Every time I visit Manhattan, the ugly hole in the skyline reminds me of what this election is all about. It’s about 9/11 and who can provide the leadership to make sure 9/11 is never repeated.
The war against terror is the critical issue of our time. As a Vietnam combat veteran, I know from experience that a divided nation will lose a war. Our enemy’s record is clear. In the 1993 World Trade Center attack, they struck with conventional bombs. Then, they brought it down with jetliners. Can we afford to wait for their next escalation?
As the United States Senator for New York representing Ground Zero I will be a constant voice for uniting our country in this struggle we must win.
Unfortunately, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton fails the test of wartime leadership, playing politics with National Security, jeopardizing our safety by signaling to our enemies that we are a divided nation lacking the nerve to employ every necessary means to defend itself.
Nothing illustrates Senator Clinton’s politicization of National Security better than her 180 on the Patriot Act. After 9/11, she voted for it when people begged for protection. Now, as memories fade, she is filibustering against renewing it.
The President’s use of NSA wiretaps prevented an attack on the Brooklyn Bridge. Yet, Senator Clinton says she’s "troubled" by the program. What civil liberty will she have protected after a nuclear device detonates in Times Square because we didn’t know what was coming?
Senator Clinton voted to give terrorists the protection of the Geneva Convention. While 11 out of 12 captured Al Qaeda leaders refused to reveal information until interrogators used tough tactics, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, Senator Clinton voted to "effectively forbid some interrogation methods now being used, at least by the CIA." She looks good in the New York Times and we pay another price in lost safety.
Recently, Senator Clinton stated, "One of the areas I am deeply concerned about is Iran and its pursuit of nuclear weapons, because a nuclear-armed Iran would shake the foundation of global security to its very core. A nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable."
Talk is cheap. She voted against the Bunker Buster bombs needed to destroy their nuclear facilities before Iran gets the bomb. Senator Clinton proclaimed devotion to our troops while slashing defense and even opposing the McCain Amendment to get our troops off food stamps by giving them a raise.
The cynicism keeps rolling. "I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants," Senator Clinton says. Yet she supports an amnesty proposal that Democratic Senator Feinstein calls a "huge magnet" for illegal immigration.
Her cynicism is frightfully dangerous on Iraq because it sends the wrong signal to killers like Zarqawi.
When she voted for the war, Senator Clinton said, "if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
But now — as polls shift — she charges the President with giving "false assurances" and using "faulty evidence."
At one time, Senator Clinton warned setting a deadline for withdrawal would "embolden" the terrorists. Then, following the polls, instead of leading, she voted for the Democrat timetable for withdrawal.
I understand that whatever you think of how the war began, we cannot allow Zarqawi to win without unleashing a wave of terrorism that will put us at risk.
Unlike Hillary Clinton, who refuses to bear any political risk — even flip-flopping to now oppose passport checks at the Canadian border after tourist interests objected when she voted to require them — I will pay a political price if that’s what it takes to make America safe.
Senator Clinton and I disagree on many things — taxes, judges, and the inalienable right to life. But a campaign on the issue of who can best prevent another 9/11 is what she can expect from me — not a campaign of personal attacks and personal destruction.