Archive for the ‘National Security’ Category

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McCain fights back against liberal interest group

April 20, 2007

Following a particularly vicious attack ad by the liberal special interest group MoveOn.org, Sen. John McCain Friday released a statement noting the group’s “long record of liberal extremism.” The McCain camp refer to past fanatical left-wing action by MoveOn in refuting the 30-second advertisement.

“It comes as no surprise that America’s most liberal interest group would attack John McCain’s belief that we cannot allow Iran to destroy Israel,” said spokesman Matt David. “After all, MoveOn.org posted ads comparing President Bush to Hitler during the last presidential election.”

The ads David referred to were a pair of 2004 MoveOn campaign propaganda pieces comparing President Bush to Adolph Hitler. At the time, the Washington Post wrote:

“One ad begins with Adolf Hitler making speeches, until a picture of President Bush appears. Another also uses Nazi and Bush images, with the tag line: ‘What were war crimes in 1945 is foreign policy in 2003.’ The videos appeared on the Web site of MoveOn.Org’s Voter Fund as part of a nationwide contest for an anti-Bush television ad on which the liberal group plans to spend a considerable sum.”

Fallout from the 2004 ads was well documented. Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center called the ads, “Shameful and beyond the pale [with] no place in the legitimate discourse of American politics.”

The Anti-Defamation League said the ads were “vile and outrageous,” noting that MoveOn’s explanation was “hardly comforting.”

In the accompanying release, the campaign also cited previous MoveOn ads in which the Statue of Liberty was shown with a hood over its head. From the USA Today:

“[MoveOn] used imagery they knew would be controversial: a digitally doctored photo of the Statue of Liberty, hooded to remind viewers of what happened to some Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison as a narrator says ‘something has gone terribly wrong’ in Iraq. … the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org begins airing the ad, titled ‘Fire Rumsfeld,’ in 14 major cities today.”

The McCain campaign said the group also used ads showing a surrendering American soldier in Iraq. From a Sept. 2004 Dallas Morning News article:

“[T]he liberal group MoveOn.org produced a TV ad titled ‘Quagmire’ asserting that Mr. Bush lacks plans to end the war. ‘George Bush got us into this quagmire,’ the narrator says as an American soldier sinks deeper into quicksand, rifle overhead in a posture that suggests surrender.”

MoveOn.org has even gone so far as to oppose holding accountable governments harboring terrorists. The group’s own website proudly boasted:

“Furthermore, we assert that the government of a nation must be presumed separate and distinct from any terrorist group that may operate within its borders, and therefore cannot be held unduly accountable for the latter’s crimes.”

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2008 field long on war rhetoric, short on warriors

April 9, 2007

MCCAIN STANDS ALONE AS ONLY TOP-TIER CANDIDATE WITH MILITARY SERVICE

A well-written Associated Press article Monday weighed the influence of presidential candidate’s military background in the eyes of voters.

McCain Service

Despite the high-profile roles of the battle against terrorism and conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in the presidential campaign, few of the candidates can claim military experience on their resumes.

Of the top tier of 2008 candidates, only Republican John McCain has been to war and served in uniform.

Among the leading Republican candidates, only McCain, 70, has a military record. The Arizona senator spent more than 20 years in the Navy, almost a quarter of it in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp.

This article re-examines – and perhaps reinforces – a number of the questions looming over the 2008 presidential election.

With America fighting a global war against terrorism, and while the War in Iraq is seen by the majority of voters as the most important issue in 2008, what role will military experience play in the upcoming South Carolina presidential primary? Do voters feel comfortable electing someone without military experience to lead the U.S. military during wartime?

It is interesting to note that only one person has ever won a presidential election during a time of war without having a military background.

Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected to his fourth term in 1944 when the U.S. was nearing victory in World War II. Roosevelt contracted polio in 1921 and was unable to offer military service.

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Giuliani refuses request re: Kerik blunder, faces criticism over 9/11

March 30, 2007

It was a ferocious firestorm of a Friday for former New York Mayor and current presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani began the day by again failing to offer an explanation Friday when confronted with his involvement in recommending Bernard Kerik to lead homeland security in December 2004.

Giuliani and Kerik

An AP story reported that Giuliani admitted the recommendation was a mistake, but a spokeswoman for Giuliani “declined to explain why Giuliani appointed Kerik police commissioner despite having information about Kerik’s relationship with Interstate Industrial.”

The acknowledgment followed a report in The New York Times that the former New York City mayor was warned about Kerik’s relationship with a company with suspected ties to organized crime even before Giuliani appointed Kerik as New York City police commissioner.

Once nominated by President Bush to head the Homeland Security Department, Kerik pleaded guilty last June to a misdemeanor charge of accepting a gift from Interstate Industrial, which was seeking city work.

Kerik acknowledged accepting $165,000 in renovations on his Bronx apartment from the company. But he never explicitly admitted that his efforts on the company’s behalf were tied to the work on his home.

Giuliani came under further fire Friday surrounding his administration’s handling of New York City before and after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

From the Associated Press:

“If Rudolph Giuliani was running on anything but 9/11, I would not speak out,” said Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son was among the 343 FDNY members killed in the terrorist attack. “If he ran on cleaning up Times Square, getting rid of squeegee men, lowering crime _ that’s indisputable.

“But when he runs on 9/11, I want the American people to know he was part of the problem.”

Such comments contradict Giuliani’s post-Sept. 11 profile as a hero and symbol of the city’s resilience _ the steadfast leader who calmed the nerves of a rattled nation. But as the presidential campaign intensifies, criticisms of his 2001 performance are resurfacing.

Giuliani, the leader in polls of Republican voters for his party’s nomination, has been faulted on two major issues:

_ His administration’s failure to provide the World Trade Center’s first responders with adequate radios, a long-standing complaint from relatives of the firefighters killed when the twin towers collapsed. The Sept. 11 Commission noted the firefighters at the World Trade Center were using the same ineffective radios employed by the first responders to the 1993 terrorist attack on the trade center.

Regenhard, at a 2004 commission hearing in Manhattan, screamed at Giuliani, “My son was murdered because of your incompetence!” The hearing was a perfect example of the 9/11 duality: Commission members universally praised Giuliani at the same event.

_ A November 2001 decision to step up removal of the massive rubble pile at ground zero. The firefighters were angered when the then-mayor reduced their numbers among the group searching for remains of their lost “brothers,” focusing instead on what they derided as a “scoop and dump” approach. Giuliani agreed to increase the number of firefighters at ground zero just days after ordering the cutback.

More than 5 1/2 years later, body parts are still turning up in the trade center site.

“We want America to know what this guy meant to New York City firefighters,” said Peter Gorman, head of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. “In our experiences with this man, he disrespected us in the most horrific way.”

The two-term mayor, in his appearance before the Sept. 11 Commission, said the blame for the death and destruction of Sept. 11 belonged solely with the terrorists. “There was not a problem of coordination on Sept. 11,” he testified.

Giuliani was also criticized for locating the city’s emergency center in 7 World Trade Center, a building that contained thousands of gallons of diesel fuel when it collapsed after the terrorist attack.

The lingering ill will between Giuliani and firefighters was resurrected when the International Association of Fire Fighters initially decided not to invite the former mayor to its March 14 candidates forum in Washington. Other prominent presidential hopefuls, including Republican John McCain and Democrats Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards, addressed the nation’s largest firefighters union.


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