..........Bush's former homeland security adviser, Frances Townsend, said Thursday that politics never played a role in determining alert levels. Two tapes were released by al-Qaida in the weeks leading up to the election -- one by terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and the other by a man calling himself "Azzam the American." Terrorism experts suspected that "Azzam the American" was Adam Gadahn, a 26-year-old Californian whom the FBI had been urgently seeking. Townsend said the videotapes contained "very graphic" and "threatening" messages............. ...........Townsend said that anytime there was a discussion of changing the alert level, she first spoke with Ridge and then, if necessary, called a meeting of the homeland security council comprising the secretaries of defense and homeland security, the attorney general and CIA and FBI directors. The group then made a recommendation to the president about whether the color-coded threat level should be raised. "Never were politics ever discussed in this context in my presence," she said. Asked if there was any reason for Ridge to have felt pressured, Townsend said: "He was certainly not pressured. And, by the way, he didn't object when it was raised and he certainly didn't object when it wasn't raised."........ More Here ________________________________________________________ And by the way Ridge could not have been pressured because he did not make the final decision. Only the President did. Ridge has intentionally mis-characterized this event.