Frank Gaffney: Welcome back, I’m very pleased to say that a distinguished member of the House of Representatives joins us. A senior member of the Armed Services Committee in that body, the Chairman of the House Natural Resources committee’s Energy subcommittee: a very important post, he is representative Doug Lamborn. Representing the 5th congressional district in Colorado. He serves as the co-chair of the Republican Israel caucus, and so much more. It’s always a delight to have him with us. Congressman, welcome back and thank you. I know you’re out in God’s country I appreciate you taking a few minutes to talk with us.
Rep. Lamborn: Frank it is always good to chat with you and your listeners.
Frank Gaffney: Thank you. Congressman, one of the things that is kind of in sharp relief particularly after the attack in Orlando is the distinct problem that we don’t seem to really understand what we’re up against. This was evidenced by the redacted transcript of the shooter’s calls to 911. I’m interested in your thoughts on that and if you might tell us a little bit about the effort of your democratic colleagues to divert attention further onto gun control and what you think of that idea.
Rep. Lamborn: They had this sit in and they were trying to bring back the days of civil rights protests in the 60s. And yet, their objective was to take away civil rights. To impose restrictions on our second amendment right – to keep and bear arms in a way that is against civil rights. And they are shifting attention, if they can get away with it, away from terrorism and the influence of ISIS on homegrown terrorists like Omar Mateen in Orlando. And they’re trying to put it on gun control. You know even if their solutions had been enforced, that would not have stopped Mateen. So it is ironic that they really don’t even have solutions. The ones they’ve proposed wouldn’t have made a difference.
Frank Gaffney: When you hear the administration talking terrorism, if you will, or violent extremism as they call it having nothing to do with Sharia, with the jihad that it impels, or with Islam more broadly. It does seem as though that is blinding us to certain realities, and we were talking earlier in the program with Dr. Zudhi Jasser who testified before Senator Ted Cruz earlier this week. He made the point that not only is this precluding us from being able to prevent violence by understanding what is coming and nipping it in the bud, but it also is really undermining people like himself – reform minded Muslims. We seem to be doing the bidding of the Muslim Brotherhood and its ilk.
Rep. Lamborn: You know Frank, the President refuses to even mention the phrase Islamic terrorism or jihadism for that matter. He just doesn’t get it. He refuses to even acknowledge the source of these inspired attacks – ISIS and other related inspired attacks, then we can’t really deal with the problem. You know it starts with having our eyes wide open as to where the problem comes from. It is kind of like his inability to have a foreign policy strategy. He is just letting Syria and Iraq deteriorate. It happened in Libya also under Hillary Clinton. They just let conditions deteriorate. At this point he is waiting a hoping he can wash his hands of it and let the next president deal with it. But when we precipitously withdrew from Iraq without any status of forces agreement, no US presence, they turned to Iran, things deteriorate between the Sunnis and Shiites. Or in Syria when he withdrew from the red line he had given to Bashar Al Assad without any consequences. Things just deteriorate…
Frank Gaffney: And predictably so.
Rep. Lamborn: Yeah predictably so…So ISIS now has huge territory – they call it a caliphate. They are finding disturbed people, aimless people, disgruntled people like Omar Mateen in Orlando to do these horrific attacks in Europe and here in the US. And that is going to continue. We required him to come out with a policy on Syria; he still doesn’t even have that. His one proposal was to do a new authorization of the use of military force, and by the way we are gonna make it very restrictive and shackle the next president. Well we’re not gonna shackle the next president. We’re not going to take his advice.
Frank Gaffney: Thanks but no thanks as they say. You know, I’m sure the administration and its apologists would claim that we are rolling up the Islamic State. They have less territory today than they used to. But that doesn’t take into account that they have opened up new franchises in places like Libya for example, and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. Hey speaking of the broader problem, Congressman Doug Lamborn, I wanted to ask you about the relationship of the United States government under President Obama to the Palestinians, including among them I’m sorry to say, Hamas – very much a terrorist franchise associated by the way with the Muslim Brotherhood of course. And more broadly, sir, what do you make of the US policy towards Israel?
Rep. Lamborn: You know I’m working with others in congress to call attention to the fact that we are giving hundreds of millions of dollars to the Palestinians through the UNWRA program overseen by the United Nations to…
Frank Gaffney: This is the welfare relief agency, right
Rep. Lamborn: Yes that’s what it stands for. And yet this group through the UN is giving money to Palestinian groups and organizations that are inspiring hatred. They are inciting hatred and terrorism through the textbooks that they put out, and other public acts that they make, payments that they give to the families of terrorists who murder innocents in Israel. Yet we’re funding that with very few conditions; fewer if any conditions. That is the kind of short sightedness that our administration is doing that does not create peace in the Middle East and is actually making things worse.
Frank Gaffney: Congressman let me turn finally to something near and dear to your heart I know. The president seems determined to get all of those in Guantanamo Bay, out. Some he’s just evidently, going to turn loose on foreign countries, therefore probably in short order foreign battlefields. Some, I think, he still intends to bring to the United States even though that is not permissible under existing law. One of those places where they might be put is SuperMax, not too far from you. What is your view of whether the President can do this under the law and whether congress will take further steps to ensure that he doesn’t?
Rep. Lamborn: Congress will do everything and I will do everything that I can to prevent him from doing that. However he has acted above the law on other occasions like with Dhaka, he said twenty times I don’t have the right to give immigrants who are here illegally, citizenship and will deport them, and he turns around and does the exact opposite. With Guantanamo Bay, Frank, we here in Colorado are very disturbed about the fact that they might be brought to our soil and be put into our communities here in Colorado. But whether it is in Colorado or anywhere that they would come, there’s so many problems. There are security problems, there are radicalization of others problems, and there are constitutional problems. They would be able to demand certain kinds of Habeus Corpus rights or if they go to trial, the release and the opening hearing a lot of sensitive intelligence sources and methods that would be detrimental, devastating, to our intelligence gathering in that part of the world. There are so many things wrong with bringing them to our soil. And it’s all based on foolish campaign promises he made to close down Guantanamo. He’s broken all kinds of campaign promises, why can’t he break this one too? He says that this insights the radicals to come against the West. They came against the West at 9/11 before they had even heard of Guantanamo Bay.
Frank Gaffney: Congressman Doug Lamborn we have to let it at that for the moment. I appreciate very much your time and the great work that you do on behalf of the people of the 5th district of Colorado and all of us for that matter on the House Armed Services Committee and elsewhere. Keep it up. Come back to us again if you would very soon, sir.
On Secure Freedom Radio today, Frank Gaffney spoke to Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado who serves on the Armed Services Committee.
Obama is still trying to close Gitmo and if he’s successful, prisoners could be transferred to the Supermax prison in Colorado which Lamborn believes is a horrible idea. Not only would it ultimately reveal strategic information to terrorists in a court setting, it would give them the potential to radicalize other prisoners.
Lamborn also spoke about the situation in the Middle East and revealed some disheartening truths about our allies in the region:
“They don’t see American leadership. We unfortunately have had seven years under Barack Obama of not backing allies. We try to cozy up to people like Putin with the reset, the Iranians with this deal, nuclear deal, and yet we ignore our allies. They wonder why they’re ignored.”
That led Gaffney to ask about the seizing of our seamen recently by Iran which Lamborn suggested was a possible violation of the Geneva Convention. He also said that the incident is still under investigation.
Frank asked Lamborn about military funding issues and Lamborn suggested the Obama administration is playing with the amounts and might come in under the recommended targets.
“You know, it should be a no-brainer for everyone Frank that national security should come first and should be funded first, then we do everything else.”
Finally, they spoke about the possibility of an attack on our electric grid which is a horrifying prospect.
Lamborn said the issue is urgent:
“At a small cost… we could harden and protect these critical facilities for the future. And it’s not just what a bad actor could do like a rogue nation like Iran. Also, naturally occurring causes, a huge solar flare could cause the same kind of damage, so we should be wise and prudently invest a small amount to harden these facilities before something bad happens.”
Later in the program, Gaffney spoke to Rep. Brian Babin of Texas who is spearheading the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act, a measure intended to vet Syrian refugees.
Babin was not encouraging in his estimation of the refugee situation:
“As you know, our own FBI director and the director of Homeland Security have said they can’t vet these people properly so we can screen these ISIS infiltrators out of them. Since we spoke, we’ve got the Paris attacks where almost 500 people were killed or wounded, we’ve had San Bernardino. One of those attackers was a native but his wife came here on a fiancé visa.”
Babin and Gaffney then discussed Obama’s bizarre choice to visit a mosque while all this is happening and Babin went on to describe the horrors currently taking place in Europe such as the recent sexual assaults in Germany.
“Do we really want that inside the United States? I don’t think so.”
Frank Gaffney: Doug Lamborn, a man who I’ve have privilege of knowing and working with now for quite some time, from his perspective as a Representative of the people of the 5th District in Colorado, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Vice Chairman of its Strategic Forces Subcommittee, also a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources and Veteran’s Affairs. A very important and influential legislator, we’re also delighted to have him with us especially on the occasion of the President’s veto of one of your major legislative initiatives, Congressman Lamborn, the National Defense Authorization Act. Welcome back it’s good to have you with us sir.
Rep. Doug Lamborn: Well Frank I appreciate the work you do to promote our national security.
Frank Gaffney: Thanks. Lets talks about this Defense National Authorization Act. It’s not everyday that the President of the United States wields his veto pen to strike this legislation down. Remind our listeners Doug, if you would, what’s this Bill about, why is it important, and then we’ll talk about why the President is seen fit to veto it?
DL: There are two bills that deal with the military each year. The first is the Authorization Bill which this is, which describes all of the programs – sometimes new programs that have to be opened up, or modifications in existing programs, other changes – and then the appropriators give the money, in a separate bill, for all of those changes, and they might even have some input as well on where the dollars go, and the two of those make the package. This President has vetoed the NDAA, the Authorization Act, for this year and the first time in history its ever been vetoed for something that’s not even in bill itself.
FG: This is sort of the crux of the matter I think. There is one provision of this legislation that apparently the President found particularly objectionable, and it happens that at least it sounds as though the administration has Colorado in mind as a place that would have bearing on this objection. Give us a flavor of the legislation’s current treatment of the Guantanamo Bay Prison and the disposition of its jihadist detainees and why the President seems to be interested in your state as a place to put them?
DL: I know, this is a specific thing in the bill, the other issue is he just wants to get more funding for outside projects in other parts of the budget unrelated to the military, and that shouldn’t even be a reason for veto. But on this issue, and we will come back to that, but on Gitmo itself Frank, like you pointed out, the bill says ‘there will be no funds for no ability of power to transfer these people to U.S. soil’, and the President does not like that. He wants to shutdown Guantanamo Bay, he feels like that’s an incitement to people that just hate our way of life. Even if he had his way, God forbid, they would find other reasons and they have has other reasons to hate us because of their perverse philosophy, so Frank it was not going to help at all. In fact it’ll do a lot of harm. You send these people to U.S. soil you’ll have federal judges giving them constitutional rights, which will make it almost impossible to try them because it will force the disclosure of means and operations, methods and operations that we use for our most sensitive intelligence gathering, they’ll get into prison into the civilian population and start radicalizing, there will be security threats, people will find ways to do harm to our facilities and our personnel, some of who are my constituents, because they want to bring these people possibly to Colorado even. So Frank it’s just bad on so many fronts.
FG: What kinds of prisons are they talking about possibly putting them in, in Colorado? I saw one, I think, was a state penitentiary. Is it your judgment Congressman Doug Lamborn that those facilities are going to be adequate to deal with threats from perhaps outside to them or certainly to the safe incarceration of these guys, even if federal judges don’t muck things up?
DL: Frank I think whether they can be sprung loose, I don’t know about that. I don’t known if the bad guys could pull that off, but they could certainly bring violence and death to the people guarding the place, going to work in these places, coming home from work in these places.
FG: The surrounding communities too.
DL: Yeah, they could give it their best shot and do a lot of damage. Whether they would actually spring people free that I don’t know. There is a state and federal facility both that they’re looking at.
FG: Yeah, this is ill advised in the extreme and the bipartisan majorities that have consistently been blocking this kind of action are the sort of thing that you’d think would cause the President to relent, but he seems to be doubling down. Let’s turn to the other issue that you raised Congressman Doug Lamborn, and your right it is outrageous that the President seems to be trying to essentially euchre further pork barrel spending, perhaps you might call it, or at least additional domestic spending that may or may not be justified on the backs of our military personnel. How is that being seen by members of Congress? I would think that would be an affront even for some Democrats who’ve recognized the importance of this legislation.
DL: Well Frank there was a lot of support in both the House and the Senate by Democrats for the NDAA as it passed, so there’s a fighting chance of getting an override, which takes two-thirds of both the House and the Senate. The Senate was more than two-thirds, but we fell a little bit short in the House, but well over a majority well over 50 percent. The fact that he wants leverage he’s using our men and women in uniform and our national security as a pawn to leverage his demand that we spend more money on his pet projects, and the American people are sick and tired of the IRS and EPA these bureaucracies running rough shot over us, and they don’t want to give them even more money, but yet the President and the looming 18 trillion dollar plus national debt that we have, we have to get spending under control. He’s going in the opposite direction on the backs of our military.
FG: Amen, Congressman let me turn to one other provision in this legislation, the National Defense Authorization Act, with which I know you have been particularly involved. You represent some of the people most immediately providing for our space capabilities, particularly national security space capabilities out in Colorado. What is going on, as you see it, with respect to threats to our ability to operate in the high frontier as it’s been called, and to, if necessary, project power from there, and the counterpart efforts being made to those who might deny us such capabilities notably communist China?
DL: Well Frank space use to be a sanctuary, it is no longer a sanctuary. We know that China and to a lesser extent Russia have tremendous capabilities that could do harm to key assets we have in space for communications, for intelligence surveillance, reconnaissance, and for other vital military missions for our war fighters and for security. You know detecting incoming possible, God forbid, nuclear ballistic missiles. There are all kinds of things we need space for and our near peers China and Russia are very well aware of what our assets are, and now they’re developing the technology to do something about it and we have to fight back.
FG: And what does the Defense Authorization Bill do in that regard to assure that we have in fact the kind of capabilities we need for space control?
DL: Well General Hyten who runs Space Command, has a major new initiative to expand our ability to do just this, to develop the capabilities to stay in front technologically of what the Russians and Chinese are trying to do, and if we veto this Bill and it’s sustained, we can’t initiate new programs, or do major modifications of existing programs. We just have to at best continue with existing programs in a rigid lockstep fashion without any amendments or changes possible, and even there funding becomes an issue because funding might run out, so we are in deep trouble if the President gets his way. He’s playing with our national security in a dangerous way Frank.
FG: And a dangerous time. Congressman Doug Lamborn of the 5th District of Colorado I salute you for your leadership, particularly on trying to get a major force program introduced here on the space control front both to deter our adversaries and to assure our security and economic wellbeing as you say. Keep up that good work sir come back to us again if you would very soon. In the meantime we appreciate all that your doing.
Rep. Doug Lamborn proudly represents the people of the 5th congressional district of Colorado. On top of this and many other responsibilities, Rep. Lamborn is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Frank Gaffney, host of Secure Freedom Radio was able to catch Rep. Lamborn during the August recess to get his analysis of the various threats we face today. Click here for audio.
FG: Welcome back, we’re joined by Representative Doug Lamborn. He represents the people of the fifth congressional district of Colorado and serves in the House as a member of the House Armed Services Committee and also on the House Committee on Natural Resources. He chairs its Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources and maybe we’re going to have to talk about the president’s coal initiative on that score too. But Congressman, welcome back to Secure Freedom Radio, always good to have you with us.
DL: Likewise Frank, you do a great job for our country.
FG: Well thank you. I’m interested first I guess in sounding you out like I did with your colleague Congressman Marino earlier about the Iran Deal. How it looks to you as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, especially as a member whose has been very concerned about missile threats to this country and this phenomenon of electromagnetic pulse and the possibility that may be what the Iranians have in mind for us in the future.
DL: Well Frank the more we look at it, the worse it looks. One of the latest outrages is that the disclosure of secret protocols between the IAEA out of Vienna and Iran, are not going to be disclosed to members of Congress, the people’s representatives and the administration was suppose to make sure every single facet of this agreement, including all side agreements were at least reviewed if not made public. So there’s no transparency here and that’s very troubling because part of those secret protocols had to do with previous military activity on the part of Iran and you have to know what the baseline is. If you don’t know what’s gone on in the past, you don’t know how to moderate properly for what’s happening in the future. So for so many reasons, it’s looking worse and worse Frank and I hope the American people do pressure their Senators and Representatives to reject this dangerous deal.
FG: Well and this is the window to do that. Many of them are like yourself home in their districts or states in this August recess period. It is primetime as you know Congressman for interacting with your constituents, getting their views on various issues and factoring those of course into your representation of them. To the extent you have been a member of the EMP Caucus in the House Congressman, as well as the Missile Defense Caucus, you must be as concerned as I am that what we’ve seen the administration doing with this deal, in terms of the billions of dollars they’re going to have flowed to Iran and the relieving of sanctions on their ballistic missile program and other assistance we’re giving them in their nuclear program as well as protecting it, that we’re really setting ourselves up for disaster if they in fact opt for this kind of capability. How serious of a threat do you regard that to be and how important should it be to us that we make our grid more resilient against it?
DL: Frank it’s very serious. We know they’re developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capability and they say they want to wipe out Israel. Well Israel does not need to be reached by intercontinental ballistic missiles from Iran, theater missiles will do the job there unfortunately. So, it’s us that they’re coming after when they talk about intercontinental ballistic missiles and we know that they have the desire to capitalize on things like electromagnetic pulse and nuclear weapons to put those kinds of mass weapons of destruction on ballistic missiles and so for this administration, to put no curbs at the negotiating table on this kind of dangerous program, is just yet one more of the many flaws in this dangerous, dangerous negotiated deal.
FG: And the fact that Congress is going to be given a limited ability to consider it makes it all the more important as you say Congressman Doug Lamborn, the voice of the American people during this next couple of weeks. Congressman, one of the things, just as a Segway, that is featured in the National Defense Authorization Act that you and your colleagues put together in the House of Representatives is a provision calling for the reconstitution of the EMP Commission, a very important expert body to advise and sort of monitor what’s being done in this area to protect Americans against these various threats. What’s the prospect, as you see it now, for that bill? I know that the president has threatened to veto it over some of the budget authorities that you’ve given the Pentagon. If you could make book how it’s going to proceed, what’s you bet?
DL: Well, I think that the President will actually sign it. He’s made that threat but signed bills like this in the past. I think the bigger threat though is with the Senate. The Senate lead by John McCain have dug their heels in on making some cuts to personnel and benefits for personnel like the basic allowance for housing or pharmacy or commissaries, and those are the kinds of things in an all volunteer force that we do need for retention and to keep people who are highly trained there in the future so we can take advantage of their great training and expertise. So, there really is a difference right now on benefits between the House and the Senate, a little bit more on Guantanamo Bay but benefits is the biggest holding up point up roight now and there’s so many good things in the bill like you said, the EMP Commission, we need to get it passed.
FG: This comes of course, these cuts to personnel and their benefits, when the administration of course is as we talked about earlier with Bishop E.W. Jackson, Congressman Lamborn, engaged in all kinds of social engineering of the military but also just simply reducing its combat capability by some forty thousand personnel in the Army alone just recently. How would you characterize the condition of the military, the moral, the readiness, and our ability to train and support these folks who we’re going to need more than ever in the near future I’m afraid.
DL: Well unfortunately, we have a president who for some seven years has been cutting defense because he has a view that American military strength is provocative and somehow negative and causes problems. I have the Ronald Reagan view and many others as well who say’ we should have peace through strength’. Yet this president’s dangerous policies of cutting capability, cutting the numbers in our forces, cutting programs that are on the drawing board that otherwise we would have had in the future, cutting the most advanced programs like the F-22. He’s kicking the can down the road Frank in ways that a successor in the White House is going to have to deal, with all the mess that’s being created. You look at ISIS, you look at Russia on the march, there’s so many things. We left Iraq without any negotiated soft standing force, which gave rise to ISIS. There’s so many things that this president has done wrong, he’s kicking the can down the road. Iran is another huge example of that. That we’re going to have messes to clean up many years into the future.
FG: Your colleague Congressman Marino made a similar point. My only concern, I must tell you Doug Lamborn, is that these messes may metastasize on what’s left of this president’s watch. If I were any of our adversaries, I would I think try to take advantage of having this president in the White House rather than a successor who hopefully will have a very different foreign and national security policy approach. Let me ask you a final question. Congressman, you’ve been one of the leaders on space-related issues, particularly the national security aspects thereof. Talk if you would for a moment about the space threats that you’re perceiving and what we ought to be doing to counter them as well as what’s happening here on the ground.
DL: Well Frank some of the threats we can’t talk about it in an open setting unfortunately but we do know for sure that our near-peers, Russia and China and others would love to take advantage of this. They don’t have quite the capability. They’re aware that we have an asymmetrical advantage with our satellites and our dominance of space and they know that by taking out military communications, GPS, some of our ISR assets, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; that they can really cripple the advantage we currently have in space. We don’t have that many military satellites. The ones that we do have do a tremendous amount of work and have a tremendous capability but those are slow and expensive to get up into space and our adversaries know that and that’s what they would like to go after. So, we have to be one step ahead of them, which is expensive and we have people, like in the White House, that don’t want to make that investment.
FG: And who perhaps, will allow that vulnerability as with the terrestrial one of our Grid persist, if they have their own way. Congressman Doug Lamborn you’re leadership on this issue and so many others is really appreciated, on the House Armed Services Committee also on the Natural Resources Committee. We’ve run out of time to talk about the coal decision but I hope you’ll come back to us again in the near future to discuss that as well. In the mean time, keep up the good work sir and enjoy your recess, well deserved.