At the 2007 Keeper of the Flame Award dinner, the Center for Security Policy paid tribute to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Defenders of the Home Front – the men and women who work daily to keep us and our families safe here at home.
Senator Lieberman’s address to the nearly 350 attendees at this elegant black-tie dinner held at Washington’s landmark Union Station was preceded by a welcome from Mr. Linden Blue, Vice Chairman of General Atomics, and remarks by The Honorable Francis Fragos Townsend, White House Homeland Security Advisor. The Keeper of the Flame Awards were presented to Senator Lieberman by Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), and to five outstanding representatives of Defenders of the Home Front by Senators Lieberman and Kyl.
The event featured remarks by Senator Lieberman during which the Senator noted the need for vigilance in guarding against the forces that threaten American security: “…We must always listen for and look for and be attentive to the future threats to liberty and be ready with all the power we can marshal to rise in defense of our security and our liberty, because in the words of the great abolitionist and fighter for freedom, Wendell Phillips, later made famous in our time by Barry Goldwater, ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.’ That vigilance, that principle is obviously not a Democratic or Republican principle. It certainly is not and should not be a conservative or liberal cause, for defending the ideals of human liberty is America’s cause, and it is a cause we must put ahead of party or faction…”
Senator Lieberman went on to pay tribute to members of the United States Armed Forces fighting overseas: “I am greatly honored to accept this award tonight, but I want to say quite sincerely that I share it with the true keepers of the flame of liberty, and that is the brave men and women who defend our liberty on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan today. Their sense of purpose is high. Their honor is deep. Their commitment to American principles is strong, and their confidence that what they are doing is right and they can succeed in it is contagious.”
The six Defenders of the Home Front honorees were:
Special Agent John Guandolo of the Federal Bureau of Investigations: A decorated U.S. Marine combat veteran of Desert Storm, Special Agent Guandolo has worked in the FBI since 1996 including nine years as a member of its SWAT team. Since shortly after 9/11, he has worked in the Bureau’s Washington Field Office’s Counterterrorism Division, developing a legendary expertise concerning Al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood organizations and the broad subversive Islamist movement in the U.S. Special Agent Guandolo was recognized for his efforts to educate his colleagues and others in the law enforcement and intelligence communities about these subjects.
Brian Morgenstern: While working at an electronics store in New Jersey, Brian Morgenstern became alarmed when he watched the video that two men brought him to transfer to a DVD. Seeing the men in the video firing automatic weapons and shouting “Allah akbar” he contacted police. Thanks to his courageous, public-spirited action, six Islamists suspected of preparing deadly attacks at Fort Dix on U.S troops bound for Iraq, were arrested and are now being prosecuted in connection with the plot.
Captain Thomas Jones, U.S. Coast Guard, Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Research & Development Center, Groton, Connecticut. Under Capt. Jones’ leadership, the R&D Center has played a leading role in developing and providing Port Security Risk Assessment Tools crucial to protecting port infrastructure and a sophisticated software system to coordinate multi-agency response to catastrophic events and massive oil spills. These initiatives are a credit to the men and women under Capt. Jones’ command and to their leader.
A Posthumous award to Hany Aziz Iskandar accepted by his widow, Judy Iskandar. Hany was an example of one of the most unsung of heroes in this War for the Free World — those whose language skills enable them to understand, monitor and penetrate enemy organizations. He provided various U.S. government agencies incisive understanding of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations in this country and overseas. His work contributed to the successful prosecution of convicted terrorists such Abdurahman Alamoudi.
Sergeant Roy Jordan Ramsey representing the Joint Force Headquarters, National Capital Region. Sgt. Ramsey is a combat veteran of Iraq currently assigned to the Old Guard, the Army’s fabled 3rd Infantry Division. Northern Command’s Joint Force Headquarters for the National Capital Region was created after 9/11 for the sole purpose of preventing and responding to future terrorist attacks within the Washington, D.C. area and its surrounding cities and counties. Its successes include several stymied terror plots and containing the ricin incident on Capitol Hill on February 2, 2004.
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, Founder and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD). Dr. Jasser exemplifies the sort of courageous, anti-Islamist Muslims sorely needed by this country and the world. Dr. Jasser was recently featured on Fox News during a special built around the film produced in part by the Center for Security Policy: “Islam vs. Islamists – Voices form the Muslim Center.”
- PHOTO ABOVE: Frank Gaffney, Special Agent Guandolo, Brian Morgenstern, CAPT Tom Jones USCG, Sen. Jon Kyl, Judy Iskandar, SGT Roy Ramsey, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, and Sen. Lieberman pose together after the award ceremony.
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