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Archive for Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Security transition

There must be no gap in U.S. security efforts during the Bush-Obama transition.

November 19, 2008

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America’s media is focusing a great deal of attention these days on the transition between the outgoing George Bush administration and the incoming Barack Obama team.

In past changeovers, the transition has not been as smooth as it should have been, and there have been various acts by outgoing officeholders to make it more difficult or time-consuming than need be. Fortunately, the Bush administration made a point to make it easier and quicker for a new president’s appointees to get the needed security clearances so they could move into their new offices and get to work.

Right now, great attention is being given to whom President-elect Obama will appoint as secretary of state. Would Hillary Clinton accept the position if offered?

Perhaps just as important, maybe even more important in these times, is Obama’s choice to head this country’s anti-terrorism efforts.

Various knowledgeable observers, including the newly elected vice president, Joe Biden, have said the likelihood of a terrorist attack against the United States is high during the 60 to 90 days after Obama moves into the White House.

This being the case, it is imperative that there is no gap in our experience, intelligence and first-hand, up-to-date knowledge of the security and terrorist landscape. Hopefully, Obama will not call for a total changeover with new, untested men and women being placed in the most sensitive positions. Whatever the reasons may be, this country has not suffered any damaging or fatal terrorist incidents since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. This doesn’t mean our enemies have decided not to target U.S. sites for deadly attacks.

Protecting this country, which is so vulnerable in so many ways and in so many locations, is an almost impossible task. And yet, by one means or another, Americans have been protected.

Hopefully, Obama will take advantage of the knowledge and effectiveness of those currently heading our security efforts rather than kicking them out to make room for new appointees.

This should be a so-called seamless transition with the newcomers spending sufficient time learning and observing before taking over.

The safety of this country is far more important than allowing our homeland security and anti-terrorist efforts to become part of partisan politics.

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