Byline: Peter Huessy, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
In three years, the United States will know who the Democratic and Republican nominees for president will be. Today, many have anointed their choice of Democratic nominee, Sen. Hillary Clinton from New York. In choosing a president, the country is, of course, also choosing a commander-in-chief, the most solemn of jobs performed by the president as he or she undertakes to "provide for the common defense."
The junior senator from New York recently complained that the country appeared to be run by Alfred E. Neuman, the smiling moron known to millions of readers of Mad magazine, know by his philosophy of "What, me worry?" It is, of course, unclear whether the senator was referring to the current administration or the Congress, especially the obstructionist party that she leads. Can this mystery be solved?
The impression the former first lady apparently hoped to leave with her audience was, in contrast to those "running the country," she, of course, took things seriously and was intensely seeking to protect America. She wistfully complained that when "we" were running the country - referring to the former president, Bill Clinton, and herself - things were so much better and she was ready to return to those great days if only the country would elect her, or at least make her a co-president one more time.
Well, let's look at the record, especially when it comes to the threats from terrorists, their state sponsors and the weapons of mass destruction we all fear they might threaten us with. In the past administration, the intelligence community eliminated analysts and country experts by the hundreds. According to John Weisman's new book, "Direct Action," the Clinton administration destroyed dozens of intelligence networks, leaving us virtually blind to key aspects of terrorism and weapons proliferation. Mr. Weisman notes the near destruction of our intelligence community between 1993-2000 left us so blind to threats that we have now been forced to outsource much of our capability to assess threats, discover key intelligence and protect our security.
In the same period as well, the United States went on a procurement holiday in terms of weapons acquisition for our military. Our key weapons programs were deliberately under-funded by 40 percent according to a senior Clinton administration official, meaning even the lower-than-needed procurement levels could not in fact materialize. To justify this "fuzzy security policy," the threats for which we had to prepare were deliberately downplayed, dismissed or ignored.
In one critical area, …