Worried about national security under an Obama-Biden administration? You shouldn't be.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Here's another video that surfaced relatively recently that is from September 10th, 2001, just one day before the attacks, where Biden is giving a speech to the National Press Club about how the real threats to the United States won't come in the form of a huge missile from a more than obvious location (you can't hide things like ICBM firing locations), but rather from the hold of a ship, the belly of a plane, etc... exactly what happened one day later. Joe Biden is exactly the right person to have at Obama's side in his administration, and just how good a choice it was to have him as VP becomes clearer every day.

As far as I know there's no transcript of this part of the speech so I've typed it out. The part in bold is the part, in my opinion, that is most quoteworthy.

Our real security needs are much more earthbound, and far less costly than national missile defense. If you combine the $1.3 trillion tax cut with what we spend on a full-blown defence shield, we could start to modernize our conventional forces, build a stealthier, more mobile, more self-sufficient military that I believe is needed in the 21st century, and make significant impact on rectifying what it going to be a gigantic problem in ten years in social security. Let's be clear. When it comes to defence, it's not the president's missile defence or nothing, as the way it's being posed. We should improve military personnel retention and overall readiness. Bring on the next generation of fighter aircraft, the next generation of helicopters, the next generation of destroyers, and be fully prepared for the next generation of engagement. And while we're at it, we might fix the plumbing in the barracks at Taipei, which I just visited, which the night before I came, because they are so aged, and we don't have the money to fix them, they had to bring in water hoses from outside to allow the women and men in there to be able to shave, to be able to use the bathrooms, let alone drink any water. Visit the conditions in which our active military are living now. Two and three in a room, you think when you drop your kid off at a college dormitory and you're paying 30 grand to send them to a prestigious school is hard to take, take a look at the conditions they live in. And why are we not responding to it? We don't have the money, we are told. My dad used to say and still says, "Son, if everything is equally important to you, nothing is important to you." Our priorities, I think, are a little out of whack. But even the joint chief says that a strategic nuclear attack is less likely than a regional conflict, a major theater war, terrorist attacks at home or abroad, or any number of other real issues. We'll have diverted all that money to address the least likely threat, while the real threat comes to this country in the hold of a ship, the belly of a plane, or smuggled into a city in the middle of the night in a vial in a backpack. And I ask you, you want to do us damage, are you more likely to send a missile you're not sure can reach us with a biological or chemical weapon because you don't have the throw-weight to put a nuclear weapon on it -- and no one's anticipating that in the near term -- with a return address saying it came from us, here's where we are? Or are you more likely to put somebody with a backpack crossing the border from Vancouver down to Seattle? Or coming up the New York Harbor with a rusty old ship with an atom bomb sitting in the hull? Which are you more likely to do? And what defence do we have against those other things? Watch these hearings we're about to have. We don't have as the testimony showed, a public health infrastructure to deal with the existing pathogens that are around now. We don't have the investment, the capability to identify or deal with an anthrax attack. We do not have, as Ambassador to Japan now Howard Baker and his committee said, the ability to curtail the availability of chemical weapons lying around the Soviet Union, the former Soviet Union and Russia, because they don't know what to do with it. They showed us a report where they showed us photographs of things that look like large outhouses, clapboard buildings, with no windows and padlocks on the door, that have as many chemical weapons in that building to destroy the bulk of the east coast! And we're not spending the money, to help them corral and destroy that in the name of this search?
Folks, let's not now raise the starting gun on a new arms race that is sure, I promise you, to make my children and my grandchildren, and these students assembled here, feel less secure than we feel today. Thank you very much for listening.

The Washington Post had an article on that speech on September 11th (I assume it was early morning, before the attacks), but only had a few excerpts from the speech.


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