- The Washington Times - Friday, September 29, 2006

Leaks aid ‘our enemies’

I understand that it is a political season. We are going into an election with an unpopular president and unpopular war on our hands. Yet even as an independent, I don’t see why the Democrats feel the need to demand the complete release of a classified terrorism-related document (“Bush hits ‘political’ leak,” Page 1, Wednesday).

Globalization has introduced a unique problem to the world of classified intelligence. Everything that appears in the U.S. press can just as easily be accessed by foreign terrorists as it can be by Americans. In order for the United States to get intelligence on our enemies, we need moles, surveillance and field reconnaissance. All our enemies need to do is check out our newspapers. How is this logical? The United States cannot prevail in the global war on terror until we listen to logic and stop giving our enemies information they can use to attack us more effectively.

TRAVIS GORLESKI

Parkton, Md.

Virginian vs. Virginian

I have been following the recent press coverage of Sen. George Allen and charges being made that he is ethnically insensitive (“Nasty in Virginia — and what to do about it,” Editorial, Tuesday). But who is behind this effort? Is it the Democratic National Committee or the Virginia Democratic Party? Is it the usual left-leaning media wanting to smear a rising Republican? Or is it someone who has something to gain at the expense of Mr. Allen’s political future?

Let’s look at what has taken place recently. First, the “macaca” comment by Mr. Allen, though unfortunate, did not deserve two weeks of press coverage. Then, just as this firestorm died down, some little-known out-of-state newspaper and a reporter from WUSA Channel 9 questioned Mr. Allen’s Jewish heritage.

If that were not enough, yet another story, which appeared in the liberal-leaning Salon.com, made public an accusation by former college football teammates of Mr. Allen’s that he used the n-word when they were students at the University of Virginia in the early 1970s.

These allegations have been refuted by others among Mr. Allen’s teammates.

To me, this is more than coincidental; it’s an organized smear campaign.

Do you think there could be a link between former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and this orchestrated campaign against Mr. Allen? What we know is that these two — one a Republican, the other a Democrat — want to run for president (or be considered for vice president) in 2008. If either (or both) of them succeeds in becoming his party’s nominee for either office, another question we have to ask is what the voters of Virginia would do if given the choice between Mr. Warner and Mr. Allen in the national election.

If this scenario plays out, we need to ask another question: Will Virginia be a red state or a blue state in 2008? The answer to this question will go a long way in helping determine which party will control the White House.

Mr. Allen has been involved in Virginia politics since 1979. He has served honorably in the General Assembly, the U.S. House of Representatives, the governorship and now the U.S. Senate.

In all the elections for these offices, his integrity has never been questioned. However, now he is seen as a viable candidate for the Republican nomination in 2008 — or at least he was before this smear campaign began. He also is seen as a serious threat to Mr. Warner’s political ambitions because nobody knows how Virginia would vote if both tickets contained Virginians.

Let’s take a quick look at the political landscape. The Warner camp knew that if Harris Miller, a liberal Democrat endorsed by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, was their nominee for the Senate, Mr. Allen would be re-elected easily and become a viable Republican candidate for the presidency in 2008.

This is why the Warner camp backed Jim Webb, a Republican-turned-Democrat and a Vietnam veteran who served in the Reagan administration as secretary of the Navy.

They thought that Mr. Webb had the better shot at defeating Mr. Allen and thus removing him as a potential political threat in 2008. Though he was successful in defeating Mr. Miller, Mr. Webb in the beginning was unable to gain any significant traction against Mr. Allen.

The Warner camp needed to switch strategies. Perhaps they believed that by using the media and others to raise concerns about whether Mr. Allen is a closet racist they could accomplish two things:

First, if successful, that would suppress the votes of independents, moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats who likely would vote for Mr. Allen. Second, even if they do not beat Mr. Allen in this election, they certainly have damaged his chances in the 2008 national elections — either as a presidential candidate or as a running mate for the eventual Republican nominee.

Though I firmly believe Mr. Allen will win re-election this fall, I’m afraid his chances of becoming president or vice president have been dashed.

G.M. WILLIAMS

Springfield

Liberal media and elections

According to “GOP rebound” (Commentary, Thursday) when it comes to national security, voters favor Republicans over Democrats. This is good news for the Republican Party. However, what does this mean for the general election?

Voters favor Democrats in other areas, and people rarely vote on a single issue. However, Republicans have a secret and unexpected weapon working in their favor: the liberal media.

In an attempt to turn the public against President Bush, the liberal media has focused on setbacks in the Middle East. To prove that Mr. Bush’s Middle Eastern policy, at least to some degree, hasn’t been successful, the left-wing press exaggerates terrorist threats, al Qaeda videos and Iraqi slayings.

There is one problem with this strategy: The public prefers Republicans’ Iraq and anti-terrorism policies. Every time a voter reads the name Osama bin Laden in a headline, he or she is reminded why to vote Republican. Even if al Qaeda is still operating six years into the Bush administration, the public still favors Republicans over Democrats for dealing with al Qaeda. By reminding voters of Iraq, the liberal press will motivate Americans to vote on national security this November.

Ironically, the liberal media’s anti-Iraq campaign is counterproductive and unintentionally might help the Republican Party maintain a congressional majority.

MARTIN SAAVEDRA

Kensington

A silver lining in Waziristan

Tony Blankley and the editorial staff are right to note the inherent new peril in Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s agreement with the Islamists of Waziristan (“A battle lost,” Op-Ed, Wednesday, and “The ‘line’ from Pakistan,” Editorial, Wednesday), but there may be a silver lining to this dark cloud.

One of the biggest limitations to our war effort in Afghanistan has been the sanctuary the Taliban enjoys in the border regions of Pakistan. This is because Gen. Musharraf’s precarious position in Pakistan requires him to bar U.S. forces from operating within his country’s border.

By establishing the autonomous Islamic Emirate of Waziristan, however, he is, in effect, placing these terrorist strongholds outside the sovereignty of Pakistan. If during his visit to Washington, Gen. Musharraf indicated to President Bush that U.S. forces could bomb jihadists in this region or mount Special Forces raids to capture al Qaeda leaders there, we might be able to write a new chapter in the war on terror. If this is the case, it is not a surrender on the part of Pakistan, but simply a change in the forces that are prosecuting the war there.

PETER LOCKE

Ashburn, Va.

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