State of Washington Archives: on Homeland Security


Bob Marshall: Against "don't ask, don't tell" as Navy officer in 1990s

On the Virginia General Assembly's late-night vote to reject judicial nominee Tracy Thorne-Begland, a Richmond prosecutor who raises twin children with his same-sex partner, Allen offered subtle differences.

Marshall, who led the House fight against Thorne-Begland's confirmation, said he opposed the nominee because as a Navy officer 20 years ago, Thorne-Begland spoke out on national television against the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military just put in place by Pres. Bill Clinton

Source: 4-NBC Washington on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 26, 2012

George Allen: Military readiness more important than congressional consent

When the moderator asked the four about Obama's decision to involve the U.S. military in the Libyan uprising without congressional consent, Jackson, Marshall and Radtke quickly denounced it roundly.

Allen, however, didn't pounce on Obama. Instead, he recalled the gravity and anxiety of sending U.S. troops into Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist strikes. "In my estimation, it's the most solemn decision a president has to make," Allen said. "I have made that decision as far as Iraq and Afghanistan."

"The concern I have is not whether we have a (congressional) authorization of force, it's whether or not our military is going to have the equipment, the armament, the up-to-date technology that is paramount as they're trying to protect our freedoms," he said. "I'm really worried about the military readiness of our country."

Source: 4-NBC Washington on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 26, 2012

John McCain: Applying habeas to Guantanamo let 30 terrorists attack US

John McCain made it very clear that he did not approve of the recent Supreme Court decision establishing habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. He called the ruling “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country,” echoing the position of Justice Antonin Scalia, who predicted that it would cause “more Americans to be killed.” According to the Republican nominee, 30 released detainees “have already tried to attack America again.”
Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 30, 2008

John McCain: GovWatch: Only 13 Gitmo recidivists & none attacked US

McCain said on June 17, “Thirty of the people that have already been released from Guantanamo Bay have already tried to attack America again. One of them just a couple of weeks ago as a suicide bomber in Iraq.”

Is that true? The latest Pentagon “fact sheet”, dated June 13, states that 37 former Guantanamo detainees are “confirmed or suspected” of having returned to “terrorist activities” since their release. It puts the so-called recidivism rate at “between 5% and 7%.”

The Pentagon names 13 former GITMO prisoners whose participation in various types of terrorist activity has been “confirmed,” in most cases because they have been killed or captured. There is no evidence that any of the 13 killed Americans.

McCain is wrong to claim that 30 former Guantanamo detainees “have tried to attack America again.” Defense Secretary Gates was a lot less specific than McCain, saying “We don’t have a lot of specific cases. We’re talking about 1, 2, 3 dozen that we have some information on.”

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 30, 2008

Barack Obama: Get first responders the healthcare and equipment they need

It is a noble calling what you do [as firefighters]. You know that. I know that. This country knows that. But sometimes Washington forgets. They praise your work. But when it’s time for you to get health care or buy the radios and equipment you need, those supporters disappear like a puff of smoke.

Instead of making your job easier, they tried to cut funding so that you couldn’t buy the masks and suits you need. They wanted to stop the hiring of 75,000 new firefighters. They wanted to hide the US Fire Administration under layers of bureaucracy at Homeland Security. And 5 years after September 11th, they still won’t give our first responders the health care they earned that day.

What keeps Washington from doing all that it needs to do to better protect our firefighters, police officers, and EMT’s--it’s not a lack of ideas and solutions that’s holding us back. It is the smallness of our politics.

Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

Barack Obama: Comprehensive plan for our veterans healthcare

Washington says that they support the troops. They give long speeches about valor and sacrifice. But when it comes time to sending our troops into battle with the proper equipment and ensure that veterans have what they need when they get home, they don’t do anything except slap a yellow ribbon on the back of their SUV. That’s how come our men and women have to use scrap metal to protect their Humvees.

Our veterans end up living among mice and mold. They stare at stacks of paperwork. They thought they left the frontline in Iraq but they came home to a new frontline of red tape and bureaucracy.

This is unacceptable. When our veterans come home, I don’t want them crawling around a dumpster for a meal or a box for shelter. I don’t want them drowning in whiskey to silence the PTSD. I don’t want that for our veterans. We know they deserve more.

So let’s make a promise today--and say that, right here and right now, is when we begin to put together a comprehensive plan for our veterans.

Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

Chris Dodd: Give troops & first responders everything they need

Whether it’s Iraq or Katrina, our servicemen and women deserve a president who can say, “I did everything--everything--in my power to ensure that those that are in harm’s way had the equipment they needed to be safe.” A president who gives them the plan to carry out their job. A president who makes sure that those injured get the very best medical treatment when they’re injured. That shouldn’t be too much to ask of any administration. And I promise you, in my administration, it won’t be.
Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

Chuck Hagel: Pay attention to 2B people in poverty, or terrorists will

In addition to our defined challenges are the more insidious and undefined challenges. Like the 2 billion people in the world who live in abject poverty, 2 billion people in the world live with no dignity, very little hope, in a constant cycle of despair. Those are the people we’re going to have to pay some attention to. We’re all responsible for that.

I don’t necessarily connect terrorism with poverty, but I do know that when there is unrest, when there is instability, when people are without dignity, very little else matters.

Those who would wish us ill prey on those people in desperation. And they use those people for their own evil means and direction and purpose.

Those are some of the greater challenges. These are the people left behind over the last 60 years. To face those challenges it’s going to take America once again leading on the world stage. Leading not because of our power, but because of our purpose, because people trust us, as a nation that inspires.

Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

Duncan Hunter: Arsenal of democracy is leaving our shores

The arsenal of democracy is our ability to make things. It’s all the places where we produce products. Products that we use in the domestic economy in peacetime, and that we can turn to making military equipment in wartime.

FDR coined the phrase in WWII. When he could see the storm coming, we turned our arsenal of democracy to winning the world for freedom. In the Cold War, we won freedom because of the arsenal of democracy. It was not just the will of Ronald Reagan; it was that the Soviet Union understood they could not keep up with our industry.

Let me tell you what I see about that arsenal of democracy today--it’s leaving our shores. When I looked across this country a couple of years ago, when our guys starting getting hurt with roadside bombs in Iraq, I found only one company left in America that could make high-grade armor plate steel for humvees.

Today you can find parts of the arsenal of democracy in Beijing, in Berlin, Paris, Korea. We need to retrieve the arsenal of democracy.

Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

Hillary Clinton: Fund first responders with extra $1.7 billion

[We need to] get smart about homeland security. We confront a new enemy & a new kind of warfare. It’s really the warfare of cowards. It’s people who sneak around and blow themselves up or place bombs in cars, who have a philosophy of nihilism. You know, they may dress it up in a kind of perverse version of religion, but it’s really about destruction and death. And it is imperative that we stand against them. Their warfare is not conducted by armies or navies but by criminals, by insurgents, by militias driven by this twisted hate.

We can’t get the resources to match the rhetoric. In this latest budget, the president is proposing to cut funds for first responders to the tune of $1.7 billion. The way I see it, saying you believe in homeland security without funding first responders is like saying you believe in building a hospital without doctors and nurses. If we don’t fund you, we’re not funding our first line of defense, and we’re going to need to work together to make that happen.

Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

John Edwards: End $250 registration fee for veterans getting healthcare

A few years ago, there was a registration fee put in place for veterans. Veterans were required to pay a $250 registration fee to get the healthcare they were entitled to. Men and women who have served this country, who have worn the uniform of the United States of America, asked to pay a registration fee to get healthcare? Let me tell you my view: they paid their registration fee when they put on the uniform of the United States of America.
Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

Mike McGavick: We must stand tall for liberty here and abroad

McGavick continued to tackle hot-button issues with an endorsement for the increasingly controversial military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. “America must be willing to stand tall for liberty here and abroad,” McGavick said. “We must win the war on
Source: Paul Balcerak, “The Observer”, Central Washington University Jun 1, 2006

Russell Feingold: Al-Qaeda is a priority, not Iraq

Michels has the wrong priorities when it comes to national security. The priorities are Al-Qaeda and national security.
Source: WI Senate Debate, in Washington Post Oct 18, 2004

Howard Dean: No SDI deployment until it’s proven to work

I support missile defense efforts that make us more secure; I oppose deployment of any system not yet proven to work.
Source: Dean writing in Washington Post Dec 21, 2003

Wesley Clark: Consider cutting defense spending

Clark would consider cutting defense spending if elected, he said. “We are trapped in a jobless economy and an endless occupation” of Iraq, Clark told a campaign rally crowd.
Source: Jim VandeHei, Washington Post, p. A5 Sep 19, 2003

Donald Rumsfeld: Abandon the “two major war” basis for size of military

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is set to unveil sweeping changes in US military strategy, including the formal abandonment of the “two major war” yardstick that for a decade has been used to determine the size of the military. Rumsfeld will seek final approval for the new US strategy, which appears to involve some of the biggest changes in the US military in a decade.

Putting aside the “two major war” approach is more a matter of the size of the military than of planning for war. For about a decade, the military has used the possibility of having to fight wars in two places -- Korea and Iraq are the two examples frequently used -- to figure out the minimum number of troops, airplanes, ships and gear needed. Among other things, abandoning the approach will remove a floor that for years has kept the active-duty military at about 1.4 million people. [The new policy would] put less emphasis on preparing for conventional warfare and more on handling murkier situations.

Source: Thomas E. Ricks and Walter Pincus, Washington Post, p. A01 May 7, 2001

Donald Rumsfeld: Agrees with Bush on 21st century military reforms

Rumsfeld said he strongly supports Bush’s plan to reform the military in order to help it deal better with the new threat for the 21st century. But he appeared more hesitant when asked about Bush’s campaign promise to “skip a generation of technology,” in weapons procurement. Asked about that promise, Rumsfeld said that it isn’t necessary to “leapfrog” in order to transform the military.
Source: Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post Jan 11, 2001

Ezola Foster: Sovereignty of nation is a primary concern

“American sovreignty is extremely important”, said Foster. “What issue will mean anything if we lose our sovreignty?”
Source: The Washington Post Aug 12, 2000

George W. Bush: SDI plan like Bush Sr.’s $63B GPALS & “Brilliant Pebbles”

Bush proposed missile defense system appears to be nearly identical to the missile shield proposed by his father in his 1991 State of the Union address. The elder Bush’s proposal was for a system to defend against an accidental Russian launch or a small volley of missiles fired by some other country. It became known at the Pentagon as GPALS, for “global protection against limited strikes.”

GPALS envisioned 750 ground-based interceptors deployed at six areas in the US, plus 1,000 space-based interceptors using “brilliant pebbles” technology, which would fire thousands of pieces of metal at an incoming warhead, like buckshot in space.

By contrast, the Clinton administration’s proposal is for a system of 100 to 250 ground-based interceptors with silos to be built in just one or two sites--Alaska and possibly North Dakota--at a cost estimated at $12.6 billion to $60 billion.A January 1992 General Accounting Office study of GPALS put its price tag in 1992 dollars at $63 billion.

Source: Walter Pincus, Washington Post, Page A1 Jun 4, 2000

Janet Reno: Advocates broad partnership to protect US infrastructure

Intricate networks, power grids and computer systems make up what we call our national infrastructure. If that infrastructure is attacked, we all suffer. That is why we must protect it. At the Department of Justice, we have launched the National Infrastructure Protection Center. The mission is to detect, prevent and respond to cyber attacks. It is a true interagency, public-private partnership.
Source: Press Briefing on Terrorism, Washington DC Jan 22, 1999

Dan Quayle: Spend more on advanced weapons R&D

[I fought] the Soviet Union’s ban on conventional cruise missiles under the INF Treaty. Now, America has been able to use cruise missiles for many missions that once required putting pilots, sailors, and soldiers in harm’s way. We should be [spending more on] stealth, sensors, and robotics to develop a whole range of advanced weapons systems. [Advances in] technology come from years of intensive, and usually expensive, R&D - a category that has taken some serious budgetary hits in the last decade.
Source: Speech to The Heritage Foundation, , Washington DC Jan 12, 1999

Dan Quayle: Modify Aegis for missile defense; withdraw from ABM Treaty

It is time for a focused effort to develop and deploy effective missile defenses. A short-term response is already available. We can modify the Navy’s Aegis fleet air defense system to intercept ballistic missiles. The next step is to develop a national missile defense system. Some will object that doing so would violate the ABM Treaty with the old Soviet Union. We should declare the ABM Treaty obsolete and exercise our right to withdraw.
Source: Speech to The Heritage Foundation, , Washington DC Jan 12, 1999

Dan Quayle: Coordinate intelligence agencies to fight terrorism

I’m dismayed at the low level of attention that’s given to the issue of terrorism. The world’s only superpower is a possible target of every nut, every rogue dictator, every group with an ax to grind. The president should be using every tool at his command to get a grip on this problem, and that includes finding new ways to coordinate activities among the NSC, CIA, and DIA.
Source: Speech to The Heritage Foundation, , Washington DC Jan 12, 1999

Al Gore: Nuclear plan: no SDI; fewer missiles; less production