Category Archives: National Defense
According to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, this campaign commercial on the Benghazi scandal was ready to go last year, but Mitt Romney squelched it because he wanted to focus on the economy. A colossal mistake by Romney!
Congressman Paul Gosar issued this statement after participating in yesterday’s hearing on the Obama Administration’s Benghazi scandal:
“If we do not hold the Obama Administration accountable for their egregious failures, Benghazi will happen again. Today’s hearing demands further investigation into this attack; as new information shattered the Obama Administration’s lies surrounding Benghazi.”
“Today, the State Department’s Mr. Hicks told me directly that the administration’s statements and misrepresentations hurt U.S. credibility in Libya and shamed the government we are trying to support.”
Rep. Gosar continued, “I will not stop until we are confident we know all we can to prevent future tragic events similar to Benghazi and the rotten political spin that followed.”
In his Front Page article “The Muslim Student Association and the Boston Terrorist Connection,” Daniel Greenfield chronicles the radical role of Muslim Student Associations on America’s tax-funded public university campuses. He also tells us the University of Arizona, in Tucson, helped educate the co-founder of Al Qaeda, definitely not good billboard advertising fodder for UA. And student clubs like the MSAs are funded by your tax dollars.
Al-Awlaki wasn’t even the highest ranking Al Qaeda leader to have been an MSA president. That honor went to Wa’el Hamza Julaidan, a co-founder of Al Qaeda and MSA president at the University of Arizona. The highest profile MSA president to have gone down was MSA national President Abdurahman Alamoudi, currently serving out a 23-year prison sentence.
Both the national and the local Muslim Students Association groups had long histories of being involved in terrorism, of raising money for terrorists and of promoting terrorism. Nor was the Dartmouth MSA a moderate oasis in a sea of radicalism. Not only were the Dartmouth MSA officers taking sides in the religious war consuming Syria, but Charles C. Johnson found that the Dartmouth MSA “routinely advertises speeches and seminars taught by radical imams.”
The MSA’s track record in turning out terrorists is indisputable. As are its links to imams and sheiks who preach Jihad. Maybe Dzhokhar Tsarnaev never did more than take part in MSA soccer games alongside MSA officers and did not absorb any of their views. Perhaps he never attended an MSA-sponsored lecture by an imam or sheik who discussed the finer points of which infidels you can kill. But considering the MSA’s murderous track record, it is far more likely that he did.
The Dartmouth MSA was eager to associate with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev when he was only a terrorist in training, but is now just as eager to write him off as a soccer buddy. But Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the MSA shared more than an interest in soccer. They also shared an interest in Jihad.
By U.S. Reps. David Schweikert, Matt Salmon and Paul Gosar
America is a nation of immigrants.
In our relatively short history, millions have left their homelands and traveled great distances to be a part of a grand experiment called America. Today, we are a melting pot of traditions, cultures and ethnicities – all united by a shared belief in the freedom and opportunity that we call the American Dream.
But we are also a nation of laws and fairness. Ours is a land where people can come, work hard and be successful regardless of where they come from, so long as they play by the rules and earn their way honestly. It is our belief in the rule of law and our belief in opportunity that makes the American Dream possible.
Both of these traditions are intertwined into our history and both must be preserved as we embark on the debate over immigration reform.
There is no question that our immigration system is not working, and debates on how to reform it spurs deep emotions for those on all sides of the issue.
But reform should not be driven by emotion alone. To successfully implement immigration reform, we must not lose sight of the ultimate goal: immigration reform must strengthen America as the flagship of freedom in the world.
Reforming our immigration system must start by streamlining and expanding legal immigration for skilled workers. American businesses are plagued by a shortage of skilled and educated workers particularly in the fields of science, math, engineering and technology.
Currently, only 13 percent of green cards are awarded based on economic considerations. This needs to change. We should be encouraging skilled workers to come to America to help grow American businesses and boost our economy.
Additionally, we need to reform and streamline our temporary work-visa program. To the extent that American businesses find themselves in need of low-skilled labor, we can and should expand this program. Not only will this help our economy, but it will also discourage illegal immigration by offering immigrants legal employment opportunities.
However, any temporary work-visa program must include enforcement mechanisms to ensure temporary workers do not overstay their visas, add to the ballooning cost of entitlements and increase the population of illegal immigrants already in the country.
Which brings us to the most contentious part of the immigration debate: what to do with the 11 million immigrants who have come here illegally? To answer this question, we must return to the two principles that have guided our nation from its inception to this day.
The desire to make a better life for oneself and one’s family is certainly admirable, but we should not reward those who have broken our laws at the expense of the millions of immigrants who have played by the rules and are patiently waiting their turn in line. Simply put, those in our country illegally should not have a unique path to citizenship not available to those who have chosen to abide by our laws and attempt to emigrate legally.
At the same time, there is no benefit to keeping 11 million illegal immigrants trapped in the shadows. In fact, it is in our country’s interest to know who they are and where they live.
Reforming our immigration system to address the status of the 11 million people in our country illegally should focus on normalizing their legal status without access to federal benefits or a special pathway to citizenship.
Finally, real and objectively verifiable border security must be a part of any legislation. If we cannot stem the tide of illegal immigration, we are destined to repeat the cycle of amnesty again and again.
In 1986, Congress passed comprehensive immigration reform, granting amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants, while promising that it would solve our country’s illegal immigration problem. Today, we have 11 million illegal immigrants, and we are on the verge of repeating the same mistakes.
We have an opportunity to learn from those mistakes and reform our immigration system in a way that preserves America’s tradition of fairness, freedom and equality. We hope Congress will not squander that opportunity.
In the spirit of the Statue of Liberty that declares, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” we welcome those who want to lawfully be a part of the American Dream.
But it is up to us to protect that dream, to respect the rule of law and to make sure future immigrants and future Americans have a place to call home. It is up to us to preserve the American tradition of fairness and laws that keep us the most prosperous, strongest nation on this Earth.
Transcript of Thursday’s interview of Mark Steyn on the Hugh Hewitt radio program:
HH: I begin this Thursday as I do those in which we are lucky with Columnist To the World, Mark Steyn. You can read all that Mark writes at http://www.steynonline.com. Mark, do you think it’s possible the ball cap bombers are stupid enough to still be in the country?
MS: Well, that’s an interesting question, Hugh. I mean, in theory, they’re, four hours after the explosions, they could have driven north and crossed a sleepy Canadian border crossing and been out of the country. On the other hand, if they are foreign visitors to the United States, since 9/11, there’s been the introduction of a vast range of facial recognition stuff. Everybody who’s not a U.S. citizen has to have his eyeballs photographed, fingerprinted, and photographs taken when they enter the United States. And if that stuff’s going to work, you’ve got to believe that they’ve cross-referenced these pictures with the photographs of people who entered the country recently and have tried to leave it recently. So I suspect the FBI already know the answer to that question.
HH: Now Andrew McCarthy said on this program yesterday, former federal prosecutor of the Blind Sheik, that if you have to go public with the photos, you’re in a pretty bad spot from an investigatory position. Do you agree with that?
MS: Yeah, I think that’s true. And just to go back to what I was saying earlier, I think that means that they’ve run them all through the immense number of new databases and new security checks that have been introduced since 9/11, and they’ve come up empty. And that’s why they’re standing in a room in Boston saying does this still ring any bells with anybody?
HH: Any reaction to the video, Mark, as it was played less than an hour ago?
MS: Yeah, I mean, I think this is an interesting question. I mean, I don’t want to prejudge anything here, and I find it rather weird the way people have been desperate that the killer should fit their particular biases. This guy who wrote this article at Salon saying I hope and pray that it is a white male American. Obviously, the guys in the baseball caps didn’t look like white male Americans. It doesn’t mean anything. They could be native-born Americans of one particular ethnicity or another. They could be a foreign student studying in Boston. But here’s the point. It would be, the idea that this would be a kind of official credentialed, card-carrying member of al Qaeda terrorist attack would mark a real change in strategy for al Qaeda. I remember shortly after 9/11 standing on my town common the Saturday after 9/11, and there was a little sort of town fair and people selling this and that and all the rest of it, and saying to a neighbor of mine, you know, that if I was these guys, I’d blow up somewhere like here next, in other words, to say that nothing is safe. We can not only take out the great iconic landmarks of New York, but you can go to some nowhere town in the middle of Nowheresville, and we’ll kill couple of people there, too. And they didn’t do that, al Qaeda. They’ve gone for big iconic targets, whether it’s in the U.S. or the London Tube bombings. And to do something like this in Boston, where they just, they kill a relatively small number of people, it would mark a change, a real change if this was to be any kind of official al Qaeda act.
HH: And more, we will follow in the weeks ahead. Now I want to switch over to leadership. I wrote a column at Townhall.com today, Mark, after the President’s rant in the Rose Garden yesterday. And I’m mad at the Republicans as well, and in the House, Dave Camp, who leads Ways And Means, is blocking tax reform in order to do a deal with Max Baucus. And I just look around Washington, D.C, and I see a complete collapse of leadership. But yesterday in the Rose Garden was the worst. What did you make of the President’s fit of pique yesterday?
MS: Yeah, it was interesting to me. It reminded me a bit of, in a less dramatic way, of Bill Clinton when he’d been grilled by the Grand Jury, and made the mistake of going on national television afterwards when he was still steamed about it. And he let loose on TV for about three minutes. And for just those three minutes, for the first time, America glimpsed the real Bill Clinton, petulant, whiny, unlikable. And that was exactly the mistake that Obama made yesterday, a glimpse of a side of him that he’s held very carefully under control now for the five years he’s been on the national stage. And so in that sense, I think it was a big mistake. The other thing is I think this just reveals what happens when you elect a guy as national leader who comes from a perfect left wing bubble. The voting precinct he lives in, in Chicago, voted, I think it was 97% Democrat. He’s not used to a world where you have to take the views of your political opponents seriously. And the idea that simply be demagoguing the issue, by virtue of the fact that he demagogued it so effectively, the opposition should have caved and let him have his way, I think he illustrated why in a sense, he’s at odds with the American Constitutional order, which has a big degree of bipartisanship and compromise and reach across the aisle type stuff built into it. This is not a guy who does that kind of thing.
HH: Now the American Constitutional order also calls, regular order is the catch phrase of the day, it calls for the House passing a tax bill, being sent to the Senate, the Senate does what it does, sends it back, you have a conference, they agree or they don’t, if they do agree, it goes to the President and he signs or he doesn’t, and they come back and they have a veto override. That’s regular order. And John Boehner, the Speaker, has said he’s pledged to it. But underway in the House right now, Mark, and I know you’re sitting in for Rush tomorrow, and I hope you hammer the House Republicans, and especially Michigan’s David Camp on this, they are sitting on tax repeal. They’re not doing it because Dave Camp wants to do a big deal with Max Baucus. Why in the world do the Republicans want to do anything with Max Baucus?
MS: No, I don’t get that, and I take what you say. I have a respect for the U.S. Constitution, and I have a respect for Congressional procedure. But there’s no doubt that basically we’re living in a world where Congress and the executive are winging it. That’s what they’ve been, they’ve been doing what they want. The President never offers a budget on time, the Senate never offers a budget at all, I mean, basically, the idea…and then every so often, they’ll dredge up some bit of cobwebbed parliamentary procedure and decide that they’re going to stick to it. But essentially, the Republicans who are the majority in the House have been unable in the last two years to make that majority mean anything. And the disenchantment on the right, the disenchantment on the right is real. I mean, what would be the point? I mean, there’s a fatalism on the right that a lot of people think they’ll lose the House in 2014, but that even if they win the House, big deal. What do they get? What do they have to show for it?
HH: Well that, this comes down to the leadership of House Republicans. I think Cantor and McCarthy and Paul Ryan are doing a fine job, but I think the Speaker is old school, and he lets these committee chairmen do or do nothing as they care, and I frankly have had it with them. I don’t know why anyone gets excited about House Republicans anymore. Do you know anyone, anyone at all in our world of broadcast and commentary who is excited about the House Republicans?
MS: No, but I don’t really know anybody who’s excited about them in the…you know, the people who have to go knock on doors, the people who have to make phone calls, the people who have to ensure that there’s turnout when you don’t have a glamorous celebrity at the top of the ticket like Obama. And I remember a few years ago, Newt Gingrich came and gave a speech in New Hampshire. And this was just before 2006. And he was asked, you know, why has the Republican House been such a disappointment? This was in the Denny Hastert days. And he said well, what you have to remember is the Republicans aren’t used to being in the leadership and running the House. Now at that point, they had been running the House for over a decade.
MS: It was the time of the new Iraq Constitution. The Iraqis are supposed to get the hang of free constitutional responsible government in 20 minutes, but the Republican Party can’t be expected to get the hang of it in a decade. And it sounds pathetic. The one thing one has to admire about the Democrats, they did it when they took over here in my own state in New Hampshire, is they don’t just think it’s about occupying the corner office and having a driver, and having a fancy title on your business card. They use it. From the word go, they’re passing this and they’re passing that. Obama was obvious, the country didn’t want Obamacare. He got out his mallet, and he hammered it down the American people’s throat regardless. The Republicans never show that determination.
HH: No, they don’t, and as a result, they’re going to give up that which they do not use. Mark Steyn, look forward to hearing you tomorrow on the national, the absolutely legal immigration show tomorrow as Mark sits in for Rush. Don’t miss that, America.
Your government has failed you… Every major company in the United States has already been penetrated by China.” These are alarming words. But that’s the analysis of our current cybersecurity status by Richard Clarke, the United States’ former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism. Indeed, the theft of digital information alone is said to cost American companies in the neighborhood of $250 billion every year. As one of only three members of Congress who currently holds a patent, I am keenly aware of the importance of intellectual property protection, a goal that is impossible without effective cybersecurity.
But while the economic effects of cyberattacks are already staggering and unquestionably must be addressed, the true threat is the prospect of a hacker — whether operating alone or backed by a rogue regime — infiltrating vital components of our infrastructure and wreaking havoc. The topic is a timely one. Just yesterday, it was reported that computer networks at major South Korean institutions, including banks and broadcasting networks, crashed simultaneously. Though unconfirmed, all signs seem to point to a cyberattack originating in North Korea.
A recent project by Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile, has highlighted just how ever-present the threat is. Earlier this month, the company set up 97 “honeypot” systems all over the world that appear to hackers to be vulnerable networks, computers, and websites. Deutsche Telekom created a map showing, in real-time, the number of attempted cyberattacks these systems were enduring, as well as the point of origin of the attempted attacks. A visit to the online map indicates a continually-flashing catalogue of world-wide attempted cyberattacks — with sometimes half a dozen or more attempted attacks occurring every second.
It is an overwhelming problem without one single, simple, comprehensive fix. But any attempt to address the issue absolutely must include provisions to facilitate voluntary information sharing. When cyberattacks occur, the entities affected must have an efficient and effective means of sharing relevant information with other companies that could find themselves at-risk, as well as with authorities. By pooling all of the information we have about the sources and nature of various cyberattacks, we are far more able to effectively respond, if not avoid the attacks entirely.
But in the midst of all the discussion above, we must not miss the forest for the trees by ignoring a less discussed threat to our infrastructure and electric grid: the prospect of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) of either natural or man-made origin that could disable any electrical components on a catastrophic scale. Whether originating from the sun — we are currently in the middle of the “solar maximum,” during which the sun is expected to be most active — or from a rogue regime like Iran — which has conducted tests consistent with EMP attacks — such a burst of electromagnetic energy could disable large swaths of America’s electric grid and become the ultimate cybersecurity threat.
The threat has received attention from organizations ranging from NASA, the National Association of Scientists, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. All of them reached the same conclusion: our civilian electric grid is vulnerable to EMP. Ongoing and largely successful efforts over the years have hardened much of our critical defense apparatus to electromagnetic pulse. However, in the continental United States, the Department of Defense depends upon an unsecured civilian grid for 99 percent of its electricity supply, without which it cannot successfully effect its mission. Thus our ability to defend the homeland, as well as much of our ability even to function as a modern society, would be greatly compromised should we find ourselves unprepared in the face of a major unexpected attack or a solar event like the 1859 solar superstorm (or Carrington Event) that caused aurorae worldwide, and knocked out telegraph systems — the only major electrical system in the world at the time — all over Europe and North America. Telegraph systems were so overwhelmed by the burst of energy that fires were started by the sparking telegraph pylons. Another large solar event occurred in 1921, and the National Academy of Sciences predicts this effect will recur globally approximately once every 100 years. In other words, we could be due for another occurrence.
It is time we take the relatively inexpensive steps necessary to make our transformers and other major grid components survivable to such a threat to our national security.
To that end, as Chairman of the Congressional EMP Caucus, I introduced the SHIELD Act (H.R. 668) last Congress and will soon reintroduce it in the new Congress. The bill would finally take the first critical measures to protect our grid from a potentially catastrophic electromagnetic pulse.
We live in an almost miraculous digital age. Unfortunately, our modern electric technologies are far more susceptible to cyber attack and electromagnetic pulse than ever before, and we are far more reliant on those systems than ever before. This year, even as we witness what NASA has called “unexpected” solar activity, along with the threat posed by radical regimes with nuclear weapons capability, may we seize the opportunity to finally begin to systematically address all dangerous cyber threats, including those that could be precipitated by a major man-made or natural electromagnetic pulse, and begin to ensure that our reliance on digital systems is finally matched by our ability to defend those systems.