Thursday, July 3, 2008

Penguins and Polar Bears: Sept. 10th Democrats

"Congressional Democrats prefer to use intelligence resources to study penguins and polar bears instead of radical jihadists and energy security."

Hat tip to Cassie L.

Cross posted from Human

Sept. 10th Democrats
by Rep. Peter Hoekstra
Posted: 07/03/2008

Is it fair to say that Congressional Democrats and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama have a "September 10th" mindset on U.S. national security? While Democrats vigorously object to this charge, evidence is mounting that this is indeed the case.

By a "September 10th" mindset, I mean the naïve national security positions advocated by Democrats until September 10, 2001 that failed to focus on real threats to our nation. These positions included favoring after-the-fact litigation against foreign terrorists, over preventing attacks by maximizing our intelligence and military resources.

In the aftermath of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, President Clinton prosecuted those directly responsible for the attack but did little else. He failed to recognize the broader threat and failed to immediately adopt a preventative policy to thwart future attacks. Obviously, this approach failed. This mindset is evident in other bad policy decisions. CIA Director John Deutch’s “Deutch Doctrine” limited the recruitment of human intelligence sources and ended up devastating U.S. human intelligence assets. Erroneous interpretations of law were allowed to raise walls between foreign intelligence and domestic law enforcement. What resources were left in the intelligence community were re-tasked to study global warming and other issues where intelligence adds little or no value.

To their credit, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, most Democrats abandoned – at least for a while – their September 10th national security mindset and joined with Republicans to support tough anti-terrorist programs. However, over time, Democrat support for anti-terrorism programs waned. Instead of crediting these programs for keeping our nation safe and preventing another 9/11 attack, Democrats began to attack them to score political points against President Bush by claiming these programs endangered the civil liberties of Americans.

This started in 2006 when Democrats falsely denounced the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) as a "warrantless wiretaps" effort that endangered the privacy of Americans. Similar criticism was lodged against other valuable anti-terrorist programs, such as the High Value Terrorist Detainee Program, and the Terrorist Finance and Tracking Program. More recent actions evidence Democrats’ rapid regression back to a "September 10th" mindset. For example, Democrats have made it clear that they still prefer to fight terrorists in court and not by using aggressive military and intelligence counterterrorism methods. Senator Obama was quick to endorse the Supreme Court’s wrong-headed and legally unsupportable Boumediene Supreme Court decision which gave habeas corpus rights to foreign terrorist suspects and indicated he would extend legal rights, guaranteed in our constitution only to Americans, to Osama Bin Laden.

This endangers American security on a macro basis and on a micro basis the lives of our men and women on the battlefield. Do Democrats want our troops to read bin Laden his Miranda rights? How dumb can we be?* Democrats in Congress have devoted enormous resources to false criticism that has misled the American people and weakened the ability of U.S. intelligence agencies to monitor the electronic communications of foreign terrorists. Although last week the House passed compromise language to shore up electronic surveillance of terrorist communications, this language passed primarily because occasionally-conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats threatened to abandon their leadership on this issue and back tougher legislation supported by House Republicans. Even so, this critical legislation was opposed by a majority of the Democratic caucus. Like the 1990s, Congressional Democrats prefer to use intelligence resources to study penguins and polar bears instead of radical jihadists and energy security.

Last week, (June 25th) the House Intelligence Committee and the House Committee on Energy Security and Climate Change held a joint hearing on a new intelligence community analysis of global warming mandated by the Democratic Congress in 2007. This analysis contains no clandestine intelligence and is so weak that its authors had to admit at the start of the report that they had “low to medium confidence” in its accuracy. House and Senate Democrat leaders and Senator Obama have no answer to energy security and rising gas prices other than to ridicule Senator McCain for his sensible call to increase domestic U.S. oil production through off shore drilling. Their solution? Sue OPEC in the belief that by introducing trial lawyers into this process will lower gas prices. Are the Democrats serious? When has bringing in trial lawyers lowered the price of anything?

Such naive policies suggest Democrats do not understand or are ignoring real threats facing our nation just as they did on September 10, 2001. The stakes for our security will be high this fall as voters choose between Senator Obama, who supports these dangerous proposals, and Senator McCain, who understands the lessons from 9/11 and will take a more responsible approach.

Let’s hope the voters make the right choice this November.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Republican, represents the second district of Michigan

A note from Radarsite: Most of these allegations against the Democratic majority we have heard before. However, what sets this particular essay apart is the clear and concise manner is which these shameful facts are laid out for us. One travesty after another, we witness the unyielding pattern of Democratic obstructionism. Wherever we have made an effort to protect ourselves, the Democrats -- oblivious to the danger -- have thwarted us. In the name of protecting our Constitutional rights they are stripping away our protections and rendering us increasingly vulnerable to our determined enemies.

As Rep. Hoekstra points out so vividly, the Democrat's capacity for credulity and denial is boundless. It's as though nothing has changed for them since 9/11. For them it is to be business as usual.

And the Islamic war against the West? This is nothing more than a Republican ploy. A way to get votes.

Here's a simple question for our Congressional Democrats: What have you done to protect us from our enemies today? - rg

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  1. Happy 4th Roger! However, speaking of a Sept. 10th mentality, it is important to remember that on 9/10/01, then Atty Gen Ashcroft denied FBI budget requests for add'l Arabic language translators.

    So, a September 10th mentality...etc.

  2. Happy 4th to you Storm. Once again you enter into the conversation with your usual contrarian views.
    Prior to 9/11 many were asleep at the switch, but some of us have moved on since then, we have learned and are still learning, while the Dems have remained unashamedly fixed in that myopic pre-9/11 mentality. That, I believe, is the general thrust of Rep. Hoekstra's forceful article.

  3. And the Arabic language translators they now have are all plants of the Jihadists. After all only a Muslim can translate Arabic.

    The Democrats have their heads in the sand and under Obama another 9/11 or possibly worse will happen.

  4. On this particular subject I think Findalis 'knows whereof she speaks.'

  5. The Democratic Congress of 2006 has been a demonstrable FAILURE on almost every issue and problem facing our nation. They should get a D- only because they didn't screw things up in Iraq and elsewhere as much as they could have.

    The Democratically controlled do-nothing Congress is asleep at the wheel while crushing gas price oppress the poor. The Democrats really don't mind since they continue to decieve us saying "we cannot drill our way out" of the current energy crises. I guess LESS drilling would help?

  6. I don't actually consider my views "contrarian" rather than "balancing." Simply, to suggest that, as you said, many were asleep at the switch. There is no doubt that many in the U.S. Congress, mostly Democrats, have forgotten what happened on Sept. 11th. If my comment offended you or anyone else, I am sorry. It is important for us all to remember history, just as it is important for history to tell us about yesterday.