The Democratic leadership unveiled their new National Security plan on Wednesday, and as I noted here, the plan includes key points from Kerry’s campaign. John Kerry was on the Ed Schultz Show yesterday talking about the plan, it was a great interview, listen here.
Hat tip to GlobalVillage on DU for this great OP/ED about the Dems and National Security:
Democrats stronger, wiser on security
By Larry Atkins
Strength and Wisdom.
It’s the campaign slogan that Democrats should adopt for the forthcoming midterm elections and the 2008 presidential campaign.
In a 2004 speech, former President Clinton emphasized the theme: “Their opponents will tell you we should be afraid of John Kerry and John Edwards because they won’t stand up to terrorists. Don’t you believe it. … Strength and wisdom are not opposing values. They move hand in hand.”
Republicans did a masterful job of convincing Americans that Kerry and Democrats didn’t care about national security. Americans were dumb enough to believe yokel former Sen. Zell Miller when he blubbered that Kerry would defend America with spitballs.
Yet it’s the Bush administration that has failed miserably in the war on terror and homeland security. As the Dubai debacle indicated, the President has turned a blind eye to ports security and, despite train bombings in London and Madrid, little has been done to bolster Amtrak security. Our borders remain porous. Just last year, investigators from the Government Accountability Office easily entered the United States through Mexico and Canada with enough radioactive material in their vehicles to make two dirty bombs. The investigators got past the Border Patrol with fake paperwork.
Democrats are far wiser and on the ball when it comes to homeland security.
As Kerry stated in December, “It’s time to finally get serious, with money and attention, to the most urgent homeland security threats, including the extreme vulnerability of our ports, the most likely point of entry for terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.”
President Bush diverted funds and manpower from Afghanistan to fund the Iraq debacle. We let Osama bin Laden escape from Tora Bora and we’re making little effort to capture him even though we have a pretty good idea of where he is. The new mantra being spouted from Republican talk radio to their Hannitized and Dittohead lemmings is that people shouldn’t vote for the Democrats because they have no new ideas and that all they can do is criticize Bush.
However, this week, Democratic congressional leaders set forth a national security policy statement, which included a call for doubling the number of Special Forces to capture bin Laden.
Contrary to Republican assertions, Democrats do support spying and wiretap surveillance of potential terrorists. The major difference is that Democrats correctly believe that it can be done in a legal manner.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) effectively balances the government’s power to conduct surveillance with the need to protect Americans’ civil liberties. It allows warrantless searches if circumstances require prompt action, but then requires the government to seek a warrant within 72 hours from a secret FISA court, which almost always grants the requests.
While most conservatives don’t mind that the Bush administration abused its authority to spy on Quaker, antiwar and protest groups, will they be happy with such broad government surveillance powers under a Democratic president? If President Hillary Clinton authorizes surveillance of NRA members and militia groups?
We need strength and wisdom in order to protect our country from terrorism. The Bush administration has acted with much bluster, but has been consistent with its misjudgments and incompetence. The Democrats are both strong and wise. They can do better.