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Provide For The Common Defense

by Gary Aldrich - Volume 1 - Issue 10

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union ... provide for the common defense." Does this sound familiar? Of course it does. Every school child (hopefully) can tell you that these words are taken from the opening sentence - the Preamble - of our Constitution.

Our founding fathers wrote that single, clear, concise sentence and placed it, like a bow sprint on a mighty sailing ship, at the foremost position of our most sacred, legal document. There it remains unmodified by war or political ambiguity from that generation to our own. Defense is clearly a federal responsibility.

Individual citizens have, from time to time beginning with Benedict Arnold, sought to undermine our security either because they covertly served an alien ideology or because they sought personal reward. Whatever the reason it was - and remains - treason.

During the past several years, two alarming trends have grown to such huge proportions that we as citizens should fear for our own safety. The first of these is the dramatic increase in incidents which adversely affect national security. Almost one year ago, I issued a press release about the Cox Report which warned that lapses in security in the Department of Energy exposed our country’s most vital nuclear secrets to exploitation by foreign agents. It was a warning that was only half heard - another case of too little, too late. Before that, the CEO of Loral - a generous supporter of President Clinton and the Democratic Party - received executive approval to sell sensitive technology to the Chinese which enabled their ICBM’s to accurately target U.S. territory. These are but two of the more visible incidents where our nation has foolishly lost ground to potential enemies.

The second alarming trend is the federal government’s unwillingness or inability to correct security lapses and hold people accountable for their actions. For example, Attorney General Reno and other Justice Department officials have blocked FBI efforts to resolve the Los Alamos spy case. Secretary of Defense Cohen has presided over a harmful anthrax vaccination program which has driven hundreds of highly motivated, highly skilled citizen soldiers out of the military. And former CIA Director Deutch personally removed 17,000 pages of classified documents from the agency and transferred them to his own computer. What were his motives? Will we ever find out under this administration? I doubt it, but at least this administration is coming to an end.

It falls to Clinton’s successor to clearly articulate his policy on national security and explain to us how he intends to follow through on his promises. But, the campaigns, thus far, have concentrated on such topics as campaign finance reform, health care, taxes, education and the like.

Yet none of these issues - none of them - is as critical to our nation as is national defense. For, it matters not one iota whether we have a booming stock market, shoes for the baby or a chicken in every pot - IF WE AS A NATION FAIL TO SURVIVE!

Vice President Gore, Governor Bush - first things first.

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