McCain Surrogates: Obama ‘Delusional’ on Terrorism
A pair of national security heavyweights blasted statements made yesterday by Sen. Barack Obama in a McCain campaign conference call with reporters. From Sen. Obama’s interview with ABC News:
"[I]t is my firm belief that we can track terrorists, we can crack down on threats against the United States, but we can do so within the constraints of our Constitution. And there has been no evidence on their part that we can’t.
And, you know, let’s take the example of Guantanamo. What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks — for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated."
Today, James Woolsey, former CIA director under the Clinton administration, described the law enforcement method of combating terrorism as a "miserable failure."
"The criminal justice approach to dealing with international terrorists, particularly when they are suicidal and are able to pull off plots like Sept. 11, has not worked. It was tried for essentially eight years, from the first year of the Clinton administration up until Sept. 11 in the first year of the Bush administration. It was a miserable failure. We need an approach that combines law enforcement, where appropriate, with intelligence, with going after terrorists where they are, with the approach toward the war that we are in fact in, and not [the] approach that ignores that we are in a war against Islamist terrorism — sometimes suicidal– and therefore not really deterrable under normal criminal justice procedures."
9/11 commissioner John Lehman said the approach employed following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing tied the hands of the CIA by withholding information that could have potentially prevented the Sept. 11 attacks.
Lehman went on to say that Obama’s approach would leave America more susceptible to future terrorist attacks.
Randy Scheunemann, foreign policy and national security adviser to Sen. John McCain, tried to preemptively deflect a response from the Obama camp, describing Obama’s approach as "delusional."
A recent Rasmussen poll found Americans greatly prefer McCain over Obama on the issue — by a margin of 53 percent to 31 percent. Today’s comments reflect the latest in an ongoing effort to label Obama as on foreign policy issues. Also, by using Woolsey, a former Clinton administration official, as a surrogate, the McCain camp continues its strategy of using Democrats — or former Democrats, such as Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) — to hammer Obama on national security. The more terrorism or Iran’s nuclear prospects are talked about as a campaign issue, the better for McCain.