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Bush's Insult to Law Enforcement

Friday, Oct. 06, 2006 1:09 PM

Iraq is just a comma.

This latest brilliant observation by President Bush continues to make it into his speeches, accompanied by spin to make sure we know that what the President said isn't what he meant.

"Ultimately, when this chapter of history will be written, however, it's going to be a comma -- the Iraqis voted, comma, and the United States of America understood that Iraq was a central front in the war on terror and helped this young democracy flourish so that a generation of Americans wouldn't have to worry about the extremists emanating from that country to hurt the American people," Bush said at a fundraising event for Rep. Richard Pombo.

This idiotic statement doesn't improve with repetition, but either Bush can only remember a few slogans at a time, or his speechwriter lives in a bunker.

The lives lost ��both Iraqis caught in the crossfire and our own troops ��are not, 'just a comma,' Mr. President. They are a damning reflection of your failed policies and unwillingness to take responsibility for your decisions.

You are clearly not following a strategy of, 'adapt to win,' if you are sweeping ten months (or, more correctly, three years) under the carpet as, 'just a comma.'

But perhaps more telling is how Mr. Bush views law enforcement.

"Democrats take a law enforcement approach to terrorism -- that means America will wait until we're attacked again before we respond," he said.

Bush considers law enforcement as waiting until a crime happens before you do something.

Which, for anyone who has family members or friends working in law enforcement, is an insult. It paints them as sitting around doing nothing while the criminals roam free. It's only when the criminals actually kill someone or rob someone that law enforcement goes after them, and coffee and donuts the rest of the time.

But law enforcement is a broad, structured approach. It is entirely about prevention, about a presence that patrols to ensure the safety of the community. Pursuing those who have actually committed a crime is only a part of the job.

Law enforcement brings officers into the schools to teach children about traffic safety and avoiding predators. Law enforcement sponsors neighborhood watch and safety programs. Law enforcement supports sports programs for children.

Law enforcement officers are dedicated professionals, not weak-willed Johnny-Come-Latelys.

Law enforcement is exactly what brought the suspects in the recent London explosives plot to heel. Law enforcement had been monitoring the suspects for close to a year, and at no point did they say, "We're gonna wait until the blokes actually blow up a plane."

Mr. Bush ignores that our laws do, in fact, allow law enforcement officials to monitor and act against criminals before the commission of a crime. It is, in fact, established in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, as probable cause.

But it is apparently far more important for Mr. Bush to make an assertion about the Democrats that is wholly untrue (the White House, in fact, cannot name a single Democrat who has said we need to wait until we are attacked again), and insult law enforcement officers everywhere.

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