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Public Statements

Current Events in Review

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. GOHMERT. Madam Speaker, we know that there is so much going on after the tragedy in Boston where not just Boston was attacked, but the United States was attacked by acts of sheer evil, perpetrators who did not care about innocent people and innocent lives. They thought it better to try to kill, maim, and destroy. What sick, twisted, evil human being or human beings would do that?

But we saw 9/11/2001 vividly clear. There actually are people who are so radical, so mean, so evil, so twisted that they actually believe they could make for themselves a way to paradise by killing innocent people, killing children not even old enough to have really done anything wrong, and that is what they obviously felt would make their great mark in the world. I can't help but strongly believe with all my heart that, unless they repent and find grace, they are in for a very rude awakening in the next life.

It is my hope, as well, that the individual or individuals who are responsible will be held to account with the death penalty that will be implemented behind closed doors, without cameras present, without an opportunity for them to yet insult or hurt anyone else. They've done enough.

We'll await to see who it is that ends up being responsible. Perhaps there's an announcement tonight, perhaps not.

I am glad that even though there was a person of interest, that the investigators did not rush to judgment on that, that they continue to explore every possible clue, every possible video and photograph, thoroughly doing a good job it certainly appears in law enforcement so that when the evil culprits are apprehended and they go to trial and their attorneys are trying to raise a reasonable doubt with a jury, that the investigation will have been so thorough and there will not have been an inappropriate rush to judgment such that a fair trial is had, due process is had, and then making sure that it is, indeed, the perpetrator or perpetrators and then carry out a death penalty. I hope that is the justice that ends up being carried out.

In the meantime, we had a gun bill that was voted down, as I understand, 54-46 in the Senate. It did not pass. It did not have enough votes. But with all of our hearts having poured out and continuing to have prayers and sympathy and empathy for the people in Sandy Hook, in Newtown, we still had a bill that was being brought to the Senate floor that all of the people who supported the bill, as I heard, had basically admitted that bill would not have saved a single one of the precious, dear little children that were so violently gunned down in their schoolroom. It would not have saved the heroic administrator, a teacher, those who were trying to protect the children.

It just seems that if people in Washington or other parts of the world, New York City or wherever, are going to manipulate and use such a tragic situation, such sympathetic victims, they ought to at least, for goodness' sake, at least put forward a bill that if it had been implemented would have ensured that at least one of the children or adults killed at Sandy Hook would not have been killed.

Otherwise, let's put together laws and let's have this administration finally enforcing laws that both together will reduce violence. Pushing forward a bill that would not save any of the lives lost there or in Colorado is just inappropriate and manipulative, and the victims deserve better.

I still completely understand the families of the victims, their hearts, the struggle, the difficulty. I understand, but let's not manipulate them for an individual political agenda.

Now, I was on C-SPAN this morning with the host, Greta Brawner, a terrific host, as is Susan Swain. I've enjoyed being on with both of them. But we were talking about border security and a bill that the so-called ``Gang of Eight'' is putting forward. They're great people in the ``Gang of Eight,'' and I know they mean well. They want good for this country.

I'm also reminded of a line that I was told back in the Soviet Union in the summer of 1973 when I got close to a Soviet college student and we had a free exchange of ideas. He never put down his country at all. Despite that, he was ordered not to talk to me anymore after we became good friends because that's what happens in a country where the government becomes too powerful: you can't even choose your friends any more.

At one point we were sitting alone visiting, and he tugged on my shirt and he said, We don't have material this good for our individual citizens. We wish we did, but we recognize you have so much more and better things for your citizens in the United States than we do here in the Soviet Union. He said, But you've got to understand that here in the Soviet Union, since we were formed in 1918, we have had two major wars fought on our own soil that have kept this country just in turmoil, and we have had to spend most of our resources not on such nice clothes and good things for individuals, but in defending our country because we never had two oceans protecting us the way you have in the United States.

I was able to point something out to President Bush some years back when he was President and I was a freshman here. I said, Look, for most of this Nation's history, as the young Soviet college student told me when I was a college student, you have had two oceans protecting your country, the United States. He was exactly right. For most of our history, two oceans have protected the United States.

I remember having conversations in the eighties and nineties, as we would see violence in other places, whether it was Beirut or the terrible atrocities inflicted on Israelis on their own soil, the constant bombings and people being blown up just as occurred at the terrible and evil event in Boston.

People have actually said the thing about America is if somebody were to decide to be a suicide bomber in America, they'd have to cross either the Atlantic or the Pacific, and they'd have such a cooling-down time, that even though they might be whipped up into a rage before they left to fly to America, all of the hours of sitting quietly on a plane or days on a ship would be enough to cause them to pause; and when they got to America, they would think, Nah, I really didn't want to blow myself up after all. That seemed to work pretty well.

But then the radicalization of Muslims got to the point where they were actually able to radicalize people who could cross an ocean, who could come into America; and as the 9/11 hijackers, they could come in here and unthinkably live in America, enjoy our liberties, our freedoms, enjoy the company of neighbors, share food with their neighbors, have neighbors invite them over and share food, share things such as if they need a cup of flour or whatever it is, share and see the way Americans share and are such a friendly country. They were able to live here. And too many of them were here on visas, and the visas expired.

Since neither Republican nor Democratic administration was effectively enforcing visas when they expired, these 9/11, hate-filled hijackers were able to keep on the mask that they enjoyed America, enjoyed the liberties, while all the time looking for the opportunity to kill themselves in a manner that would most effectively kill the greatest number of innocent people they could in America. It's unthinkable for American citizens.

The only thing closely akin that came to mind after 9/11 was when some were talking about, Well, you know what, in World War II, the idea that someone would get in an airplane and fly it toward an American ship and crash their plane into the ship, trying to sink the ship, and kill as many as possible was foreign to Americans. We couldn't believe there was such a thing as kamikaze pilots. Who would do such a thing? Who would have that little regard for life and such hatred for other life that you would do all you could, including giving up your own life, just to kill as many people as you possibly could who just want to live free? That was foreign during World War II. It was strange. We couldn't believe it. I remember being taught about that in public schools while growing up. The teachers thought it was so strange, and we thought it was strange.

Now we've seen that same type of mentality that was told to Thomas Jefferson when he went to negotiate with the Barbary pirates. In essence, he couldn't understand why these radical Muslims, the Barbary pirates, would be attacking American ships. As Jefferson and the other diplomats explained, We've never attacked your ships. We've never attacked you. We're not any threat to you. Why would you attack American ships?

It was explained, In our religion, we believe that, if you die killing infidels, which you Americans are and since you don't believe what we do, then we go to paradise.

Jefferson thought that so strange. He was so well read, so intelligent that he couldn't believe it. He got his own copy of the Koran, in English translation, and read it. He could not believe there was a religion that anybody believed was teaching that you would go to paradise by killing innocent people. That just seemed so strange.

I am extremely grateful that most Muslims don't believe that. They don't believe they should get themselves a ticket to paradise by killing innocent people. They believe in reason and in talking and in trying to work things out. They don't want to be ruled and reigned over by radical Islamists either. Amazingly, I've had people approach me, the last in DFW airport, who have come up and indicated:

Aren't you in Congress?


I'm from Egypt.

The last was getting ice cream there at DFW. He said, Aren't you in Congress?


He said, You're helping the wrong people.

He had family still in Egypt, and he said, You're helping the wrong people. You're helping the radicals. You're helping the Muslim Brotherhood. We don't want the Muslim Brotherhood running Egypt. We want freedom in Egypt. That's what we thought we were going to get, and then your government helps the wrong people. You help the radicals. You help the Muslim Brotherhood. Quit doing that. Please, tell others in Washington to quit doing that. Quit helping the radicals.

I was surprised. That was not the first time, but it was the most recent time that someone turned out who was from Egypt, a Muslim. They want to live in peace.

They don't want radicals ruining their lives, and they think it's wrong for radical Muslim Brotherhood members to persecute, kill, inflict pain and suffering on Coptic Christians and Jews. They don't think that's appropriate. They may not agree with them, but they want to live in peace. Yet this administration continues to help the wrong people.

After I met the young man from Egypt at DFW, I find out we're sending tear gas to Egypt in order to help the radicals in the Muslim Brotherhood use it against people like Coptic Christians, like Jewish residents in Egypt, like moderate Muslims who disagree with the kind of radicalism that is being forced on them in Egypt. Then we find out this week that this administration is sending more tanks to be used to crush those who just want freedom in Egypt. They're moderate Muslims. They want to have freedom. They don't want radicals running their country.

Just like our allies, the Northern Alliance--the moderate Muslims in Afghanistan who fought--many gave their lives. They lost friends and family in fighting the Taliban on our behalf, and now this administration has figuratively thrown them under the bus, and it's trying to buy friendship and peace--literally buy it with money--with the Taliban. That's not how you deal with the Taliban. The Northern Alliance knew how to deal with them. We helped them with some arms. We embedded less than 500 Special Operations people in intelligence, and within 3 or 4 months, the Northern Alliance had defeated the Taliban.

Then as I learned in my first meeting with Northern Alliance leaders some years ago, we told them, Give us back the significant weapons we've given you because we're America. We will make sure you're safe now. We'll make sure Afghanistan is safe and peaceful now. So they turned in the weapons. They trusted the United States, and now they find an administration that had previously been offering to buy elegant, first-class international offices in Qatar, in the Middle East, to give the Taliban--who still wants to kill Americans and destroy our way of life--international standing, classing them up in their efforts to kill Americans and destroy our way of life.

And what did the Northern Alliance get for their loyalty for defeating the Taliban initially before we allowed them to re-surge? They got betrayed. They have been betrayed.

It was reported that the administration was offering to release some of the Taliban's murdering thugs and buy them elegant offices in Qatar. No preconditions. Just sit down and talk with us, and we will buy you stuff, and we will let your murdering thugs go from confinement. We've already done that.

One of them was on television over a year ago, telling the Afghanistan people on the most watched television station, If you do not fully support the Taliban, then you have one chance, and that is to come apologize to us and, under sharia law, beg our forgiveness and ask for our protection. Then you will fall under our protection, and you will not be killed. They explained to the nation of Afghanistan--the leader that this administration let out of confinement and who is now back leading the Taliban against us--that everyone in the world knows that the Americans have been defeated, and so their President is pulling everyone out. They're running away; they're scared; they're cowards; they're afraid of us. So once the cowardly Americans finish running away from us, in 2014, we, the Taliban, will be back in charge.

And so you've got a choice. You either come back, apologize, pledge devotion to us, ask forgiveness and protection, and under sharia law, we'll protect you. Otherwise, life may not last long once the Americans are gone.

The message has been going around the world. In Egypt when we turned--this administration, at least--turned its back on our ally, Mubarak. When Qadhafi had blood on his hands since 2003, he had been an important ally of this country, giving us more information about terrorists because it was in his interest to keep terrorists at bay, giving us more information about terrorism at times than any other countries were able to give us; and that was repaid by this administration--helped bomb Qadhafi and his troops, and support the radicals. Back at the time, some of us here on the floor were explaining, we don't know who all's involved in the revolution, but we know there are al Qaeda elements of this revolution. Let's stop. This is not a good idea until we know whose side we should be on.

But the world has seen this administration turns against its allies and tries to buy off its enemies. So if this administration were going to be consistent, it would seem that the thing to do, to expect for this administration to offer something, as the Clinton administration did to North Korea: hey, you know, we'll build you a nuclear plant; we'll do something if you just promise you won't develop nuclear weapons. Well, we saw how that worked. Madeleine Albright and President Clinton worked out a heck of a deal. We helped them get nuclear weapons because of the naivete of that administration, and now we're faced with a very difficult situation.

Also understand, if North Korea continues on this path and Iran is not stopped, that what North Korea has Iran may have, and then no one in Israel will be safe at all. And Israel is considered in their minds, in radical Islamist minds, the Little Satan, and we're the Great Satan.

I mentioned this morning on C-SPAN that we have been aware that not everyone that wants to come into this country wants to come for jobs. We know that. Most of the Hispanics are fantastic people. They want to work hard. They believe in God. They're devoted to family. And that is a bit of a generalization, but it's my hope that that Hispanic culture coming into this country will help bring a resurgence and make us the strong country we once were when it came to family values and an acknowledgement that ``In God We Trust,'' as is our national motto.

Or as Ben Franklin said during the Constitutional Convention:

I've lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: God governs in the affairs of men.

And as Franklin said:

If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it possible an empire could rise without His aid? We've been assured in the sacred writing, that unless the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe that.

So I welcome people. And I've met Christian friends that I just fell in love with in West Africa. And one of them, an elderly black West African, wonderful, wonderful man, a heart as big as all outdoors, but he said, please tell others in Washington to quit getting weaker because if America grows weak, yes, we know where we go when we die, but if America grows weak, we have no chance of peace. We have no chance of a good life in this world. So please stop getting weaker. It looks like you're getting weaker.

He started off by saying, We were excited when you elected your first black President, but please urge him to quit getting weaker in America. We need you to be strong.

And I mentioned this morning that we even are aware that we've had al Qaeda, we've had radical Islamists try to disguise themselves as Hispanics and sneak across our southern border because Americans have never been worried about our Hispanic friends being radical and wanting to kill innocent people to go to paradise. That's not part of the Hispanic culture.

And I've been amazed since then that the left wing always wants to try to distort, to create a story out of a twisted--I have to choose my words wisely because it'll be interesting to see what the twisted mind of the left does--but the ignorance was apparently only coupled by laziness by left wing media, so they go nuts trying to paint me as a bigot when obviously they are the bigots, and not only bigots but they're lazy because if they had bothered to even turn on their computer and use it for something besides mean-spirited, twisted, distorted untruths, they could have found this story from the ``American Thinker'' back on August 2, 2010. In the story by Norah Petersen, it points out, it discusses that:

In 2001, the brother of a Hezbollah military chief illegally entered the United States by crossing the Mexican border. He then settled in Dearborn, Michigan, and raised money for Hezbollah.

In 2002, illegal immigrants from Lebanon who were thought to have ties to Hezbollah were smuggled into the United States via the Mexican border, according to a congressional report:

"In December 2002, Salim Boughader Mucharrafille, a cafe owner in Tijuana, Mexico, was arrested for illegally smuggling more than 200 Lebanese illegally into the United States, including several believed to have terrorist ties to Hezbollah.''

The congressional report also revealed that the FBI has confirmed that persons from al Qaeda-linked nations have been known to disguise themselves as Hispanic immigrants:

"Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller has confirmed in testimony `that there are individuals from countries with known al Qaeda connections who are changing their Islamic surnames to Hispanic-sounding names and obtaining false Hispanic identities, learning to speak Spanish, and pretending to be Hispanic immigrants.' ''

These are the kinds of things that our enemies are doing to try to bring down this Nation. I hope the administration will wise up and do something about it.

With that, Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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