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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/16/2005 12:39:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2005 8:10:58 PM EDT by 22bad]
Massachusetts Governor Refuses to Retract Comments About Wiretapping Mosques
Theo Emery
Associated Press Writer
Sep 16, 2005
BOSTON (AP) - Muslim groups and civil libertarians demanded an apology from Gov. Mitt Romney on Friday for his comments about wiretapping mosques and monitoring foreign students. But the governor refused, saying he was only advocating for improved homeland security.
The groups delivered a letter to Romney that said "your desire to wiretap mosques is an affront to the values and principles that make America a great country." The groups include the American Civil Liberties Union and various mosques and Islamic organizations.

After the letter was delivered, spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said the governor would not apologize or retract his comments.

Romney made the remarks Wednesday during a speech in Washington at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. He referred to the state's 120 colleges and universities and speculated about students who are from countries that sponsor terrorism, asking "Do we know where they are, are we tracking them?"

He also spoke about gathering intelligence at mosques "that may be teaching doctrines of hate and terror."

"Are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping?" he asked. "Are we following what's going on? Are we seeing who's coming in, who's coming out? Are we eavesdropping, carrying out surveillance on those individuals from places that sponsor domestic terror?"

Romney, who is considering a run for president in 2008, said Friday morning he wasn't suggesting anything beyond the scope of what's done by the FBI today. But some Muslims said that Romney is stereotyping all Muslims as terrorists and promoting dangerous policies that erode civil liberties.

Hamza Pelletier, spokesman for the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, said his group planned to attend all of Romney's public appearances until he retracts the statements.
Link Posted: 9/16/2005 12:42:23 PM EDT
You will be hearing a lot more about him in the next two years as he gears up for his presidental run. The question is: will the evangelical wing of the republican party vote for a Mormon?
Link Posted: 9/16/2005 12:46:23 PM EDT
I'd vote for 'em if he's the best conservative candidate available, mormon or not.
Link Posted: 9/16/2005 12:57:07 PM EDT
Sadly, he's not that conservative. (how do you think he got to be governor of Mass?) I think he might be a major player but won't win the nomination.
Link Posted: 9/16/2005 1:10:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheFreepster:
Sadly, he's not that conservative. (how do you think he got to be governor of Mass?) I think he might be a major player but won't win the nomination.

What's his track record? I understand that he's good at handling finances, like managing the Olympics and Massachusetts budgets.

How is he on other issues?

I'm not saying that I endorse him yet or not. I frankly don't know enough about him to have a solid opinion. For me, his religion is a lot less important than his track record.
Link Posted: 9/16/2005 1:13:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/16/2005 1:41:05 PM EDT
As someone in MA, at the time he was the lesser of 2 evils to vote for. Although I can't argue with what he said there. Depending on who's running as to whether I'd vote for him as president.
Link Posted: 9/16/2005 8:10:16 PM EDT
Romney's slip
September 16, 2005
TO MORE THAN a billion Muslims around the world, mosques are centers of prayer and religious instruction. They should not be casually mentioned as targets for law enforcement wiretapping, as Governor Romney did this week.

Romney was speaking at the Heritage Foundation, in his capacity of governor, on the topic ''Homeland Security: Status of Federal, State, and Local Efforts." He also was auditioning before a Washington audience for a potential national candidacy. A would-be president should know better than to slight Muslims, a vital foreign policy constituency.

Romney made the remark as he discussed his reactions to the Sept. 11 attacks. ''Prevention begins with intelligence . . . How about people in settings, mosques for instance, that maybe are teaching doctrines of hate, are we monitoring that, wiretapping . . . ?"

Romney said he concluded this kind of intelligence gathering is a federal responsibility. In the absence of evidence that mosques are terrorist havens in the United States, government officials need to avoid suggesting these revered institutions are targets of surveillance. And federal agents should not wiretap any one without a court order based on strong suspicion of wrongdoing.

Romney also mentioned his fears about foreign students in the 120 colleges and universities of Massachusetts who come from terrorist-sponsoring states. ''Are we tracking them?" he asked. Again he concluded that this is a federal responsibility. Few students come from those few nations clearly linked to terrorists. Students from friendly nations such as Saudi Arabia, with influential extremist elements, need to be treated as potential allies and intelligence sources unless they show themselves to be adversaries.

Romney said he did conclude after the Sept. 11 attacks that the state should establish a ''fusion center" to collate information coming from ''lot of eyes and ears . . . the private sector, local police departments, water and meter readers . . . and send it to Washington." The center opened last year. Let's hope no one is putting credence in uncorroborated tips from private citizens. But his statement shows a danger of the initial reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks: the accumulation of vast amounts of information that can harm innocent people without doing anything to prevent terrorism.

Romney backtracked on his statements yesterday. He would have done better to focus on the part of his speech in which, drawing on his business experience, he stressed the importance of analysis and research. These should be based on solid intelligence. In terrorism investigations such intelligence often comes from Muslim sources. Political leaders need to avoid giving offense to the very people who can help them prevent an atrocity.
Link Posted: 9/16/2005 11:36:05 PM EDT
If the aclu and muslim groups don't like this guy - He can't be all that bad.
Anyone know his views on the 2nd?
Link Posted: 9/17/2005 5:01:48 AM EDT
He is elected in MA - a state with more socialist politicians than anywhere

he favored extension of the AWB

I would vote for him as govenor - as president, I hope we can get better.

If it were between him and McPsycho in primary time - yes I would vote for him.

If it were between him and Hitlery in the general - yes i would vote for him
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