Tags: Kerry | the | Record: | Attacking | U.S. | Intelligence

Kerry on the Record: Attacking U.S. Intelligence

Wednesday, 18 February 2004 12:00 AM

Part 1:

Soon after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., was lamenting on CBS’s “Face the Nation” the lack of money the intelligence establishment received despite its vital role in securing the nation:

“And the tragedy is at the moment, the single most important weapon for the United States of America is intelligence. It’s the single most important weapon in this particular war.”

The burning issue then and now: If intelligence is the weapon paramount to security, why did Kerry vote to cut intelligence appropriations over the last decade?

On the record these days, Kerry explains only that his votes and proposals were attempts to change the culture of our intelligence gathering:

“I was on the Intelligence Committee. What we were trying to do, some of us, was push the funding not into technical means. There was a fascination always with satellites, listening devices, not with human intelligence. I’ve always been somebody who has felt that we needed human intelligence, that’s our failure.”

But such a fine line is not so apparent from the record.

The rub here is that the major component of the National Foreign Intelligence program is the FBI’s nationwide counterterrorism programs. Potentially affected were scores of the bureau’s field offices, which serve as vital components of foreign counterintelligence and counterterrorism within the United States, economic espionage, and ANSIR (the Awareness of National Security Issues and Response program).

Furthermore, Tactical Intelligence is the entity responsible for providing vital, time-sensitive support for commanders and soldiers on the ground.

Fortunately, there were no co-sponsors of the 1995 bill, which never made it to the floor for a vote.

“[W]hy it is that our vast intelligence apparatus, built to sustain America in the long twilight struggle of the Cold War continues to grow at an exponential rate? Now that that struggle is over, why is it that our vast intelligence apparatus continues to grow even as government resources for new and essential priorities fall far short of what is necessary? Why is it that our vast intelligence apparatus continues to roll on even as every other government bureaucracy is subject to increasing scrutiny and, indeed, to reinvention?”

What makes Kerry's record even more unfathomable is the fact that he was so savvy to the rising tide of terrorism, in all its forms.

In his 1997 tome, “The New War,” Kerry notes his distress that in the case of the first attack on the World Trade Center, “all these terrorists were apprehended after the fact.”

“We were not sufficiently prepared for the first real wave of terror that broke out in America and we are not yet prepared for the next,” Kerry adds. “Along with crime, commerce, and communication, terror is going global.”

In a fit of remarkable prescience, Kerry writes years before the second attack on the WTC: “The terrorists of tomorrow will be better armed and organized. It will take only one mega-terrorist event in any of the great cities of the world to change the world in a single day.”

Nowadays on his Web site the candidate says: “John Kerry understands that intelligence information is the key to disrupting and dismantling terrorist organizations and that we need to improve our intelligence capabilities, both domestically and internationally, in order to win the war on global terrorism.”

As Kerry is fond of saying, “It’s time to move on.”

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Part 1: Soon after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., was lamenting on CBS's "Face the Nation" the lack of money the intelligence establishment received despite its vital role in securing the nation: "And the tragedy is at the moment,...
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Wednesday, 18 February 2004 12:00 AM
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