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Public Statements

Afghanistan

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have an article that is dated today, Monday, May 7, 2012, from the Associated Press, Congress's Intelligence Heads: Taliban Has Grown Stronger under Obama.

Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Mike Rogers, who I just saw outside, a smart guy, former FBI agent, well respected in the areas of law enforcement and the security of this country, well, as the article points out, and there are other articles as well, I believe Human Events also had one, but this article from the AP says:

The leaders of congressional intelligence committees said Sunday they believed that the Taliban had grown stronger since President Barack Obama sent 33,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan in 2010.

The pessimistic report by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D Calif., and Rep. Mike Rogers, R Mich., challenges Obama's own assessment last week in his visit to Kabul that the ``tide had turned'' and that ``we broke the Taliban's momentum.''

The two recently returned from a fact-finding trip to the region where they met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

``President Karzai believes that the Taliban will not come back. I'm not so sure,'' Feinstein said. ``The Taliban has a shadow system of governors in many provinces.''

When asked if the Taliban's capabilities have been degraded since Obama deployed the additional troops two years ago, Feinstein said: ``I think we'd both say that what we've found is that the Taliban is stronger.''

I was in Afghanistan a couple weeks ago. I was in Afghanistan a couple months before that. And as one of the Afghans pointed out, former ally--well, they are still allies, as far as they are concerned. This administration has thrown them under the bus--but they pointed out, you know, from the Taliban's perspective, they have said we, the Taliban, do not have to win a single battle. All we have to do is be here when the United States leaves.

Now, a couple of weeks ago, of course, the administration, two Cabinet members, were requesting that my dear friend, Dana Rohrabacher, not go into Afghanistan for one reason--that President Hamid Karzai didn't want him to come in. Now, apparently, Karzai, ignorant of what is actually going on in Washington, had said that my friend, Congressman Rohrabacher, proposed a bill that would partition or divide up Afghanistan. Well, I worked with Congressman Rohrabacher on his very good bill, and basically it is a sense of Congress that says we support the Afghans' right to vote for their leaders.

Now, I understand Secretary Clinton inherited a State Department and a situation in Afghanistan that was not of her making. I get that. And, in fact, we sat by and even assisted as Afghanistan created a constitution based on sharia law that has now resulted in the last public Christian church closing. It's a system where the President gets to appoint governors, mayors, chiefs of police, many of the higher-level teachers, slate of legislators. He gets powerful control over so much of the purse strings. So it was amazing to see the President over kind of doing what appeared to be a victory lap around Afghanistan and back home: gee, the Taliban's back is broken, things are looking good, and we now have an agreement going forward with Afghanistan. Great news.

Well, when you find out from Afghans that actually the Afghanistan Government has a $12.5 billion budget and all the sources of revenue that Afghanistan can come up with provide $1.5 billion of their $12.5 billion budget, and the rest comes from other countries, you would presume largely from the United States, and when one considers the billions of dollars that we are spending for humanitarian projects, training farmers to farm as I've met with the teachers, American teachers teaching Afghans to farm, and they were so depressed because the billions we've spent, given basically to Afghanistan to create farming projects so the people can maintain themselves when we're gone, have not made its way to any of those projects in that region of the country. There is one region where apparently some has made it to projects, but certainly not all and probably not most of them.

So it would seem if you're the President of the United States and you go to a country whose government has a $12.5 billion budget and they can only come up with $1.5 billion of that and you're the big force behind all of the other $11 billion, it would seem to me that there shouldn't be a whole lot of negotiation that has to take place.

What kind of person does not understand leverage? The President accepted, of course, because it appears that the foreign policy that we've run into from President Obama's administration is we've got people around the world that hate us, want to destroy us, so we're going to give them money. We're going to buy them an office in Qatar, as we've offered the Taliban. We're going to be releasing their murdering thugs that we've got in detention, and then maybe they will like us enough to agree with us. That sounds like somebody that spent too much time community organizing and not enough time studying history. That's no way to negotiate.

If one wishes to approach an individual, and like in my situation, being a Christian, we're supposed to help the needy--``blessed are the meek.'' The Beatitudes are quite compelling.

The government has a different role. The government is to protect the people. As Romans 13 points out, if you do evil, be afraid, because the government does not bear the sword in vain. The government's role is to protect people so individually they can live the kind of life that so much of our heritage embraces. The government is supposed to protect the people; it's supposed to punish evil, and it actually is supposed to encourage good.

We've gotten so far off track. Back in the sixties, well-intentioned, we began paying young women to have children out of wedlock, born out of the best of intentions--deadbeat dads were not helping, so let's help them out. Instead, what they did is lure young women away from a high school education, in many cases--I've had many of them come before my court--and lure them into a rut they couldn't get out of.

We have senior citizens on Social Security whose religious beliefs embrace marriage as being the ultimate living situation between a man and a woman. Yet they have guilt because they know they can't live on what little they have, and they know that if they marry another person that they're living with--I've heard from folks like this--that lives on Social Security as well, then their Social Security will be reduced if they get married, so they live together.

The President's own proposal, although he's been out saying he was going after millionaires and billionaires, when you look at the specific proposals--which he finally put in print so we can see in print what he really believes--as he continues to say we're going after millionaires and billionaires, the Buffett tax, that kind of thing, you look at the specific proposal and he goes after everybody making more than $125,000 a year if you're married, $250,000 if you're filing jointly. If you're single, it can be $200,000 to $225,000. So, once again, the President wants to promote living together rather than being married, as evidenced by what he provides money for.

Now, we know that we've been told by this administration repeatedly, look, if we just show the Taliban how good a people we are and how good our motivation is, then they'll fall into line. I've said and will keep saying: You don't have to pay people to hate you; they'll do it for free. We are wasting billions. We have wasted trillions of dollars over all these many years. So this administration continues to try to buy the affection of the Taliban.

Let's see. This article was from CNN, and they reiterate:

The heads of the Senate and House intelligence Committees Sunday said the Taliban was gaining ground.

The President added, the administration was in direct discussion with the Taliban, saying the group can be a part of the country's future if they break with al Qaeda, renounce violence, and abide by Afghan laws.

We saw that same kind of effort by this administration. There was a Taliban leader who was released with the consent of this administration basically because it was the humanitarian thing to do, to let him go die in peace. Well, he was released from detention. As the Afghans, who have buried family and friends while fighting with American troops against the Taliban initially--before this administration threw them under the bus--they've said, hey, that Taliban leader that you released, the U.S. authorized the release because he was going to go die and this would be the humanitarian thing to do, guess what? He is back in Afghanistan, and he was on Afghanistan's biggest television station. He said three things. Two of them were that it is very clear to the world that the United States has lost, and that's why the United States--as everyone in the world knows who's paying attention--the United States is begging the Taliban to come just sit down and negotiate with us. Please, we know you murdered thousands of Americans. We get that. That's okay. Just sit down with us. We'll keep releasing your murdering thugs if you will just agree to sit down with us and talk. Why, we'll even buy you a wonderful office in Qatar so you will have international prestige to spread whatever goodwill you wish to spread. Well, that would be known, Mr. Speaker--if the President would pay attention--that would be known as radical jihad. That is what they wish to spread.

Here's a news report today from foxnews.com from Kabul:

The U.S. has been secretly releasing captured Taliban fighters from a detention center in Afghanistan in a bid to strengthen its hand in peace talks with the insurgent group, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Who in the world who has ever studied history comes around and says we're releasing the murdering thuggish war criminals to strengthen our own end? We're letting our enemy have their murdering thugs back to strengthen our hand. Perhaps a community organizer would think that.

The article says:

The strategic release program of higher-level detainees is designed to give the U.S. a bargaining chip in some areas of Afghanistan where international forces struggle to exercise control. Under the risky program, the hardened fighters must promise to give up violence and are threatened with further punishment, but there is nothing to stop them from resuming attacks against Afghan and American troops.

``Everyone agrees they are guilty of what they have done and should remain in detention. Everyone agrees that these are bad guys. But the benefits outweigh the risks,'' a U.S. official told the Post.

In a visit to Afghanistan last week, President Barack Obama confirmed that the U.S. was pursuing peace talks with the Taliban.

You know, there was once a policy in this country that we did not negotiate with terrorists, but that's the old days. This administration's policy is, not only do we negotiate with terrorists, we give them stuff.

What do you want? Do you want more of your murdering thugs released so maybe they can kill more of our Afghan allies or more American troops? Eighteen hundred, is that enough? Do you want to kill more? We hope you won't; but if you'll just say, we won't kill if you'll let us go, then we'll let you go.

It reminds me of the naivete of Secretary Madeleine Albright and President Bill Clinton who, in essence, told North Korea, look, we will give you everything you need to make nuclear weapons if you'll promise us that you will only use it to make nuclear power.

Really? North Korea basically said, really? All we have to do--you know we're liars. You've caught us in lies repeatedly. But all we have to do is tell you we'll never use it for nukes, and you'll give us all this stuff? Well, sure, yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, you've caught us in so many lies? What's one more?
So, guess who has nuclear weapons now that we worry about? The same people the Clinton administration gave nuclear materials and information, simply on the promise that they wouldn't use it to make nuclear weapons.

What a lovely world it would be.

Back to the article from Fox News:

We have made it clear that they, the Taliban, can be a part of this future if they break with al Qaeda, renounce violence, and abide by Afghan laws. Many members of the Taliban, from foot soldiers to leaders, have indicated an interest in reconciliation. A path to peace is now set before them, Obama said.

The upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago, the U.S. coalition will set a goal for Afghan forces to take the lead in combat operations across the country next year.

Look, Mr. Speaker, it makes sense that all of us should want peace. All of us, I know in this body, want peace. But just as we've seen signs around this Capitol since I've been in Congress saying war never brought peace, there is a naivete of some people who think if you apply individual blessedness, turn the other cheek, those kinds of things, from a government standpoint, that other governments controlled by terrorists, war criminals, mad men, that they will respond to that, when the truth is that's an individual approach.

The Nation's government must be about providing for the common defense, number one, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We should be doing that. And that means when there are murdering thugs in the world who have sworn to do everything they can to destroy the United States of America, we have to take them seriously and take them out, if necessary. We have that obligation to the people we were sent here to protect.

When I took an oath to the United States Army, it was the same kind of oath. We were supposed to serve and protect. And best of intentions, good will does not defeat terrorists who have made clear they will not stop until they're dead and, they think, in paradise, or we are dead and our government gone.

Now, we know that the term Islamophobia, Islamophobe have come from--been pushed by the Organization of Islamic Conference as a way to further their goals. Anybody stands up to point out that there are radical Islamist jihadists who want to destroy everyone who does not believe as they do--we know that those people were behind 9/11, killing 3,000, over 3,000, innocent people, and that the only regret that those individuals had was that more people were not killed. They'd hoped that perhaps 50,000 55,000 would have been killed in the two World Trade Centers.

You can't, as the United States Government, just turn the other cheek when there are people coming into this country illegally wanting to destroy us. They're not just people coming for jobs anymore. There's the OTM, as they're classified.

So some of us who will call radical Islamic jihad what it is, a policy of a minority, a small minority of Muslims, they want to call some of us Islamophobes. Islamophobes. Give me a break.

Two weeks ago I was in Afghanistan. Karzai didn't want our friend, Dana Rohrabacher, to go in. Dana, ever the patriot, he was persuaded by Secretary Clinton not to push the issue because talks were in such delicate shape at the time.

Delicate shape? We pull out, don't give any more money, and Karzai collapses. He'll either be out of the country with money he's stowed away, or he'll be subjugated by the Taliban if we pull out and don't provide any assistance. And we have to go begging him for talks? Excuse me? Delicate talks?

We know that President Karzai is Pashtun. He can deal with the Taliban. It appears he's dealing with them somewhat like Maliki is dealing with the Iranians who want to take over Iraq, caving, as necessary, to keep his position.

There are ways to execute foreign policy that don't cost thousands of American lives, that don't have to exist on the good intentions of people who are sworn to murder and destroy us.

The enemy of our enemy is our friend. And that was seen, once again, a couple of weeks ago in Afghanistan. Congressman Rohrabacher had hoped to be at the meeting with our Northern Alliance friends. Most of them are part of the National Front now. I would hope that one of them would be elected President of Afghanistan.

My friend, Massoud, his older brother, might have been the one person to unite the country; but the day before 9/11 the Taliban knew that, so they assassinated him. Massoud's father-in-law, Rabbani, was assassinated last September.

General Dostum, many consider the great hero of late 2001, early 2002, when the Northern Alliance tribes defeated the Taliban on horseback, fearless warriors. And this administration thanks them by publicly calling them war criminals. These were our allies. These are the enemy of our enemy.

Yes, Muslim. No Islamophobe here, because I recognize the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Those people fought with us and for us. There is something very strong in the bond--or should be--between the people of the United States who fought, buried family or loved ones, and those in the Northern Alliance who fought with us and who buried family or loved ones, friends. There is a bond there. But instead of embracing that bond and utilizing that bond, those who fought for us and with us, who did most of the fighting when the Taliban was initially defeated, have been thrown under the bus.

So when they were gathering on Sunday 2 weeks ago and when they wanted to meet with someone, three Members of Congress went. At first, we were told, Well, gee, there's just not enough security to get you there.

Then I pointed out to the person coordinating the security for our five Members of Congress, Sir, do you see that gate out there at the embassy? You're going to have to take me down before I get out the gate.

He said, Sir, we're not authorized to take down a Member of Congress.

I said, Well, then, you will not stop me. I'm going to see our friends. Massoud, who is the head of security, has assured me they're going to have bulletproof vehicles to pick us up, and I'm going with them.

Amazingly, thirty-or-so minutes after our next meeting, we had American security taking us to the meeting. We were quite safe there. They made sure of that. They didn't want anything to happen to their American visitors.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Congressman Michael Burgess, we would have had to have taken an additional vehicle had more than three Members gone. So John Carter, being the gentleman, said, Mike Burgess, why don't you go. Mike Burgess and Michele Bachmann and I went to see our friends--Mohaqiq and numerous other leaders of the National Front.

Now, it's interesting. They pointed out--and you've probably heard--about Karzai saying, Gee, he believes so much in our Constitution--and the Constitution says, if you serve two terms, you can't run for a third term--that he may resign a year early. He said, Your people, your leaders in America seem to be eating that up.

The truth is that the people who are advising Karzai are all trying to figure out--How can we get around that prohibition from running for a third term?--and they think they may have it. They think that, if he resigns a year early and if somebody else takes over Afghanistan for a year, with or without an election, then he could say, Gee, I never served two terms. I didn't make it two terms. I resigned before the second term was up, so now I can run for a third term. Gee, the U.S. is going to have troops out by 2014. Therefore, I could run in 2014. The U.S. will not be around with any strength to enforce such an agreement of my not running. And, gee, what if the people really want me to run?

We know there has been corruption in those votes over there, but the system that's set up in Afghanistan is a system that creates conduits for fraud. We could strengthen Afghanistan if we would simply allow the people to elect their regional-provincial governors, elect their mayors, let them pick their own chiefs of police, not the President Karzai cronies. That's a system that's fraught with the kind of danger you found, fraud you found in the old Roman Empire, where they would appoint a governor of a region, but of course you had to kick back to the one who appointed you. That's the kind of system they have right now in Afghanistan.

In talking, there are some who say, Well, there are some supplies of the Taliban's coming through northern Pakistan; but most people are saying, We think the Taliban is getting most of their supplies through southern Balochistan. The Baloch have been terrorized for decades by northern Pakistan. Before 1947 48, when lines seemed to be arbitrarily drawn in creating countries, Balochistan had never been a part of Pakistan. For decades now, it has. The people have been terrorized.

After Congressmen Rohrabacher and Steve King also met with Baloch leaders, the idea struck me: since these Baloch leaders are tired of being terrorized by northern Pakistan, by the leaders in Islamabad, they could be quite self-sufficient in having natural resources, which is much of what the nation would need to survive on its own; and they're our friends. There may be a lot of Muslims. This non-Islamophobe knows that the enemy of our enemies is our friend. We can support them. We can help each other. So that's why Congressman Rohrabacher and I proposed a bill that would support the creation of an independent Balochistan. As one person in the region over there said, Wow, if Balochistan were independent, that would change everything.

Now, I know this President is not gifted on foreign policy--I get that--but it doesn't mean he can't learn. Then you look at Pakistan. While this administration is trying to play footsie with Pakistan and while they're trying to play footsie with China, who was it they let in to see our stealth helicopter? China. Who was it that they harbored in their country--the greatest enemy, public enemy number one, of the United States--and kept there, supposedly, for years? This administration wants to placate them, how they can, just like it's trying to do with the Taliban and our other leaders. Maybe we can buy them off. Maybe we can do something to show them how sweet and kind we are.

Those types of people see that as weakness. It's like blood to a shark. They're drawn to it, and they will devour us if we don't show strength rather than weakness.

So an independent Balochistan gave me an interesting idea. Congressman Rohrabacher and I had done an op-ed that was published, and it was my conviction that we stick in there a line about the potential for an independent Balochistan. Interestingly, after that was published, there was an article published in the Pakistan Daily News. I thought I had a copy of it here. I must not. Oh, here it is. It was published back in January. It says this in the article in the Pakistan Daily Times:

In another interesting development, Louie Gohmert, a U.S. Republican Representative, proposed that, in order to beat the Taliban, the U.S. should carve out a new, friendly state, Balochistan, from within Pakistan, to stabilize Afghanistan's western border.

The article goes on:

Even if Mr. Gohmert does not necessarily speak for Washington, it is logical to assume that he made this observation after picking up the buzz in American political circles. The U.S. wants a consulate in Quetta, but so far, Pakistan has resisted this request. The geo-strategic location of Balochistan and its potential in minerals, gas and oil is something that interests the world's sole superpower.

So says the Pakistan Daily Times.

They say the Baloch resistance movement is one of the few, if not the only one, that has not been declared a terrorist movement by the U.S. The U.S.'s soft attitude towards this resistance movement does not necessarily mean that they are enamored of the complaints and aspirations of the Baloch, but that the Americans have their own vested interest there. They may now want to snip away at the roots of the Pakistan military's dual policy in the war on terror by a flanking move in Balochistan.

The Pakistan Daily Times says:

Before this loud thinking is embraced as policy by Washington, for our own territorial integrity, we should do away with our double game in the war on terror and politically settle Balochistan's issues. By helping the Afghan Taliban and other jihadi groups, we have only weakened our own country. It is time that the military realizes this folly. Indiscriminate killing of the Baloch by the military and its intelligence agencies cannot and must not be tolerated. The political leadership must talk to the Baloch resistance. Only through negotiations and a dialogue can the Balochistan issue be settled peacefully.

The enemy of our enemy should be our friend. That is why when Congresswoman Bachmann, Congressman Burgess, and I got to the home of my friend Massoud, with all these other National Front leaders there waiting, and I got out of the vehicle, they knew my heart. They know we are friends who have the same enemies. And there was embracing all around because it truly was good to see them, to see them alive, and to see them in their own country in Massoud's own home. They fought with us, they fought for us, and they bore the brunt of the battle against the Taliban in late 2001 and early 2002 when they were routed initially. We added over 100,000 troops, got over 100,000 under this President, and things are not going as well as they were when the Northern Alliance was fighting them with simply a matter of hundreds of Americans embedded with air support. It's not going as well as it was then.

Occupiers in Afghanistan--Russia for example. Going clear back to Alexander the Great, we know he died leaving that area, that things didn't go as well as he might have hoped. They've learned that occupiers don't do all that well in Afghanistan. Empower the enemy of your enemy. Don't try to buy off your enemy that is sworn to destroy you. Empower the enemy of your enemy.

I mentioned earlier about the Taliban leader that we released who is now back with the Taliban. I mentioned one of the three things he said. He said, It's apparent to everybody that the U.S. has lost because they're begging us to come negotiate. Another thing he pointed out, which is consistent with sharia law, is that anyone who has not been supportive of the Taliban in the past needs to first come to the Taliban--and under Karzai they've been able to be more public, and they have a public presence. He says, Come to us, ask for forgiveness, ask for our protection, and you may be spared. From my understanding of sharia law, you can avoid being killed under sharia law if you come ask forgiveness and ask for protection in just such a way as this Taliban leader--fresh from his U.S. reprieve--is out there saying.

And again, the Taliban position is, we probably can't defeat the U.S. in a single battle. We don't have to--we've just got to be here when you leave. And the heartbreaking aspect of that, for those of us who have attended too many funerals of Americans who have paid the full measure of devotion, is that if we leave and we leave a situation where the Taliban is empowered again, other Americans will have to come down the road in the future and fight the Taliban, and more American lives will be lost. It's not necessary.

Had President Carter realized in 1979, when he welcomed the Ayatollah Khomeini back into Iran as a man of peace, had President Carter realized that Americans would be dying in America to protect America because radical Islam had then been given a country in which to be nourished, you would hope he would not have taken the same steps and would not be as bitter toward so many as he is today after his failed presidency.

Perhaps even President Reagan--with the best of intentions--if he had realized that we were in a war, but only one side knew we were at war, when our precious Marines were killed in an explosion in Beirut, perhaps we wouldn't have run out so quickly. But for Heaven's sake, as American buildings, embassies, individuals were attacked--and in 1993, the first attempt on the World Trade Center, another act of war, was a signal letting us know that since 1979 these people had been at war with us. There was the Khobar towers, the USS Cole, further acts of war. We've been at war; we just didn't know we were. Then we come to 9/11, and we're totally shocked, totally unprepared because we did not realize there was a war going on. We just didn't know we were in a war.

Now this administration seeks to go back to September 10, and it is cleansing its training materials of any reference to Islamic jihad. It is bringing in noncitizens. It is bringing in Members of the Muslim Brotherhood to advise it. It is bringing in officers of named coconspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial supporting terrorism. It's bringing in people who have ties supporting terrorism. It's bringing them in to dictate our policy toward radical Islam. What have they said? The first thing you've got to do is eliminate any reference to Islam, any reference to jihad. So this administration, from the Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Defense, intelligence agencies, has been very compliant. That is ongoing. As one intelligence official said, we're blinding ourselves from the ability to see our enemy.

What's going on these days will be the subject of historic articles that will continue for centuries to ask how this Nation could be so naive and/or stupid that we would be at war and not know it for 30-plus years, and that in the fight of such a war, we would bring in people who support our enemies' actions to tell us how to fight the war. There will be articles and history books that will repeat the question: How could they not see what they were doing was going to bring either an end to America or devastation to America, one or the other?

Well, we know that in the news this week, we have such people down in Guantanamo, the 9/11 detainees, as they're referred to. I have got a couple of articles here. The New York Times is talking about the detainees showing defiance, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other detainees: ``9/11 mastermind, four cohorts to be arraigned.'' That was last week. ``Mohammed Joined By Four Codefendants in Deferring Pleas,'' a couple of days ago. There's another article: ``Outrage as Ð9/11 Defense Counsel Insists Women Cover Themselves.'' What happened to the freedom the people in our military are fighting for? Amazing. ``Lawyer Defending 9/11 Suspects Wearing Burqa in Court `Out of Respect.' ''

Well, there is a great article--and it certainly wasn't recent--that points out that these detainees are ready to plead guilty. They're ready to come in and plead guilty. And this is a New York Times article: ``Five Charged in Ð9/11 Attacks Seek to Plead Guilty.'' Most people had not seen that title. All they've been hearing about is how they're disrupting the pleadings. This trial could go on for years and years. They're making a mockery out of it. And the reason people haven't seen the title of this article, ``Five Charged in Ð9/11 Attacks Seek to Plead Guilty,'' by the New York Times is because it was published December 8 and 9 of 2008. In 2008, these detainees indicated they were willing to plead guilty.

These detainees--particularly Khalid Sheikh Mohammed--had been through a lengthy questioning by the judge. He had spelled out his role in different things, not only in the 9/11 plot but his role in other terrorist acts. He had filed a 6-page pleading where he sets out that, if we have terrorized you, then praise be to Allah. He said, in essence, in that pleading, if you are Jewish or American, you deserve to die; you are an infidel. And he prayed that Allah would help them to continue to terrorize America.

But a sad thing happened on the way between those guilty pleas in late 2008 and here, going on 4 years later. Virtually nothing has been accomplished. In fact, we are further back from where we were in December of 2008 because we had the H&O policy--the Holder and Obama policy--of, Gee, we're going to give you the chance--this isn't what they said. But anybody who has eyes to see and ears to hear could understand that what the Taliban, what al Qaeda, what radical Islamic jihadists would hear is, We're going to give you a show trial. Why would you want to plead guilty?

So these guys, as of December '08 said, Whoa, this guy Eric Holder--hey, he's represented terrorists. He will identify with us. The President, the community organizer he is, he's going to help us. So they're going to give us a way that we can have a show trial. In fact, the Attorney General wants to give us that show trial in downtown New York. Wow. Allah be praised. We're going to get to go back to the scene of the crime and create all that chaos and all the heartache for the people of Manhattan.

Well, Congress, fortunately, said, that's not going to happen. They are going to be tried at Guantanamo. But the damage had been done by the H&O policy--the Holder and Obama policy to give them a show trial--had taken hold. It had developed the imaginations of the 9/11 plotters and planners. So now we're having a show trial. This time in Guantanamo. Fortunately, not in the middle of where so much grief and anguish took place in New York City.

Some had said at the time, Hey, this is New York City. You are an outsider. You have no business saying anything about what we do in New York City. This was an act of war against our country. The whole country suffered together and came together as one on 9/12/2001. It does pertain to the whole country.

As our friend Representative Weiner from New York chastised me, he said, We all want to see them put to death in New York, and you have no right to say otherwise. Well, having been a judge and chief justice, I know those kinds of statements would be exhibit A or B of any motion to transfer venue, that they can't possibly get a fair trial. They were not well reasoned comments.

So here we are, going on 4 years later. Justice has not been done. A travesty has been done to all the families of the victims of 9/11. They can forgive. They can turn the other cheek. But as a government, our role is different. We are to provide for the common defense. We are to punish evil. We are to encourage good. And that means, any nation in the world who has a government that wants to declare war on us, then be advised: Many of us don't believe--like in Iran, we don't believe we should go to war with Iran, but we'll take out the government that wants to go to war with us. Obviously this administration feels like we can buy time and has even given hints that they think they can live with a nuclear Iran. Well, a lot of people would not live with a nuclear Iran. A lot of people would die because of a nuclear Iran. It does not need to be allowed to happen.

One other comment, though. There is a great article today out about one of the banes of my existence, and that was TARP. George W. Bush is a great man. He got a bad rap, was accused of lying when he did no such thing. He didn't bother to defend himself when truckloads of yellow cake uranium were taken out of Iraq, feeling that history would judge him fairly. But he trusted a pitiful Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson, and we had something called TARP.

There is a great article in Human Events from today. ``Inspector General report ends myth that TARP 'turned a profit.''' And David Harsanyi goes on and points out very clearly that the money hasn't been paid back, as promised. Some of it has been paid back by other giveaways and gifts and loans by the Federal Government. And the government, printing money to pay debt and then having interest on the new money they've printed, is somehow making a profit. When the truth is, as the article points out:

It's tricky to track $700 billion of emergency funding that was haphazardly dropped into the economy by a panic-stricken government, when accounting for the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout, the American taxpayer is probably owed somewhere in the neighborhood of $237.7 billion--

But we were told it's all been paid back. Yeah, right.

--though some estimates are far higher. And it will be more. The Treasury Department says that a large part of the money lost via TARP is the result of the housing and car bailouts, also not paid back. When the next Fannie and Freddie rescue comes--as a number of reports have indicated will be needed--taxpayers will be on the hook.

Most of the banks that were ``too big to fail'' when TARP was implemented are now even bigger. The report to Congress points out that a recent working paper from Federal Reserve economists ``confirms that TARP encouraged high-risk behavior by insulating the risk takers from the consequences of failure.''

That's why you never set aside free-market principles to save the free market. If you have to do that, the free market is not worth saving. But it was worth saving and there were free-market principles that could have been followed to get us out of that mess to avoid encouraging further risk taking.

And I would commend, Mr. Speaker, people to Mike Franc's work at the Heritage Foundation that disclosed that despite the rhetoric of the President, how he's going after fat cats on Wall Street, the Wall Street executives and their immediate family donated to President Obama four-to-one over Senator McCain. And they've done extremely well under this President. It's almost as if there is a deal: Look, I'll call you ``fat cats,'' I'll call you all kinds of names--millionaires, billionaires--I'll trash you, but you'll make more money than ever and then I'll put taxes on those that make over $125,000, and then I'll say I'm going after major oil, Big Oil, and probably nobody will read the bills.

I read it. I read the President's own words. He's going after independent oil companies. He's eliminating their deductions, not the major oil. He's not going to hurt major oil, from what he's proposed, but he'll put the independents out of business. The majors will make more money than ever because 95 percent of all wells drilled in the continental U.S. are drilled by independent oil and gas producers. So he says he's going after major oil, but they'll make more money than ever if he gets his way.

One other thing: This is an election year, and my colleague from Texas was really going after Texas over the voter ID. I would point out to my friend from Texas, and any others, Mr. Speaker, that the fact is that bill in Texas says, if you can't afford a State ID card, we'll give you one. There are people that volunteer to even get you there to get it done. Let's avoid fraudulent elections further.


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