George Allen on Homeland Security
Republican Senate Challenger
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."
"The concern I have is not whether you have an authorization of force," Allen said. "I really worry about the military readiness of our country, regardless of whether or not there's an authorization of the use of force."
Allen said much of the federal spending during his Senate term was necessary to bolster the military after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
"I cannot believe we're going to blame $3 trillion in spending on war spending," Radtke shot back. "I don't remember Medicare Part D, and I don't remember No Child Left Behind, being a part of war spending. That is not why we had $3 trillion in debt."
He said after the debate that much of the increased spending he supported from 2001 to 2006 was for important national defense and security purposes, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
ALLEN: I’m going to make a determination once I get some more facts. The two key points I’m going to look at [are], number one, these interrogations have helped protect American lives and not just here at home but also in the battlefield. Secondly, the Geneva Convention is very important, and I don’t want to set a precedent that we change the Geneva Convention [because I’m concerned] if one of our troops or one of our CIA agents is caught or captured. Now, the key in all of this is I don’t want to stop these interrogations. I’m not for torture, I’m not for waterboarding, but some of these techniques have been very helpful to us, whether they are sleep deprivation, or whether there’s loud music. And I need to be absolutely certain that what the interrogators are doing now-which is completely fine as far as I’m concerned, protecting Americans-will not be harmed by the proposal.
“If [Virginia Military Institute] admitted women, it wouldn’t be the VMI that we’ve known for 154 years. You just don’t treat women the way you treat fellow cadets. If you did, it would be ungentlemanly, it would be improper.”Men and women shouldn’t be treated the same at a military institution?
ALLEN: The regiment at VMI -the curriculum and the training would be ungentlemanly to treat women the way that they were doing it. At Virginia Tech, we had women and opportunities for women to get military training in a co-ed approach. VMI and their board for many years felt that they should continue the way that they had in the past.
Q: But has women at VMI worked?
ALLEN: Yes, it has.
Q: So you were wrong?
ALLEN: We were wrong. The Supreme Court said we were wrong. We complied with that decision. What I said as governor, is I’m going to deplore anybody who demeans women.
Sen. GRAHAM [recommending NO]: The fundamental question for the Senate to answer when it comes to determining enemy combatant status is, Who should make that determination? Should that be a military decision or should it be a judicial decision? That is something our military should do.
Sen. SPECTER [recommending YES]: My amendment would retain the constitutional right of habeas corpus for people detained at Guantanamo. The right of habeas corpus was established in the Magna Carta in 1215 when, in England, there was action taken against King John to establish a procedure to prevent illegal detention. What the bill seeks to do is to set back basic rights by some 900 years. This amendment would strike that provision and make certain that the constitutional right of habeas corpus is maintained.
GRAHAM: Do we really want enemy prisoners to bring every lawsuit known to man against the people fighting the war and protecting us? No enemy prisoner should have access to Federal courts--a noncitizen, enemy combatant terrorist--to bring a lawsuit against those fighting on our behalf. No judge should have the ability to make a decision that has been historically reserved to the military. That does not make us safer.
SPECTER: The US Constitution states that "Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." We do not have either rebellion or invasion, so it is a little hard for me to see, as a basic principle of constitutional law, how the Congress can suspend the writ of habeas corpus.
GRAHAM: If the Supreme Court does say in the next round of legal appeals there is a constitutional right to habeas corpus by those detained at Guantanamo Bay, then Sen. Specter is absolutely right.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
I question the need for a very lengthy, detailed report every 3 months. We will probably see those reports leaked to the press.
This amendment would spread out for the world--and especially for al-Qaida and its related organizations--precisely what interrogation techniques are going to be used.
If we lay out, in an unclassified version, a description of the techniques by the Attorney General, that description will be in al-Qaida and Hezbollah and all of the other terrorist organizations' playbook. They will train their assets that: This is what you must be expected to do, and Allah wants you to resist these techniques.
We are passing this bill so that we can detain people. If we catch someone like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, we have no way to hold him, no way to ask him the questions and get the information we need, because the uncertainty has brought the program to a close. It is vitally important to our security, and unfortunately this amendment would imperil it.
A bill to clarify that individuals who receive FISA orders can challenge nondisclosure requirements, that individuals who receive national security letters are not required to disclose the name of their attorney, that libraries are not wire or electronic communication service providers unless they provide specific services, and for other purposes.
Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) small business participation is vital to U.S. defense and should play an active role in assisting the military, Federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and State and local police to combat terrorism through the design and development of innovative products; and (2) Federal, State, and local governments should aggressively seek out and purchase innovative technologies and services from, and promote research opportunities for, American small businesses to help in homeland defense and the fight against terrorism. Passed/agreed to in Senate.
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The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
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Retiring as of Jan. 2013:
Senate elections Nov. 2012:
CA:Feinstein(D) vs.Emken(R) vs.Lightfoot(L) vs.
CT:McMahon(R) vs.Murphy(D) vs.
FL:Nelson(D) vs.Mack(R) vs.
HI:Hirono(D) vs.Case(D) vs.Lingle(R) vs.Pirkowski(R)
ME:King(I) vs.Dill(D) vs.Summers(R)
MI:Stabenow(D) vs.Hoekstra(R) vs.Boman(L)
NJ:Menendez(D) vs.Kyrillos(R) vs.Diakos(I)
NY:Gillibrand(D) vs.Long(R) vs.Noren(I) vs.Clark(G)
TX:Cruz(R) vs.Sadler(D) vs.Roland(L) vs.
Senate Votes (analysis)
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