Harry S Truman on Homeland Security
Truman considered war profiteering "treason." It still is. And the senators who stand by and allow it to happen must be called to account. Their refusal to act is killing our men and women in uniform.
On the eve of 1948's Democratic Convention, a delegation of southerners said they'd only support Truman for reelection if he'd soften his stand on civil rights, Truman wrote them:
"My forebears were Confederates. But my very stomach turned over when I learned that Negro soldiers, just back from overseas, were being dumped out of army trucks in Mississippi and beaten. Whatever my inclination as a native of Missouri might have been, as president I know this is bad. I shall fight to end evils like this."
Jack Kennedy thought stopping the Soviet advance in Europe was the only way to avoid repeating the mistake of not stopping the Nazi advance at the Munich Conference of 1938. Had Hitler been confronted before his deadly attack on Poland the following year, he might have retreated. Instead, it was the Allies who were thrown on the defensive. Having lived through prewar appeasement and its consequences, the WWII generation had come home from the South Pacific and Europe determined to prevent a sequel to the tragedy that had interrupted and harrowed their lives and erased so many others. This time, the dictator must be stopped in his tracks.
Every President has available to him all the information gathered by the many intelligence agencies already in existence. But their collective information reached the President all too frequently in conflicting conclusions. At times, the intelligence reports tended to be slanted to conform to established positions of a given department. Therefore, I decided to set up a special organization charged with the collection of all intelligence reports, and to have those reports reach me as President without department "treatment."
The most important thing about this move was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or to lead the President into unwise decisions--I thought it was necessary that the President do his own thinking and evaluating.
I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the embarrassment we have experienced are attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister & mysterious foreign intrigue--and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.
With all the nonsense put out by Communist propaganda about "Yankee imperialism," the last thing we needed was for the CIA to be seized upon as something akin to a subverting influence in the affairs of other people.
I would like to see the CIA be restored to its original assignment as the intelligence arm of the President--and that its operational duties be terminated or properly used elsewhere.
"But when history says that my term of office saw the beginning of the cold war, it will also say that in those 8 years we have set the course that can win it. We have succeeded in carving out a new set of policies to attain peace--positive policies, policies of world leadership, policies that express faith in other free people. We have averted World War Three up to now, and we may already have succeeded in establishing conditions which can keep that war from happening far ahead as man can see."
At the present session of the United Nations in Paris, we, together with the British and the French, offered a plan to reduce and control all armaments under a foolproof inspection system. This is a concrete, practical proposal for disarmament.
If the Soviet leaders were to accept this proposal, it would lighten the burden of armaments, and permit the resources of the earth to be devoted to the good of mankind. But until the Soviet Union accepts a sound disarmament proposal, and joins in peaceful settlements, we have no choice except to build up our defenses.
During this past year we added more than a million men & women to our Armed Forces. The total is now nearly 3 million. We have made rapid progress in the field of atomic weapons.
As an immediate means to this end we must continue our support of the European recovery program. This program has achieved great success in the first 2 years of its operation, but it has not yet been completed. If we were to stop this program now, or cripple it, just because it is succeeding, we should be doing exactly what the enemies of democracy want us to do. We should be just as foolish as a man who, for reasons of false economy, failed to put a roof on his house after building the foundation and the walls.
|Other past presidents on Homeland Security:||Harry S Truman on other issues:|
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)
Past Vice Presidents:
Natural Law Party