Saturday, October 09, 2004

Why Kerry will cripple terrorists and Bush can't

Explained in a more or less otherwise forgettable NYT article.

''Of all the records in the Senate, if you don't mind my saying, I think I
was ahead of the curve on this entire dark side of globalization,'' he said. ''I
think that the Senate committee report on contras, narcotics and drugs, et
cetera, is a seminal report. People have based research papers on it. People
have based documents on it, movies on it. I think it was a significant piece of
work.'' More senior members of the foreign-relations committee, like Joe Biden
and Richard Lugar, were far more visible and vocal on the emerging threat of
Islamic terrorism. But through his BCCI investigation, Kerry did discover that a
wide array of international criminals -- Latin American drug lords, Palestinian
terrorists, arms dealers -- had one thing in common: they were able to move
money around through the same illicit channels. And he worked hard, and with
little credit, to shut those channels down. In 1988, Kerry successfully proposed
an amendment that forced the Treasury Department to negotiate so-called Kerry
Agreements with foreign countries. Under these agreements, foreign governments
had to promise to keep a close watch on their banks for potential money
laundering or they risked losing their access to U.S. markets. Other measures
Kerry tried to pass throughout the 90's, virtually all of them blocked by
Republican senators on the banking committee, would end up, in the wake of 9/11,
in the USA Patriot Act; among other things, these measures subject banks to
fines or loss of license if they don't take steps to verify the identities of
their customers and to avoid being used for money laundering.

So now we know: it was the Repubs all along that were soft on terrorism. Of course, the ties to BCCI and Bush I are pretty well known by now.

Anyway, here's another important quote from the article:

Kerry's view, on the other hand, suggests that it is the very premise of
civilized states, rather than any one ideology, that is under attack.

And, it follows as surely as night follows day, that those who want to "shrink government until it can be strangled in a bathtub" are much closer in spirit to the terrorists and their objectives than anyone else.

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