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Tag: Tom Ridge

16 Years Ago Today: Department of Homeland Security Began Operations in Response to 9/11

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Today is the 16th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security beginning operations in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The 22-agency department was established by President George W. Bush and was the largest reorganization of the federal government since the Department of Defense was created following World War II.

Bush tapped Tom Ridge, a former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, to lead an agency whose mission was to coordinate all “homeland security” efforts.

Official operations began on Jan. 24, 2003.

The department absorbed border protection, cybersecurity, immigration, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Secret Service.

The Department of Homeland Security operates with a $40.6 million budget and has 240,000 employees.

Ex-Homeland Security Head: Trump’s Plan to Build Wall Will Hurt GOP

Tom Ridge

Tom Ridge

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is warning Republicans that it’s a mistake to embrace Donald Trump plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ridge, the first head of the department formed after the Sept. 11 attack, said the wall will hurt the GOP

“It’s a bad idea,” he said Wednesday on Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” “It’s a bad idea short-term, and it’s a bad idea long-term. I just can’t believe my party has basically drawn a wall between us and our ability to attract Hispanic voters.”

He added: “This whole proposition of a wall: I say shame on us, we’ve lost our way. I prefer presidents who tear down walls, not build them.”

Most impacted will be Hispanic voters, he aid.

“There was a time when our party was very attractive to Hispanic family members, and then because of some loud and incriminating accusations towards Mexicans and Hispanics generally, we’ve kind of lost it,” he said.

“If then, on top of that, you start building a wall, you’re not going to win, nor are you going to sustain a nationwide support for the Republican Party, pure and simple. In presidential elections, you have to build by addition, not subtraction. I can’t believe it’s happening to the GOP.”

Former Homeland Security Director Won’t Vote for Trump or Clinton for President

Tom Ridge

Tom Ridge

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said on Tuesday he won’t vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president.

“Every four years since my 18th birthday, I have pulled the lever in support of the Republican nominee for President of the United States,” wrote Ridge in an op-ed for Pennlive.com. “That streak will end this November.”

The long-time Republican said he is “disappointed that he is our party’s nominee.”

“With a bumper sticker approach to policy, his bombastic tone reflects the traits of a bully, not an American president and statesman,” he wrote. “If he cannot unite Republicans, how can he unite America? I simply cannot endorse him.”

“Similarly, I cannot support Hillary Clinton, a divisive and untrustworthy candidate who will advance and extend failed Obama policies that have greatly weakened our nation’s economy and security,” Ridge continued.

Other Stories of Interest

Senate Panel Explores Effectiveness of Homeland Security Department on Sept. 11 Anniversary

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

How prepared is Homeland Security to handle terrorism threats?

On the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a Senate panel will ask that question as it examines the department and interviews former lawmakers and past DHS officials, including the first Homeland Security secretary, Tom Ridge, the Washington Post reports.

The panel plans to review issues ranging from cybersecurity to disaster preparedness.

DHS was created by President Bush and Congress in 2003 in response to the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks.

Louie Freeh and Tom Ridge: Angels Protecting Us or Just Hired Guns for the Gambling Industry?

Louis Freeh

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh and Tom Ridge, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Angels protecting us from evil, or just hired guns for the gambling industry?

If you read the press release by FairPlayUSA, you’d think they were here to save us from the evil.

FairPlayUSA announced that Freeh and Ridge have joined its board to help legalize online poker and toughen the ambiguous U.S. laws on the issue.

The website pressofAtlanticCity posted a story saying the two joined the board as part of a campaign launched this summer to build support to legalize online poker. The site reported that start up money came from Caesars Entertainment Inc. and MGM Resorts International.

The Sept. 15 release from FairPlayUSA said:

“Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, today, announced they have joined the Advisory Board of FairPlayUSA, a new coalition of law enforcement officials, consumer protection experts and others concerned about the failures in current law to put illegal Internet gambling operators out of business, the need to better protect consumers and the need to impose a strict regulatory framework for online poker.”

Tom Ridge

The release added that “millions of Americans regularly engage in Internet gambling on offshore websites that operate in direct violation of federal and state laws, and they play online poker on sites that fail to provide necessary consumer protections. Current laws that attempt to prohibit Internet gambling have failed to stop the illegal Internet gambling market…”

Freeh said in the release: “Current federal laws fail to provide U.S. law enforcement vital tools to address illegal internet gambling, enabling a ‘wild-west’ atmosphere. I am joining FairPlayUSA to improve this environment by clarifying these laws, better empowering law enforcement agencies to crack down on violators and using licensing and regulation to ensure safe and legal online poker.”

Ridge said in the release: “States and tribes have rights that must be protected by authorizing them to decide for themselves whether to accept or prohibit online poker and make use of sophisticated technologies already in use in other industries to enforce those decisions.”

 

Ex-Homeland Chief Tom Ridge Dubious of New Arizona Immigration Law

Tom Ridge/gov photo

Tom Ridge/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is the latest to weigh in on Arizona’s new immigration law, saying he’s uncomfortable with it.

Ridge told the Associated Press that he’s concerned that the law allows police to question people without probable cause.

But he criticized both Democrats and Republicans for failing to come up with a national policy and said the U.S. should pressure Mexico to help control immigration, the AP reported.

Ridge said he favors Congress legalizing the status of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. But he said they should not get citizenship.

Is Our Homeland Any Safer With Homeland Security?

tom-ridge-2-book

Author Edward Alden talks about books by former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff and raises some legitimate questions about the direction of the sprawling agency. Is it working? Was it worth creating a whole new bureaucracy?

By Edward Alden
Washington Post Outlook Section

In a single week last month, the U.S. government broke up an alleged al- Qaeda cell in Colorado, rushed aid to flood victims in Georgia and opened fire on three vans filled with illegal immigrants trying to break through the nation’s busiest border crossing.

The incidents were all reminders, as if we needed any, of the many threats to what we now call “homeland security,” a big, sprawling idea that spawned a big, sprawling department to stop bad things from happening and clean up when they inevitably do.

Just over six years since its creation, the Department of Homeland Security is still too young for any definitive verdict on its success or failure.

michael-chertoff-book

With its component agencies scattered around D.C. and some of its operations outsourced to private companies in Virginia, it has yet to become a whole that adds up to more than its parts. Its first two secretaries, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, left no consistent legacy to guide what the government’s third-largest department should be doing — and more important, why. For Janet Napolitano, the secretary now sorting through that inheritance, the reflections of her predecessors leave more questions than answers.

To Read More

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Former Homeland Chief Chertoff Says Politics Never a Factor in Raising Color-Coded Terror Alert

Former Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge has said politics played a role in the color-coded terror alerts. It sure seemed that way. Then again, it’s always easy to play it safe and raise the color code. The color code was immediately raised whenever the administration learned of a terrorist threat, even if it was several years old.

Michael Chertoff

Michael Chertoff

By Chris Strohm
Congress Daily
WASHINGTON — Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff Thursday said politics was never a factor in determining whether the nation’s color-coded terror-alert level should be raised.

“Politics never entered into raising the alert during my tenure in any way, shape or form,” said Chertoff, who led DHS from 2005 until last January.

For Full Story