Heading to The Polls Is Crucial

This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.

The New York Sun

Today is Primary Day, and if you have no intention of voting for your party choices then you lose any right to complain come Election Day. Many voters consider this November’s elections unimportant, but they couldn’t be more wrong. After attending a forum last week on law enforcement and the war on terror, I find the idea of Democrats regaining the House or Senate absolutely terrifying.

There are simply no Democrats in leadership positions who understand that the world changed drastically on September 11, 2001. Those few who do get it, such as Senator Lieberman, have been ostracized by their colleagues in Congress. Oddly enough, Senator Clinton has not suffered the same fate, even though she has supported our presence in Iraq — albeit somewhat halfheartedly. This doesn’t mean, however, that she understands how dire our national security situation is. That she has abandoned Mr. Lieberman and supports his opponent speaks volumes about her true allegiance.

The Center for Policing Terrorism at the Manhattan Institute hosted a forum last week on the role of law enforcement in preventing another terror attack in America. A distinguished panel that included two former NYPD police commissioners, William J. Bratton and John Timoney, addressed representatives of state and local police forces. The keynote speaker was Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez.

The opening panel, which addressed the homegrown terror threat, was the most compelling and frightening. We were presented with data indicating that we’re now facing an enemy who may not look at all like the September 11 attackers. Are we really prepared for the disaffected blond, blue-eyed 17-year-old who’s been recruited via the Internet by an ideology that worships death? The next stage of terrorism could hit small towns around the country, shopping malls, and all modes of transportation.

While partisan politicians and celebrities bicker about how the secretary of defense is conducting the war in Iraq, they are ignoring the homegrown war and our efforts to monitor the infiltration by Islamic fascists of local mosques, prisons, and homes via the Internet. The importance of local law enforcement in being the first preventers is paramount, yet there are fewer street cops on the force since 9/11. This situation must be corrected, for they are the ones who know their community and can best intuit potential trouble spots. Efforts to establish efficient databases connecting local and federal agencies are already under way and will be vital in combating the enemy within.

One of the panelists, a former New York Times reporter, Judith Miller, reiterated the vital importance of local police involvement and remarked that agencies need to regard reporters as allies so that they can alert the public of danger.

I later spoke to Ms. Miller and asked her the question I was too shy to air during the Q&A segment: Given that the only way to handle the homegrown terror crisis is through covert activity and monitoring, why is it that reporters, especially at her newspaper, do everything possible to expose those efforts? Why does the ACLU cite civil liberty violations whenever there’s a hint that some minority might be offended by a search? Ms. Miller agreed that the organization’s objection to the NYPD backpack search was ridiculous and only served to alert the terrorists. She also said, “Reporters know how to keep secrets. We keep many.”

Well, Ms. Miller may be one of those rare intrepid reporters who are grounded in the reality of what we face today, but I have serious doubts about others in the liberal press who relish sabotaging the covert programs that have kept us safe thus far.

All the panelists warned that this enemy will never, ever quit — and that neither must we. Thus, I fear any change in power that may dismantle the progress made in this ongoing struggle. The Democrats are living in pre-9/11 Neverland. They simply can’t be taken seriously.

Consider Senator Rockefeller’s statement that Iraq was better off with Saddam Hussein in power. Why is this man even on the Intelligence Committee? Isn’t having some a prerequisite? One idiotic Senate study concluded that there was no relationship between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Why? Because Saddam said so after he was captured. Saddam has even admitted that his officials met with Osama bin Laden, yet the Senate committee believes this megalomaniac murderer of family and countrymen had nothing to do with this.

Admittedly, mistakes have been made, because the world changed on September 11. A shadow enemy emerged and conventional battle strategies no longer applied. We are adapting and will succeed as long as those committed to victory — not retreat — are in charge.

Vote as if your lives depend on it — because they do.

The New York Sun

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