worked. The sadder thing is that I believe that a lot of conservatives believe that this was the right thing to do and would do it again. Why do I feel this way–just look at the lies spread like manure over Health Care Reform..

    August 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  99. Nora Palmer


    When politicians are campaigning, they will promise to give away their first born to win an election, so manipulating the public is like as easy to most of these immoral sociopaths!!!


    August 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  100. Lura

    Fear was the only way Bush administration could keep the uneducated masses loyal to their plan for a totalitarian government..It was very effective don't you think?

    August 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  101. DJ in Denver

    The Republicans do it all the time. The whole ration of garbage about death panels are a case in point. How about those guys (Rebublicans) quoting the propaganda from Lewan which is owned and controlled by the Pharmeceutical company. Things like it will be too expensive to have health insurance, or if you get insurance you'll be less healthy. I like this one, If we reform health insurance illegal immigrants will get it. Smoke, mirrors, and fear are all they have. Of course none of the above junk is true, but it's in our face every day.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  102. Dee in Florida

    Government (meaning those in power) will ALWAYS manipulate the people by playing on their fears, and the fear of terrorism is no different than any other.

    Manipulation is how the government keeps the public in check, and justifies itself.

    What I want to know is, not whether the government manipulated us using our "fear" of terror attacks, but whether any of those who did so will be arrested!

    August 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  103. Keith in Irving TX

    If fear is a driving force to get people to loss there minds and make irrational decision – the the answer is YES!!

    We are a nation of followers that constantly wait to be told what to do, we are not willing to decide for ourselves – because that thing called a brain might give us information we don't want to hear.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  104. Mary, Wisconsin

    What do you mean "Would" the government do this? The Bush administration did this all the time...obviously. My question would be to Mr. Ridge. If you are such a patriot, great public servant and a good citizen, why did you save this story for your book? Why weren't you out the door screaming from the rooftops about this as soon as it happened so that these criminals didn't get reelected? Guess this little tidbit was just what your book needed to bring in lots of money. Right, Mr. Ridge? What a "patriot". Fits right in with the rest of the Bushies. Shameful.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  105. Leon Smith

    Come on Jack, Just the mere fact that the levels have not been changed over 4 times since the 2004 results were counted in itself should support the claim. Does this really surprise anyone, even the wing nuts on the right either believed, or knew, this all along. But until Rush, Karl, Dick, and/or Don tells them to accept this fact, they will remain in the dark longer than we will remain in Iraq.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  106. Adam

    No one is surprised from the Bush administration cabinet. Just another loyal servant that has to say the truth sometimes. No wonder they are NO.1 as the worst President team in history by most historians and Americans.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  107. Graham, LA

    Of course not Jack. I'm also sure that when that big guy in 4th Grade told me to give him my lunch money and he'd make sure no one messed with me, he was just trying to look out for me.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  108. patty/ Vancouver Island

    Let's see....Manipulated the election ( Bush vs Gore)...manipulated facts to go to war...manipulated press by introducing (the imbedding process)....manipulated the meaning of torture( enhanced interrogations) ..manipulated the constitution ( to be able to wire tap).

    Do you really need to ask?

    August 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  109. Harold, in ANCHORAGE, AK

    This comes under the "suspisions confirmed dept." Fear seems to have been the main plank on thr Republican platform since 9/11. And, of course an incumbent war-time president always has a leg up.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  110. Sheila Brauchler

    No, I do not believe the Bush administration would have artificially raised the threat level for political gain.

    AND, you still cannot resist your Bush bashing, can you?

    Sheila Brauchler
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    August 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  111. Lee in Phoenix AZ

    Jack, is this a serious question? THAT administration try to manipulate us?
    Oh, excuse me. Here come Dubya, Rumsfeld and Rove, in wigs and opera hose and tap shoes, singing "Anything Goes!"

    August 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  112. Mike in East Grand Forks, Minnesota

    Your easiest question EVER, is a 3 letter answer: WMD

    August 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  113. Marilyn Ueeck

    Not only would they, they did!! I was flying home to be able to vote the night before and had a plastic computer tool set confiscated from my luggage. Don't tell me he successfully stopped the terror threat. The only terrorist was bush & company!

    August 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  114. orlando, in alabama

    The government has been manipulating the public for years,that is how they get over on us and the system.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  115. T. Hawkins

    The joke's us on us Jack! I voted for Bush not once, but twice. I honestly believed he was tough enough to take down the bad guys in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who knew that the bad guys were standing side by side with Mr. Bush at the White House.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  116. chris

    You know jack i have heard so many stories about what bush and his cronies have done( guantamino, blackwater,fixing the elections in florida "via jeb bush" , invading iraq, abu griab ...) I am not suprised about this at all. No one will ever know the true extend of the crimes perpetuated by bush and his cronies.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  117. robert stevens

    love the show you in particularare great in answer to your question and not to overwhelm the intelligence of congress with a complicated answer Duh!

    Keep up the great work yall are doing robert stevens

    August 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  118. Annie, Atlanta

    It was pretty obvious to those of us who didn't buy in You should pull up old tapes of your Cafferty File and see how many times you called it in the last few years. It would have been funny if it wasn't our own government trying to manipulate us with fear. Hey, isn't that terrorism?

    August 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  119. Nasrri

    Yes, I strongly agree that the American government uses fear heavley to hide the actual truth from the people, its pure phsycology. Since about 85 percent of the American people don't even have passports meaning that the majority of the American people keep local, no wonder the majority of them are going to believe the lies that the government throws at them about the international world.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  120. Brian Cain in San Diego, California

    I definitely think the Bush Administration would manipulate public fear of terrorism for political gain. He wasn't re-elected on Republican principals as he was "at the helm" while presiding over the largest increase in federal budget since FDR. Do I think the Obama Administration would do so? I find it doubtful. Then again, Dennis Miller went nuts. I guess it could happen to Obama too.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  121. Sylvia

    Bush and the Republican party stole that election by alarming
    the American people.

    Bush should be tried for these lies and manipulations. Thousands
    of people were killed because of his ignorance. Cheney and
    all of his neocon cohorts were able to execute a massive
    plot to ruin a country that had no WMDs.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  122. cassie P.

    do you have to ask? Even bush can see Americans are people of emotion. He robbed us all blind an we will always remember how to elect a TRUE president. He feel into Jebs shoes an used him to win.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  123. Timothy in Texas


    Of course they would. Modern politics in the age of the two-party system is not about the good of the public, it is all about staying in power...and to stay in power you constantly have to invent dragons so that you always paint yourself to the public as being the proverbial knight in shining armor. Both parties are guilty of using fear to gain votes, and it isn't going to change until the two-party system is done away with and third parties gain substantial power in this country.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  124. David

    The government has manipulated the public for political gain as far back as politics go. But where were Tom Ridge and other "whistleblowers" when this was happening? The effectiveness of these after-the-fact attacks of "conscience" (and money making book deals) do nothing for the public but confirm what we already knew. What happened to doing the right thing at the right time? This revelation at this point doesn't do anything except frustrate us further. But it makes money for Ridge and it gives the media another talking point.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  125. Joseph

    Sure Jack, and lets not forget the countless lies that took us into the Iraq war, all the other stuff people are outraged on in those town hall meetings... oh wait, that was health care! sorry.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  126. Kelby in Houston

    For some people, fear is a tool used to manipulate people. They use this tool without any regards to the consequences and reprecussions of using such a tool. They forget or ignore the fact that fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering. The only question at that point is, Who is suffering?

    August 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  127. scott


    A person would heve be deaf, dumb and blind not to recognize that the Bush administration used fear as a means to govern. Hell, they scared congress into agreeing with them to going to war in Irag. Surely one would have to understand that they'd use fear to get re-elected as well. Hopefully the Bush administration will have to face some type of puplic trial for the mess they made of this country and with the problems we now face. The Republicans the exact same tactics as it relates to Health Care Reform. It's business as usual in Washington.

    Scott – Omaha

    August 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  128. Brooks

    I think when the history books are written in the future and provide a list of elected presidents, George W Bush will have an asterisk "*" by his name for the 2000 and 2004 elections.
    2000 George W Bush* Failed to win the popular vote and there were a number of questionable voting irregularities.
    2004 George W Bush* Manipulated public opinion through fear and lies.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  129. Ron

    Are you kidding me?? The administration that would take our country to war based on huge lies, blow the cover of a CIA agent for revenge and mislead, bamboozle and make a fool out of an otherwise respected public servant like Colin Powell would stoop to any low to cover their butt. In this case to it was to re-elect the most unworthy person to ever hold the presidency.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  130. Betty from Texas

    The Bush administration tried to and now the GOP is trying to scare people about healthcare reform killing the elderly. Evidently, some people will do anything to try to gain political advantage. For shame.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  131. Jean Borland

    Of couse they would. The Bush Administration did it all the time. I think that is what they did last fall when they announced that the financial system was about to collapse and John McCain rushed to Washington to fix it. It didn't work like they thought it would but it scared everyone so much that they quit sending, hence the recession

    August 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  132. Kevin , Los Angeles CA

    Of course they would. Did anyone else notice that there was no color coded "terror alert" changes after Bush won his second term.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  133. Victor in Bakersfield, CA

    That’s like saying: Is reality show producers putting there two cents so shows gain more drama.
    The answer is sadly yes. The real hump dinger is how would we ever know if it’s for political gain or political revenue? Time will tell. Just ask George W Bush.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  134. Joseph from Alberta

    Americans should be jelous of the Canadian system, the level of care, first rate technology and doctor's expertese in our country. Sometimes, non acute patients have to wait, but ultimately everyone gets treated, rich or poor. It is fascinating watching the debate in the US. Your country is decades behind the rest of the world.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  135. Betty Galeles

    If you want to control the population, keep them afraid. Americans seem to be afraid of everything. Afraid it will be too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, afraid of having no guns, afraid of everyone having guns. Because we have a large population of the uneducated and uninformed they will believe anything they are told. Hence the outcry against health reform. The Republican Party is a master at this practice.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  136. George from Tennessee

    There's military history throughout my family from my great grandfather, to my grandfathers, my dad, all of my uncles, cousins, brothers, nieces, nephews, and so on... Commonsense people already knew George Bush was playing with the emotions of the American people...mostly white Americans, who panic easily. People with miltitary experience already knew he was blowing smoke, but also knew it would be tough to prove unless someone on the inside stepped forward. But we knew Bush and Chaney piked the election bunch to thier liking...and it worked. It was all Bulldooty and it was just a matter of time before it would be revealed. Those people who resigned from his cabinet knew what was up...Ridge, Powell, and some other real Americans. Now we all know. Their "A's" should be locked up...period!!!!

    August 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  137. David from WI

    They are politicians and they ALL have their image and reelection on their minds.
    They all do it and to think any party has a monopoly on such things is naive. Politicians are what they are and we all loose when we think that are something that they are not.
    Why would anyone not question the motives of our elected officials?
    They are what they are and nothing can change that because those that can are the very same politicians.
    Just as corruption, sex scandals afflict those in office it crosses all party lines. Never give them the benefit of the doubt. Whomever is in office.
    Is anyone surprised that ANY politician doesn't have politics always on their mind.
    Why is anyone surprised politics isn't involved in everything done in DC? Have people started to take what they say at face value and not have a healthy distrust of govt. Never trust them but they ALL do it so to think one side doesn't do is is very very naive.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  138. Dave Hash

    The Bush administration used 9/11 as a tool for 8 years to keep the public in fear of another terrorist attack they know would not come while they were in office. The mantra for the Bush Administration for 8 years was 9/11 and fear of another attack. Im glad somebody in the loop FINALLY came out and told the truth about how the Bush Administration used the fear of terrorism to keep the public in fear. Thank you Tom Ridge for having the guts to expose these people!

    August 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  139. Debra

    Members of the Bush/Cheney Administration did anything it took to achieve their goals and amass political power. That includes instilling fear in their fellow Americans, torturing, treason (outing CIA agents), lying and initiating the slaughter of thousands of human beings. Changing the color of the terror alert level was nothing compared to other actions perpetrated by that bunch.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  140. Mike in Colorado

    Good gawsh Jack, manipulate fear to win an election, is that something like sending grandma to the death panel?

    August 21, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  141. Layne Alleman

    Jack, Can you say Iraq War?. It's been done since this country was founded, and those who don't know about it, or believe it, are the same people who believe that our "beloved" political "leaders" walk on water. They will do everything including murder, to get wherever they want to go. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    August 21, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  142. Chuck Cozzo

    I think I'm getting a little tired of hearing about revelations in books written by people who had the opportunity to step up and and do our country a service, who instead decided to save the information and reveal in a book deal designed to fund their retirement plan.

    August 21, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  143. Mark Bryant

    I no more think that government would attempt to exploit fear of terrorist activity than I think that it would exploit fear of a failure in the automotive industry (GM/Chrylser "managed" bankruptcy), a fear of "racist" police (Presidential comments on Gates arrest), a fear that the rich are rich because of some nefarious means (and therefore that they should have much more of their money taken in taxes) or a fear that some one who might have a different opinion of a supreme court candidate's remarks (Sotomeyor's comment on a "better opinion") was being blinded by racist fears.

    Mark Bryant
    Dallas, Texas

    August 21, 2009 at 6:05 pm |