Sunday, May 24, 2009

John King interviews Tom Ridge on "State of the Union" about Obama-Cheney duel

On CNN’s “State of the Union” with John King on CNN Sunday May 24, John interviewed Tom Ridge, former Homeland Security secretary, on the "dueling banjos" of Obama and Cheney. Ridge maintains that President Obama may have withheld some portions of memos or transcripts from interrogations or renditions of prisoners that would show that “extreme rendition” techniques actually did prevent another major terrorist attack on the United States. However Ridge also said that Cheney is wrong to assert that Obama may have already made America less safe.

King also discussed Pennsylvania politics with Ridge, and discussed the Republican Party’s decline in his state. Later he mentioned his draft notice in the 1960s as a call to service.

King also interviewed Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), about his book "Reckless!: How Debt, Deregulation and Dark Money Nearly Bankrupted America." Dorgan said that the big problems started with 1999 deregulation signed by President Clinton, during his "Republican" period.

The Ridge interview prompted me to go back and review some notes I have of an interview on ABC nightline of Tommy Thompson (Health and Human Services Secretary) Oct. 17, 2001 on bioterror (back when I was living in Minnesota). I saw that I had asked ABC (after an Oct 16 interview with Spertzel) about its 1999 broadcast on a simulated anthrax attack on a subway system, and on the idea that terrorists could try to trick the United States into a premature attack on Iraq, which we know happened in March 2003. It seemed even back then the media did not always connect the dots in its own material unless someone from the public prodded it. But Thompson gave a sobering interview that evening, according to my notes, mentioning many grim possibilities that Ridge would later have to address in press conferences. Then remember those says of all the color-coded terror alerts.

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