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Kerry fumbled the ball on terrorism

By Nancy Salvato
web posted September 13, 2004

In light of John Kerry recently spouting off about how he would have handled the minutes after the Twin Tower attacks differently than President George Bush, I think its time to look at just how ineffective Kerry truly is when it comes to fighting terror. It's too bad there wasn't a 9/11 commission set up to investigate Kerry's actions before the travesty of New York. I would contest that the wrong people have been investigated for failure to prevent the largest act of terror on our soil – to date!

John KerryWhat most people don't know is that John Kerry was in a position to prevent the terrorists from boarding their flights at Logan airport. He had information that President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Secretary of State Colin Powell did not have access to, in the form of a letter from Brian Sullivan, a retired special agent with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), whose specialty was risk-management charged with securing air traffic control facilities throughout New England.

Four months prior to 9/11, Mr. Sullivan expressed to John Kerry his contention that Logan Airport was very vulnerable to terrorists. He thought that any terrorist could board and blow up a plane without much difficulty. He believed this because undercover operatives had proven that the security shields at Logan were ineffective by breaching them with potentially deadly weapons 10 times. He even suggested that more than one plane could be taken down in a day.

In addition to the letter from Sullivan, John Kerry was given a videotape depicting the broken security shields by Bogdan Dzakov, a former FAA chief of the national airport security covert Red Team.

It wasn't until 11 weeks after receiving this vital information that Kerry forwarded his response to Brian Sullivan, on July 24, 2001. He told Mr. Sullivan that he passed the information on to the Department of Transportation, even though he'd been told that would be fruitless since they had already proven not willing to take corrective action after countless warnings.[1] He didn't bother with sending the letter and tape to the State Police or the Massachusetts Port Authority and failed to find it important enough to alert his Senate colleagues or the President of the United States.

When it was realized that Mr. Sullivan's efforts were going nowhere, Mr. Steve Elson, another sting agent, ex-Navy Seal, and former Red Team member, "offered to fly to Washington at his own expense to give Kerry a document-backed presentation about the "facade of security" at Logan and other major airports."[2]

Because he wasn't a constituent, he wasn't given any consideration either. Elson advised Kerry that he was risking the lives of his Massachusetts constituents by allowing them to board planes at Logan. It turned out to be true. Many of the deaths that resulted from 9/11 were the result of boarding American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 at Logan airport.
Had Kerry given the letter or the videotape the attention they deserved, the enhanced security resulting from action taken would have served to prevent the hijackings or at the very least discouraged ringleader Mohamed Atta, "who monitored security procedures at Logan weeks before the hijackings."[3]

His inexcusable failure did not stop Kerry from trying to take credit for triggering an undercover probe of Logan security in June 2001. His campaign ad in the fall of 2003 stated that he "sounded the alarm on terrorism prior to 9/11", citing his book The New War, despite his having dropped the ball. The truth of the matter is that no investigation was ever conducted at Logan and there's no evidence that he ever requested anything specific from the GAO about Logan. This alleged probe, which Kerry never followed up on, was never acknowledged by the General Accounting Office who, incidentally, did test airport security at two airports pre-9/11 - neither of which happened to be Logan.

John Kerry has proven his inability to fight the war on terror. Given an opportunity to help prevent what occurred on that fateful day three years ago on 9/11, he proved that he is not proactive and is unable to formulate a plan of action given crucial information that could affect the lives of countless Americans. On the other hand, President George Bush has picked up the ball and is still running with it. The choice is clear.


1 Kerry & Company's Homeland Insecurity

2, 3 The warning Kerry ignored

Nancy Salvato is a contractor with Prism Educational Consulting. She serves as Educational Liaison for Illinois' 23rd Senatorial District. She works nationally and locally furthering the cause of Civic Education. Her writing is widely published on the internet and occasionally in print venues such as the Washington Times. Her opinions have been heard on select radio programs across the nation. Additionally, her writing has been recognized by the US Secretary of Education. Copyright © Nancy Salvato 2004

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