According to the New York Times today:
Tom Ridge, the first secretary of homeland security, asserts in a new book that he was pressured by top advisers of President George W. Bush to raise the national threat level just before the the 2004 election in what he suspected was an effort to influence the vote.
After Osama bin Laden released a threatening video four days before the election, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld pushed Mr. Ridge to elevate the public threat posture but he refused, according to the book. Mr. Ridge calls it a "dramatic and inconceivable" event that "proved most troublesome for all of us in the department."
According to the definition of terrorism provided above, Mr. Ridge's assertions prove what many have been claiming for a long time: that the Bush administration used the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the threat of future terrorist attacks for political gain, which is generally what terrorists engage in. As Atrios puts it:
...Using the threat of terrorism to try to achieve political goals is, you know, what terrorists do.
Another stark reminder of why the Bush administration needs to be held to account for the lawbreaking, torture, and senseless war-waging it engaged in and, to put it bluntly, the terroristic political maneuvering asserted here by a former Cabinet level official of the agency responsible for issuing warnings to the public about potential terrorist strikes on this country.