Saturday, March 06, 2004

John Kerry yesterday released his plan to fight the terror threat in the United States. The same terror threat he told Tom Brokaw was “an exaggeration.” The same terror threat he claims -- despite this exaggeration -- that President George W. Bush has done little to assuage.

Claiming "We cannot win the war on terror through military power alone," Kerry promised to run a more law enforcement-style war against terror. There’re only two problems with this approach. Unfortunately, those two problems could leave thousands more Americans dead at the hands of heartless terrorists.

First, America has already tried a law enforcement approach to the war against terror and it didn’t work. Bill Clinton treated terrorists acts against the United States -- such the first attack against the World Trade Centers and the attack against the USS Cole -- as crimes, not acts of war. The result? Well, terrorists quickly learned US leaders at the time didn’t have the stomach to seriously curtail acts of terror. Window dressing would be enough. Sadly, it took new leadership in Washington, DC and the September 11 terror attacks to knock the evil-doers on their heels and get them on the run.

If we were simply talking about John Kerry’s strategic and tactical ineptitude, the reader would hardly be surprised. But in promising a stronger intelligence effort to stop terrorist, Kerry is swimming against his own 30-year tide as a public figure, 19 years of which he served in the United States Senate. A tide in which he has led the fight to dismantle US intelligence capabilities. He failed, largely, thank God. But he has managed to dismantle his credibility on matters related to intelligence gathering and the war against terror.

The next time you hear John Forbes Kerry talk about how he’ll improve intelligence efforts by the US, recall his tirade as a candidate for Congress in 1971 in which he said he’d like to eliminate the CIA and put US troops under the command of the United Nations.

Recall, too, his effort to gut intelligence spending, pushing for a cumulative $4.5 billion in cuts during the 1990’s alone.

Recall this is a man who had to ask (as terrorist were preparing for jihad against America), “Now that [the Cold War] struggle is over, why is it that our vast intelligence apparatus continues to grow?”

In the White House, John Kerry would pursue a failed strategy to stop terrorists. And he doesn’t even have the credibility of Bill Clinton to see it through.

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