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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Political bickering hurts security plans

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Congress is back in session which means less campaigning and more micro-management. The session will most certainly be brief to allow the politicians to hit the campaign trail prior to the upcoming November elections. We'll just call this the lull before the storm.

With the Sept. 11 anniversary just a week away isn't it ironic that the hottest topic of discussion in Washington this week is the new Homeland Security Department that is being created as a result of those tragic events a year ago. After 51 weeks, Congress and the White House are still bickering over the micro-management of the new agency. You'd think they would set aside politics on issues of this importance. Well, think again.

The Democrats want the new Homeland Security Department to mimic other civil service agencies. The White House wants a bit more flexibility in the hiring and firing within the new department and they want to exclude some jobs from union participation. After all, a strike among the Homeland Security folks probably wouldn't be such a good idea.

I know little and could care less about the minute details of the new Department. I know it will combine several existing agencies and departments into a new 170,000-employee bureaucracy. I also know that because of the timing, the Homeland Security Department will become a campaign issue in the weeks ahead.

If we truly believe a new agency will improve our national security, then hash out the details and get the ball going. If however it appears this new department will simply combine existing services and add little to the equation, then let's move on to other topics.

One renown politician said on the Sunday talk shows that the new department could make future terrorist attacks "impossible." That's reckless rhetoric and foolish at the same time. There is nothing, in my opinion, that can stop a committed individual from bringing pain and hardship on a massive scale to this nation. We can most certainly safeguard where possible and work more diligently. But to make an attack "impossible" is a promise that will be hard to keep.

Urge your Congressman to move on with the new concept and resolve this issue immediately. I firmly believe that when we remove politics from the landscape, it's the American people who will ultimately win.

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