Thursday, June 30, 2005

KIng Gets a Spanking in Newsday Letter

King all wrong for security post

I was shocked to read on the editorial page that Newsday thinks that Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) is the right man to be chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security ["The man for the job," Editorial, June 10]. In reaching this conclusion, someone at Newsday failed to do his or her homework.
From 1990 through 1999, the Coast Guard, a vital part of our homeland security program, transferred 79 percent of its personnel from our area to locations outside New York. When Governors Island was abandoned, we lost the services of 1,097 Coast Guard personnel and seven large cutters.
Today, there are only two cutters in the entire state. When the vital air station in Brooklyn was closed, we lost three helicopters and 89 flight and support personnel. And the Coast Guard compromised the safety of air travelers at JFK and LaGuardia airports by closing stations at Fort Totten and Rockaway.
It would seem that King, who claims homeland security is his top priority, was asleep at the wheel when the Coast Guard deserted New York. He also vigorously supported Bernard Kerik for director of homeland security, even after the disclosures by the press of Kerik's questionable activities.

John J. Tarpey Jr.

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