ByGeorge! Online

March 4, 2003

Lieberman Identifies Homeland Security Needs in Speech at GW

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D–CT) chose GW’s Foggy Bottom campus and the Elliott School of International Affairs’ (ESIA) series, “ESIA and the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security Project,” to call for greater support for homeland security, challenging President George W. Bush to “put our money where our needs are.”

In his keynote address of the first of a four-part series on homeland security issues — “Gauging the Terrorists Threat” and “Are We Prepared” — Lieberman, the ranking member of the Senate’s Governmental Affairs Committee, identified three areas of need to make the country less vulnerable: development of a front line initiative to support first responders (See “Congressional Appropriation,” above); shoring up the nation’s ports, borders, and transportation systems; and refocusing US armed forces.

Lieberman noted that life in the United States has become especially stressful since the terror alert reached orange, the second-highest threat level.

“The [Bush] administration has been too slow, too protective of the status quo, and too unwilling to back up tough talk with real resources when it comes to improving homeland defenses,” Lieberman told the crowd.

Sounding much like the 2004 presidential candidate that he is, Lieberman placed the blame for the country’s weakened defenses squarely on the shoulders of President Bush, contrasting the president’s proposed $41.3 billion budget for homeland security with the estimated $102 billion in tax cuts critics say are aimed at upper income brackets.

“Leadership is about choices as well as intentions,” said Lieberman. “This administration is not putting its leadership and our money where our needs are. Its choices favor the wallets of the few over the safety of us all.”


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