Dems' Security Strategy: All Talk, No Action

Tomorrow afternoon Democratic leadership has scheduled a press conference to unveil their new agenda for the war on terror, but today Minority Leader Harry Reid couldn’t name a single security program that the Democrats will support.

After Senate policy luncheons, Sen. Jon Kyl (R.-Ariz.) told reporters just before Reid was scheduled to appear that tomorrow the Democrats would release a new strategy containing ideas on how to capture Osama bin Laden and other measures. But, Kyl said, “When you get into the details there’s nothing but platitudes. There’s no suggestion about how the lofty goals that all Americans share will be achieved.”

Kyl said it was “contrary to the Democratic position” to support effective security program. He stressed that a party whose leader bragged about killing the Patriot Act and has consistently opposed the NSA surveillance program and human intelligence programs would be able to name a security program they would support.

When Reid took the very same microphone Kyl left moments earlier I asked:

Senator Jon Kyl was just here and told us that the Democrats have unveiled a security mandate but would not be able to name a government-sponsored security program that they would support across the board.

Can you tell us a security program, such as the Patriot Act, that the Democrats will support in their program tomorrow?

And Reid couldn’t name a single one. Here’s how he responded:

You know, I think that we need to start from the point that every member of the United States Senate wants a safer, more secure nation.

And for someone to suggest that we can’t — there’s no security program we accept, of course, that’s so partisan and so foolish.

We have had for five years a hue and cry coming from Democrats that we need to do something to make our homeland more secure, more safe. That’s why we’ve offered amendment after amendment that deals with making sure our chemical plants are safe, our nuclear power facilities, our ports are safe, our borders are secure.

Look at what happened yesterday: A government agency, the General Accounting Office, the watchdog of Congress, took nuclear materials across our borders, enough material to make two dirty bombs.

So we’re going to talk tomorrow about the need for real security, not make-believe, not speeches, but to do something about it.

Every attempt that we’ve made to secure our homeland, we’ve been defeated on a straight party-line vote. I would hope that this bipartisan bill that came out of the Judiciary Committee is a bill that lays the foundation for us to do some bipartisan legislation here in the Senate for a change.

The Democrats’ press conference is scheduled tomorrow afternoon at 1pm at the Columbus Club of Union Station Of the event Daybook reads “Real Security. Despite their tough talk, Republican’s incompetence has made America less safe. Democrats will offer tough and smart policies to provide the real security that Americans expect and demand.”

Kyl also told reporters, “I welcome their new position, don’t get me wrong. I think this is a good thing they [Democrats] are more on our page in terms of fighting the war on terror, but I think they need to be held accountable for their past opposition to these things, as well as their failure to provide specifics.”