Speakers Warn of Terrorism, Discuss Economy in Second Day of Board of Overseers Meeting

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Warnings about terrorist threats to the United States in the years ahead were the subject of several speakers on the second day of the Hoover Institution's Board of Overseers meeting in Washington, D.C.
 John Batchelor, author, news commentator, and radio host, offered a sober assessment of Iran, saying that "my sources tell me that from many points we are on the edge of catastrophe."
Batchelor recounted Iran's history beginning in the 1950s in his talk "Questions about the Persians." He told the audience that, as an American of partial Iranian descent, he is concerned with the fate of that country but also alarmed that he has found strong parallels between Iran's drive to build empire and the Islamists’ drive to dominate the world.
Ambassador John Bolton, who served as the U.S. representative to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006, said, in his talk “America, International Security, and the Future,” that he believed that the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power was correct. But he added that the intelligence used to formulate a plan after Hussein's removal was considered "concrete" when it was not. He then discussed at length the challenges posed by North Korea and Iran, as those countries move to a nuclear capability that is clearly focused on weapons.
Edward P. Lazear, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and Hoover senior fellow on leave, in his talk "Openness and Flexibility," discussed the importance of those two qualities in a thriving economy that is  continuing to grow. Openness, he said, involves limiting barriers and protectionism and encouraging the flow of skilled immigrants. An economy with high flexibility allows easy hiring and labor movement, keeps taxes low, and educates its residents and citizens to operate in a dynamic economy.
FOX news commentator and Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes offered his "View from Washington," including the changing status of George Bush as a lame-duck president, the rise of the Democrats in Congress, and the quick start to the 2008 presidential race.
Closing the presentations on Tuesday was Joshua Bolten, current White House chief of staff. Bolten briefly commented on the shift in power in Washington, challenges in Iraq, and the issue of fiscal responsbility as it affects the U.S. budget. 
All photos by Goodman/Van Riper Photography
John Batchelor
Ambassador John Bolton
Edward P. Lazear
Fred Barnes
Joshua Bolten