By Alan Caruba
Now that we have Janet Napolitano as Secretary of Homeland Security, do you feel safer?
I don’t. Aunt Janet could not manage to say words like “terrorism” or “9/11” in her recent testimony before a congressional committee. If you recall, the whole reason for the reorganization that created the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 was, well, homeland security.
It brought together 22 agencies and some 220,000 federal employees to ensure the nation was not attacked again and, if attacked, could coordinate recovery procedures.
This worked fine under the Republican administration of George W. Bush during which Tom Ridge and Michael Chernoff were in charge of the department, but Democrats and, in particular, those of an extreme Leftist point of view are always ready to embrace our enemies and blame America for any attacks or other threats they pose.
In a new book by Dr. Jamie Glazov, a historian who is managing editor of Frontpagemag.com, “United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror”, the author points out that, “Throughout the twentieth century, the Western Left supported one totalitarian killing machine after another. Prominent intellectuals from George Bernard Shaw to Bertolt Brecht to Susan Sontag venerated mass murderers such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Ho Chi Minh, habitually excusing their atrocities while blaming America, and even the victims for the crimes.”
Today, the Left’s spokespersons include former President Jimmy Carter, Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and Tom Hayden. And President Barack Hussein Obama who, in the first two months of his new administration has reached out to Palestinians, Syrians, Iranians, and initiated measures to eliminate restrictions on Castro’s Cuba.
Obama was elected for his opposition to the war in Iraq that deposed one of the most vicious despots of our times, Saddam Hussein, and which is demonstrating in its aftermath that democracy has taken root in Iraq. It is no accident that Obama's first television interview was with Al-Arabia or that he is proposing to give nearly a billion dollars to Hamas to "rebuild Gaza."
Will this administration decide not to call Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda or the countless other Islamist groups “terrorists”? Maybe it will begin to call them “tourists”? Granted Obama wants to increase the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, but that is virtually a guarantor of failure and he knows it. British and French generals have recommended returning Afghanistan to the tribes that have always run it. Let them fight the Taliban like they fought the Russians.
During the Clinton years, attacks on American embassies were seen as issues for the Justice Department. That’s why Osama bin Laden was allowed to slip away even when Sudan offered his capture. That’s why, when one agency of the U.S. knew that the 9/11 perpetrators were here illegally, they were not permitted to inform another agency and thus likely undermine their plot. The firewalls that permitted this travesty were put in place by Leftist Clinton appointees.
Lawyers, unlike military or counterterrorism experts, have a very different view of protecting the nation. They believe that the “rights” of terrorists take precedence over the rights of Americans to be protected against them.
This might be why the Village Voice, a very liberal weekly, opposed Aunt Janet when word circulated that she might be appointed to head the Department of National Security. She was scorned for having taken any action to defend Arizona’s border with Mexico. To the Voice, her failure to welcome every illegal Mexican at the border was a sin.
Napolitano is the ultimate political animal, always ready to test which way the wind is blowing, always eager to run to the front of the parade, and now prepared to ensure that the indifferent and dangerous policies of the Obama administration will be reflected in the work of her mega-agency.
As we have seen with the Hurricane Katrina fiasco, probably no U.S. government agency can effectively deal with an act of God, but the National Security Agency should surely be expected to motivate its personnel to remain vigilant against potential threats. They are some very good people who get up each day to protect us. They know who the enemy is, whether it is an al Qaeda operative attempting to sneak into the nation or a Mexican drug smuggler. We owe them our thanks and our respect.
The problem for the rest of us is that Aunt Janet cannot bring herself to use the word “terrorist” or even refer to “9/11”. This is perfectly understandable when the President cannot bring himself to refer to “the war on terrorism.”