Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Left whines: It's unpatriotic to "politicize" terrorists

Last Sunday a very testy John Brennan, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (wow--that title is a mouthful) went on the Sunday shows and scolded politicians apparently for criticizing the Obama administration's handling of terrorists, particularly for being critical of the administration for treating the Underwear Bomber as if he'd robbed a 7-11.

In his appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, Brennan asserted that he briefed congressional Republicans regarding Abdulmuttalab's apprehension on Christmas Day: "They knew that 'in FBI custody' means that there's a process that you follow as far as Mirandizing and presenting him in front of a magistrate. None of those individuals raised any concerns with me at that point." Brennan went on to assert that he was "tiring of politicians using national security issues such as terrorism as a political football."

Well, all of those "individuals" beg to differ with Brennan's account, including Representative Pete Hoekstra (R. Michigan), ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee, who took the gloves off in replying to Brennan's remarks:

"In the last week, the Obama administration has made the calculation that, 'We're doing so poorly on national security, let's blame the Republicans, and let's say that any criticism of our policies is dangerous to national security and is purely political." Hoekstra went on to say, about Brennan: "He's accusing me of distorting, of misleading the facts. So let's talk about what the facts are. Did Janet Napolitano say we were going to get rid of the term 'terrorism' and use 'man-made disasters' or not? Did the president commit to closing Gitmo within one year or didn't he? Did he commit to moving the trial of KSM from Cuba to New York City or didn't he? Did the national security team refuse to identify Ft. Hood as a terrorist attack or not? Did you Mirandize the Christmas Day bomber or didn't you? Did you hold a press conference to tell the world that he was cooperating or didn't you? Those are all policy decisions. If I've got the facts wrong, where are those facts wrong?

"They say, 'Don't criticize us because we're right and you're aiding the enemy,'" says Hoekstra. "That's totally inaccurate. We're arguing for policies that we think will keep Americans safe, and we are arguing against policies that we think jeopardize our national security."

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R, Ohio) had his own take on Brennan's criticism of Republicans: "Asking hard questions about the White House's lack of an overarching plan to confront and defeat the terrorist threat is a core responsibility of elected leaders in Congress. This sort of cheap, irresponsible political smear doesn't help keep the American people safe."

According to a recent Rasmussen poll, only 36% of voters say that the United States is safer today than it was before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, "marking the lowest level of confidence since Rasmussen polling first asked the question in 2002." Evidently you can count on about one-third of the American people to say just about anything.

And finally, here's a little trip down memory lane. Thank you, Hillary.

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