- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 16, 2001

I will not cry for the many innocents who died when hijacked aircraft crashed into the Towers of the World Trade Center, victims of an attacker who believes civilians, men, women and children, are legitimate targets in their undeclared and sometimes declared war against the United States. Their families will remember and lament for them.
I will not weep for the men and women in uniform that died during the crash of a hijacked aircraft into the Pentagon. These men and women took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They were in the service of their country when they died when an act of war took their lives. An act of war.
I do not cry for the civilian and government workers who died when that hijacked aircraft crashed into the Pentagon. They are innocent victims of an act of war. Their families will remember and lament for them.
I will not cry because our civilian and military intelligence agencies, gutted and underfunded to ensure that money flowed to social programs to generate votes, failed to detect the threat that was clearly manifest.
I weep.
I weep because the Congress of the United States will not exercise its powers the Congress will not declare war. Saber-rattling speeches will be made … and the hand-wringing will start immediately. A hundred excuses will come to the floor of both Houses of Congress, lamenting the "tragedy," and begging more time to study this "grave issue." I weep because the Congress will tie the hands of the commander in chief, limiting the president's ability to do what is necessary.
I weep because the Congress will not issue, nor will it grant to selected Americans, Letters of Marque and Reprisal. Letters Marque and Reprisal? The Congress may have forgotten, but have all our citizens become ignorant to Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution? The Congress has the power to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal. But the Congress will tell us, condescendingly, that we are "civilized" now, and have no need for use of the Founding Father's vision of the tools needed to survive as a nation in the real world.
I weep because there are rough men, politically incorrect men, who have served this great nation in uniform, and they will not be allowed to do the right thing. These rough men, who in times past stood ready in the night to deliver violence on any enemy who dare to threaten this nation, will be ignored. Yes, some of these rough men have gained a few years beyond retirement age, and many have a few extra pounds. But they understand two things that escapes our Congress; the proper application of violence and the need to protect this nation.
Let me be clear I am not speaking of the politically correct, physical standards "norming," go-along-to-get-along and promoted, feminized military that has been fostered in the Armed Forces of these United States the past several years. I speak of hard men who can visit unspeakable violence against the enemies of this country. Thank God there are still hard men on active duty with our Armed Forces. Will the Congress allow our Armed Forces to do the right thing?
The hard men of this nation will not be asked to serve their nation. The Congress will falter.
I weep.

Mr. Herrington is a retired colonel of the United States Marine Corps.


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