Civil Liberties

Herman Cain: "there are some Americans, including members of Congress—who want the terrorists to win"

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Chances of me ever voting for someone whose book got a foreward from Zell Miller? Slim, none, and fat.

The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf goes spelunking through Herman Cain's published archive, and what he finds there is a poignant reminder that Republicans of all stripes were just godawful talking about foreign policy back when their guy was in charge of it. Sample:

In June 2006, he took aim at civil libertarians and those who sought to end the Iraq war. "Have no doubt about it—there are some Americans, including members of Congress—who want the terrorists to win," he wrote. "Every time we receive significant intelligence about the enemy, our enemies from within say we obtained is [sic] unconstitutionally, as if terrorists should receive the benefits of our constitutional protections. Every time we achieve a military victory they call for us to 'redeploy' the troops. Setting a date certain for troop withdrawal is like placing a sign in your yard telling the local burglar the times you plan to be away from your home with the front door unlocked. Our enemies from within see our national security as just another political issue."

That same summer, he said this: "Three groups are waging a spectacularly unified propaganda war against the Israeli military, the U.S. military and the Bush administration. They are the liberal media outlets, liberals in the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. In a world with a 24/7 microscopic news cycle, one statement that is twisted, misunderstood or misrepresented can sway public opinion and political reaction more than 1,000 tanks and 10,000 bombs." Lest his point be misunderstood, he concluded the column by noting that "the liberals' propaganda machine has become the press operation of the Islamic terrorists who plot to destroy America, her military and western civilization. American liberals are fighting the war against our great nation with words instead of bullets. Left unchallenged, their words can be just as lethal."

Soon afterward, Cain took the next logical step, calling the Democratic candidates for the 2008 presidential nomination "Hezbocrats." And in a separate column he impugned the patriotism of Democrats, writing that their "attempt to send the terrorists a media-gram of when we will withdraw from Iraq makes no sense, except to claim a political victory at the expense of national security." It's a theme to which he'd return. Here, for example: "All the Democrats have proposed is surrender to the terrorists in the form of an internationally televised withdrawal date and a ridiculous piece-meal war funding bill to constrain the war fighters on the battlefield and hijack the president's authority."

See Reason's "GOP Presidential Primary Online Dating Game," including a bang-up profile of Herman Cain himself.