George Allen on Homeland Security

Republican Senate Challenger


Military readiness more important than congressional consent

When the moderator asked the four about Obama's decision to involve the U.S. military in the Libyan uprising without congressional consent, Jackson, Marshall and Radtke quickly denounced it roundly.

Allen, however, didn't pounce on Obama. Instead, he recalled the gravity and anxiety of sending U.S. troops into Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist strikes. "In my estimation, it's the most solemn decision a president has to make," Allen said. "I have made that decision as far as Iraq and Afghanistan."

"The concern I have is not whether we have a (congressional) authorization of force, it's whether or not our military is going to have the equipment, the armament, the up-to-date technology that is paramount as they're trying to protect our freedoms," he said. "I'm really worried about the military readiness of our country."

Source: 4-NBC Washington on 2012 Virginia Senate debate , May 26, 2012

More concerned with army's readiness than war authorization

The moderator asked whether the candidates supported the president sending troops overseas without a declaration of war from Congress. Radtke, Jackson & Marshall all were adamantly against it, but Allen instead attacked Obama for not supporting potential government opposition in Iran.

"The concern I have is not whether you have an authorization of force," Allen said. "I really worry about the military readiness of our country, regardless of whether or not there's an authorization of the use of force."

Source: Washington Examiner on 2012 Virginia Senate debate , May 25, 2012

Spending necessary to bolster the military, post-9-11

Radtke said that Allen "voted for every single spending bill, added $3 trillion to the national debt."

Allen said much of the federal spending during his Senate term was necessary to bolster the military after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

"I cannot believe we're going to blame $3 trillion in spending on war spending," Radtke shot back. "I don't remember Medicare Part D, and I don't remember No Child Left Behind, being a part of war spending. That is not why we had $3 trillion in debt."

Source: The Virginian-Pilot on 2012 Virginia Senate debate , May 12, 2012

52,000 earmarks, but mostly for defense & security

Radtke said, "It's great to talk about the line-item veto. We could have maybe gotten rid of the 52,000 earmarks that George Allen voted for." Allen said the country's economic and fiscal climate is different than it was when he voted for debt limit increases during his Senate term.

He said after the debate that much of the increased spending he supported from 2001 to 2006 was for important national defense and security purposes, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Source: The Virginian-Pilot on 2012 Virginia Senate debate , Apr 29, 2012

Continue terrorist interrogations but without torture

Q: How will you vote on the Warner-McCain-Graham bill about interrogating and prosecuting enemy combatants?

ALLEN: I’m going to make a determination once I get some more facts. The two key points I’m going to look at [are], number one, these interrogations have helped protect American lives and not just here at home but also in the battlefield. Secondly, the Geneva Convention is very important, and I don’t want to set a precedent that we change the Geneva Convention [because I’m concerned] if one of our troops or one of our CIA agents is caught or captured. Now, the key in all of this is I don’t want to stop these interrogations. I’m not for torture, I’m not for waterboarding, but some of these techniques have been very helpful to us, whether they are sleep deprivation, or whether there’s loud music. And I need to be absolutely certain that what the interrogators are doing now-which is completely fine as far as I’m concerned, protecting Americans-will not be harmed by the proposal.

Source: VA Senate debate on Meet the Press with Tim Russert, p.11 , Sep 17, 2006

Wrong to bar women from VMI; did it to be gentlemanly

Q: From American Enterprise magazine, you wrote:
“If [Virginia Military Institute] admitted women, it wouldn’t be the VMI that we’ve known for 154 years. You just don’t treat women the way you treat fellow cadets. If you did, it would be ungentlemanly, it would be improper.”
Men and women shouldn’t be treated the same at a military institution?

ALLEN: The regiment at VMI -the curriculum and the training would be ungentlemanly to treat women the way that they were doing it. At Virginia Tech, we had women and opportunities for women to get military training in a co-ed approach. VMI and their board for many years felt that they should continue the way that they had in the past.

Q: But has women at VMI worked?

ALLEN: Yes, it has.

Q: So you were wrong?

ALLEN: We were wrong. The Supreme Court said we were wrong. We complied with that decision. What I said as governor, is I’m going to deplore anybody who demeans women.

Source: VA Senate debate on Meet the Press with Tim Russert, p.17 , Sep 17, 2006

Supports more spending on Armed Forces personnel

Pointing out that America’s fighting forces are now struggling to meet existing threats, Allen called for an increase in funding to $350 billion annually by 2005 to restore readiness. Allen called for an end to the procurement holiday and a reinvestment in defense to modernize all branches of the military with the technologically advanced equipment they will need to meet future threats. “We need to develop and deploy the new generation of aircraft carriers and the F-22 Raptor,” Allen said.
Source: Press Release, “Military initiatives”, Jul 8, 2000 , Sep 19, 2000

Supports spending on Missile Defense (“Star Wars”)

A strong advocate of a national missile defense system while a Member of Congress, Allen repeated his support for the project. As soon as it is technologically feasible, we’ve got to deploy a system that will keep Americans safe from incoming missile attacks, whether from a major adversary or from a rogue nation, Allen said.
Source: Press Release, “Military initiatives”, Jul 8, 2000 , Sep 19, 2000

Build SDI; pay soldiers more

“Our national defense is eroding - weakening by the day,” Allen said. “Our military has been cut to near the bone and stretched to near its limit. Our men and women in uniform are underpaid. Our military itself is undermanned.”
Source: Web site Allen2000.com , Sep 12, 2000

Voted NO on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees.

Sen. Specter's amendment would strike the provision regarding habeas review. The underlying bill authorizes trial by military commission for violations of the law of war. Excerpts from the Senate floor debate:

Sen. GRAHAM [recommending NO]: The fundamental question for the Senate to answer when it comes to determining enemy combatant status is, Who should make that determination? Should that be a military decision or should it be a judicial decision? That is something our military should do.

Sen. SPECTER [recommending YES]: My amendment would retain the constitutional right of habeas corpus for people detained at Guantanamo. The right of habeas corpus was established in the Magna Carta in 1215 when, in England, there was action taken against King John to establish a procedure to prevent illegal detention. What the bill seeks to do is to set back basic rights by some 900 years. This amendment would strike that provision and make certain that the constitutional right of habeas corpus is maintained.

GRAHAM: Do we really want enemy prisoners to bring every lawsuit known to man against the people fighting the war and protecting us? No enemy prisoner should have access to Federal courts--a noncitizen, enemy combatant terrorist--to bring a lawsuit against those fighting on our behalf. No judge should have the ability to make a decision that has been historically reserved to the military. That does not make us safer.

SPECTER: The US Constitution states that "Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." We do not have either rebellion or invasion, so it is a little hard for me to see, as a basic principle of constitutional law, how the Congress can suspend the writ of habeas corpus.

GRAHAM: If the Supreme Court does say in the next round of legal appeals there is a constitutional right to habeas corpus by those detained at Guantanamo Bay, then Sen. Specter is absolutely right.

Reference: Specter Amendment; Bill S.AMDT.5087 to S.3930 ; vote number 2006-255 on Sep 28, 2006

Voted NO on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods.

Amendment to provide for congressional oversight of certain Central Intelligence Agency programs. The underlying bill S. 3930 authorizes trial by military commission for violations of the law of war. The amendment requires quarterly reports describing all CIA detention facilities; the name of each detainee; their suspected activities; & each interrogation technique authorized for use and guidelines on the use of each such technique.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

I question the need for a very lengthy, detailed report every 3 months. We will probably see those reports leaked to the press.

This amendment would spread out for the world--and especially for al-Qaida and its related organizations--precisely what interrogation techniques are going to be used.

If we lay out, in an unclassified version, a description of the techniques by the Attorney General, that description will be in al-Qaida and Hezbollah and all of the other terrorist organizations' playbook. They will train their assets that: This is what you must be expected to do, and Allah wants you to resist these techniques.

We are passing this bill so that we can detain people. If we catch someone like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, we have no way to hold him, no way to ask him the questions and get the information we need, because the uncertainty has brought the program to a close. It is vitally important to our security, and unfortunately this amendment would imperil it.

Reference: Rockefeller Amendment; Bill S.AMDT.5095 to S.3930 ; vote number 2006-256 on Sep 28, 2006

Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.

This vote reauthorizes the PATRIOT Act with some modifications (amendments). Voting YEA extends the PATRIOT Act, and voting NAY would phase it out. The official summary of the bill is:
A bill to clarify that individuals who receive FISA orders can challenge nondisclosure requirements, that individuals who receive national security letters are not required to disclose the name of their attorney, that libraries are not wire or electronic communication service providers unless they provide specific services, and for other purposes.
Reference: USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments; Bill S. 2271 ; vote number 2006-025 on Mar 1, 2006

Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision.

Vote to invoke cloture on a conference report that extends the authority of the FBI to conduct "roving wiretaps" and access business records. Voting YES would recommend, in effect, that the PATRIOT Act be extended through December 31, 2009, and would makes the provisions of the PATRIOT Act permanent. Voting NO would extend debate further, which would have the effect of NOT extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision.
Reference: Motion for Cloture of PATRIOT Act; Bill HR 3199 ; vote number 2005-358 on Dec 16, 2005

Voted NO on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism.

Vote to adopt an amendment that makes US businesses and their subsidiaries liable to prosecution for dealing with foreign businesses which have links to terrorism or whose parent country supports terrorism. Voting YES would:
Reference: Stop Business with Terrorists Act of 2005; Bill S AMDT 1351 to S 1042 ; vote number 2005-203 on Jul 26, 2005

Voted YES on restoring $565M for states' and ports' first responders.

Amendment intended to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by restoring $565 million in cuts to vital first-responder programs in the Department of Homeland Security, including the State Homeland Security Grant program, by providing $150 million for port security grants and by providing $140 million for 1,000 new border patrol agents.
Reference: State Homeland Security Grant Program Amendment; Bill S AMDT 220 to S Con Res 18 ; vote number 2005-64 on Mar 17, 2005

Small business in developing homeland security technologies.

Allen co-sponsored a resolution on small businesses

Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) small business participation is vital to U.S. defense and should play an active role in assisting the military, Federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and State and local police to combat terrorism through the design and development of innovative products; and (2) Federal, State, and local governments should aggressively seek out and purchase innovative technologies and services from, and promote research opportunities for, American small businesses to help in homeland defense and the fight against terrorism. Passed/agreed to in Senate.

Source: Resolution sponsored by 26 Senators 02-SR264 on May 8, 2002

Rated 0% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record.

Allen scores 0% by SANE on peace issues

Peace Action, the merger of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and The Freeze, has effectively mobilized for peace and disarmament for over forty years. As the nation's largest grassroots peace group we get results: from the 1963 treaty to ban above ground nuclear testing, to the 1996 signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, from ending the war in Vietnam, to blocking weapons sales to human rights abusing countries. We are proof that ordinary people can change the world. At Peace Action we believe...

As the Pentagon’s budget soars to $400 billion, 17% of American children live in poverty. For what the US will spend on Missile Defense in one year we could: put over a million children through Head Start OR provide healthcare for over 3.5 million children OR create over 100,000 units of affordable housing OR hire over 160,000 elementary school teachers. At Peace Action our priorities are clear.

The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: SANE website 03n-SANE on Dec 31, 2003

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Page last updated: Oct 27, 2021