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Old 04-09-2004, 09:32 PM   #1
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Default Republican US Patriot Senator Judd Gregg thwaps Rep Schumer from New York.

Senator Judd Greg rose up in response to schumers attack on the administration. He spoke extemporaniously and without notes. The democratic party no longer is worthy of running this country and the quicker they realise that on their current path they are unworthy, the better off our country will be as we will have a honest, serious debate and not the gotcha game that is now their only policy.

Judd Gregg
U.S. Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Floor Statement on 9/11 Commission
Thursday, April 8, 2004

Mr. Gregg: Mr. President, I hadn't thought that this debate was going to enlarge itself into the issue of the testimony before the 9/11 Commission, but it appears that the other side of the aisle has decided the pension bill is not enough to debate today on this floor, even though that's what it was to be limited to. It raises this issue [9/11 Commission]. So I do think it is appropriate to at least respond briefly; the response could be more extensive, however, I will try to return to the pension bill in the appropriate time.

To respond briefly to the statements of the Senator from which I found to be outrageous. Maybe the Senator from New York did not listen to the testimony of Mr. Clarke? It is very possible he didn't, because he appears to have decided to make his mind up long before the National Security Advisor, Ms. Rice spoke. I think it was Mr. Clarke who said, in fact I know it was Mr. Clarke who said, in response to his question from Senator Gorton, whose question was, “If the Administration had put in place every recommendation that you suggested to the prior Administration and to this Administration, and which you put in your memos and statements upon arrival of this Administration in office, if the Administration had done that, in fact if the Administration had pursued every course which had been laid out by Mr. Clarke, who was the guru of terrorism in the prior administration, which I also wish to comment on, would that have stopped the 9/11 event? Would that have prevented the 9/11 event?”
A one word answer from Mr. Clarke. "No." and yet we have the Senator from New York come down here today and say just the opposite. I don't think he has the expertise of Mr. Clarke and has certainly not been presenting himself as an expert on terrorism.

Mr. Clarke has presented himself an expert on terrorism, was the expert on terrorism in the Clinton Administration and did say definitively in a one word answer, that no, 9/11 would not have been avoided had everything gone into place I wanted in place, I being Mr. Clarke. And so the statement by the Senator from New York is excessive, to say the least. When he comes here and says that 9/11 could have been avoided. And then when he goes on to accuse this Administration of not learning from lessons of the past.

Well, I'll tell you something, this Administration did learn from lessons of the past. And lessons of the past were the lessons of the Clinton Administration, which when we were attacked, our Embassies were attacked in Africa and when our ship was attacked in Yemen, what was the response of the prior Administration?
They lobbed a missile into an empty -- an empty! -- terrorist camp in Afghanistan and then lobbed another missile into the wrong factory in Sudan. And then they washed their hands of Mr. Bin Laden and said they had done their purpose of defeating terrorism. Well, what we learned after 9/11 was that those sort of marginal responses, those sort of tepid responses to terrorism do not work in the present world, and certainty this Administration learned that.

I hesitate to think where we would be today had Al Gore been elected President. I suspect we would still be negotiating with the Taliban in Afghanistan. This Administration decided not to negotiate. This administration decided to take action. It went into Afghanistan and it destroyed the base of the Al Qaeda operations in that country and replaced a repressive regime that didn't even allow women out of their houses and supported all forms of terrorism across this globe, and especially the Al Qaeda terrorists. They learned the lessons of the prior Administration, which was: tepid responses don’t work.

Then this Administration moved into Iraq. We moved into Iraq. As a government, we voted to move in that direction. Why? Because some of us understood that Saddam Hussein was a significant, dramatic threat to world peace and specifically was a dictator who had used weapons of mass destruction, who was oppressive at a level which hadn't been seen since the times of Nazi Germany, and who had the capacity to use his oppressiveness and his megalomania and his criminal view of the world to our detriment. He was a threat to us because of his ability to pass on that threat, the capacity to pass on weaponry, the capacity to be a sanctuary, and the capacity to be a feeding ground for people who caused us harm.

We are at war. There is no question about that. And we have, as a government under this President, pursued that war with an aggressiveness which was absolutely appropriate. We have chased these people who wish to do us harm across the globe. We have kicked over the rocks under which they live and we have brought them to justice. Today they fear, their concern is about where they sleep, not who they are going to attack tomorrow.

That is the type of response we needed as a government and as a nation in light of what happened to us on 9/11. And for the Senator from New York to come down here and say that we did not learn the lessons of 9/11 and the lessons of the prior Administration, which approached terrorism with such tepidness, is an absolute mistake. For them to come down here and say, after Mr. Clarke, who they have held up as the epitome of knowledge and expertise in the area of terrorism, testified in one word that 9/11 could not have been stopped when he said no to that exact question had all his proposals been put in place. For the Senator from New York to come down and make the statement that we could have avoided 9/11 in light of that testimony is I find excessive to an incomprehensible degree.

I didn't intend to speak on this issue, but unfortunately it was drawn into this debate and I think it required a response. The National Security Advisor today went before the Commission, testified under oath and made a clear and concise statement of how we as a nation are responding to terrorism, how we as a nation are fighting a war against people who have decided to try to destroy our culture and have who have proven their willingness to kill Americans indiscriminately, whether they are men, women or children. We are using all our resources as a result of this President's commitment, which is total and absolute, to bring these terrorists to justice. Statements like the Senator's from New York are not constructive to the debate on that issue.
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