Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 4, 2010

End the Spin

Filed under: Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Christopher Bellavita on January 4, 2010

[Today's guest author is Mike Walker.  Mr. Walker served as Under Secretary and Acting Secretary of the Army, Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Deputy Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the Clinton Administration.  He also spent 25 years as a senior staffer on Capitol Hill.]

In the aftermath of the recent attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day, both the Obama Administration and opposition Republicans have been shamelessly spinning the facts in an attempt to gain political points.

I am ashamed of both. The effort to use the threat of terrorism for political purposes is not only inappropriate, it is dangerous. And it must stop.

The security of this nation must always rise above politics. Sadly, security has the potential of becoming the wedge issue of the decade of 2010.

My entire career has been in politics and government service. I had great hope the Obama Administration would be able to forge a bipartisan national security policy and end the destructive squabbling of the last decade. But that has not happened.

Instead, the divide continues to grow. And the botched attack aboard NWA 253 threatens to further polarize American politics.

The current political spin will not result in a safer America. It will not give any political party an edge to defeat the other. The American people are too smart. And they are fed up with politicians using American’s security for political gain.

Our great nation is the loser in this destructive debate. Spinning homeland security serves only one entity – our terrorist enemies. For it demonstrates that politics in America is deemed to be more important than security itself.

I appeal to my friends on both sides of the political aisle to rise above the partisanship that is threatening our security as surely as the terrorists.

After two decades of studying the international terrorist threat, I am certain of one thing. Terrorists look for seams to use against us. The political seam between the White House and the opposition party over the politics of security is the greatest threat to America.

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3 Comments »

Comment by Arnold Bogis

January 4, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

I would be very interested in your identification of spin on both sides. I have candidates in mind, as well as false positives, but wouldn’t mind a slightly expanded explanation of your otherwise totally sensible plea.

The problem with such a plea is that without such identification, determining in your opinion what are reasonable questions to ask vs. political point scoring is difficult.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 4, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

Hope Springs Eternal! And Mike glad you are feeling well and keeping busy. I vetted your for the Deputy Job when at the then Independent FEMA. Would be interested in your thoughts on that subject also.

The focus of national security since President Eisenhower is far different than before. You are one of the few true experts on civil military relationships and hoping you weigh in on that score more often.
Still traveling to Harper’s Ferry daily?

Comment by Vince Cable

January 5, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

This is something that needed to be said. Both the White House and the Congress needs to wake up, take note and take (positive) action.
While Mike sums up the argument with his comment about the “seam” between the White house and the opposition party I believe there are at least three factions at work at a minimum; the two he cites and those Democrats who would benefit by a failed Obama presidency. As fractured as the Republican party is today, the Democrats are a hollow shell, looking for any opportunity to rescue themselves from self-destruction.

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