In signing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act recently, President Bush said it "will help us meet our most solemn responsibility: to stop another attack."
We don't disagree at all. But his statement makes us wonder:
When did stopping another attack become his most "solemn" responsibility?
We've certainly always felt it was, but you could have fooled us by looking at Bush's record.
This is a president, remember, that has had to be dragged kicking and screaming to securing America's border. Nearly seven years after 9-11, the border still is not secure.
Bush's negligence has been more than passive; it's been an active negligence. He's gone out of his way to avoid securing the border, not only urging a recalcitrant Congress toward laxness, but leading the way toward reckless disregard of our safety.
He seems to have felt that the need for cheap, illegal labor was more important.
The unsightly truth is that the fact that there's been no terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9-11 may be due in large part to sheer luck. Consider: In 2004 alone, there were more than 75,000 OTMs -- "other than Mexicans" -- nabbed by the U.S. Border Patrol. Many were from nations hostile to the United States.
Many of them were quickly released, due to lack of jail space, and 90 percent never showed up for deportation hearings.
Furthermore, the Border Patrol estimates that it catches only about a third of the illegals -- meaning that there might have been 150,000 OTMs that came here illegally in 2004 alone.
Meanwhile, Bush was fighting not to secure our border, but to keep the flow of cheap labor coming here, through "comprehensive immigration reform."
His definition of "solemn responsibility" is somewhat different from ours.