Monday, January 27, 2003

Hillary Faults Bush On Security Says U.S. just a bit safer after Sept. 11 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS January 25, 2003 Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton launched a blistering critique of the Bush administration's domestic anti-terror effort Friday, saying the nation's new homeland security plan is a "myth" and the country is only marginally safer than it was before Sept. 11. "Our people remain vulnerable, nearly as vulnerable as we were before ... Sept. 11," the New York Democrat told an audience attending a homeland security conference at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. "Our vigilance has faded at the top, in the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., where the strategy and resources to protect our nation are supposed to originate, where leaders are supposed to lead," Clinton said. Clinton's challenge to President George W. Bush's domestic security efforts comes four days before he is to deliver the State of the Union address and on the same day that Tom Ridge was sworn in as the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. "We have relied on a myth of homeland security - a myth written in rhetoric, inadequate resources and a new bureaucracy instead of relying on good, old-fashioned American ingenuity, might and muscle," Clinton said. "The truth is we are not prepared, we are not supporting our first responders, and our approach to securing our nation is haphazard at best," Clinton said. "Somewhere along the line, we lost our edge. We let our guard down." ... Clinton also tried to tie security concerns to criticism of Bush's $674 billion economic stimulus proposal that would eliminate taxes on dividends. "Will ending the dividend tax make air travel safer?" Clinton said. "Will it keep a dirty bomb out of New York Harbor? Will ending the dividends save one police officer or firefighter his or her job? In short, will it make America safer, more secure? Of course, the answer is no." Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said Friday that the Bush administration's top priority is homeland security and that Clinton's criticism only exposes the country to more terror. "I just think it was a cheap shot," King said. "It just invites the enemy to attack again."
I'm disappointed in King's response. He's generally one of the more level-headed Republicans in congress. He was one of the few to come out against the impeachment, correctly seeing it as the GOP going nuts.


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