Welcome Mr. President!

Welcome Mr. President!

David Burton 2009

Photo of Swearing In

     Well, the party is finally over and Barack Obama is now officially the President of the United States. Welcome Mr. President!

     Mr President, I didn't support your candidacy and I didn't vote for you. BUT, you are now the president of the United States and you are now my president. I sincerely wish you success. The time for active opposition is over. For the next four years, possibly longer, I will support you and follow your leadership. The examples set by Senator McCain and former President Bush in accepting the decision of the majority of the people of the United States, in welcoming you into the office of the President and in transitioning from one administration to the next are no less than I would have hope for and demonstrate one of the greatest strengths of our nation - the smooth transition of power. The bitterness that invariably occurs in a hard fought political campaign is now gone. It is now time for all of us to get behind you and to continue the march forward of this great country in which we live. There is no room or time for pettiness and vindictiveness which all too often take place in other countries around the globe following a transition of political power.

     Mr President, while I welcome you to the office of the presidency and promise to support you for at least the next four years, I still reserve my right to offer my suggestions, to applaud your decisions that I support, and to criticize your decisions and actions which I think are wrong. Consider these my inputs, but, these are only inputs - you will still have my support in whatever actions you decide upon. There is only one leader at a time in this country - you.

     Having said all of the above, let me offer my first inputs. Question: Why is closing Guantanamo Bay so important that it required your immediate attention upon assuming office? I would think that the continuing war against global terrorism and the current economic recession would be of much greater importance.

     Mr President, you have decided to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, shut down secret overseas CIA prisons, review military war crimes trials and ban the harshest interrogation methods. - WHY? Since 9/11, our fight against Islamic terrorism has been successful. There have been no attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11. The Taliban and al-Qaida have been driven from power in Afghanistan and into caves on the Pakistan border. Many of the Taliban and al-Qaida leaders are dead or in prison. Iraq is becoming a success story.

     Closing Guantanamo within a year will be a complicated process with many unanswered questions. Are you closing Gitmo simply because that was a campaign promise? You have also ordered the CIA to close all its existing detention facilities abroad for terror suspects and prohibits those prisons from being used in the future. The agency has used those secret "black site" prisons around the world to question terror suspects. Again - Why tie the hands of those tasked with protecting us?

     Mr. President, it seems to me that most of those detained at Guantanamo will continue to need imprisonment. Why not at Guantanamo? We are, have been, and will continue to be at war with fundamentalist Islamic terrorists. These days, prisoners of war remain prisoners until the war is over - and the war against terrorism is far from over. From all credible reports that I have seen, many of the formers prisoners that were detained at Guantanamo reverted to terrorism once they were released. I have not seen any reports that indicate that nearly all of those being held at Guantanmo are not terrorists. If these people are terrorists and if the war against terrorism is not over, why not keep them imprisoned at Guantanmo? It seems an ideal place. There seems to be no logical reason for shutting down Guantanmo Bay.

     It also seems that you are restricting the ability of the agencies committed to fighting global terrorism to vigorously pursue this objective. With the actions that these agencies have taken over the past 8 years, there have been no further attacks on U.S. soil. Why punish success? Do these animals that cut off people's heads, murder innocent civilians, and kill their own children deserve to be treated with kid gloves? They are not signatories of the Geneva conventions and certainly do not fight by any civilized rules of war. Such creatures do not deserve to be treated with kindness. They need to be exterminated and their form of hatred and terror destroyed forever. Tieing the hands of those committed to protecting the American people does not seem prudent. The terrorists have chosen the rules they fight by - we should fight back with the same rules. This is not the time to bow down to the ACLU and its adherents.

     Nominating Leon Paneta as the new CIA director raises suspicions. Many military and intelligence experts are of the opinion that this is a disaster for the American intelligence community.

     Paneta supposedly believes that our CIA should follow the same rules of interrogation listed in the Army Field Manual, which forbid any questioning which makes the subject "uncomfortable." It must be nice to live in such a sanitized world. Today's terrorist enemy is murderous, unyielding, willing to kill innocent men women and children to further their cause, which is the death or subjugation of all who do not bow to their religion. Spying is not a gentleman's sport. It is a nasty, no-holds barred struggle that we must win. It's feared that Paneta would break the back of our intelligence gathering corps if he imposes bureaucratic controls that stems the aggressiveness of agents as they seek to protect us. Mr. President, Is Leon Paneta the right man for this position?

     Mr President, are we sending the right message to the people who are on the front lines fighting Islamic terrorism every day? Are we sending the wrong message to our enemies? Are we weakening this country's ability to protect itself and to defeat those who wish to destory the American way of life?

  24 January 2009 {Article 55; Politics_08}    
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