Disingenuous on Security; Democratic Party Has Sorry Record
Byline: Peter Huessy, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Democrats announced a new national security policy five years after 9/11. What took them so long? Were they waiting for the recommendations from the French? It's unclear but they propose to: (1) Get rid of Al Qaeda; (2) Finish the job in Afghanistan; (3) Increase intelligence; (4) Secure our seaports; (5) Eliminate dependence on foreign oil; and (6) Withdraw from Iraq US forces and "redeploy" them somewhere else.
What is wrong with this picture? Everything. They want to get rid of Al Qaeda but won't let us intercept their communications to find out where they are. They cheered when the Patriot Act was nearly killed, but now want us to believe they really, really, want to use its provisions to catch the terrorists.
They want to finish the job in Afghanistan, but 62 House Democratic members have just endorsed cutting $62 billion a year from the U.S. defense budget which, of course, would make "finishing the job" impossible. They want better intelligence, yet supported the Clinton-era dismantling of some 40 overseas intelligence networks. Four times the previous administration had a chance to capture Osama Bin Laden but each time they didn't pull the trigger.
They want to send our troops to "finish the job in Afghanistan", but have proposed crippling the missile defense systems that would protect our soldiers overseas and our Americans here at home. In fact, in the first defense budget of the Clinton administration, even theater missile defense programs-which they now say they support - were cut some 40 percent from the levels proposed by the outgoing Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney.
They want to protect our seaports, but one of their key allies - unions - have fought tooth and nail against the port security measures now being implemented by the Bush administration. They want to protect our seaports, but during the previous administration they turned operations at some of our key ports over to the communist government in China.
The recent national-security track record of the Democratic Party is simply not credible. Eight years after the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993, their chief counterterrorism adviser, Richard Clarke, told the House of Representatives that having a "comprehensive plan" to combat terrorism was a "silly idea." Similarly, in the same June 2000 briefing he noted the administration "would think about" developing a homeland security strategy. …