In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the United States has confronted both the deadliest attack and one of the most destructive natural disasters in the nation’s history. The term “homeland security” wasn’t part of the national debate during the 2000 election. Now, after September 11 and Hurricane Katrina, every American understands that homeland security is at the heart of a president’s responsibility.
There have been no fewer than 14 attempted domestic terrorist attacks and nine international plots against American citizens and interests since 9/11, according to reports in the public record. There have been plots to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge and airplanes crossing the Atlantic. Terrorists have conspired to murder American soldiers at Fort Dix and planned to ignite the fuel lines beneath John F. Kennedy International Airport. Not a single post-9/11 plot on U.S. soil has succeeded to date. That is no accident; it is a measure of our increased vigilance as a nation.
The fight against al-Qaida and other terrorist groups will be America’s central challenge for years to come. We will achieve victory in what I call the Terrorists’ War on Us only by staying on offense: defeating terrorist organizations and hunting down their leaders, wherever they are; helping Afghanistan and Iraq establish stable and representative governments; aiding the spread of good governance throughout the Muslim world; and defeating militant Islam in the war of ideas.
Such international efforts are essential to winning this war, but not sufficient. We must also protect our people and economy, secure our borders, and prevent terrorist attacks here at home. These responsibilities are the domestic dimension of the larger struggle, and they require a focus on more than terrorism. As Stephen Flynn points out in his book The Edge of Disaster, “Nearly 90 percent of Americans are currently living in locations that place them at moderate to high risks of earthquakes, volcanoes, wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, or high-wind damage.” Preparing for terrorist attacks and for natural disasters are complementary goals: when cities and states prepare for natural disaster, they also strengthen our response to potential terrorism.
Read the whole thing.
Giuliani points to three components of a continuing domestic anti-terror program: prevention, preparedness, and resilience.I like what he says about domestic surveillance:
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, enacted in 1978 to exclude eavesdropping on foreign communications from judicial oversight, must be modernized and expanded to encompass not just phones, as the current law does, but also newer technologies, such as the fax machine and the Internet. Antiquated laws—enacted when such technologies weren’t part of everyday life—cannot be allowed to hamstring our federal law enforcement and foreign intelligence services. Some members of Congress want to throw as many legal obstacles as possible in front of FBI agents and intelligence officers as they try to intercept communications between known al-Qaida leaders and U.S.-based operatives who will carry out attacks. This is the last thing we should do.
That's not going to be popular with the left's civil liberties wing.
UPDATE: Red State offers a powerful endorsement of Giuliani for president:
Oh, I know it’s not fashionable to support the Mayor these days. He took a beating in December over allegations (since proven unfounded) that he abused City funds to pursue his extra-curricular love life. His failure to do a Romney-style flip-flop on social issues has earned him the undying enmity of many on the right. His strategy (and it is a strategy, by the way) of trying to reduce the utterly inequitable influence of Iowa and New Hampshire over the primary process and focus instead on states with more than seven electoral votes has been declared dead-before-arrival by those who are quite sure they know better. Conventional wisdom wags its sagacious head and tells us he’s done.I doubt Giuliani's got anything on McCain in terms of resolve in facing domestic and international crises.
But then again, Rudy’s never been a conventional wisdom type. And neither have I.
So here’s why I've chosen Giuliani. He functions under inconceivable pressure. When the proverbial refuse hits the fan, he is able to think beyond himself, make decisions and exert that elusive quality of “leadership” that can pull a country through tragedy and loss. You don’t need me to tell you this. We know it for a grim fact. We all remember where we were on 9/11. I think it’s pretty safe to say we all remember Giuliani. I cannot tell you how Mitt Romney, John McCain, Fred Thompson or Mike Huckabee would behave under comparable circumstances. I can guess, and I expect some would do better than others. Certainly Senator McCain’s biography demonstrates that the Mayor does not have a monopoly on personal heroism. But do I think any of them would surpass Giuliani in a major national security crisis?
McCain remains my first pick, as readers know.
I don't have a second pick, but unlike some conservatives, I will not panic over a Huckabee nomination, crossing over to vote for the Democratic nominee.