NELSON INSTITUTE DIRECTOR’S PRE-ELECTION COMMENTARY ARGUES NATIONAL SECURITY REMAIN PRIORITY, QUESTIONS CANDIDATE FOR INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIR

November 6, 2006

HARRISONBURG—In a commentary today for a special pre-election edition of the national security resource Family Security Matters, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, argues that while “there is no doubt that a wide variety of issues factor into the dynamics of this year’s midterm elections,” nonetheless “given the security situation across the globe in general and the Middle East in particular—the deteriorating situation in Iraq, the brewing crisis over Iranian nuclear ambitions, the continued spread of radical Islamist ideologies and activities—this axiomatic emphasis on national security means that whatever differences we Americans have between ourselves on how we organize our society and lead our lives, we can only carry on arguing (as we should as a free people) so as long as we remain free and are protected from those to whom our very debates are anathema.”

Noting reports in the national media that, should Democrats win control of the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida will be appointed chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Dr. Pham observes that “ the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives impeached Mr. Hastings for bribery and perjury and the Democrat-controlled Senate of the United States convicted him in 1989, making him only the sixth judge in the history of the Republic to be removed by Congress,” and suggests that if he is indeed elevated to the chair over centrist California Representative Jane Harman, currently the ranking Democrat on the committee, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi “will certainly be sending a powerful signal that, election year rhetoric aside, her priorities have little to do with ‘providing for the common defense.’”

Dr. Pham is a contributing editor of Family Security Matters, which tries to provide national security and foreign affairs information in an accessible format in order to increase civic participation and political responsibility.

Dr. Pham’s essay, entitled “It’s National Security, Stupid,” can be accessed by clicking here.