Mr. GOHMERT. As most anyone can tell you, it's important to know who your friends are and who your enemies are. That's absolutely true when it comes to knowing who to deal with favorably and unfavorably when it comes to foreign relations, when it comes to gifts to foreign nations.
An article from December 11, by Maxim Lott says the following:
Key lawmakers are expressing concerns about the Obama administration's plan to send 20 F-16 fighter jets to Egypt, where new President Mohamed Morsi's allegiances are as uncertain as his grip on power.
Under a foreign aid deal signed in 2010, when Morsi's U.S.-friendly predecessor Hosni Mubarak was in charge, the U.S. is giving the planes to Egypt's air force, which already has more than 200 of the aircraft. The first four jets are to be delivered beginning January 22, a source at the naval air base in Fort Worth, where the planes have been undergoing testing, told FoxNews.com. But the $213 million gift is raising questions on Capitol Hill as Morsi is under fire for trying to seize dictatorial powers and allegedly siccing thugs and rapists on protesters.
That's the allegation.
The article goes on:
Florida Representative Vern Buchanan, who recently called for ending foreign aid to Egypt altogether, said the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Morsi government has been sending increasingly troubling signals to Washington, and giving it state-of-the-art fighter jets is a dangerous idea.
It quotes Vern as saying:
American tax dollars must not be used to aid and abet any dictatorial regime that stands with terrorists.
Representative Mac Thornberry from Texas, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee told FoxNews.com Egypt is a wildcard under Morsi. At this point:
We don't know where Egypt is headed, Thornberry said. We should be cautious about driving them away, but we should also be cautious about the arms we provide.
The article says:
Just last week, vigilante supporters of Morsi captured dozens of protesters, detaining and beating them before handing them over to police. According to human rights advocates, Morsi-backed groups have also been accused of using rape to intimidate female protesters who have gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square to protest a sharia-based constitution and Morsi's neutering of the nation's legal system.
The U.S. Government ordered and paid for the fighter jets for Egypt's military back in 2010. But since Mubarak's ouster, the democratically elected Morsi has sent mixed signals about whether he wants an alliance with Washington, even meeting with leaders in Iran earlier this year.
The Morsi-led Muslim Brotherhood government has not proven to be a partner for democracy, as they had promised, given the recent attempted power grab, a senior Republican congressional aid told FoxNews.com.
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida, who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, recently criticized U.S. military aid to Egypt. She said:
The Obama administration wants to simply throw money at an Egyptian Government that the President cannot even clearly state is an ally of the United States.
The package had to be approved by lawmakers in Washington. While the basic F-16 has been a military workhorse for top Air Forces for more than 25 years, the cockpit electronics are constantly updated and the models Egypt is getting are the best defense contractor Lockheed Martin makes.
This is a great day for Lockheed Martin and a testament to the enduring partnership and commitment we've made to the government of Egypt, said John Larson, vice president, Lockheed Martin F-16 programs. We remain committed to providing our customer with a proven, advanced fourth generation multirole fighter.
In an air combat role, the F-16's maneuverability and combat radius exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft, the U.S. Air Force description of the plane reads.
The F-16 can fly more than 500 miles, deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during nonvisual bombing conditions.
A Pentagon spokesman said the United States and Egypt have had an important alliance that is furthered by the transfer:
The U.S.-Egypt defense relationship has served as the cornerstone of our broader strategic partnership for over 30 years, said Lieutenant Colonel Wesley Miller. The delivery of the first set of F-16s in January 2013 reflects the U.S. commitment to supporting the Egyptian military's modernization efforts. Egyptian acquisition of F-16s will increase our military's interoperability and enhance Egypt's capacity to contribute to regional mission sets.
But Malou Innocent, a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute, warned that Egypt's murky intentions could lead to the prospect of U.S. ally Israel facing an air assault from even more U.S. made planes.
Should an overreaction by Egypt spiral into a broader conflict between Egypt and Israel, such a scenario would put U.S. officials in an embarrassing position of having supplied massive amounts of military hardware to both belligerents. Given Washington's fiscal woes, American taxpayers should no longer be Egypt's major arms supplier.
There was an article that came out in September of 2012 after the 9/11 horrific killing--murdering--of our Ambassador and three other Americans and of the wounding of other Americans who, apparently, this administration is keeping under wraps so that Members of Congress cannot interview them and find out what really went on. Even after the administration sent out Ambassador Rice with false talking points, we can't find out who created the false talking points. It apparently started out being more correct, but it became false in the way they were used, so they provided such false information to numerous networks and to people in America and around the world.
One thing we do know is that we have the President on video and accurately quoted with this quote. He gave an interview with Telemundo on September 16, 2012, during which President Obama said and, I believe, used the pronoun ``them'':
I don't think we would consider Egypt an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy. They are a new government that is trying to find its way.
Yet we've still got people in our Air Force at the incredibly able Lockheed Martin facility who are not aware that Egypt is no longer an ally or that the Muslim Brotherhood won the election and that they are about to push through a sharia-based constitution that will further persecute Christians and Jews.
You have a leader in Morsi who, yes, helped to temporarily suspend the altercation in the Gaza Strip with the massive number of rockets that were being flown out of the Gaza Strip into Israel--a constant death threat hanging over Israel. We haven't learned of anything that would indicate that he is slowing the growing importation, through tunnels and otherwise, into the Gaza Strip of more and bigger rockets that threaten Israel, and the President of the United States does not know if Egypt is an ally. He wouldn't say they're an enemy yet, even though they didn't stop the protesters, as they are required to do, from climbing up on our Embassy walls, which is American property, or stop them from bringing down the American flag and running up the Muslim Brotherhood flag.
Mr. Speaker, I'd humbly submit that, until we know for sure that Egypt is not an enemy, we should not be sending 20 F-16s--the most advanced generation of F-16s--to a country which many of its leaders have made clear they want Israel gone off the face of the Earth.
Now, Lockheed Martin relied on the representations of the United States Government that we were going to buy these planes and give them to our ally Egypt. Perhaps it would have been good if this administration had remembered that the Mubarak administration in Egypt was an ally. They were an ally according to the agreement that this administration made with their friend and ally Hosni Mubarak, as the head of Egypt, to send them a gift of 20 F-16s; but they forgot that, and they supported the removal of Mubarak, who at least made some pretense of trying to keep the peace there on the border of Israel.
Morsi, on the other hand, in coming from the Muslim Brotherhood, doesn't seem so inclined. Simply engaging Gaza in asking them to hold up on sending rockets in to mock, hit, potentially kill Israelis was a nice gesture; but it's hardly evidence of a substantial nature that this is an ally. That's why the President hasn't made clear we're absolutely certain now that they're our ally. Until we are absolutely certain they're an ally, we don't need to be sending them the means and methods to kill Israeli friends. The Israelis are suffering enough and, in part, due to bad judgment here in the United States.
When others outside the United States asked us to go in and get rid of Qadhafi, despite this administration's alliances and relationship with Qadhafi, this administration decided to provide air cover and enable al Qaeda-backed revolutionaries to take out Qadhafi. Qadhafi was not a good man; he had blood on his hands. But after 2003, the Bush administration, followed by the Obama administration, was working with Qadhafi, and he was completely transparent about all the weapons he had. Not so with what's going on in Libya today.
At some point, instead of the President of the United States trying to nullify the Constitution and saying, You know what, I disagree with that marriage law that Congress did, so we're going to ignore it, and as I speak, so it shall be the new law--that's what kings do and that's what pharaohs do. So it would seem a little bit hypocritical if you have someone from an administration who said, You know what, we don't like the immigration law, and so, as I speak it, so shall it be. I will make--I will pronounce--new law because I don't like what was duly passed by Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate and was signed by a prior President. So, as I speak new law, so shall it be. It just seems a little hypocritical if an administration like that were to turn around and say, You know, Morsi is just suspending civil rights in Egypt, and we're not sure that he's a good guy for doing that.
That's very interesting because what you have in Egypt is a leader who is taking away civil rights, who is ignoring the existing law. He has backed off of some of the abuses of the law, but he just makes law as he sees fit.
It's time that the people in America, Mr. Speaker, made it clear to the White House that it's the United States that your allegiance is owed to. It's not to NATO. It's not to the OIC. Yes, we have alliances with them. It's not with the U.N., though we have agreements with them. Your number one alliance is to the people of the United States of America. When anyone is not a supporter--is not an ally--or is someone we're not sure of their ally status, it should not be a country that we start giving planes to even when the alliances are made with a prior administration, because this administration had a good working relationship with Mubarak sufficient to cause President Obama to work this deal with Hosni Mubarak, the leader of Egypt, and sufficient to make them want to just give Egypt under the leadership of Mubarak 20 F-16s. Once that leadership changes and we no longer know whether they're an ally, it is outrageous to send them, or to even contemplate sending them, planes.
What you do with those 20 planes that we already agreed to buy as the U.S. Government and give away is you give them to someone you know is an ally. If you want to give them to somebody, give them to Israel. Israel believes in the same value of life as we do here in the United States. They believe in the equality of women. They believe in the value of children. They do not believe women and children are the property of some man. They have our values and they have had our back, so the best defense money we can spend is in providing a defense to Israel because any nation--look it up--any nation that has said they want to destroy the little Satan of Israel normally follows it up by wanting to destroy the big Satan, the United States. So, according to these wild-eyed radical terrorists, if they see Israel as the little Satan and want to hit Israel, we will be next. We're next on their agenda.
So it is good defense for the United States when we help protect our friend Israel. And the thought that this administration would even still entertain the possibility of sending 20 F-16s to Egypt after we supported the deposing of our ally, President Mubarak, is outrageous. And what I would hope is that somebody in the administration would say, Mr. President, we're going to look pretty stupid if we send 20 F-16s of the most advanced generation to Egypt when they're making waves about and some of their leadership thinks they ought to go ahead and get rid of Israel. And so maybe we'd better hold up on that. And you've got people like Congressman Gohmert over on the Hill who's talking about how stupid it would be to give 20 F-16s to a potential renegade government if they continue to abuse the civil rights of people in Egypt, he's talking about how stupid it would be, why don't we go forward and say we can't believe that anybody would think for a moment that we're going to send 20 F-16s to a country when the President has said we don't even know if they're an ally.
I would hope that somebody would tell the President: Let's go out and say people like Gohmert need to calm down because we're not going to send them. And I would welcome that news. But until that happens, people need to be speaking up and letting the White House know this is outrageous. You don't send advanced aircraft as a gift to a country that has been less than helpful, and we're not even sure if they won't take out Israel or try when they get a chance.
It's a different government. It's not the same country, not the same administration with whom we made an agreement. It hasn't continued under the same constitution or laws. We have to make sure that we have an ally, and we don't know that. In fact, the indications are constantly to the contrary.
So as soon as Clinton goes out after Morsi, goes into Gaza, expresses great sympathy for the people in Gaza, despite the fact they took over a Gaza strip from Israel that Israel unilaterally gave away, hoping it would buy them a semblance of peace, and fully equipped with greenhouses and businesses and ways to make a living and ways to live in great sustenance there on the Gaza strip, they walked away from it, gave it away, and immediately the greenhouses were destroyed. The people are living there in poverty, and they could keep stirring up the venom of hatred among the people, although the people of Israel had just done an incredibly unilateral and generous thing, hoping to buy peace.
But what we see over and over, whether it's in southern Lebanon, whether it's in the Gaza strip, going back historically, any time Israel has given away land hoping to buy some peace, not only have they not bought peace, that land they gave away has ultimately at some point been used as a staging area from which to attack it. How sad would that be that Israel's incredibly generous gift of the Gaza strip, with ways to make a living and have full sustenance, plenty to eat, they gave that as a gift. They took the land and destroyed their ways of sustenance.
And then, the ultimate irony, on top of the irony of that being used as a staging area to launch rockets on a continuous basis into Israel, how ironic if that ends up being the flyover area for new F-16s that we give to Egypt, that Egypt uses in an effort to attack Israel once again. We cannot allow the continued attacks on our allies. Israel has been an ally. Israel is an ally. Israel is operating under the same rules of government that they have when they have been our close ally. They've made mistakes. So have we. But they're our friend. And friends, as I saw when I was down in Florida not long ago, a billboard said, ``Friends don't let friends get nuked.'' We need to take that to heart. It is done a bit tongue-in-cheek, of course.
But this article from back in September, the day after 9/11, the President said in this article, September 12, from NBC's Shawna Thomas:
President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that while he does not believe Egypt is an ally of the United States, he also doesn't consider the country an enemy. `I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident,' Obama said in an interview with Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, host of Noticiero Telemundo. He was referring to Tuesday's protests in Egypt, during which demonstrators, angered by a movie trailer parodying Prophet Muhammad, breached the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
The President continued:
Certainly in this situation, what we're going to expect is that (the Egyptian government is) responsive to our insistence that our embassy is protected, our personnel is protected, and if they take actions that they're not taking those responsibilities, as all countries do where we have embassies, I think that's going to be a real big problem.
The President is also quoted as saying:
Libya is a government that is very friendly towards us. The vast majority of Libyans welcomed the United States' involvement. They understand that it's because of us that they got rid of a dictator who had crushed their spirits for 40 years.
Those are quotes from President Obama.
The article says President Obama expressed confidence. ``Our hope is to be able to capture them,''--talking about the people that attacked us in Libya--``but we're going to have to obviously cooperate with the Libyan government. And you know, I have confidence that we will stay on this relentlessly, because Chris Stevens, he's somebody who actually advised me and Secretary Clinton during the original Libyan uprising. He was somebody who Libyans recognize as being on the side of the people. And we're going to get help. We're going to get cooperation on this.''
Well, that's what the President said in September. Now he said we were going to pursue the killers of Ambassador Stevens and the three others ``relentlessly,'' is his term. We will stay on this relentlessly. And yet what we've seen, we find out that they may have the instigator, and there is no outrage that this man has not been provided, turned over to the United States. There's no outrage that this man has not been brought to justice.
Friends don't let other friends get nuked, and friends don't send 20 F-16s to the enemies of their friends. It's time that this administration began to understand history to the point that when you reward your enemies, your enemies get stronger, and they get more abusive and more threatening.
The best thing this administration can do is reward friendship and punish our enemies, and then our enemies cower, and our friends are emboldened, instead of what this administration has done the other way around.
With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.