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Administration Failures

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I certainly appreciate and agree with the gentleman's concerns about the failure of the administration to secure the border. We are quite aware that the border did not get as secure as we would have hoped under the prior administration, but there is no excuse for not getting it done now, and especially when the claim is made that we'll secure the border when you basically give amnesty to people that were already here. That's like putting the cart in front of the horse as the cart is going off the cliff. It's a problem.

There are other problems, Mr. Speaker, as you've surely noted with regard to this administration. An article that came out today, May 17, from The Daily Caller points out that the homeland security guidelines advised deference to pro-sharia Muslim supremacists.

Of course, Mr. Speaker, we are familiar with the fact that Homeland Security has had reports warning their employees about the dangers of people that may be involved in such heinous activity as being classified as evangelical Christians, or as being concerned about the Constitution and that people should be following the Constitution, and concerned about people who may have Tea Party in their name.

Thank goodness the IRS was not around to help the Founders when they founded the country or otherwise they probably would have shot the Boston Tea Party participants. They would have killed off over half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and this country would have never gotten started, if this Homeland Security would have been around to be helpful, so called, to our Founders.

But in looking at the guidelines, this article says:

The Department of Homeland Security, which under Janet Napolitano has shown a keen interest in monitoring and warning about outspoken conservatives, takes a very different approach in monitoring political Islamists, according to a 2011 memo on protecting the free speech rights of pro-sharia Muslim supremacists. In a checklist obtained by The Daily Caller titled, ``Countering Violent Extremism, Dos and Don'ts,'' the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties notifies local and national law enforcement officials that it is Obama administration policy to consider specifically Islamic criticism of the American system of government legitimate.

I must insert parenthetically, it is so interesting that people who believe the Constitution means exactly what it says are deemed by our Secretary Napolitano and her Homeland Security as being threats to the country because they believe what the Founders did. How dare they.

And someone who believes the teachings of Jesus Christ is somehow to be feared--wow--because they may go into all the world baptizing them, making disciples. They may end up being like Mother Teresa and helping the poor and needy. They may actually do things without the government telling them they can do that, like Mother Teresa, just going in and helping.

Well, you've got to watch those evangelical Christians, if they are true Christians, if you're part of this Janet Napolitano Homeland Security Office.

The article points out this policy stands in stark contrast to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis 2009 memo: ``Right wing extremism, current economic and political climate fueling resurgence in radicalization and recruitment,'' which warned of the dangers posed by pro-life advocates, critics of same-sex marriage, and groups concerned with abiding by the U.S. Constitution, among others.

The advice of the do's and don'ts list is far more conciliatory. Don't use training that equates radical thought, religious expression, freedom to protest, or other constitutionally protected activity, including disliking the U.S. Government without being violent, the manual's authors write in a section on training being sensitive to constitutional values.

The manual, which was produced by an interagency working group from DHS and the National Counterterrorism Center advises:

Trainers who equate the desire for shari'a law with criminal activity violate basic tenets of the First Amendment.

And that is interesting. And it goes back to my point about how problematic it must have been for an FBI who've had their lexicon purged, where they can't really talk effectively about jihad because that might offend someone, even though it is critically important to know what someone believes about jihad.

Does an individual believe, as an Islamist, that jihad is just the internal changing of one's self into being more Islamic?

Or is jihad actually a violent jihad that, as the 9/11 bombers and killer believed, you kill as many innocent people, especially Americans, especially Jews, as you possibly can.

But this administration is concerned that to ask about jihad may certainly offend someone. And it was intriguing to inquire of our Attorney General, the highest law enforcement officer in the country, about just what the FBI did ask of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

What did they find out that he believed about jihad?

What did they find out that he supported in the way of jihad?

What favorite authors did he have about jihad?

And the Attorney General didn't seem to know, but by the end of his testimony, he says, I don't--obviously I've said something untrue because, all of a sudden, now, even though he testified he didn't know what they really asked, all of a sudden, apparently he felt like he did know.

But here's the interesting chart to which the article was referring, very interesting. It's from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. And it is important to know, we call it countering violent extremism, just as Ms. Napolitano calls not countering terrorism, she had this set up as the Countering Violent Extremism Working Group, even though she couldn't previously answer my question as to how many members of the Muslim Brotherhood were part of her Homeland Security Countering Violent Extremism Working Group, or even her Homeland Security Advisory Group.

And I found it interesting that a publication in Egypt knows more about the Muslim Brotherhood members of this administration than our own Homeland Security Secretary knows. She didn't even know, when I asked her at a prior hearing, that there was a known member of a known terrorist group that had been allowed to go in the White House. But she did find out before she went before the Senate so she could say, oh, we vetted him three times. Well, yeah, probably about the way the FBI vetted Tamerlan and said, oh, there's nothing to see. We'll just move on here, which left him able to plot and plan to kill people, innocent people, men, women and children in Boston.

But it's interesting. When you look here, it says talking about the things you should not do, don't use training with a political agenda. This is not the time to try to persuade audiences, for example, on views about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, reformation within Islam, or the proper role of Islam in majority Muslim nations.

Don't use trainers who answer primarily to interest groups. For example, trainers who are self-professed Muslim reformers may further an interest group agenda instead of delivering generally accepted, unbiased information.

Very interesting, you know, because if you can't inquire about what people truly believe about jihad, about radical Islam, about killing infidels, if you really can't get into the weeds on this thing, then how in the world do our officers know which Muslims will be good to have training and which ones won't be good to have training our own officers?

We do know from a couple of years ago when the administration stopped a seminar that was about to take place over at the CIA because there were some people who had spent their lives studying radical Islam and were classified as experts around the country, unless perhaps you were part of the Organization of Islamic Council, who actually came up with the term

``Islamaphobe'' and pays money to major universities to have seminars and courses on Islamaphobia and characterize people that way so that they can try to scare people away from talking about radical Islam.

But it's interesting though, I mean, this is our own Homeland Security. This is the kind of stuff that led one of our intelligence agents to tell me, Congressman, we are blinding our own ability to see the enemy that wants to kill and destroy us. We're blinding ourselves from our ability to see the people that want to destroy us.

And if we'd be more realistic, there would be people alive in Boston that are not.

When the Russian Government gives us a heads-up and says, this guy has become radicalized, that can't be normal. Man, this is a big deal. You'd better look thoroughly into it.

This is an outreach from the Russians. Hey, I'm not sure you realize just how radical this guy's become. It wasn't enough clues that he and his family got asylum from a country that they were comfortable going back to.

Wait a minute, if they got asylum, how in the world would any of their family be comfortable going back there? Perhaps they didn't need asylum.

Well, if they didn't need asylum, why don't we send them back?

Well, no, we wouldn't want to do that. Gosh, we might offend somebody that wants to kill us. Heaven help us if we were to offend somebody that wants to kill us.

Don't use training that equates radical thought, religious expression, freedom to protest, or other constitutionally protected activity with criminal activity. One can have radical thoughts, ideas, including disliking the U.S. Government, without being violent. For example, trainers who equate the desire for shari'a law with criminal activity violate basic tenets of the First Amendment.

Well, I would submit to whoever put together this chart, those who want to do away with our Constitution and, instead, impose shari'a law on all Americans, are acting with treasonous intent because you can't want to replace our Constitution with shari'a law and still be wanting the America where everyone has freedom to worship as they wish.

What you are wanting is the kind of situation that you now find in Afghanistan, where the last public Christian church had to close, or in Egypt as the Muslim Brotherhood has taken over and Coptic Christians have been persecuted mercilessly, or in Iraq where you have radical Islamists in charge who find it is a crime to believe that Jesus is a savior, a crime worthy of going to prison. They believe sharia law is the law of the land in those countries. So anybody that wants to replace our Constitution with sharia law should be looked at by our Homeland Security as being a threat, and any plots or plans to replace our Constitution with sharia law should be looked on very carefully and not be given a pat on the back or invited in to give advice to the White House on speeches or to give advice on how to train our intelligence agents or to give advice on how to train FBI and Homeland Security agents. But this is exactly what this administration is doing.

And when you blind our intelligence agencies and you blind our protectors who are willing to lay down their lives for us to be free, when you blind them to their ability to see the enemy, then people get killed, and people that wanted to prevent it are left with guilty consciences because they wonder what could we have done more--and it's not their fault. It comes from the top of Homeland Security and the top of the Justice Department. And when it comes from the White House, as it did, to stop the seminar at the CIA, it comes from the very top. And the message is clear: We don't want to offend anyone who may be a radical Islamist because, gee, that might be bad. It's okay to offend evangelical Christians. Sure, they're the only group in America it's politically correct to persecute now.

It's okay to persecute anyone who believes what most of humanity has for most of mankind and particularly the Founders, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, those who represented each of the States at the Constitutional Convention. They believed marriage was between a man and a woman. However, today, according to this administration, anyone who believes in that same type of traditional marriage is to be hated, vilified, despised, persecuted and to be watched out for by our Homeland Security because they're a threat, because they want the freedom to believe in traditional marriage that was taught in the Bible, the kind of marriage that Jesus himself attended and performed, his first recorded miracle. Yet those of us who believe in that are to be vilified.

It's also amazing to me--I'm not pushing my beliefs on anyone else, but it's part of who I am as a Christian--there are people whose lifestyles I believe hurt them, hurt our society and degenerate our society. But I would give my life for them. As a Christian, I love them. I have no problem embracing them. I find it interesting that people who have come to hate me, and Christians like me, they can't understand how you can disagree with a lifestyle or disagree so profoundly with a political belief and yet love them through and through as an individual. I hope and pray some day they'll understand.

But in the meantime, it is important if we're going to allow the people in our Federal Government who have sworn their lives to protecting all Americans, if we're going to allow them to do their job, they must be able to have a full, total and complete discussion on radical Islam that incorporates political belief from or into their religion and vice versa. And there are radical Islamists who want to destroy us; therefore, you have 9/11 of 2001, you have 9/11 of last year, you have 9/11 of the year before.

We've got to wake up. There's still time, but people have been killed needlessly. And this kind of stuff, this kind of political correctness that ends up making it okay through some of the other documents we've seen to go after evangelical Christians and to fear them and potentially persecute them, and as we've seen from the IRS, it's good to persecute Tea Parties. People at the low levels didn't make that up. They were encouraged, allowed to do the kind of things they were, otherwise it could not have gone as long and as widely as it did. But these days are very, very telling. Very telling.

Now, this is a helpful comment, note, too, that not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. Yes, for example, there are Christian Arabs who are being persecuted in Egypt, in Iran, in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in places like Libya, where we helped radicals take over and people who just want to worship God are being persecuted. It is tragic what has happened and the blindness that has occurred.

It's embarrassing. It's particularly embarrassing when I embrace family members who have lost loved ones in Benghazi or 9/11 of 2001. One family member told me that Secretary Clinton advised them--what we now know is what at that time she knew very clearly, Benghazi was not

about a video. She advised them, hey, we're going to get the guy that made that video, as if that was going to give them some comfort. They weren't out to kill someone. They weren't out to get somebody. But they do want justice. And it turned out, the Secretary knew at the time she said that that it wasn't about a video. It was part of confusing or attempting to confuse the issues and the mistakes that were made by this administration.

So it was worth noting, though, when we look at the IRS and the problems there, this article today by Labor Union Report Diary, May 16, yesterday, and it says:

Meet the partisan union behind the partisan Internal Revenue Service.

Where do the anti-sequester, Federal Government workers-turned-protesters work? They work at the Internal Revenue Service--and they are unionized.

And the article points out that:

As the scandal involving the IRS' targeting of conservatives and Tea Party groups consumes the news cycle for the moment and Barack Obama, who, so far, has claimed ignorance of the targeting, has thrown a sacrificial lamb out to appease journalists, that IRS agents targeted certain small-government, anti-tax groups should really not come as a surprise.

Beginning in 2009, Democrats and unions, including government unions, have spent the last several years demonizing Tea Party groups as well as other small government groups.

On Thursday, despite the escalating scandal, Barack Obama told reporters he did not see the need for a special prosecutor, saying ``probes by Congress and the Justice Department should be able to figure out who was responsible for improperly targeting Tea Party groups when they applied for tax-exempt status.''

While that may appease reporters from CNN and the mainstream media for the moment, one must wonder why there shouldn't be a special prosecutor to look into the wrongdoings of an agency with such vast powers over the American populace. Unless, of course, there is a smoking gun that people within the administration don't want discovered.

In December 2009, during the first term of his Presidency, in an effort to make the Federal Government more ``union friendly,'' President Obama issued Executive Order 13522.

In short, as noted in 2011, Executive Order 13522 establishes ``labor-management forums'' between union bosses (who may or may not be Federal employees) and Federal agency management.

As part of the directives under Executive Order 13522, agency heads are to engage union bosses in ``pre-decisional discussions'' before decisions are made--and those discussions are to be secret and outside the purview of the Freedom of Information Act.

Pre-decisional discussions, by their nature, should be conducted confidentially among the parties to the discussions. This confidentiality is an essential ingredient in building the environment of mutual trust and respect necessary for the honest exchange of views and collaboration.

That was the position of the administration.

Coincidentally, among the agencies covered by Executive Order 13522 is the Internal Revenue Service, which is part of the Department of the Treasury, and whose agency employees are represented by the National Treasury Employees Union.

The fact that, under Executive Order 13522, Federal agencies are being co-managed by union bosses and it appears that the perpetrators of the IRS scandal are likely to be members of the IRS union makes one wonder how coordinated the attacks were--especially as four of the alleged perpetrators are claiming their bosses made them do it.

More importantly, if their bosses made them engage in potentially illegal activities, why didn't they go to their union to file a grievance?

Well, apparently, under the President's Executive Order 13522, the union bosses and the agency heads are complicit in making these decisions, and making them secretly and privately while part of the most transparent administration in history--we were told it was going to be. The union bosses and the agency heads making decisions secretly beyond anything that anybody in America can get with a Freedom of Information Act request is just outrageous.

We need the transparency. And especially now that we know the most powerful, the most feared agency in America--the IRS--is being co-managed by union bosses, it's time to clean house. It's time to get back to smaller government, less intrusive government, and government that is truly of, by, and for the people.

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