THE ROBERT W. WHITAKER ARCHIVE

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IS IT RIGHT TO ASK SECURITY AGENCIES TO DO THEIR JOBS? | 2002-06-01

When I was in public service, I was always aware that I was drawing a salary and exercising power, and I had to justify it EVERY DAY. When I see some guy in the security services talking on television, I get the impression that he feels that we owe him his supper.

One of the most famous quotes from Ronald Reagan was, "Mr. Gorbaczev, tear down this wall." And I think we all know how many people tried to get him to take that out of his speech in West Berlin. Time after time the final draft came back to him with those lines quietly taken out. He quietly kept putting them back.

He stood in front of the Berlin Wall, which all the liberal apologists for Communism had been ignoring, and demanded RESULTS.

If I had been Reagan, I would have been as demanding of my staff as I was with Gorbaczev. If I kept putting "Tear down this Wall" in my speech and my staff had removed something AGAIN that I had put back in my speech AGAIN, they would have been looking for new jobs.

Someday we may have congressmen who say to security chest-beaters, "Stop the enemy or get out." Someday, some conservative may actually object to the repeated failures who are Official Experts daring to show up with two generations of uninterrupted failure.