More Issues and Politics

Opinion

robert-M.-Scott – By Robert Scott –

By the time this OpEd goes to print, South Carolina’s Senator Lindsey Graham will likely have joined the field of announced Republican candidates for President. Sen. Graham is known for his favoring military solutions to many problems, certainly more than President Obama and probably more than President Bush. Following up on last week’s column, here are some specific questions I hope are asked of Sen. Graham:

  • (This will sound familiar.) Given what we know now, if you had been in President Bush’s shoes would you have gone to war against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq?
  • Suppose the current negotiations with Iran regarding limiting and inspecting their nuclear facilities results in a multilateral treaty approved by the Obama administration and by a majority of Congress – but yours was one of the votes against approval. If you were then to be elected President, would you feel obligated to accept that treaty?
  • Many of the prisoners still held at Guantanamo Bay have been found innocent of any war crimes and found not to be terrorists. What would you do with those still held at Guantanamo Bay who have been determined not to be terrorists?
  • Would you support waterboarding as an interrogation technique? Would you allow evidence gathered from waterboarding to be used in a military tribunal or perhaps in a civilian court proceeding?
  • You and another announced candidate, Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul, have publically differed on several security issues. One of these is the proper role of the National Security Agency in a democracy. Do you think the NSA should be able to eavesdrop on American citizens within the United States without a warrant? If you were President, what degree of oversight would you desire Congress to have over activities of the NSA? Finally, who should decide – Congress, the President, the courts, or the NSA itself – how much the public should know about NSA operations?

On the domestic front, there are also several issues in which both President Bush and Senator Graham were involved, and I would also ask about these:

  • Your position supporting a “path to citizenship” for most undocumented workers in the United States has evolved since you supported President Bush on that issue. What was your position then, and how has it changed since?
  • You have been against expanding Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act. Do you also consider the 2003 expansion of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit undertaken by the Bush Administration to be a mistake? Would you work to overturn Obamacare and/or the Bush prescription drug benefit expansion, and if so what would you propose in their stead?
  • What was your position regarding the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) initiated by President Bush that ended up bailing out banks during both the Bush and Obama administrations? Knowing what we know now, would you support such a program again under similar circumstances?

We in South Carolina will have a major say in who ends up as the Republican nominee for President in 2016. Here’s hoping that we find out answers to questions such as these, not only from our own Senator but from all the candidates.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Edgefield Advertiser.

Have something to say? Please leave your comments below.

One Response to "More Issues and Politics"

  1. mjgranger   May 20, 2015 at 8:29 am

    First of all, NONE of the detainees (not “prisoners”) held at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have been found “innocent” of ANYTHING, ever. According to the Law of War and the Geneva Conventions even lawful combatant POWs may be held, without charge, “until the end of hostilities.” Last time I checked the jihad is still on, full speed ahead. The vast majority of Gitmo detainees, past and present, have never been charged, and therefore cannot have been found “innocent.” Second, waterboarding works, and may have saved YOUR life. It was an approved Enhanced Interrogation Technique when used on a handful of detainees which saved many lives. Only later was it declared unilaterally to be torture by President Barack Hussein Obama. It still does not fit any international definition of torture, but is listed as such nonetheless. Gitmo is the finest military detention facility on earth. The Islamist equivalent is a PILE of HEADS and ASHES. Over 640 detainees have been RELEASED from Gitmo, and NONE have been executed, beheaded, hacked to death, blown up, dragged naked and lifeless through the streets or burned alive. The known recidivism rate is between 17-30 percent; I’m concerned about the 83-70 percent we DON’T know about. The question every American needs to ask themselves is: Do I feel safer with detainees IN or OUT of Gitmo?