US Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge resigns

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a resignation statement today, United States Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge announced that he will leave his position by February 1, 2005, unless a successor is named sooner.

In his tenure as the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Ridge has been instrumental in establishing protocols aimed at thwarting terrorism, including a national warning system based on color coding that is routinely publicized nationally.

In his resignation, Ridge thanked President Bush for the opportunity to help secure the nation and expressed his sentiments that the new security systems put in place since the September 11, 2001 attacks had made America safer and more prepared than it had been. He cited family and personal issues as major reasons for his resignation stating that, "After more than 22 consecutive years of public service, it is time to give personal and family matters a higher priority."

Several days after Ridge's announcement, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson announced his departure and warned that the nation remains vulnerable to potential food-borne terrorist attacks, stating, "I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do."


As the United States's first Secretary of Homeland Security, Ridge resigned his position as Governor of Pennsylvania in 2001 to take the position for which President Bush had nominated him.

He is well-known to Americans for implementing the now-famous color-coded terror alert levels and advisories against various sorts of terrorism.

The Department of Homeland Security is a new player in the power struggle in Washington. Throughout his tenure, Ridge fought a losing battle with the FBI for jurisdiction because the Bush administration allowed the FBI to remain a part of the Department of Justice.