By David A. Patten
Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman blasted President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism policies in a speech Thursday, charging that he’s so worried about offending Muslims it is hurting the U.S. war on terror.
Speaking at a National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism conference at the National Press Club, Lieberman said the strategy to stop terror that the president unveiled in June “was ultimately a big disappointment.”
Lieberman said Obama’s plan successfully diagnosed the gravity of domestic radicalization, but failed to lay out a cohesive plan to counter it.
One of Lieberman’s biggest criticisms, according to a report in TheHill.com, was that the administration clings to the term “violent extremism” to define the threat to America, rather than identifying it as “violent Islamist extremism.”
“The administration still refuses to call our enemy in this war by its proper name: violent Islamist extremism,” said Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with Democrats. “To call our enemy ‘violent extremism’ is so general and vague that it ultimately has no meaning.”
Lieberman, the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, announced in January that he would retire, and will not be seeking another term in Congress.