Subject: ZELL MILLERS SPEECH
(He's the best Republican any Democrat could be!!!)
THIS IS A SPEECH YESTERDAY (April 8th) BY SENATOR ZELL MILLER." A
The PRESIDING OFFICER: The Senator from Georgia.
Mr. MILLER: Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent
that I be allowed to speak up to 15 minutes as in morning business.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so
SUBJECT: THE 9/11 COMMISSION
Mr. MILLER. Mr. President, after watching the harsh
acrimony generated by the September 11 Commission--which, let me say at
the outset, is made up of good and able members--I have come to
seriously question this panel's usefulness. I believe it will ultimately
play a role in doing great harm to this country, for its unintended
consequences, I fear, will be to energize our enemies and demoralize our
After being drowned in a tidal wave of all who didn't
do enough before 9/11, I have come to believe that the Commission should
issue a report that says: No one did enough. In the past, no one did
near enough. And then thank everybody for serving, send them home, and
let's get on with the job of protecting this country in the future.
Tragically, these hearings have proved to be a very
divisive diversion for this country. Tragically, they have devoured
valuable time looking backward instead of looking forward. Can you
imagine handling the attack on Pearl Harbor this way? Can you imagine
Congress, the media, and the public standing for this kind of political
gamesmanship and finger-pointing after that day of infamy in 1941?
Some partisans tried that ploy, but they were soon
quieted by the patriots who understood how important it was to get on
with the war and take the battle to America 's enemies and not dwell on
what FDR knew, when. You see, back then the highest priority was to win
a war, not to win an election. That is what made them the greatest
I realize that many well-meaning Americans see the
hearings as democracy in action. Years ago when I was teaching political
science, I probably would have had my class watching it live on
television and using that very same phrase with them.
There are also the not-so-well-meaning political
operatives who see these hearings as an opportunity to score cheap
points. And then there are the media meddlers who see this as great
theater that can be played out on the evening news and on endless talk
shows for a week or more.
Congressional hearings have long been one of
Washington's most entertaining pastimes. Joe McCarthy, Watergate,
Iran-Contra--they all kept us glued to the TV and made for conversations
around the water coolers or arguments over a beer at the corner pub.
A congressional hearing in Washington, DC is the ultimate aphrodisiac
for political groupies and partisan punks. But it is not the groupies,
punks, and television-sotted American public that I am worried about
This latter crowd can get excited and divided over just about anything,
whether it is some off-key wannabe dreaming of being the American idol,
or what brainless bimbo ``The Bachelor'' or ``Average Joe'' will choose,
or who Donald Trump will fire next week. No, it is the real enemies of
America that I am concerned about. These evil killers who right now are
gleefully watching the shrill partisan finger-pointing of these hearings
and grinning like a mule eating briars.
They see this as a major split within the great Satan,
America . They see anger. They see division, instability, bickering,
peevishness, and dissension. They see the President of the United States
hammered unmercifully. They see all this, and they are greatly
We should not be doing anything to encourage our
enemies in this battle between good and evil. Yet these hearings, in my
opinion, are doing just that. We are playing with fire. We are playing
directly into the hands of our enemy by allowing these hearings to
become the great divider they have become.
Dick Clarke's book and its release coinciding with
these hearings have done this country a tremendous disservice and some
day we will reap its whirlwind.
Long ago, Sir Walter Scott observed that revenge
is``the sweetest morsel that ever was cooked in hell.''
The vindictive Clarke has now had his revenge, but
what kind of hell has he, his CBS publisher, and his axe-to-grind
These hearings, coming on the heels of the election
the terrorists influenced in Spain , bolster and energize our evil
enemies as they have not been energized since 9/11.
Chances are very good that these evil enemies of
America will attempt to influence our 2004 election in a similar
dramatic way as they did Spain,s. And to think that could never be in
this country is to stick your head in the sand.
That is why the sooner we stop this endless bickering
over the past and join together to prepare for the future, the better
off this country will be. There are some things--whether this city
believes it or not--that are just more important than political
The recent past is so ripe for political second-guessing, ``gotcha,''
and Monday morning quarterbacking. And it is so tempting in an election
year. We should not allow ourselves to indulge that temptation. We
should put our country first.
Every administration, from Jimmy Carter to George W.
Bush, bears some of the blame. Dick Clarke bears a big heap of it,
because it was he who was in the catbird's seat to do something about it
for more than a decade. Tragically, it was the decade in which we did
We did nothing after terrorists attacked the World
Trade Center in 1993, killing six and injuring more than a thousand
We did nothing in 1996 when 16 U.S. servicemen were
killed in the bombing of the Khobar Towers .
When our embassies were attacked in 1998, killing 263
people, our only response was to fire a few missiles on an empty tent.
Is it any wonder that after that decade of weak-willed
responses to that murderous terror, our enemies thought we would never
In the 1990s is when Dick Clarke should have resigned.
In the 1990s is when he should have apologized. That is when he should
have written his book--that is, if he really had America 's best
interests at heart.
Now, I know some will say we owe it to the families to
get more information about what happened in the past, and I can
understand that. But no amount of finger-pointing will bring our victims
So now we owe it to the future families and all of
America now in jeopardy not to encourage more terrorists, resulting in
even more grieving families--perhaps many times over the ones of 9/11.
It is obvious to me that this country is rapidly
dividing itself into two camps--the wimps and the warriors : the ones
who want to argue and assess and appease, and the ones who want to carry
this fight to our enemies and kill them before they kill us. In case you
have not figured it out, I proudly belong to the latter.
This is a time like no other time in the history of
this country. This country is being crippled with petty partisan
politics of the worst possible kind. In time of war, it is not just
unpatriotic; it is stupid; it is criminal.
So I pray that all this time, all this energy, all
this talk, and all of the attention could be focused on the future
instead of the past.
I pray we would stop pointing fingers and assigning
blame and wringing our hands about what happened on that day David
AcUology has called ``the worst day in all our history'' more than 2
years ago, and instead, pour all our energy into how we can kill these
terrorists before they kill us--again.
Make no mistake about it: They are watching these
hearings and they are scheming and smiling about the distraction and the
divisiveness that they see in America . And while they might not know
who said it years ago in America , they know instinctively that a house
divided cannot stand.
There is one other group that we should remember is
listening to all of this--our troops.
I was in Iraq in January. One day, when I was meeting
with the 1st Armored Division, a unit with a proud history, known as Old
Ironsides, we were discussing troop morale, and the commanding general
said it was top notch.
I turned to the division's sergeant major, the top
enlisted man in the division, a big, burly 6-foot-3, 240 pound African
American, and I said: ``That's good, but how do you sustain that kind of
Without hesitation, he narrowed his eyes, and he
looked at me and said: ``The morale will stay high just as long as these
troops know the people back home support us.''
Just as long as the people back home support us. What
kind of message are these hearings and the outrageously political
speeches on the floor of the Senate yesterday sending to the marvelous
young Americans in the uniform of our country?
I say: Unite America before it is too late. Put aside these petty
partisan differences when it comes to the protection of our people.
Argue and argue and argue, debate and debate and debate over all the
other things, such as jobs, education, the deficit, and the environment;
but please, please do not use the lives of Americans and the security of
this country as a cheap-shot political talking point.
I yield the floor.