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Bush Irresponsible on Security: Good News on the Way
T.J. Newton

Election years can bring both good and bad news to Americans' attention, and the 2004 election was no exception. The bad news was that the policies and mistakes of the Bush administration contributed to a negative political climate. The good news was that most Americans worked hard to rise above the negativity and concentrate on the issues confronting America. Despite the bad news, Americans remained united in their hope that good news was on the way.

Americans received bad news when Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, and others representing the Bush administration declared political warfare on people who sought to debate the Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act.

"Be very cautious not to seek political advantage by making incendiary suggestions" (Dick Cheney qtd. (1) 5/24/2002).

It seemed ridiculous, and it didn't seem to make our country more secure, but we still took the debate seriously. Then the news got worse during the 2004 election when Cheney himself made incendiary suggestions.

"...[I]f we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States" (Dick Cheney qtd. (2) 9/8/2004).

He not only contradicted the argument he previously made, he made our debate about national security and terrorism seem like a political charade.

Cheney and the Bush administration were wrong to threaten their political enemies and attempt to keep them silent, monitored, and harassed using policies, statements, and legislation. But through statements and actions such as Cheney's, they ended up destroying their position and making the whole national security debate seem like nothing more than a political ploy. Even those of us who dare to disagree with the administration's original position take the debate seriously. So, I don't mind saying that I do not think Dick Cheney is a terrorist simply because he made an incendiary suggestion. And although I wouldn't accuse him of threatening our national security based on his comment, taking our nation through this charade did not seem to help our national security. The good news is that it allows Americans to look more critically at the Bush administration, and concentrate on making America more secure instead of more afraid.

Right now, I think most Americans are more concerned about the possibility of terrorists acquiring assault weapons than they are about the words of Dick Cheney or the Bush administration. But why would Bush and Cheney cave into terrorists and imply that democracy cannot stand up to terrorism? After such a serious blunder by the Bush administration, America's enemies could perceive Bush as being irresponsible with our national security. Despite the bad news, American's remain ready to debate, and united in their hope that good news is on the way.


(1) http://www.cnn.com/ 2002/LAW/05/columns/fl.dean.cheney.5.24/index.html
(2) New York Times. National Edition. Newspaper. September 8, 2004. p. A19. New York, NY.

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