Thanks ATS Info -- a few of my reactions, upon reading McCain's positions:
The United States must use all of the instruments at our disposal to counter the short and long-term threats posed by international
The United States has nuclear and biological weapons at our disposal. Must we use those? I would like to have heard an 'appropriate' or
'necessary' inserted into that policy statement. To omit such paints the 'short and long-term threats' as being above all reasonable or rational
approach to solution.
One glaring example of this is Congress’ failure to heed the call to significantly streamline Congressional oversight of the Department of
I would like to see this extended to the Intelligence Community, as a whole. Also, there is a conflict of interest between covert and secret
intelligence actions, and oversight by a public body. Is
there a solution to that? I would like to hear discussion that doesn't pretend that
past abuses such as Iran-Contra, The Church Commission, etc, etc, never occurred.
he will work with the private sector and an informed citizenry to safeguard our security. Public-private partnerships are an essential part of
the entire homeland security effort – from planning to implementation and operations.
I am very wary of the private sector, and public-private partnership, in providing 'solutions' -- "from planning to implementation and
operations". I see no compelling evidence that the motivation of the private sector for-profit entities would be to reduce
such occurrences, rather the opposite: the profit-motive would encourage
active and expensive involvement.
a McCain Administration will find and disrupt terrorist organizations and their financing and ensure that weapons of mass destruction do not fall
into terrorists’ hands.
Yes, 'active' foreign policy seems necessary in this day and age. I would like to hear more about efforts to establish international consensus on
the 'threats' of WMD, and exact, agreed definitions of who 'should' have them and who shouldn't. What about the NPT? It seems to me that much
Anti-American sentiment is caused by perceived unilateral judgements by the United States, regarding who could be a 'threat' and who can be
'trusted' with various weapons and capabilities.
John McCain strongly supported modernizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide in statute clear guidance for future actions that
may need to be taken... John McCain never believed that we should punish telecommunications companies that acted in good faith in response to requests
for assistance from the nation’s senior national security advisors.
I believe the blocking of FISA-related court cases (the telecom 'amnesty' bill) actually obscured
the 'clear guidance' McCain desires.
This goes back to the issue of reliable oversight of the legality and appropriateness of the actions of the Intelligence Community as a whole
and should not
be a separate issue.
Paramount in this area is the need to obtain the international consensus for strict sanctions that would prevent Iran from obtaining the material
and know-how necessary for developing nuclear weapons.
I am glad to hear the emphasis on the need for international consensus here. Given the strongly uncompromising stance of the rest of the statement,
however, I am concerned that this will once-again be perceived as 'American bullying', and further inflame international tensions.
For example, UPS, FedEx, and Wal-Mart can tell in real time where a package is anywhere in the world.... And federal law should provide sufficient
liability protections to encourage companies to act as a ‘force multiplier’ for the government during disaster response and recovery
As an ATS reader, I am immediately suspicious of blanket 'liability protection', as I know they can be used to cover-up investigation of
possibly-objectionable behavior. For example, FedEx's standard terms-of-service already provide them liability protection, for example with lost or
damaged packages, etc. What is the need for carte-blanche?
The network, which would be created by licensing an additional 30 MHz of radio spectrum in the upper 700 MHz band to a Public Safety Broadband
Trust, would provide first responders seamless nationwide roaming capability and allow for the real time transmission of data.
In the context of emergency disaster response, this sounds reasonable. I do not want a panopticon, however, where a government-controlled 'broadband
network' constantly monitors and transmits data nationwide, searching for possible 'threats'. What is a 'first responder', exactly, in
definition? Will there be no need to ever ask for 'papers, please', because every cop-on-the-corner will already know
who you are, where
you've been, and what your government-assigned 'threat level' is? Scary.
additional zero-emission nuclear energy plants
I would like to hear more about adapting military-developed nuclear technology to public use. I believe the current nuclear plants in operation are
based on 40-year-old design and technology? I would really like to hear more about safe nuclear power, nuclear waste disposal, and methods for
developing new energy-generating technologies. I know 'nuclear' is a hot-button word, but I believe it is the most obviously practical solution for
avoiding fossil fuel dependence.
John McCain is more concerned with protecting the American people from future terrorist attacks, by killing or bringing to justice those who
commit them, than he is with giving terrorists rights that would allow a judge to set them free before they are tried.
Let's be clear -- no government entity can 'give rights'. People either have them, or they don't. And if you don't trust judges to not 'set
all the terrorist free' and destroy America, isn't that a hugely significant issue? McCain needs to either talk more about the judicial balance of
power between the executive and the non-military court system, or he need to drop such one-sided rhetoric.