Rooney: Obama Backs Down from Threat

Thursday, 31 Dec 2009 03:14 PM

By Dan Weil

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Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., says President Obama’s response to the terrorist attacks on Fort Hood and the airplane headed to Detroit is irresponsible.

The congressman serves on the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on terrorism.

“There wasn’t the sense of concern, urgency and just horror at what happened in both situations,” he told Kathleen Walter of Newsmax.TV.

See Video: Rep. Tom Rooney talks about the terrorist threat facing America - Click Here Now

“One of the things the president is trying to do is distance himself from the reputation the Bush administration had as being ultra tough on terrorism.”

That’s not a good idea, Rooney says.

“A lot of things we expect from our president are to be tough, to be the point person to make us feel safe. You might disagree with some of the things Bush did as president. But I don’t think that completely separating yourself from being our top cop is the answer either.”

As for the Guantanamo Bay prison, Rooney says closing it is a mistake. “We have a state of the art facility. Our men and women in uniform are doing a great job there.”

Much of the problem is that our foreign allies have misperceptions of the facility, he says. “It takes leadership to bring them there and say everything that’s going on here is on the up and up. So whatever perceptions you have of the way America treats detainees is wrong.”

We should use military commissions to try the accused terrorists in Guantanamo rather than trying them in civilian courts, Rooney says. He notes that military commissions have been used since the days of George Washington.

“Why does President Obama think it should be different for him -- that we can now afford these people who could be the worst of the worst a day in our courts?”

The government and particularly Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have a lot work to do in stressing safety but without jeopardizing our freedoms, Rooney says. “We’re hearing some of the same problems we had prior to 9/11.”

One problem is that federal agencies aren’t communicating well with each other.

“The systems are there,” Rooney said. “The reasons why we don’t communicate better with each other are unacceptable. That’s the whole reason we put in the Homeland Security Department. “If she [Napolitano] can’t get the job done with the systems that are in place, then we need to look to somebody better.”

See Video: Rep. Tom Rooney talks about the terrorist threat facing America - Click Here Now

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