|Homeland Security: So Far, So Good|
INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
The Presidency: Addressing Congress just after 9/11, President Bush promised that "as long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror." Determination is what explains his perfect record protecting the homeland.
The Bush Years In Perspective: Second In A Series
Click here to read Part 1 (also a good read- Ex)
Listening and watching the establishment media, you would think the administration of George W. Bush was an abject failure on national security. Rosie O'Donnell, set to depart ABC's "The View" next month declared that "We've killed more Americans than any terrorist ever did in this war."
When asked in a TV interview earlier this year if the mainstream media were being unfair to the president, Newsweek assistant managing editor Evan Thomas declared: "Well, our job is to bash the president. That's what we do."
It certainly is. But far from being responsible for more American deaths than any terrorist, President Bush will be remembered by history as a leader who pulled off what more than five years ago seemed impossible — no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11.
Remembering it today is difficult, but the 9/11 attack was widely viewed as the beginning of a new era in which Americans would have to accept the sad truth that there were going to be terrorist killings here from time to time, perhaps almost routinely. One of the urgent purposes of Bush's speech to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 20, 2001, was to convert fear into action that would save lives.
The president described the U.S. at that hour as "a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom." He said "our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution" and pledged that "our nation — this generation — will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail."
At the time, it sounded like the noblest of intentions. But also a tall order. Today, however, we can see that the president has indeed succeeded in lifting that dark threat of violence from our people.
Nearby is a list detailing the terrorist plots the Bush administration has prevented. Equally remarkable are the incidents of carnage seen outside the U.S., a reign of terror scattered around the globe not seen here. Perhaps most memorably are the London bombings of nearly two years, killing 52 and injuring hundreds of commuters.
TheReligionOfPeace.com, which documents Islamic terrorist attacks, has found that there have been well more than 8,200 deadly Muslim assaults since 9/11. Many have been in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Islamofascists are killing innocents all over the world.
Just in the month of May, for example, Islamists have killed 31 people in Thailand — including a 2-year-old girl and a 70-year-old Buddhist man — in close to 20 different incidents. Eight were killed in the Philippines this month by a bomb in a market; seven Christian laborers were beheaded there the month before. Four policemen were killed in Chechnya this month by jihadists.
In Algeria, 33 were killed in suicide bombings in April while four law enforcement officials were killed in an Islamist ambush in the same month. Forty Sudanese were massacred by Arab militia in a machine gun attack, also in April. In March, Janjaweed Arab Muslims slaughtered at least 200 men, women and children in Chad.
Yet in spite of all this terrorism, Democratic politicians such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and presidential candidate John Edwards balk at using the phrase "war on terror" to describe the struggle Western civilization is fighting. And the media consistently fail to report the administration's success in keeping Americans safe.
The Patriot Act, of course, which so many Democrats hemmed and hawed about renewing, expanded law enforcement's ability to go after terrorists by accessing telephone, computer, financial and medical records. But there are two other keys to the success in homeland security: the National Security Agency's surveillance program and the foreign prisons program in which the CIA was able to inflict tough interrogation methods on captured terrorist suspects. Both programs were secret until the establishment media revealed their existence, compromising at least to some extent their effectiveness by letting terrorists around the world know of them.
You cannot prevent attacks without keeping tabs on terrorists' communications. Bush's ordering the NSA to track contacts between U.S. citizens and suspected enemies of the U.S., bypassing the time-consuming court approval process, proved his aggressiveness in fighting evil. The foreign prisons program was a masterstroke of innovation, undoubtedly extracting information valuable in foiling future attacks.
FBI Director Robert Mueller more than four years ago told the Associated Press that "tens of attacks, probably close to a hundred around the world" were prevented over the previous 15 months. Mueller credited improved intelligence gathering and coordination, and information from al-Qaida prisoners — in other words, exactly the policies the president put into effect after 9/11.
With a constantly negative media drumbeat, it is no wonder why Bush's approval ratings are so low. Even a Churchill or a Lincoln, faced with today's media, could not have survived as they fought their own wars for their countries' survival.
History, however, will not be unfair to a U.S. president who did so much, so successfully, to keep us safe at home.
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