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Ridge, Homeland Security Head, Steps Down 74

WeAz writes "According to MSNBC, Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge has decided to call it quits. 'Ridge, the seventh officer to leave Bush's Cabinet so far, oversaw the most significant government reorganization in 50 years.' Ridge joins Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Ashcroft as the newest cabinet member to resign from their office."
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Ridge, Homeland Security Head, Steps Down

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  • by hedronist ( 233240 ) * on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @10:54PM (#10959767)
    I guess I spent too long in the john: I'm gone 5 minutes and Rummy is history?

    Or not....

    Can't find anything on
  • Uh (Score:5, Informative)

    by wizbit ( 122290 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @10:56PM (#10959775)
    Rumsfeld resigned? Where the frig did you read that?

    The article mentions, as is conventional wisdom, that he'll stay on for a few years to oversee operations in Iraq and transitions to national elections (assuming they ever happen). Of course, they were saying the same thing about Powell before the election.

    Maybe this story is from the future.
  • Cabinet shakeup (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RealProgrammer ( 723725 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @10:58PM (#10959784) Homepage Journal
    No, not really.

    This kind of thing always goes on between terms. No one wants to get stuck in the same job for 8 years ... except for the Presidency, that is.
    • My degree is in computer science. I don't mind having the same job for 8 years.
      • Be careful you don't get stuck there for 20, or find yourself on the sidewalk when the industry passes you by. If you're not moving forward, you're moving backward.

        The same 'job' and the same 'career' are not the same thing.

        Just thought I'd add some long-term angst to your day.
      • My degree is software engineering- I'd be eccstatic to have the same job for 2 years in a row.
  • by St. Arbirix ( 218306 ) <<matthew.townsend> <at> <>> on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @11:05PM (#10959829) Homepage Journal
    That's just about as many people who left Clinton's cabinet in between terms. I'm hoping it means they think their jobs are done and there's nothing major looming on the horizon that any of them feel like they need to be a part of.

    The opposite option: they're getting out while they can. I can't really believe that though. They've already worked through one of the most polarizing administrations in quite a long time (i'm no history buff), they're probably just tired. If the Bush administration is planning on anything more "interesting" (May you live in interesting times. --Confucious) than this whole Iraq thing, well, I'd be impressed.

    • maybe i'm getting too cynical, but gw consistently is proving that i'm not.

      i'm very suspicious that they've learned to disseminate crime-liability accross several people. retired govt. officials are usually pardoned here in america (an unfounded impression, anyone got stats?) Why risk your loyal lackey going to jail when you can grey the lines of responsibility accross several people?
    • No. The Bush administration is now "powering down".

      What happened after "nine eleven" is now being reconsidered.

      "9/11" was the worst thing that had ever happened to Americans.
      • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2004 @05:20AM (#10961485)

        > "9/11" was the worst thing that had ever happened to Americans.

        Surely not even in the same league as our civil war.

        • Yeah, the live TV coverage seen worldwide of that crisis was riveting.
          • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Wednesday December 01, 2004 @11:51AM (#10963434) Journal

            Yeah, the live TV coverage seen worldwide of that crisis was riveting.

            I don't know if you are being sarcasic or making a point (or both) but perhaps you should research the New York City draft riots [], the utter destruction of Atlanta and other Southern cities [], the carnage of Fredericksburg [] or the 620,000+ KIAs []. To put that into perspective that's almost 2% of the population of the day. Think of us fighting a war and suffering 5,800,000 killed-in-action and perhaps 10,000,000 - 20,000,000 wounded. Also keep in mind that "wounded" during the Civil War likely meant missing arms or legs upon your return from the front.

            Live TV coverage or not 9/11 doesn't even come close to the Civil War in terms of impact on American Society. 9/11 wasn't even the bloodiest day in American history []. In fact I would dare say that the live TV coverage didn't have as much to do with the impact of 9/11 as people might think. Pearl Harbor had a similar impact without live-TV coverage..

            • Also keep in mind that "wounded" during the Civil War likely meant missing arms or legs upon your return from the front.

              Waitaminute. How is that different from "wounded" in Fallujah ? Have you seen the guys maimed at the US military hospital in Germany ? This doctor [] has. Is there any mainstream news outlet in the US talking about them and the miserable lives they are about to face, with their crippling injuries and their downsized war pensions (thanks Mr bush for "supporting the troops" by cutting into t

              • How is that different from "wounded" in Fallujah

                Did I say it was? I was only pointing out the bleak future that somebody wounded in the Civil War had (if they were lucky enough to survive the battlefield "hospitals" and subsequent infection). I wasn't saying that the lives of current WIAs are great and wonderful. Though you have to admit that the soldiers who lost limbs in Iraq (or Afghanistan) probably didn't have them cut off by somebody with no medical training in a tent filled with discarded limb

    • While it may be the case, as you suggest, that the resignations were motivated by personal satisfaction with future prospects for the country, or fear of future prospects, the possibility that they were in fact motivated by the past performance of the administration, or by their own past performance, should perhaps not be too hastily ruled out.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      My personal belief is that these are some of the most stressful jobs in the world. They really take a toll on not only the presidet, but as well as his cabinet. It's conventional wisdom that presidents age at a much quicker rate than normal people (Look at Bush's 2000 campaign pictures.) I'm sure 4 years of being on a cabinet would be hard enough, let alone 8.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 01, 2004 @11:36AM (#10963290)
      Ashcroft, as kooky as he was, is being replaced by a guy who wrote a memo that called the Geneva conventions "quaint" and argued that it'd be legal for the administration to apply torture to certain people, some of whom would inevitably be innocent.

      Rice. What is there to say about her? From her completely humiliating handling of the incident with the intelligence air craft that was forced to land in China (you'd think that a person with a PhD in political science would have had at least one class on the wolrds oldest and yet newest superpower.) Her inability to read memos. Her fantastically blatent mistakes, overstatements, and outright fabrications. You think the Rocky look-a-like would be headed for the chopping block. But no, without the leather flight helmet she's appearently be mistaken for Kissenger. Pay no attention to the lack of qualifications, and complete inability to serve her post effectively, she's black and can figure skate.

      And the ex-governor. He started with nothing and created a monolithic mess that doesn't inform local police departments about anything useful, but did invent a worthless color code that no one ever paid attention too. In fact I don't think his department does anything other than waste taxpayer money.

      Powell, of course, has had all of his integrity spent. He'll be the man who saw the rise and fall of the Powell doctrine, and stood by silently when he had only to speak the truth to stop a travesty.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        And the ex-governor. He started with nothing and created a monolithic mess

        It's worth mentioning that prior to his postition of 'protecting' us, as governer of PA Ridge was responsible for over 200 execution orders. He was one of those guys who was just a little to eager to execute the bad guys (who just happen to be dispraportionaly black). Kinda like another prominent politician I can think of.
      • by Rayonic ( 462789 ) on Wednesday December 01, 2004 @06:45PM (#10968216) Homepage Journal
        The Geneva Conventions are quaint. They simply don't take into account modern warfare. I mean, look at how the terrorists in Fallujah violate the Geneva Convenentions left and right. They attack from (and store weapons in) mosques, schools, hospitals, etc. They falsely wave the white flag and then ambush anyone who tries to take them prisoner. They play dead and boobytrap bodies.

        And thus, according to the Geneva Conventions, its okay for our soldiers to bomb mosques, shoot people playing dead, and take no prisoners. They have to.
        • Oh good, so lets stoop down the their level. Wanna join the US Suicide Bomber Corps?
          • by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:17AM (#10974316)
            I think you miss the point. The Geneva Conventions only work if both sides are abiding by them. You can't seriously demand that no one bomb a church if one side is using it as a firebase.

            Basically, insurgents everywhere are now using the Geneva Conventions as an _advantage_. That's not how it was intended to work - if anything, the Geneva Conventions outlaw that sort of warfare with the clear demand that both sides wear clearly identifiable uniforms. The Geneva Conventions were intended to protect civilians and prevent horrifying non-conventional weapons from being used. They are NOT supposed to be a shield that your insurgency hides behind.

            • The Geneva Conventions only work if both sides are abiding by them.

              The Geneva conventions weren't designed for the kind of conflict we're currently caught up in, and I don't think you can dispute that they need revision. That being said, throwing them out completely is insane. The war on terror is as much a war of ideology as anything else, and we can't win that war without solid principles to guide us.

              Terrorists and guerillas need popular support- the terrorists are the fish and the people are the sea.

              • The Geneva Convention is really about preserving the economic value of the loser for future use by the winner, both it's populace and it's infrastructure (i.e. expantionist imperialism). Current wars tend to be about the destruction of the opposition, rather than the occupation of new territories for that gained economic benefit.

                Any nations that would strictly adhere to the Geneva Convetions are very unlikely to go to war with each other and in modern terms war is only likely to happen where one or both s

  • The Count? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by dshaw858 ( 828072 )
    What's the count of high-level government offices that have resigned in the past two months? It should be getting pretty high, I'd say. I said before [] that some voters might have hindsight about the rest of the government's attitude for working under Bush... now I wonder if Bush himself is wondering what the hell is going on?

    To play Devil's advocate, though, all of the positions that have resigned have been high-stress positions, and many of them didn't plan to work a second term anyway. Who knows.

    - dshaw
  • He was the funniest guy to watch in the cabinet! Who else is going to cause so much controversy by saying something like "old Europe?"

    Anyway, for you conspiracy theorists out there, maybe Ridge left because he wanted to get higher up in the order of succession (you can't get much lower than the last cabinet position created)...
    • There was legislation pending that would put Sec. of HS after AG in the line of succession... justification being that if somehow it needed to go that far, the head of DHS would be better equipped to take over than, say, the head of Urban Development, or of Veterans Affairs.

      Not sure whatever happened to that though.
    • Ronald Dumbsfeld was funny?
  • If Donald Rumsfeld resigned, then this is the first I've heard of it, and it's time for me to go singing and dancing in the streets until the police haul me to the drunk tank.

    I know Slashdot is as reputable as Fox News, but come on guys, it's not like the submitter included gratuitous Anti-Microsoft or Anti-SCO (same thing?!) stuff...
  • Or do all these resignations bear a resemblance to rats leaving a sinking ship?
  • Meh, I've heard a lot of people saying that they're happy Ridge stepped down and that they disagreed with his politics. Well, I'd be surprised if most liberal-minded persons liked anybody in the post of Homeland Security minister given the mandate given to that department from the President.

    That being said, while sometimes cabinet shakedowns are good, I'd argue that Bush is just using this to reinforce his neo-con philsophy even more so than he did before. Witness the replacement of Ashcroft with somebody
  • Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death []
    July 30, 2004
    by Christopher Deliso

    In November 2001, near the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, a major battle was raging between the Northern Alliance forces of Rashid Dostum and the suddenly vulnerable Taliban. Following the battle, thousands of the latter surrendered, "under assurances that they would not be harmed." However, due to a complex series of events, this was not to be. Now, up to 3,000 murdered Taliban prisoners lie in an unmarked mass grave in a lonel

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik