SERRANO REACTS TO PROPOSED HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT

Jun 6, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Dale Crowell
June 6, 2002 (202) 225-4363 
Dale.Crowell@mail.house.gov

SERRANO REACTS TO PROPOSED HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT 

Washington, D.C. (June 6) – Congressman José E. Serrano (D-NY) issued the following statement today in response to the President’s announced plans to create a new cabinet-level federal department to oversee homeland security:

“While I agree that we need to improve our intelligence capabilities and enhance our governmental coordination to fight terrorism I must express my concerns about several aspects of this proposal.  First and foremost, as we make changes to our strategies to fight terror, we must always remember what we stand for as a nation.

“As we go after the bad guys we must be sure not to hurt the good guys.  Our nation’s commitment to freedom must lie at the very heart of any homeland security strategy. We should not compromise our way of life and we must be sure that the freedoms we all enjoy are preserved. And from the President on down, the protection of our rights, and the sensitivity to the rights of every citizen and resident, should be very much on our minds. We cannot sacrifice our freedoms or the terrorists will have won.

“Any proposal to radically overhaul so many agencies of the Federal government should be carefully analyzed and reviewed before designing changes.  That is the job of Congress.  As far as I know, Congress was never informed of such recommendations.  And, as we have been slowly discovering, the failures of our intelligence system came not so much from our lack of information or ability to discover threats but more from our failure to analyze and act upon that information.  Rushing to implement such radical changes before thoroughly examining the roots of the problem could lead to even greater problems in the future.  We don’t want to put the cart before the horse on this one.  That is why we should hear what the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence conclude as we devise our nation’s strategy to fight terror.”
 

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