MUST READ: Here is the official transcript of speeches made to the US House of Representatives by Reps, Franks Lambourn and King, on November 30th, 2011, calling for Julian #Assange and #Wikileaks to be tried in a military court, under a style of law that has since come to be known as the 2012 incarnation of the #NDAA, or National Defense Authorisation Act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Authorization_Act_for_Fiscal_Year_2012
Readers are strongly encouraged to read the entire transcript, and compare it with public statements made before and since by US public officials regarding Wikileaks. It is also recommended to evaluate this transcript in light of Bradley Manning's pretrial hearing.
The video of this transcript is here: http://youtu.be/XHVKmhfesTs
(Document certified by Superintendent of Documents <firstname.lastname@example.org>) Signed by Superintendent of Documents <email@example.com> Time: 2011.07.28 06:02:09 Z Reason: GPO attests that this document has not been altered since it was disseminated by GPO Location: US GPO, Washington, DC 20401
November 30, 2010 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — HOUSE H7743
(Mr. BURTON of Indiana addressed
the House. His remarks will appear
hereafter in the Extensions of Remarks.)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman
from Oregon (Mr. DEFAZIO) is recognized for 5 minutes.
(Mr. DEFAZIO addressed the House. His remarks will appear hereafter in
the Extensions of Remarks.)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman
from Florida (Mr. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART) is recognized for 5 minutes.
(Mr. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART of
Florida addressed the House. His remarks
will appear hereafter in the Extensions
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a
previous order of the House, the gentlewoman
from California (Ms. WOOLSEY) is recognized for 5 minutes.
(Ms. WOOLSEY addressed the House. Her remarks will appear hereafter in the Extensions of Remarks.)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a
previous order of the House, the gentlewoman
from Florida (Ms. ROS-
LEHTINEN) is recognized for 5 minutes.
(Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN addressed the
House. Her remarks will appear hereafter
in the Extensions of Remarks.)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a
previous order of the House, the gentlewoman
from Michigan (Mrs. MILLER) is
recognized for 5 minutes.
(Mrs. MILLER of Michigan addressed
the House. Her remarks will appear
hereafter in the Extensions of Remarks.)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a
previous order of the House, the gentleman
from Arizona (Mr. FRANKS) is
recognized for 5 minutes.
(Mr. FRANKS addressed the House.
His remarks will appear hereafter in
the Extensions of Remarks.)
VACATING 5-MINUTE SPECIAL
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without
objection, the 5-minute Special Order
ordered in favor of the gentleman from
Arizona (Mr. FRANKS) is vacated.
There was no objection.
THE STATE OF OUR NATIONAL
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under
the Speaker’s announced policy of January 6, 2009, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. FRANKS) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I know that it comes as no surprise to this House that I have been one very critical of this administration’s policies
on a number of different fronts, and I suppose that will be no different tonight. But Mr. Speaker, I guess I wanted to start out tonight by addressing the WikiLeaks issue. I know that a lot of people across America have looked upon this with interest, and I
guess it’s significant in my mind that what we’ve seen on the WikiLeaks issue is really more confirmatory than it is anything that’s informative. In
many ways what the WikiLeaks information
has demonstrated is that this administration has practiced for a long time a foreign policy of appeasement, and I think it has been a disaster for
our country, Mr. Speaker.
I suppose it goes without saying that the most pressing question is how a 22-year-old private first class in a remote location in Iraq could have gained access to so many of these documents, especially
since they are far outside his scope of responsibilities. It represents, really, a glaring failure on parts of the State Department and even some parts of the Defense Department. And some
of these commonsense security measures could have been implemented prior to this. The Pentagon has since
announced that it will be implementing new policies, including a technology that makes it impossible to
copy classified documents to portable storage devices. Now the fact is that it has taken too long for such a commonsense policy to sink in, and this administration
certainly had lead time to consider this long before now, but I guess it is, in a sense, indicative of why
bureaucracies are so inefficient most of the time. It took the leak of hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents before this government decided to get up
to speed with the unique risks posed by one of the most basic modern conveniences, that being the computer.
Private Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army soldier suspected of leaking the documents, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hid behind the claim that
the government’s so-called ‘‘lack of transparency’’ is unjustified. This is their main reason for justifying their own actions, Mr. Speaker. Unfortunately,
in that process they have provided a wealth of aid and comfort to groups that are at war with the United
States of America. Of course Mr. Assange claims to be fighting for truth and transparency. The reality is that his desire to promote himself has outweighed
his concern for scores and perhaps hundreds of innocent lives that he has endangered with his reckless publicity in this kind of a stunt in the
guise of some greater cause.
But Mr. Speaker, it’s telling that the foreign media sometimes is almost more comforting to justice than the American media sometimes. The American media willingly complied in disseminating this information and they are complicit, in my judgment, in any
harm that will come to American servicemembers
or American personnel across the country as well.
Just to give you an example, Mr. Speaker, the same New York Times that was reticent to cover the story
that’s often referred to as ‘‘Climategate’’ willingly ran the WikiLeaks cover story on the front page of their newspaper. Now this is a hypocrisy, Mr. Speaker, that I think is absolutely astounding. In other words,
just to put it in perspective, I will just read what one of the bloggers there of The New York Times said. Andrew Revkin of The New York Times, he is actually a reporter, was one of the first ones to cover Climategate. And in his first story only a matter of a few hours after Climategate’s blog posted, in his
story he states, ‘‘The documents’’—this is the Climategate documents, Mr. Speaker—‘‘appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they will not be posted here.’’
Well, how gallant, how noble of Mr. Revkin to want to protect some of his perhaps liberal friends from being exposed in some of the over-hyped notion of global warming, but yet when people’s lives are at stake, when American national security is at stake, then all
of a sudden The New York Times is all too willing to publish the WikiLeaks information in the interest of full disclosure and grand journalism, and I
find that unbelievable, Mr. Speaker.
If the Times reporters had felt such urges of chivalry when it comes to protecting the men and women who give up their lives so that we can all sleep peacefully
at night, it’s just a strange time for them to do that. And to cap it all off, Mr. Speaker, it is rumored that the leading candidate for Time magazine’s
‘‘Man of the Year’’ now is none other than WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.
Mr. Speaker, before I yield to one of my colleagues here, I would just like to say that, unlike authoritarian regimes across the world, democratic governments like ours hold secrets largely because
citizens agree that they should in order to protect legitimate policy and national security.
But this massive breach of our national security has endangered our ability to build trust and cooperation with our allies, it has certainly not served the public’s interest, and most of all, it has strengthened and emboldened our enemies. Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks should be profoundly ashamed, and I think they should be pursued with whatever legal
actions can be brought, and of course The New York Times, for their complicity in this effort, should be
ashamed beyond measure.
With that, I would like to yield to my good friend, Congressman LAMBORN from Colorado, to see if he has any thoughts.
Mr. LAMBORN. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Let me point out that, to its credit,
The Wall Street Journal did not accept the offer to disseminate these WikiLeaks latest round of documents from the diplomatic arena, and I think
that that is to their credit. Unfortunately, The New York Times did not have the same scruples, which is extremely disappointing to me.
Representative FRANKS, as we look at some of the reports of what were contained in these diplomatic leaks, there are some really troubling national security implications that arise. One is that we find, for instance, that it is confirmed that Iran has received 19 advanced missiles from North Korea. Now
we have long suspected that there have been ties on a covert basis between those two countries, we have some evidence of that; this just makes it more of a glaring issue. And our administration needs to be doing more, not just to stop WikiLeaks in the future from revealing our national secrets, but in stopping Iran and North Korea from the propagation of deadly nuclear and missile technology that they seem to
be doing. The fact that Iran has received 19 advanced missiles from North Korea, each of which is capable of
reaching Western Europe or even Moscow, is very troubling to me. These are our NATO allies that we are bound to defend if they are attacked, and I don’t think our administration is doing enough to stop the propagation, the dissemination of deadly technology
from North Korea to other countries.
When we are done talking about WikiLeaks, Representative, I would like to make sure we talk more about some of these national security implications
I would like to yield back at this time.
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Well, thank you, Mr. LAMBORN. It is my judgment that this would probably be a good
time to transition to that. And we would also like to hear from Congressman STEVE KING from Iowa. STEVE, do
you have any thoughts about this? Because
some of these national security issues I know DOUG and I are kind of obsessed with them—for good reason,
but we know that they care about national
security in Iowa as well.
Mr. KING of Iowa. I thank the gentleman from Arizona for yielding and for managing this Special Order here tonight and for bringing this issue, Mr. Speaker, before the American people. This is a critical national security issue. And I’m so grateful that we have individuals here in this Congress, as intended
by our Founding Fathers, that focus on a variety of issues that could clearly see and be focused on the intelligence that can bring this before the American people in such a way that they can understand, Mr. Speaker, that you will turn your focus hopefully on
this subject matter. There has been a lot of discussion across the country now and in the news
media about the WikiLeaks issue. And I look at this, and I think Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, a person who made his living as a hacker, a person who is proud of being able to crack anybody’s security code and get in there and pull that information out and then dump it into the public arena, into the public media sphere. For what purpose? What possible constructive purpose could be achieved by an individual who is a product of Western civilization pouring forth state secrets from Western civilization itself? It has to be for either self-aggrandizement, for that or the combination of undermining Western civilization. An enemy, an enemy of the things that we believe in.
And I don’t stand here with the intent to indict the Aussies. I love the Australians. They are a free spirited, strong free market, free will group of
people. They had to also take a continent and settle a continent about the size of the United States itself and make a living down there in an environment that’s sometimes beautiful and sometimes harsh. They have a spirit of their own. They remind me that in every conflict that the United States has been in they got there first, and some of them they’ve been in all of
them. It’s a pretty good thing to say about the relationship between the United States and Australia.
There’s not much to say about their citizen—whom I wish today were an American citizen, and at that point I think he might be subject to charges of treason against the United States.
So as I listened to the speakers here, I reached into my dog-eared Constitution and took up this definition, the constitutional definition of treason, and it says—and I know that some have called for charges of treason to be brought against Mr. Assange. I know
they apply to an American citizen. But this says, Article III, section 3: Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them or in adhering to their enemies—which certainly al Qaeda and the Taliban and the enemies of the terrorists who are lining up against us are our enemies— and giving them aid and comfort, giving
aid and comfort to the enemies.
Well, Mr. Speaker, I think it’s a subject that we wouldn’t have much debate on here in this Congress that Mr. Assange has given aid and comfort to the enemy. He’s empowered the enemy. He’s put Americans at risk. He’s put the allies of Americans at risk. And in
this precarious situation around the globe, in this geopolitical-military-economic chess game that goes on constantly on the entire planet, he’s taken away some of our advantage and he’s given it to our enemies.
And I wish and I hope that there’s a way that we can find a way to prosecute a man like that, that we can protect ourselves. And if we fail to do that, or even if we’re successful in that and it exposes some other vulnerabilities, I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that this
Congress take a look at some new legislation, a new structure of law, that’s really not brought about because of the actions of Mr. Assange but brought
about because of the actions of our enemies, our terrorist enemies.
And I have come to realize, and I think that there will be a significant number of Members of Congress that have come to realize, that we don’t have the tools to fight these enemies; that the idea that we could catch terrorists like, for example, Osama bin
Ladin’s chauffeur, and we can’t find a way to try that chauffeur and put him on trial with legitimate expectations of an effective prosecution and a conviction and a penalty.
We have Khalid Sheikh Mohammed sitting down in Guantanamo Bay yet. Two years into the Obama Presidency, when President Obama said he was going to close Guantanamo Bay and try these terrorists in civilian courts, and now we found out what happens
when you try these terrorists in civilian courts—a whole bunch of evidence that’s essential to the conviction has been left out of the prosecution, and
they were not successful in an effective prosecution and conviction of the last terrorist that was tried in civilian court.
So I look at this and I make the charge that I think our military tribunals are a useful way to do this and
Guantanamo Bay is the best place on the planet to keep them. But we don’t quite have the legislative tools. We don’t have the judicial tools.
I’m hopeful that this Congress will consider a proposal that’s rooted in this thought; that we will set up a special court like a FISA court, or perhaps
even the FISA court, and ask them to immediately adjudicate when we catch somebody that’s working against the United States, that’s perpetrating terrorism against the United States, and be able to process them immediately through a special court, and have that court be able to rule that this was an
attack against Americans or whether it was an attack against America’s civilization that was designed to spread terror and fear here rather than a crime that was committed against individual Americans, and be able to rule that that individual then fit within the category of an enemy of the United States, an enemy in this war on terror that we have, and then instantly move them off of the shores of the United
States and down to Guantanamo Bay or another jurisdiction that’s even further removed from these courts, and under Article III, section 2, strip these
Federal courts from the jurisdiction of ruling upon these decisions of terrorists that are attacking America.
If we do that—and it’s a pretty sticky constitutional question on how we would deal with American citizens in that category, but it’s not when we deal with someone like Julian Assange. An Australian citizen could be put into that category, moved over to a place
offshore of the United States outside of the jurisdiction of the Federal courts, the civilian Federal courts in the United States, and adjudicated under a military tribunal in a fashion that was designed by this Congress and directed by this Congress. That’s what I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to do.
Mr. LAMBORN. I think this recent civilian trial of the person formerly who was in Guantanamo Bay, who was
tried in New York City, I believe, who was found not guilty of about 250 counts of murder—although that’s
about how many people were killed in the terrorist attack on the embassy in Africa—but was found only guilty of conspiracy to destroy government
property when over 200 people were murdered in that terrorist attack shows the weakness of using civilian
trials to try these terrorists who are
committing acts of war against our country.
And the WikiLeaks documents, getting back to those, show that this administration has been trying to place
these Guantanamo detainees in other countries around the world, like Saudi Arabia. They are offering them money.
They are offering them concessions if they’ll take some of these people off of our hands so that the President can move closer to his goal of closing
Guantanamo Bay. But that is a misguided policy from day one.
These people should not be released. I think Saudi Arabia said in one of the cables that was disclosed, or they said later on, that they would just release
the people eventually if they were sent to their country and they would ultimately, as we know from cases in the past, many of them would find their
way back to the battlefield where they would kill Americans or American allies.
So I think that the whole misguided policy of Guantanamo Bay being closed is exposed by some of these WikiLeaks documents. But still, these should have never been disclosed in the first place.
This administration needs to find a way to punish those involved and make sure it never happens again.
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. I guess, Mr. Speaker, I would like to agree with the gentleman from Colorado because, you know, many of us, including the gentleman
from Colorado, including the gentleman from Iowa, were very vociferous in saying that there would come
a time where it would be obvious to the world that these civilian trials wouldn’t work for enemy combatants that are terrorists that were taken off
the battlefield in Afghanistan or Iraq or wherever it might be, because we knew that this would give al Qaeda and other terrorist groups a perfect opportunity, a staging ground, as it were, to be able to manipulate our system.
Not only does it give them the ability to have discovery where they are able to potentially undermine our security apparatus and gain information that is critical to protecting our agents in the field, but this also gives them the ability to claim all kinds of things before the world. And of course you know the security elements of it are astonishing. And of course they use our own court system and our own court
rules to make it very possible for them to escape justice.
I thought, to paraphrase President Bush, he said something like this. He said, We should not allow our enemies to use, to destroy liberty by using the forums of liberty to destroy liberty itself. And the reality is is that sometimes we can become victims of our own ostensible decency.
And this administration, in its kowtowing to terrorists, has been more committed to protecting terrorist rights than it has been to protecting the lives of American citizens. And I think that is profound beyond anything I could suggest.
Because it just tells me that somehow the administration has a philosophical bent that is going in a way that I think endangers American freedom
and future generations. And I am hoping that somehow they will wake up in time. But yes, the gentleman is
correct that WikiLeaks, among other things, has exposed once again this administration’s
effort to try to put these combatants in different countries to try to avoid the trap that they have
set for themselves in America by insisting
that this be done in civilian trials.
And again, it is a disgrace beyond words that this man that was instrumental in the murder of about, I think
it was 224 people, Mr. LAMBORN, and yet he gets conspiracy to destroy government property. And that is unfortunately—you know, sometimes the administration
thinks of these things always in sort of academic terms. But this is real life. And national security
in the 9/11 age is something we should
all be focused on. And this administration seems to be asleep at the wheel.
And I just wonder if my colleague from Iowa might have any thoughts on that.
Mr. KING of Iowa. I thank the gentleman from Arizona. And I reflect upon a trip that I made down to Guantanamo Bay I believe it was a year ago last Easter. And the trip was designed to fill me and a handful of other members on the Judiciary Committee in on the practices and the facilities that they had at Guantanamo Bay. And I think this is something that the American people have not had an opportunity
to witness or actually hear about within the news, that there is a facility that’s perfectly structured for the job that we have, which is to bring
these terrorists to a location and legitimately try them and give some resolution to their circumstances.
And I don’t remember the exact number of inmates that they had down there at the time, but it was down to
the hard core of the hard core. They had already released those that could be released. And the rest of them were a danger to Americans, a danger to free people everywhere, and a danger if they were released to come back, and as Mr.
LAMBORN said, to attack Americans again, but also NATO troops and other people that represent the free world.
And as we are looking at that facility, oh, it’s a pretty wonderful facility if you want to be in a jail and be a Muslim, for example. And you walk into these cells, first of all the temperature is set at 75 degrees. Seventy-five. My house is a lot warmer than
that in Iowa in the summertime. Because
75 degrees, they argued, was their cultural temperature. And I don’t know that that’s true. I would think 140 degrees is more likely some of their
cultural temperature. But in any case it’s set at 75.
And you open the door on any of the cells, and they have their own personalized cells, there is an arrow there that points towards Mecca. So they never have to guess which direction that they are praying. Every one of them gets a nice fancy prayer rug that’s all embroidered. It takes a lot of hand work. It’s a beautiful piece of work. And they get a little skullcap that’s also hand-worked and done. And
the Korans that they get are carried in a ziplock bag so they are nice and protected and never touched by the hands of an infidel, because that might anger
the inmates at Gitmo. And they had their nice television and a little break room that they got together. And here is this flat screen TV. And that went on pretty fine for a while.
Oh, by the way, their meals, they get a choice out of nine selections a day of Islamicly approved meals. And they can pick three squares out of the nine every day that fit within their cultural heritage in their way. It isn’t like Americans are serving them ham and
beans like they would give me or you or anybody else that was in there. They get to select from this special menu, a special menu for special people that
get a special rug and a special skullcap and a special ziplock bag-delivered Koran that is never touched by an infidel.
And they have as many as 20 attacks on Americans a day at Guantanamo Bay. About half of them are physical
attacks, where they try to get one of our guards down, usually Navy personnel, and get their handcuffed chains around their throat and try to strangle
them, attack them with the metal that’s part of their restraints. And the other half are throwing human feces in the face of our troops. What is the punishment for that? If it happened to be a domestic prisoner in a domestic prison, if you continued with that you would find yourself in solitary confinement.
And eventually, the punishment would go to the point where you would be locked up in prison for life. Eventually.
But what we do is nothing. There is no penalty. If Khalid Sheikh Mohammed attacks the guards every day, several times a day, the worst thing we
can do to him is cut his outdoor exercise down to 2 hours a day. Two hours a day outdoors. The rest of the time you are in 75-degree air conditioning with your own selected meals, three out of the nine that are the choice of the menu there, on your own specialized
prayer rug with your own Koran. And there was one inmate that wanted a Bible in Gitmo. He converted to
Christianity. But it was verboten to bring a Bible into Guantanamo Bay because it would set the inmates off, the other inmates off who thought that a
Bible was an insult and affront to them.
And they were watching their flat screen TV in their little break room, and a lady came on to do a commercial, and she had a short-sleeved shirt on and showed her elbow. Showed her elbow. I don’t get really all that worked up over an elbow. But they got all worked up over the elbow and trashed the room, tore up the furniture, broke the flat screen TV, scattered
it all. It was like a little riot in their little break room. What’s their punishment for that? New furniture, new flat screen TV. We coddle these
prisoners. We don’t even have a punishment
for those that attack our American guards.
And we set up the trial room so that there are microphones, a sound system, places for witnesses to sit, places for family members to observe, a sound-
proof glass that’s there. And when it gets down to the critical component of the testimony, we have an officer that is assigned with the job to cut off the
testimony until such time as the witnesses that don’t have access to classified are marched out of the witness chamber, and they pick up the testimony.
This facility is laid out for the purposes of trying people where national security is an issue. And if we had been trying the individual you talked about,
Mr. LAMBORN, I believe he would have been convicted in Guantanamo Bay. Because the evidence that was necessary to convict him would have been
used rather than held back for fear that it becomes a spillage of a national secret that becomes the subject here of the WikiLeaks.
So those are things that go across my mind. We have got to do a lot more. We have got to be a lot smarter about this. What would be very helpful is if we had
a Commander in Chief who was making the ask of this Congress rather than us trying to push that chain uphill, having a President that would actually be
pulling it in that right direction. I yield back.
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Thank you, Mr. KING. You know, I suppose that there are a lot of different issues we
could talk about with the WikiLeaks situation here. But I would point out that probably one of the big things that it showed is that just our appeasement
toward our enemies. And I think probably one of the most dangerous areas there has been is just the passive nature that this administration has shown toward North Korea.
North Korea is one of the most dangerous police states in the world. And they have shown time and again that
they are not interested in becoming a stable diplomatic partner really to any member of the international community for that matter, but certainly not the United States.
And a recent timeline of North Korea’s blatant provocations would probably be worth looking at here. Just to give you an example, in March of 2010 they were involved in the sinking of a South Korean submarine. It killed 46 sailors. In November of 2010, U.N. Security Council reports revealed that North Korea has been passing, as Mr. LAMBORN said, forbidden nuclear technology to state sponsors of terror. I
know Mr. LAMBORN mentioned the missile technology, which is more recent, but also nuclear technology to sponsors of terrorism, including Iran and Syria. Of course the Syrian plant was almost a mirror image of the one in North Korea. And fortunately our friends in Israel were able to make sure that that one didn’t work so well any more. And they did the world a great
favor in that regard. Because nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran or Syria would be a great danger to the human family to say the very least.
In November of 2010, North Korea shelled the Yeonpyeong Island, a group of South Korean islands, and it claimed the lives of two South Korean marines.
Two civilians I believe were also killed. it wounded somewhere around 15 marines and three other civilians. And of course this administration, while they
have some shows of resolve here lately, a lot of these things have occurred because they have stood by and let North Korea get away with this so long. And really in a sense North Korea sometimes
does this to get attention, and they have no respect for innocent human life. So blowing up a few people
to try to get one of the Democrat administrations
to give them more money is something that they don’t
hesitate to do. And they have done this on a regular basis.
The U.S., Mr. Speaker, must move to re-list North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism and call on all responsible nations to adopt tough new sanctions
on the North Korean regime. The North Korean regime will collapse on itself if China and other countries in the world do not continue to prop them up.
China should be especially called upon to stop enabling this regime and to join responsible nations in sending an unequivocal message to North Korea, abandon your aggressive agenda now. And, of course, you know it shouldn’t come as a surprise to us, but
China’s objections kept us from seeing a U.N. Security Council report revealing that North Korea has been passing banned technology to nations like
Syria and Iran, and they delayed that for 6 months.
In other words, because of China, because of their commitment to delay this, Iran was given 6 additional
months to work on advancing their nuclear capacity without public scrutiny. And there is no telling how far they were able, willing to go, really, to advance
this effort. But they were eventually forced to see this information like the rest of the world.
Mr. Speaker, I just have to say that, you know, weakness and passiveness is provocative. It invites aggression, and it is time that this administration and the United States embark on one singular
goal for North Korea, and that is to see that North Korean Government fall and North Korea be reunited and
somehow, some semblance of freedom come to that people and that this country, like many of its people, would like for it to be reunited with the world
community in a responsible way.
To pursue a lot of diplomacy with North Korea is wasted effort, and we should be pursuing now the effort to see a North Korea and South Korea reunited
under a free government like South Korea.
I wonder if my friend from Colorado would have any comments on that?
Mr. LAMBORN. I thank the gentleman
from Arizona for yielding. I would like to say that this administration has not done enough with
North Korea. Some good efforts have been made, but much more needs to be done and much more needs to be done with Iran.
I am particularly appalled that we did nothing in the last year, when the Green Revolution started, when the
fraudulent election took place, Ahmadinejad was reelected as President. There was rampant fraud
throughout the country. It was obvious to any observer, and the people of Iran were offended and resented that and they rebelled and took to the streets. We did nothing to support them.
That would have been, and maybe still is, the best way possible to overthrow this murderous regime in Tehran. But we are doing nothing to help the opposition.
That type of lack of effort, I don’t understand it. It’s our best shot at freeing the people of Iran so that they can become more democratic and peace
loving. There are many pro-Western Iranians, especially young people. Some of them have been to the West, and they like the West. And yet we are doing nothing to support those in opposition
to this government.
And to find out from WikiLeaks, to have the confirmation that 19 intermediate range missiles that could go as far as Moscow or Western Europe have
been sent from North Korea to Iran, and that we know Iran is working on a nuclear weapon at the same time to put on these missiles, there is no question about that, this is unacceptable. This should not be happening. We should not be allowing North Korea to
send deadly arms to countries like Iran or Syria. Rumors have it that they want to do the same with Burma or Venezuela. We have to not let North Korea proliferate like this, and our administration
should and needs to do more.
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Before I yield to my friend from Iowa, I would just like to kind of follow up what the gentleman from Colorado said.
You know, sometimes I think we are unaware as a people—and certainly this administration seems oblivious— to how serious a nuclear Iran, what a
serious danger to the peace of the entire human family that would represent.
But just for a moment, let’s consider that for a moment. You know, the Ahmadinejad government, the government of the mullahs and Ahmadinejad
there, have, through their very brazen, open statements, have condemned Israel, have condemned the United States and threatened both of our countries in very specific terms, wanting to see Israel wiped off the map and the United States be ended as a world
power and to see us completely brought to our knees.
I mean, it’s hard to even, to repeat
some of the things that this Iranian administration has said about America. And it’s very clear what their intent is, and there are two elements to every threat, Mr. Speaker, when it comes to national security. One is the intent of a potential enemy and the second one
is the capacity of that enemy to carry through with their threats.
And if we have not understood by now the intent of jihad, the intent of state sponsors of terrorism like Iran, then we are not listening very well, Mr.
Speaker. The intent is clear. Iran would see America destroyed tomorrow if they could. Now, not the Iranian people, but the Iranian Government, as it stands now, would see America in ashes if they could.
So the idea of allowing them to gain nuclear capability seems to be just astonishing beyond words to me, Mr. Speaker. I mean, this administration seems to have embraced some sort of a surreptitious policy of allowing Iran to gain nuclear weapons and then pursuing the traditional idea of containment, like we have in other situations with the Soviet Union.
But that won’t work with a jihadist government. Because when we were dealing with the Soviet Union, we put our security, in a sense, in their sanity. We knew that they wanted to survive and we had the capability to respond in such an overwhelming way that they
were deterred from attacking America. But when it comes to the jihadist mindset, Mr. Speaker, that is no longer a strategy that can be embraced.
Let me just say, Mr. Speaker, if Iran gains a nuclear capability, if they gain nuclear weapons, this world will step into the shadow of nuclear terrorism.
Terrorists will have these weapons and, Mr. Speaker, I can’t express to you the danger that that will represent and the change that it will represent to all of us in the free world and, really, throughout the planet.
Because Iran has shown themselves willing to make some of the most deadly weapons that we face in Iraq and
blowing up our soldiers with their explosively
formed penetrators. They pay money to see some of the Taliban kill American soldiers in Afghanistan.
They have demonstrated their intent very clearly, and this administration seems willing to allow them to have the capacity to carry out that intent.
Mr. Speaker, let me just, while I am walking by the neighborhood, remind this administration that Iran has done military exercises that appear to every
reasonable military analyst to be preparation for an EMP attack against this country or some other enemy that they might have.
Mr. Speaker, I think that this administration seems woefully unprepared or even unaware of how serious an electromagnetic pulse or a high altitude nuclear blast to create an electromagnetic pulse could be to this country. Mr. Speaker, if Iran gains a nuclear capability it will give them the asymmetric capability to, in fact, launch an EMP attack against this
country, and that could cripple our infrastructure.
It could cause an almost inarticulable damage to this country.
The EMP Commission says a major EMP attack on this country could be the one thing that could defeat the
U.S. military. It could see more than 60 percent of the population of the United States unsustainable. I don’t know how you wrap your mind around a number
like that. But, yet, that is the path that we are
on with this administration continuing to allow Iran to gain nuclear weapons. And I would just call upon the Senate, Mr. Speaker, tonight on this floor, to
pass the grid bill that we passed out of this body some time ago to begin to protect our electric infrastructure from either geomagnetic storms or
from a high altitude electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear weapon that could be launched against us like Iran.
This administration has paid no attention to that, and yet it represents a very real, very credible threat against the United States, and it is the ideal
asymmetric weapon for terrorists, and they know it. We have discovered their writings. They understand that and yet we stand by, and this administration
embraces the notion that we can allow a jihadist, terrorist state like Iran to gain the world’s most dangerous weapons and to be able to potentially
launch against this country an attack
that could be absolutely devastating to our civilization.
I just continue to be astonished that this
administration has forsaken its number one constitutional duty in making sure that the protection of the citizens of this country and the national security of this country are job one.
And I really don’t know what to add to that except maybe to ask my friend from Ohio—from Iowa—I know you are not from Ohio—to comment.
Mr. KING from Iowa. Well, I thank the gentleman from Arizona. And I loved Ohio until Ohio State beat the
Hawkeyes a week and a half ago, but I’m holding my judgment until next year when we have some reconciliation meeting that takes place.
I’m very interested in the comment that you have made, the shadow of nuclear terrorism, that comment. When
we think about this as Americans, watching this world, this Western civilization world falling under the shadow of nuclear terrorism, if we think
worrying about some jet airliners being flown into the Twin Towers or into the Pentagon just down the road a little ways or off into the field in Pennsylvania,
what that did to this country, how it shook up this country, how it immobilized our financial markets and
our daily lives, right down to football games and weddings were brought to an immediate halt, even though it was more than 1,000 miles away, nearly
2,000 miles away to get to the other side of the continent, they stopped their football games there, too. They stopped their weddings there, too. And
I suppose they stopped some funerals for a while. That’s how much it devastated this country. And I thought that we really should have looked at those crises on September 11, 2001 and said it’s not going to break our stride. We’re going to keep our pace. We’re going to go forward, and we’re going to
live, and we’re going to live while we adapt to the new threat that has come upon us.
But this new threat that’s out there now that hangs over our head, the shadow of nuclear terrorism that hangs over our head out of North Korea, who is completely belligerent today, and out of Iran as well.
And I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I wasn’t very happy with the job that was done by then-Commander in Chief Bill Clinton on each of these issues but primarily with Korea. I thought that he was too soft, too tepid, not bold enough, and I looked through that and I thought North Korea will march through his path and they’ll become a nuclear power and nothing is going to stop them because we are not bold,
we’re not strong enough, and we didn’t show the resolve necessary to cause them to back up and back off, North Korea. Also true with Iran.
And as I watched President Bush, Bush 43, come into office, I was hopeful there would be a bolder position with regard to our posture towards North Korea and towards Iran. And I can remember serving here in this Congress through some of those years. And I watched how the political handcuffs were put on George W. Bush in such a way that he didn’t have the political
support to use the bold actions that I believe might have been necessary then to avert the nuclear power that has materialized in North Korea nor the
impending nuclear power that appears to be materializing in Iran.
I don’t think that George Bush was able to utilize those tools. I don’t know if he had the will. I believe he did. I believe he had the judgment, but I don’t think he had the political tools because this
Congress was so lined up against George Bush, there were so many debates that emerged from over on this
side of the aisle that attacked the President, the Commander in Chief, and undermined our military when
they were in the field where lives were being sacrificed for our liberty, 44 votes
forced by this Speaker of the House
that were designed to unfund, underfund or undermine our troops. And all of that was designed to expand
their political power and diminish the power of the Commander in Chief.
While that was going on, North Korea was furiously building a nuclear capability, Iran was building a nuclear capability, and one thing that did happen
very good, and many of them did happen good under George Bush, was he began the process to establish the missiles in Poland and the radar in Czechoslovakia
and he had it set up to go to protect Western Europe and eventually America from missiles coming out of
Iran, and what happened? We elected a new President, one who I don’t think has an understanding of this geopolitical chess game that’s going on with our national security and the destiny of all humanity, who did what?
Pulled the missiles out of Poland, the radar out of Czechoslovakia, and the headlines in the Warsaw paper said ‘‘betrayed.’’ Betrayed. And I believe that that was the largest and most colossal foreign policy mistake made by the Obama administration that
emboldened not just Iran to accelerate their nuclear endeavors but emboldened North Korea as well to go
to the point of shelling the island in South Korea because they know or they believe, and I actually think they know, this President doesn’t have the resolve to do the confrontation necessary to protect our liberty.
So we live now under the shadow of a nuclear terrorism that is emerging.
And I would just ask this question, does this Nation have the capability and the will to shut off that capability, that building capability in Iran and in
North Korea? If we do, we have a strong position to negotiate from. If we do not, we need to achieve that ability and negotiate from a strong position.
There is more I would say, but I yield back to the gentleman the Arizona.
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. I thank the gentleman. I would like to yield to the gentleman from Colorado.
Mr. LAMBORN. I thank the gentleman, Representative TRENT FRANKS from Arizona, and I thank STEVE KING
for making some good points about Iran and the mistakes made by this administration in canceling the third site. And I was with the group that
went and talked to the people in Warsaw and Prague, and they were not happy. They put the best face on it.
They knew it was inevitable, but they were not and are not happy. And, yes, there are attempts to contain Iran with a theater defense, and that’s good
as far as it goes. But theater defense for missiles against missiles is not the same as defense against intercontinental ballistic missiles. And that’s
what we would have had with the ground based interceptors in Poland.
So, yes, I do like that we will have Aegis ships with theater missile defense missiles on them in places around Iran. I’m troubled by the role of Turkey.
I think they are not as stable of an ally as they once were under their current leadership. And I’m not sure
they’re very dependable these days. I hope they become more so. But Iran is developing threats that will go beyond our theater defenses faster than we will
have intercontinental protection in place. So they will be able to go beyond our theater defenses before we have intercontinental defenses. So their threat is emerging faster than our defenses will be put into place.
And that is what concerns me about the phased adaptive approach, which is the theater defense in the alternative to the third site that would have been
in Poland. And I yield back to the gentleman from Arizona, who is an expert on these issues
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Well, I think the gentleman is absolutely correct, not that I’m an expert, but that
your points are absolutely correct.
I would say that it’s important to realize that the European site was not only a redundant protection to the United States from potentially ICBMs coming from Iran, but it was also something that could have calculated or factored into the calculus of Iran in
moving towards developing nuclear capability in the first place, because in a sense, Mr. Speaker, missile defense is the last line of defense against an incoming missile. And I think everyone can understand that basic equation. But it’s also the first line of defense against nuclear proliferation. Because
a rogue state like Iran knows that they face great challenges and great dangers by pursuing nuclear weapons because they realize that their neighbors understand the aggressive nature of that rogue state of Iran and can’t abide them having nuclear weapons, and they realize that could potentially invite some type of preemptive attack. But they continue to do that because they understand the strategic advantage
that they would gain to threaten their neighbors would be overwhelming.
But if indeed, Mr. Speaker, we could have been in a place in Poland to be able to intercept or knock down any missiles coming toward our allies in Europe or the United States, it could have demonstrated to Iran that they would not have gained any strategic advantage by continuing forward, and it may some day in the history books be written that that is where we lost the battle because that is maybe where Iran began to see that they were going to be able to get away with creating a
But, Mr. Speaker, it’s astonishing that this administration betrayed the people of Poland, betrayed the people of the Czech Republic. When we had
made promises to them, we did everything we could to reach out to them to have courage to stand with America in this endeavor, and then our own administration pulls the plug and betrays
them. And now it makes it very difficult for other allies to express that same kind of courage.
Of course the phased adaptive approach is a name that we put on. It’s a good name. There’s nothing wrong with the name. Some of our military leaders understand that there are many, as Mr. LAMBORN said, many important aspects to the phased adaptive approach. The
irony is that the Bush administration was pursuing the phased adaptive approach long before the Obama administration ever even understood that
there was such a thing. And these things were on the books, and all the Obama administration really did was
to cancel the third site and unfortunately
then make it clear that we would not have redundant capability to interdict any ICBMs or long-range missiles that Iran could place a nuclear weapon on because we simply would not be able to do it in time. Our Aegis capability is a wonderful capability,
Mr. Speaker. But the present Aegis capability does not have the capacity or the speed to shoot down ICBMs, unless they’re in a perfect spot, which is a
very rare occurrence. And I would just suggest to you that this administration, once again, has placed their ideological commitment to the left above national security.
You know, there may be some day when we wished we had these days back again. With all of the challenges
we face, it seems like the administration forgets its first responsibility, its first constitutional duty of defending the citizens and the national security
of this country. It shouldn’t surprise us that they forget the idea of property rights, and it shouldn’t surprise us that they forget the idea of protecting the rights of innocent, unborn children.
And it shouldn’t surprise us that they are willing to put people on the courts that have no respect for the Constitution. And it shouldn’t surprise us that
somehow the foundations of the Nation, the right to live and be free and pursue our dreams, is subordinated to the notion that we want to build a
large State. Those things shouldn’t
surprise us. But if this administration continues to go in the direction it is going, Mr. Speaker, I am afraid that we will all wish we had these days back
again when we could have prevented some great tragedies that may befall us because of the ideological commitment of this administration to weaken
I wonder if my good friend, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. GOHMERT) has any comments along those lines.
Mr. GOHMERT. I have the same concerns my good friend from Arizona has. As has been discussed here, people
around the world, nations around the world watch everything we do to determine are we serious about providing for a defense for America. Are we serious
about providing a defense for our allies.
Are we serious about standing up against rogue nations, against attacks on freedom and liberty.
I know there is some disagreement among historians, but there are those who believe that when the Secretary of State 60 years ago gave a speech which
in essence indicated that Korea was really outside our sphere of influence, North Korea had been massing and
they had been preparing, but it happened that they began moving south after that speech. People notice when there is a weakness evidenced in America’s
leadership, and often it leads to acts of violence.
Do you think it was any accident that the flotilla went against the Israeli blockade of Gaza where thousands of rockets had flown into Israel, destroying, killing, terrorizing Israelis. We agreed originally that the blockade was necessary because of all of the death and destruction. Was it any accident
that the flotilla ends up setting sail to try to at least challenge that blockade after this White House snubs the prime minister of Israel, treats them worse than Chavez or some Third World dictator, treats them so shabbily, and begins to side with Israel’s enemies, like in May voting with Israel’s enemies to make them disclose all of their weaponry. I mean, was it
any accident that is when those who want to challenge Israel’s very existence sent the flotilla south? I don’t think so.
When it comes to strong leadership that protects America, I mean, my friends have been discussing this issue of Guantanamo. I know that you would be as delighted as I was to read the headline, ‘‘5 Charged in 9/11 Attacks Seek to Plead Guilty.’’ A New York
Times article, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: ‘‘The five Guantanamo detainees charged with coordinating the September 11 attacks told a military judge on Monday that they wanted to confess in full, a move that seemed to challenge the government to put them to
death. At the start of what had been listed as routine proceedings Monday, Judge Henry said he had received a
written statement from the five men dated November 4 saying they planned to stop filing legal motions and to ‘announce our confessions to plea in full’. Speaking in what has become a familiar high-pitched tone in the cavernous courtroom here, the most prominent of the five, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
said, ‘We don’t want to waste our time with motions.’ ’’ That was what they said.
This administration, unfortunately, came in after, just a month after this because this is December 8, 2008. These guys were ready to plead guilty. They
were ready to be put to death. They had already proclaimed, as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed did, as well as authorized by the other four, they were ready to plead guilty and take their punishment. Oh, no. The strong leaders in this administration came in and said, whoa, whoa, not so fast. We want to give you a show trial in New York City, cost ourselves billions of dollars,
put New Yorkers at risk so you can have a big show, and we can pound our chest and talk about how civilized we are.
What civilized nation would not protect itself so it can remain civilized instead of being overtaken by barbarians? The civilized thing to do is to
protect the civilized people that put you in office. But that is not what this administration did. They came in and basically said, you know what, hold off
on that guilty plea. Once these guys heard they were going to get a show trial, well for heaven’s sake, they pulled back on their guilty pleas and
here 2 years later, 2 full years later, this administration has now announced basically that we are not sure when we are going to get around to bringing
them to trial. We are not sure where we are going to try them. It has shown weakness in leadership.
I just remind my friend, and I know he knows the quote from John Stuart Mill, who said in the 1800s: ‘‘War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of
things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing
for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being
free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.’’
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, it is kind hard to top that. The message I was hoping that could be relayed more than anything else is that there has been a general lackadaisical, asleep-at-the-wheel, detached perspective of this administration when it
comes to national security. And unfortunately, we live in a 9/11 world where there are those out there who don’t hold to the ideals of freedom and protecting innocent life, like has been the ideal of America. This administration is continuing down this path.
Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to have to come to this floor in future days and have to decry what we failed to do. I think there is still time for this administration to wake up and realize that allowing Iran to gain nuclear weapons, allowing North Korea to proliferate nuclear capability, missile capability
throughout the world, allowing terrorists to use the forms of liberty to destroy liberty itself in our civilian courts, allowing the potential of terrorists
to gain control of an EMP capability that could threaten our whole society, standing by while the Senate sits quietly and does nothing to pass the GRID bill passed in the House of Representatives, these are very, very important things, Mr. Speaker. I just
hope somehow this administration realizes that their first purpose and their first responsibility to God, country, and their fellow human beings is to protect the lives and constitutional rights of the citizens of the United States.
Mr. Speaker, I hope that happens.
GETTING BACK TO OUR CONSTITUTION
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker’s announced policy of January 6, 2009, the gentleman from Texas
(Mr. GOHMERT) is recognized for 60 minutes.
Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, I have so much respect and abiding love and appreciation for my dear friend from
Arizona, as well as my friend from Colorado and my friend who was here earlier from Iowa, my dear friend STEVE KING. Congressman KING and I were
down in Guantanamo together, and I heard him earlier talking about pulling back the privileges and punishing assaults at Guantanamo Bay against our
I did recall something that he may not have recalled. There is another severe form of punishment when such an assault is committed on our guards at Guantanamo, which apparently is pretty customary down there, of throwing urine or feces on our guards. They have
to come up with creative ways to do that, and do so.
One of the other ways—and it’s the
only other way in addition to taking some of their outdoor exercise time down to 2 hours. The other thing that they have been known to do in order to really punish them, to actually torture them, is to take away some of their movie-watching time during the day.
It’s just devastating, you know, to the Guantanamo detainees to have some of their movie-watching privileges taken away because they threw feces or urine on one of our gallant servicemen or -women. You’ve got to take away some of their movie-watching. It really teaches them a lesson. It just shows
them we’re not going to be messed with. If you mess with us, you won’t get to watch as many movies today as you would have otherwise. We’ll show ’em.
I was also hearing on the news today that Uyghurs, Chinese Muslims who have been transferred out of Guantanamo, had given interviews, indicating,actually, they were a lot better treated in Guantanamo than they were at home in China. So, despite the way some people have tried to characterize the prison in Guantanamo, it is not quite as bad—in fact, not by a long shot. It provides better living conditions than many of these people have ever had in their lives.