The attacks of September 11, 2001 cost us almost 3,000 lives -- and at least a trillion dollars for the continuing wars that followed. To prevent another such attack we have spent untold billions on airport security and reorganized our terrorism defenses within a new and powerful Department of Homeland Security.
One of the last acts of this Democratic Congress on national security proved once again that they just don’t get the urgency to protect our nation against determined enemies.
This is unfortunate, as this week we received another indication of the terrorists’ determination to attack with the release of the latest edition of Inspire, a radical jihadist propaganda magazine that called on its readers to attempt to murder U.S. government employees in restaurants in Washington, D.C. Although the new edition of the magazine was mostly a rehash of familiar terrorist themes, it was an indication that radical jihadists are continuing their efforts to instigate terrorist attacks on the United States.
Today, as the tenth year of the Afghanistan War begins, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars launch a national campaign to stop deployment of wounded soldiers into war zones. Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) will hold a ceremony for the wounded this morning at Walter Reed Medical Center, then march six miles to Capitol Hill to declare their intentions to end this practice and hold accountable those responsible.
The digital age has been a boon for government surveillance. As cell phones and the Internet have become deeply entwined in our daily lives, more and more personal and proprietary data is being transmitted and stored on digital services. Much of it is readily accessible to government eavesdroppers. The number of wiretaps has been rising over the last 10 years. The National Security Agency is building huge new facilities to store and process everything it collects. Our national security and law enforcement agencies are drowning in information.
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base has a proud and distinguished record of training this nation’s fighter pilots and protecting our country’s air space for more than eight decades.Soon, D-M will write a new chapter in American leadership by having the military’s largest solar-generating capacity.
I sent a letter to every member of the Senate today asking them to support moving the National Defense Authorization Bill for FY2011 forward so that the DREAM Act immigration bill could be debated, considered, and passed.
I want to begin by asking parents: “What would you want for your children?” I think the answer would be, “Only the best.” I also want to ask everyone if we should, as a country, turn away some of our brightest children and not allow them to enter our colleges and universities or join our military in defense of our country?
Passing the DREAM Act should be a no-brainer. It’s a Mom-and-apple-pie measure that enables high-achieving young immigrants to go to college, join our military and earn citizenship.