In The News
Rare Questions & Answers with Rep. Gohmert: FBI’s willful blindness enabled Boston terror attack
By Brett M. Decker, Rare
Washington, April 30, 2013
Louie Gohmert represents the 1st congressional district of Texas. Last year, he won his fifth term with 71.2% of the vote. A district judge in the Lone Star State for 10 years, he was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to be chief justice of the state’s 12th Court of Appeals, where served before Congress. One of the more outspokenly conservative members of the Republican House Conference, the congressman made waves earlier this year by bucking the party leadership and voting for former Rep. Allen West to be head of the chamber over sitting Speaker John Boehner. An articulate voice on the nature and extent of the danger of radical Islam to the United States, Rep. Gohmert is vice chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. He began his career in public service as an Army officer in the JAG Corps. You can find out more about him and his policy positions at: gohmert.house.gov
Decker: One of the most basic laws of war is that you cannot defeat an enemy if you don’t know who he is. The specific nature of a threat must be defined to craft a strategy to neutralize it. Federal agencies ignored countless warning signs that the Boston Marathon jihadists were dangerous. Is the U.S. government’s mania for political correctness blinding it to the nature and extent of the danger posed by radical Islam?
Gohmert: Because of the purging of FBI language of virtually any specifics regarding the beliefs of radical Islam, it is no wonder that the FBI found nothing after their conversations with Tamerlan and his family members. It is also no wonder the Russians did not volunteer any more of their knowledge of his radicalization. They surely discerned that there was no use describing features to a blinded agency that could not see. It was one of our own agents who confided to me that we had blinded ourselves of the ability to see the enemy at war with us.
Decker: The need to protect our borders gets so bogged down in the immigration controversy that national security implications are overshadowed. If millions of unskilled workers can hop the fence, terrorists can too. Isn’t America vulnerable to this very real threat?
Gohmert: America is and has been vulnerable to the threat of illegal entrance by people who want to destroy us. We also fail miserably in forcing people to leave after their visas expire, which increases the chances of radicalized aliens being here in the United States.
Decker: There is a lot of media talk about a supposed economic recovery that is underway. This smells like a bunch of baloney, especially given the growing millions of long-term unemployed out there. It seems to me that just about everything done in Washington is hindering a recovery not encouraging it. Am I missing something here?
Gohmert: You have missed nothing. Producing our own energy could both add new jobs and cut dependency on foreign energy. There are countries that supply oil which also help fund terrorism. It would be a win for the U.S. in every conceivable way to produce more of our own energy, especially with regard to natural gas. Yet, this administration has cut permits on federal property over 25% and growing, while using the executive branch, especially the EPA, to throw as many impediments in the way as possible.
In the meantime, the biggest factor keeping the official unemployment rate from blowing through the roof is that millions of those out of work have given up hope and quit looking for work. When workers stop looking for jobs, they are no longer counted in the official unemployment rate. There are people illegally here who take jobs Americans would not take, at the pay offered. But, there are Americans who would take those jobs at higher rates of pay, so the millions of illegal immigrants both bring down the level of pay and take jobs from Americans.
Decker: The 2012 election was terrible for the GOP, which now has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential contests. Is this losing streak a problem of style, substance, or both? What do conservatives need to do to start winning national elections again?
Gohmert: Republicans need to keep their promises made and keep hammering the fact that we are doing so. For example, when we say for eight years we are going to reform the ridiculously complex tax code, we should do it. We can win votes, not by pandering, but by showing that we deliver on what we promise. We could reform the immigration process so no lawyer need ever be hired, and results be obtained in days and not months or years, all while securing our border at the same time. Fairness and truth will win more voters than the numbers Democrats win by promising free things.
Republicans should also decide that there is no identifiable group in this country that we should not be making our case to show we are better for them in the long run than the Democrats. They want to pander, like saying we want children to learn in their native language, knowing that failure to speak English could confine them to manual labor the rest of their lives. We want them to learn English so they can someday run the company. Another group that votes Democrat by a huge majority are the deceased. If the vote is fair, there should be as many deceased voting Republican as are currently voting Democrat. It should be zero. We need stricter voter ID laws nationwide.
Decker: America is at a crossroads in so many ways. What do you worry about when you can’t sleep at night?
Gohmert: I sleep very little when in Washington because I know we continue to encounter mile-markers that traditionally have been passed on the downhill road to the dustbin of history. We must again start educating Americans to understand how this became the greatest nation in history and how there are basic premises that keep it free and great, that are being violated on a broad scale every day. We have created more incentives to be non-productive than to be productive, and the amounts we are spending on incentives to bankrupt this nation continue to grow.
Those issues most pressing on my mind are whether we fall by becoming bankrupt at our own hands, or by being overrun by turning a blind eye to a radical ideology that is producing fanatics who think America is the “great Satan,” or by failing to educate students of how profoundly amazing, rare and exceptional this country is so that future generations see no need to perpetuate it, or by a combination of these. We have been blessed by our Creator with more than any other nation in history. Therefore, I share Thomas Jefferson’s concern: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
Brett M. Decker is Editor-in-Chief of Rare.