Moran: DHS threat level part of Bush admin's 'political toolbox'

It's become apparent that the Department of Homeland Security's terror threat level system were part of the Bush administration's "political toolbox," Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) said Friday.

Reacting to former Secretary Tom Ridge's revelations in a forthcoming book that he was pressured to raise the threat level around election time, Moran said liberals' suspicions about the manipulation of the system have been confirmed.

"I think the threat alert was the kind of tool they would bring out in their political toolbox," Moran said during an appearance on MSNBC this afternoon.

"Tom is essentially confirming what many of us suspected: the timing was suspicious," he explained. "The reason that George Bush was reeelected in 2004 was because largely because people were scared, and they felt that he would be toughest on the perceived enemies, real or unreal."

Moran blamed the Bush administration for manipulating Americans' sense of fear of another terrorist attack via the infamous, color-coded threat level system.

"I do think that the Bush administration had a habit of using emotions like fear and the need for security and so on for its own political advantage," he said.