THREATS TO THE UNITED STATES; Congressional Record Vol. 159, No. 25
(House of Representatives - February 15, 2013)

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                      THREATS TO THE UNITED STATES

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2013, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert) is recognized 
for 50 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, at this time I yield such time as he may 
consume to my friend from North Dakota (Mr. Cramer).

               Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project

  Mr. CRAMER. Thank you to my colleague from Texas.
  Mr. Speaker, today, I dropped in the hopper my first bill as a Member 
of the United States House of Representatives. And while it's a simple 
bill, it's a big day for me. It's a bill that simply corrects an 
oversight in previous legislation.
  The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established a Federal Permit 
Streamlining Pilot Project to improve the processing of oil and gas 
permitting for onshore Federal lands. The Miles City, Montana, BLM 
field office was included in this pilot project. But unknown to the 
drafters of the legislation, the Miles City office also serves North 
and South Dakota. Without the Dakotas included in the language of the 
law, North and South Dakota permits are excluded from this program.
  Permitting to drill on Federal lands has exceeded 225 days for the 
past 4 years when State permits on non-Federal lands in North Dakota 
take only 10 days to process. With the passage of this bill, more land 
will be opened to a program that seeks to reduce this sluggish pace, 
and oil and natural gas explorers and their many supporting businesses 
will have more work to do sooner.
  Beyond the immediate benefits of this bill, Mr. Speaker, I hope it 

[[Page H573]]

a conversation on more extensive reform of the permitting process for 
Federal land. The new oil and gas revolution in the United States has 
the potential to lead us out of this economic slump. I believe 
America's national security and America's economic security are tied 
directly to America's energy security, and I urge my colleagues to pass 
this bill as my friends work to pass the same legislation in the 
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, I want to follow up on what my friend from 
Arizona (Mr. Franks) was talking about with regard to Iran. It should 
be pretty clear to most people that Iran is a threat to any group of 
people who believe that we do not need a religious zealot telling us 
how we have to live; that we do not need someone taking over, arising 
out of the chaos to create a one-world caliphate under which we have to 
live with a ruling religious zealot making sure that we do not get 
involved in any type of self-government that they believe inevitably 
leads to depravity. So some of us don't think it's a good idea to give 
Iran more power to carry out the threats of wiping out Israel, which 
they refer to as the ``little Satan,'' or to wipe out the United 
States, which their leaders refer to as the ``big Satan.''
  Yet we have nominated by the President of the United States a man who 
thinks we need to cozy up to Iran. His idea of national security is 
cozying up to a country who's made very clear they want to destroy 
Israel and they want to destroy us. So for those yesterday who saw that 
the Senate did not move forward, was not able to get the votes to move 
forward on a confirmation vote on former Senator Hagel, they must be 
very upset if they think cozying up to Iran and betraying Israel 
further than this administration already has is a good idea--get closer 
to Iran, further betray Israel, yesterday was a bad day, and you should 
be very angry with most of the Senate Republicans, and especially my 
friend, Senator Ted Cruz. Because they have to be concerned about our 
ally, Israel. They have to be concerned about the threats of madmen 
running the country of Iran.
  So look, though, at the speeches that have belatedly come out after 
all the things were made public. And then this stuff keeps trickling 
out. Another speech saying, Hey, let's put a consulate in Iran--while 
they're trying to destroy us.

                              {time}  1210

  Apparently, some people just cannot remember past 10 or 12 years. I 
think it's very important to remember our history. In 1979, I was at 
Fort Benning, Georgia, in the United States Army, and we were paying 
attention to what was happening. Some of us haven't forgotten what was 
  As we have seen new things arise, as we have seen the horrors of what 
is going on in the Middle East, it is just heartbreaking to see people 
proposed as leaders who absolutely refuse to learn from history: a man 
proposed for Secretary of Defense who cannot recall what those of us 
who were in the military in 1979 recall, and that is that we had a 
President in Jimmy Carter who thought it was a good idea for the Shah 
of Iran to be gone--not a nice man, had not treated well the people of 
Iran, but had been able to hold down the radical Islamic jihadists that 
want to terrorize everybody who don't believe exactly like they do.
  In fact, it was President Carter that, as Ayatollah Khomeini came 
back from exile and took over control of Iran, it was President Carter 
that hailed him as a man of peace, not realizing that what President 
Carter, by his actions and inactions, had allowed to happen was the 
arising of the radical Islamic jihadists that would bring about, for 
over 30 years to come, the deaths of thousands and thousands of 
Americans, some civilians, some from foreign countries, but all 
innocent; some military; some having to fight the people that President 
Carter, in his naivete--he had no ill will, he wanted what was best for 
America, but he was just ignorant of what he was doing. He was a 
President about whom could have been said, Forgive him, Lord, he knows 
not what he has done, and he led to the consequences we're suffering 
still today.
  Radical Islam is not our friend. They want to eliminate us from the 
map. They think that moral depravity is the rule in this Western 
Civilization and that we need a grand imam. They're anticipating the 
12th imam to come and establish the global caliphate.
  Now we have a Secretary of Defense proposed who wants to repeat the 
same errors that led to the deaths of so many Americans. He wants to 
put a consulate in Tehran. He thinks that would be a grand idea to help 
our relations. I don't personally understand how it will help the 
United States' relations to put a consulate back in Tehran, with 
leaders of Iran saying they want to wipe out infidels like those that 
would be put at the consulate, like those who were at the consulate in 
Benghazi, only to have that horrible chapter and nightmare for over a 
year replayed before new generations.
  Yet there are people like Majority Leader Harry Reid, who say it's 
games being played, schoolboy games being played by people who have a 
genuine interest in not repeating the errors of our recent history.
  Is 34 years ago so far away that we cannot remember, that we want a 
Secretary of Defense that thinks it's a good idea to try to placate 
radical jihadists? About the only thing that Senator Hagel hadn't done 
is repeat the phrase ``man of peace,'' talking about the leader of 
  So I am very grateful to all of those, like Ted Cruz, who stood up 
yesterday and said there's too much information we do not know and what 
we know causes concern. Now, we have some Senators that say we have to 
have information about Benghazi and what really happened before we can 
go forward in voting on this nomination. Some say: What does that have 
to do with defense, and, therefore, what does it have to do with the 
Secretary of Defense?
  There are some that might be tempted to repeat Secretary Clinton's 
question of: What difference does it make? As a history major in 
college who continues to read and study all the history I can--history 
in the making now--I would like for the Secretary of State and 
Secretary of Defense to be able to recall 34 years and note the 
mistakes that have been made that got Americans killed.
  1979 was an act of war against the United States. Instead of 
defending ourselves and putting down what had occurred in the attack on 
our Embassy--which under everybody's definition of international law is 
an act of war--instead of doing that, we had a weak administration that 
simply begged the Iranians to let our people go--please. That is seen 
as weakness when you're dealing with terrorists, when you're dealing 
with people who promote terrorism, when you're dealing with people who 
pay for terrorism and encourage terrorism. That is what we have 
reigning in Iran.
  So it's a legitimate concern about who the Secretary of Defense will 
be, and will it be a throwback to the Carter years of thinking the best 
way to deal with radical Islamic jihadists is to give them whatever 
they want. That's been tried; it doesn't work. Heck, this 
administration is still trying to buy off the radical Islamic jihadists 
that make up the Taliban. This administration has gone so far as to 
say, look, you don't even have to agree to quit killing Americans if 
you'll just agree to sit down with us and negotiate. If you'll just do 
that, you can keep killing American soldiers. That's okay, if you'll 
just agree to sit down with us. And while you're killing American 
soldiers, we'll show our good will. We'll buy you an incredibly nice 
office in Qatar that will give you an international presence and will 
give you credibility around the world as you keep trying to kill 
Americans and continue to actually kill Americans.
  About 3 years ago, Dana Rohrabacher asked me to go with him to meet 
with Northern Alliance leaders, and we met with them. These were 
leaders who put their lives on the line to fight with and for America. 
They're Muslims, but they did not like the idea of radical Islamic 
jihadists being in control of Afghanistan. They were and are the enemy 
of our enemy. So with less than 500 people, 500 Americans put into 
Afghanistan--after we figured out that's where the attacks emanated 
because that's where the training occurred, that's where the terrorist 
camps were--less than 500 Americans,

[[Page H574]]

Special Ops and intelligence, those 4 months that followed should be 
hailed as one of the greatest days for American Special Ops and 
intelligence. The intelligence community has made plenty of mistakes--
continues to make some--but that was a great time in their history and 
our history.

                              {time}  1220

  Without a single loss of American lives, the Northern Alliance, these 
tribal groups that this administration now refers to as war criminals 
because they defeated our enemies for us, they fought and defeated the 
Taliban. By early 2002, the Taliban had been routed. Some people forget 
nowadays that during the course of the Iraq war, they would refer back 
to Afghanistan and say, now, that's how you fight in a foreign country 
like Afghanistan. You let their patriots who know the country, know the 
terrain and know the tactics of our enemy, let them fight them.
  We gave them arms, we gave them aerial support, and they defeated the 
Taliban for us.
  Then, as our Northern Alliance allies told Dana and me--Steve King 
was there for the first meeting--they told us, Look, then, after we had 
defeated the Taliban for you, then you tell us we've got to turn back 
in the arms that gave us the ability to defeat the Taliban because you 
told us, Look, we're the United States. Now that the Taliban has been 
defeated, we've got you covered. There won't be any more problems. 
We're in charge.
  Then we added tens of thousands of people to Afghanistan and became 
occupiers in Afghanistan. Then, again, those who know history, and I do 
mean distant and more recent history, you know that occupiers really 
don't do well in that part of the world. Someone said, Well, Alexander 
the Great conquered the Afghanistan area. And my reply would be, He 
died on the way out. I don't consider that a real great victory.
  But we had a grand strategy letting the enemy of our enemies, the 
Northern Alliance, defeat the Taliban for us. And, now, 11 years later, 
we have been occupying Afghanistan, and we forced a constitution on 
them that required a centralized government in a place where 
centralized governments have not done well. We forced that on them, and 
we included the provision that made Afghanistan all under shari'a law.
  The results of that grand victory in early 2002 and our ominous 
occupation for the 11 years since has been that the last Christian 
public worship service has happened. There are no more public Christian 
worship services in the country where we have lost so many valiant 
American heroes. The last person who admits to being Jewish in 
Afghanistan has left--that's what we've been advised--all under our 
watch and what we have done in that country.
  The President announced right here just Tuesday night of this week 
about his plans to draw down American troops and to be all out within 
the next couple of years. I would humbly submit that if he had a better 
plan, and it is very simple, we could be out of there within the next 6 
months. It would be far more effective. As our Northern Alliance 
friends, former Vice President Massoud, who knows about losing loved 
ones having lost his brother, the Lion of Panjshir, great hero of 
Afghanistan, he knows about losing his father-in-law to the Taliban to 
a man, a Taliban member who was invited to sit down with Massoud's 
father-in-law to talk about potential peace. Karzai had appointed 
Massoud's father-in-law to be his peace emissary to deal with, sit down 
and negotiate with the Taliban to try to work out an agreement.
  So the Taliban emissary for peace came in to sit down with Massoud's 
father-in-law and blew himself and Massoud's father-in-law to pieces--
great gesture of peace. That's the kind of people we're dealing with. 
That's the same kind of people that are in leadership in Iran that 
Chuck Hagel wants to go have better relationships with.
  I would submit that whoever he was willing to see in Tehran as our 
emissary there, as our ambassador there, would have a high probability 
of suffering the same consequences that Massoud's father-in-law did, 
the same that his brother did. His brother, such a great warrior, 
political figure, great charisma, in his case, he was asked if he would 
give an interview to a television crew. He consented, not being aware 
that the television camera was full of explosives and that the 
cameraman and the reporter were willing to blow themselves up so they 
could kill such a great Afghani hero. So they did, and he's gone. How 
many Americans are we going to have to continue to lose in Afghanistan?
  I talked to Billy and Karen Vaughn, the parents of great American 
patriot Aaron Vaughn, a SEAL Team Six member, one of the SEAL teams 
that went after Osama bin Laden. They don't want publicity while they 
are SEAL members actively. They don't seek it, don't want it, and 
there's always been the agreement that no administration will out who 
goes in and does the kind of actions that SEAL Team Six did, taking out 
Osama bin Laden. That's classified information, who went and got him, 
and then we have the Vice President of the United States stand up in 
front of a crowd and congratulate the SEAL team for taking him out.
  One SEAL team member, his father, he's deceased now, but his father 
said that his daughter-in-law called and said within an hour of the 
Vice President's outing SEAL Team Six, they had a marine guard outside 
her quarters because they knew this administration just put a big red 
target on his entire family.

  Billy and Karen say after that happened, Aaron called and said, Mom 
and Dad, there's been chatter. You're not safe. Take any reference to 
me off Facebook, off any e-mail, off anything. You cannot have 
references that you're connected with me, or you will be a target. 
These people are ruthless.
  So after SEAL Team Six was outed and having visited Afghanistan, I 
was surprised, as widespread as Taliban reach has become again in 
Afghanistan, missions were run through the Afghan Government so that 
the Afghans would have known exactly where SEAL Team Six was and where 
they were being sent.
  When one of the surviving parents of one of our heroic SEAL Team Six 
members asked at the briefing as to what had happened to their loved 
ones in the Afghanistan ambush of our troops, of our SEAL Team Six 
members, one of the parents asked, Look, since you knew this was such a 
hot spot, since you knew this information had been cleared through the 
Afghan Government, which has Taliban running through it, since you knew 
all these things about how desperate the situation was in that space, 
why didn't you just send in a drone? And the admiral briefing the 
family members said, Because we're trying to win their hearts and 
  Now, that sounds like something the new Secretary of Defense might 
say, since he's all for buddying back up to Iran while they want to 
destroy our way of life and all Americans: Yeah, we're trying to win 
their hearts and minds, so let's send more people into Tehran. That's 
the proposal, or was the proposal, of Secretary of Defense nominee 
Hagel: Let's send some people, yeah, maybe they'll get blown up. That's 
what he should have said, because there's a good chance they will.

                              {time}  1230

  Some of us warned about the dangers of helping the revolutionaries in 
Libya. Qadhafi had blood on his hands. But ever since 2003, he had 
helped suppress radical Islamic jihadist activities. He had become an 
ally. His own son had been here negotiating with this White House.
  Yet the White House has no problem, as they did with our Northern 
Alliance allies, throwing them under the bus, throwing Mubarak under 
the bus, throwing Qadhafi under the bus, and even our own Ambassador 
was a sacrificial lamb.
  They should have known. Some of us pointed out, look, this is not a 
good idea to be helping revolutionaries in Libya when we already know 
there are al Qaeda involved in this revolution. We don't know how 
widespread it is, but you can't be helping people that want to destroy 
us. You're going to give them more arms, you're going to give them more 
power, they'll have a greater reach to wipe out Israel, or try--and to 
wipe out us, or to try.
  But this President didn't listen. His Cabinet members didn't listen. 
We were told he didn't care what Congress thought. He was listening 
more to European members who wanted help protecting their oil they were 
buying from

[[Page H575]]

Libya, and because of the OIC, the 57 states that make up the OIC.
  I'm like the President. I get mixed up. He said he had been to all 57 
States, our President had, and I get confused. Do we have 57 States and 
the OIC have 50? Or they have 57, we have 50? It's confusing. I 
understand the President having that problem, but apparently they have 
57 States because they count Palestine.
  They don't learn from history. And as a result we helped--we provided 
weapons--those are the latest reports--and some of those weapons then 
found their way to Algeria where more Americans were killed even more 
recently than 9/11 of last year--with people that we helped empower so 
they could go about killing more people.
  I like President Obama as a person. He's a good family man. I was 
hoping that with all the disclosures that have come out since 9/11 of 
last year and since we now know from former Secretary Panetta and from 
other witnesses that after the President learned that our Ambassador 
was under attack, he may have known that he had already been abducted 
and that a long battle was being undertaken by radicals against our 
Americans in Benghazi. We now know the President did nothing else. He 
said, well, do what you can, in essence, and went home. Or maybe he was 
home when he talked to them. And did nothing else.
  I have no idea if the President required a sleep aid that night; but 
if he did, anybody else in America that has trouble sleeping, you 
better get what he had, because it works well--how the President of the 
United States could sleep that night as the Ambassador that he put in 
place, that he put in harm's way, was either under attack, had already 
been kidnapped, being brutalized, unspeakable things being done to his 
person, his body.
  I remember Senator Clinton running a commercial back in 2008 that 
asked the question, Who do you want to take that phone call at 3 a.m.? 
This would have been exactly the kind of situation, except there was no 
phone call at 3 a.m. The phone call had been at 5-or-so in the 
afternoon. And there was no effort to find out, by the way, what 
happened to Ambassador Stevens that I put in harm's way, considered the 
equivalent of a four-star general in the civilian service, to awake to 
find out the next day that it had been over 7 hours of attacks, that 
our last American that we know of killed was killed in the last hour of 
that 7-hour attack.
  And I can appreciate the loyalty of Cabinet members, Joint Chiefs, 
trying to protect the President, coming forward and saying, well, you 
know, we didn't have planes. They would have had to be refueled; they 
would have had to be armed.
  Well, I would submit if we can't get a jet that will fly 600 miles or 
700 miles an hour, 600 miles or so to Libya, if we can't get them there 
in an hour, an hour and a half, then it's time to clean house at the 
top of our Defense Department and get people that can get planes to 
help our embattled American civilians and Ambassador, get them some 
  I mean, I would think that if you're concerned enough to sit and 
watch footage of the hurricane coverage, people that you didn't put in 
the harm's way they were in, that you would at least be concerned about 
the people you did put in harm's way.
  And certainly the President and Secretary Clinton and Secretary 
Panetta, certainly those people did not want them hurt. But it's 
important to learn from history. It's important to understand what 
difference it makes as to what happens about fiascoes that get 
Americans killed. It is important. It does make a difference.
  We've read reports that Secretary--Ambassador now--Rice may have been 
involved with the decision not to send more security to our Embassy 
that was attacked back in the nineties that got Americans killed. And 
apparently no one learned from that, because if someone in the nineties 
after our Embassy had been attacked had had adequate hearings and 
gotten to the bottom of that, they would have learned, uh-oh, what 
difference does it make? Well, it makes a difference because now we 
know when an Embassy requests more security and we refuse to provide 
it, there's a good chance it's going to get hit and they're going to 
get killed.
  And that would have been very helpful to have had that conventional 
wisdom and that institutional knowledge on 9/10 of 2011 when in Egypt 
we were hearing that, gee, if you don't release the Blind Sheikh, 
you're going to get attacked, your Embassy and Embassies may get 
attacked. And if we had had people in this administration with 
institutional knowledge from the nineties, and from '79, they would 
have said, you know what, on 9/9 of 2011, they're giving us a warning, 
you're about to be attacked unless you release the Blind Sheikh.
  We weren't releasing the Blind Sheikh and I hope and pray we don't. 
He is a killer and will kill again. He doesn't carry them out. He plots 
and plans them and gives instructions. And under all criminal law in 
the U.S. or abroad, you plan it, you instruct on it and if your 
instructions are followed and people are killed, then you committed 
murder as well.
  So the Blind Sheikh is a murderer.

                              {time}  1240

  If we'd learned from those lessons of the past, the difference it 
would have made is Ambassador Stevens should still be alive today, and 
he could be coming before Congress and explaining what goes wrong so 
that we'd know the difference that would make, which is that, in the 
future, we could save other Ambassadors and other consulate workers.
  Now, I've read accounts that, apparently, the former SEAL team 
members--the two who responded--had been advised, Don't go. So it has 
to be a little bit hurtful for their families to know that their sons, 
their husbands, their brothers had been ordered not to go help at 
Benghazi and that they disobeyed their instructions and went and helped 
anyway and that, as people came before Congress to testify, the 
military, having given them the instructions not to go--the civilian 
service giving them instructions not to go--took credit for their 
disregarding their instructions and going and trying to save lives 
anyway. How ironic.
  American lives are still at stake in North Africa, in the Middle 
East, in Afghanistan, around the world, and here at home. If we 
continue to put people in place in decisionmaking positions who do not 
understand that you cannot buy off a schoolyard bully and that you 
cannot buy off radical Islamic jihadists who want to destroy you, we're 
going to continue to have Americans lose their lives. I've mentioned on 
this floor before what one American soldier in Afghanistan told me over 
  He said, Look, I don't mind laying down my life for my country, but 
please don't waste it.
  We have such heroes in the service of the United States, and they're 
asking, Please, we'll follow orders. Just don't waste our willingness 
to lay down our lives for others.
  But that's the American tradition.
  We were talking about some people this week even going back to 
Hawaii's statue just in the hallway directly below where I am right 
here, directly below. Father Damien was a Catholic priest who'd heard 
about the lepers being thrown off ships, being put on an island in 
Hawaii to die, having no quality of life--horrors of existence. So he 
went to give them a quality of life, to give them a society so they 
could live out their last diseased years. Eventually, as he knew he 
would, he acquired leprosy and died.
  The words that are at the top of the plaque on Father Damien's 
statue, which is right below me, apply to our military members, apply 
to those in our U.S. service, because the words on those top two lines 
of that plaque say:

       Greater love hath no one than this: that a man lay down his 
     life for his friends, John 15:13.

  We've got people willing to lay down their lives for their country. 
We would beg the President to appoint a Secretary of Defense who will 
not waste American lives in trying to buddy up to radical Islamic 
jihadists in control in Iran, who will not demonize any further than 
former Senator Hagel already has the Israelis and the Jewish members of 
an administration who just want to protect our country, because we find 
out in prior speeches, in prior comments from the Secretary of Defense 
nominee Hagel, that he has complained before that one of the big 
problems is that the State Department is controlled by Jews.
  That's fine by me--they're Americans. They care about America, but

[[Page H576]]

that's a problem for him. It's not a problem for me as long as any 
Jewish or any Caucasian or any minority serving his country understands 
Israel is our friend--they're our ally--and they're the greatest 
democracy anywhere in that area.
  So let's don't disparage our ally. Let's don't think we can throw 
Israel under the bus as we did Mubarak, as we did Qadhafi, as we did 
the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, as this administration has done 
with others. Don't throw Israel under the bus. Let's stop doing that to 
our friends, and let's recognize the real enemy.
  I hope and pray the President will withdraw this nomination and, if 
he doesn't, that we will continue to have Senators to say, you can't 
have somebody serve as a Cabinet-level position, like former Senator 
Hagel, who thinks Israel is the problem and that Jews in the State 
Department are the problem and that Iran has a group of leaders in it 
that we need to buddy up to. If the President will do that, he will see 
a welcoming of bipartisanship. He will see it explode on both sides of 
the aisle, welcoming the President's doing the right thing by our 
friend Israel.
  If the President refuses to do that, I still hope and pray that the 
people will stand as firmly as did the Republicans who voted against 
bringing Chuck Hagel to the floor for a vote for a nomination. I hope 
they'll stand firm. I'm so proud of the new Senator, Ted Cruz. He's 
doing great. Lindsey Graham made some great points yesterday, and I 
hope he'll stand by those. He's a good man. He just needs to stand by 
what he said yesterday. If we do that, we will help make the world a 
better place, and we'll show the country true bipartisanship.
  With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.