Welcome to Secure Freedom Radio. This is Frank Gaffney, your host and guide for what I think of as an intelligence briefing on the war for the free world. It is with the greatest of pleasure that we have a chance to visit from time to time with a man of uncommon intelligence, in fact, responsibilities for intelligence as well in the United States House of Representatives where he sits on the House intelligence committee. He is Congressman Mike Pompeo, first in his class graduate of West Point, with a distinguished record in the United States Army. Graduate of the Harvard Law School. A man of many parts, including responsibilities in the House with the energy and commerce committee as well as the House select committee on Benghazi, which recently wrapped up its work. A man I’m very anxious to get the thoughts of in connection, particularly, with last night’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Congressman, welcome back. Let’s start with that if we might.
Well, Frank, good to be with you again. So I watched it and was listening entirely to both candidates and literally heard not a single idea from Secretary Clinton that is any different from those of president Obama. I mean, it’s truly four more years or worse of the policies that have put Americans so at risk, whether it’s the growth of al-Qaeda and ISIS, the threats from the Russians and the Chinese, Secretary Clinton – they’re basically her policies and she evidenced no learning has taken place with respect to how to keep Americans safe.
Of course, as you know, one of the issues that did feature prominently in the debate where a stark difference was clear between Donald Trump’s ideas for change and Hillary Clinton’s more of the same was the Iran deal. There are few members of congress who have spent more time and done so with, I think, more consequence than you on this whole question of what have we gotten ourselves into here and what do we know is coming of it? Would you speak specifically to the proposition that the secretary – former secretary-of-state laid out that we’ve put a lid on the nuclear weapons program of Iran and now we can just worry about the other things?
Yeah, it was a remarkable statement to say that they’d – that the administration’s deal with the Ayatollah had put a lid on Iran’s capacity to build a nuclear weapon. Instead, they’ve provided explosive force to it. They will not only be able to develop a nuclear weapon, but an arsenal of nuclear weapons. The research on centrifuges continues, we’ve seen their ballistic missile program, an essential component of the capacity to deliver warheads across long distances. All the central core technologies that are needed to develop a nuclear – deliverable nuclear weapon continue to grow in Iran in spite of the deal. In fact, in some sense, because of the deal. And so it was confounding that the moderator didn’t confront that statement which is just false on its face. And I wish that Mr. Trump had taken more time to lay out the case for why this deal with Iran is so dangerous, not only with respect to terrorism spreading around the world, but the almost certainty now that Iran will get a nuclear weapon in a handful of years as a result of that deal.
Just walk us through how this is working in those other areas which we were supposed to see some kind of amelioration of behaviour or at least a better ability to stop, on our part, you mentioned terrorism as an example, there’s also the problem of a variety of seemingly escalating threats to American vessels and aircraft in the Persian Gulf. We’ve got hostage taking. I know the House has acted recently on trying to prevent more ransom from being paid for hostages, but there seems to be a growing supply of them. And regional subversion. Would you give us a sense of, you know, what Iran is doing in this areas?
Yeah, Frank, the list is pretty long. So we’re not a year and change from the deal having been struck and implemented. And the promise was that along with prevention of a nuclear weapon, which was a fraud, as you say, we were going to get the better behaviour from the Iranians and what we’ve seen is precisely the opposite. They now have exhibited not only increased terror around the world, but are fuelling the terror of Bashar Assad in Syria and have control in Damascus. They continue to have Hezbollah active in Beirut and in substantial control there. And as we’ve seen in Iraq, in Baghdad, the Iranians now have a great deal of control in Baghdad and Sana’a. That makes five capitals in the Middle East, Frank, that the Iranians have expanded their power and influence since the implementation of this deal. Precisely the opposite of what the president and his administration promised.
Yeah. One of the places where, of course, this regional destabilisation is moving forward apace is in Syria. And I wonder what you made, Congressman Mike Pompeo, as a member of the House intelligence committee overseeing our intelligence services and capabilities, of the rather public spat, now, I guess you’d call it, maybe even an internecine fight between the State Department and the Pentagon over this deal that John Kerry struck to share US intelligence with the Russians in connection specifically with Syria. The Pentagon didn’t much care for it, what are your thoughts?
I’ve actually had a chance – and I can’t talk much about the substance, but I had a chance to ask our intelligence community about the commitment that Secretary Kerry made. The commitment was that if the cessation of hostilities held that the United States would share essentially targeting information with the Russians. And I asked if they were prepared to do it, how they were going to do it. And suffice it to say, the response from – the public response from Secretary Carter is pretty consistent, I think Secretary Kerry was on his own, I think he was freelancing out there in a dangerous way. For the United States to share intelligence in a way that they hope we can keep sources and methods secure is foolish. To give them information about targeting can only be used in a way that harms American interests. It was a dumb idea and we can now see that this was a sufficiently dumb idea that Secretary Carter of the Defence Department publicly pushed back against that. You don’t see that often in this administration. They usually all sing the tune. And in this case, this was such an awful idea, we’ve seen resistance publicly. I’m happy that that has happened. I hope that the silliness of Secretary Kerry on this issue will never come to fruition. It would be bad for Kansans and bad for America.
This is the guy who brought us the Iran deal, so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that his negotiating skills leave a lot to be desired.
Wendy Sherman also brought us the deal with North Korea, shall we not forget.
Hey, one other issue that’s broadly in your space and I hope on your plate, Congressman, seventy-seven important figures in the national security and cyberspace areas, I’m pleased to say I was one of them, but most of them were considerably more eminent than I, wrote to the Secretary of Defence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff urging them to intervene with the president on another matter where I think the president and his team have gotten this terribly wrong, and that is the idea of surrendering the last vestiges of the US government’s control over the internet, that assures its freedom and staves off the efforts of others to snuff it. Would you be supportive of an effort in the continuing resolution to prevent that transfer to this multilateral organisation, ICANN?
I would and have been. The topic, actually, it’s a little arcane, so I think sometimes it’s hard for folks to get their head around, but it’s incredibly important. The internet is operated in a way that’s been protected by America’s constitution and allowed all comers to participate in ways that have been incredibly important to America and the world. We’re about to hand that off to folks who will certainly not treat the internet the same way. The energy and commerce committee I sit on, we voted on legislation to prevent this. My recollection is it went across the House floor previously as well and we voted that way. But I’m hopeful that in the context of the CR, we can stop it. What I’ve seen happen so far in the Senate does not look promising. But I hope cooler heads will prevail and we can convince the administration not to hand off this incredibly globally important asset to folks who won’t treat it in the way that it needs to be treated.
Amen. Lastly, very quickly, Edward Snowden is featured prominently in a new Oliver Stone film. I don’t know if you’ve seen it or have any interest in seeing it, but what are your thoughts about the idea that this guy actually is a hero rather than a traitor?
Edward Snowden deserves to return to the United States and I am confident that a jury of his peers would sentence him to at least life, perhaps more, for the risk that he put American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines – we talked a lot, for months and months, about the so-called metadata program, but frankly, what Mr. Snowden stole was a little bit about the meta program and an enormous amount about American national security. He was a traitor. He stole important national security information that is going to cost billions of dollars for our American military to figure out how to repair and mitigate the damage that was caused. He should go away.
Amen. Thank you very much, Congressman Mike Pompeo. We appreciate your time as well as your tremendous service to our country. Come back to us soon. Michael Cutler joins us next on immigration, right after this.
Secure Freedom Radio is made possible by listeners like you
With Rep. Mike Pompeo, Michael Cutler, Rick Manning and Daniel Horowitz
REP. MIKE POMPEO (KS-4), Member of the House Committees on Energy and Commerce and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence:
- Iran’s expanding power and influence
- Secretary Kerry’s plan to share intelligence about Syria with Russia
- Edward Snowden
MICHAEL CUTLER, Senior Fellow at Californians for Population Stabilization:
- The immigration issues that should have been discussed at last night’s debate but were not
RICK MANNING, President of Americans for Limited Government:
- Reason the Internet was developed to begin with
- Why Google is supportive of ICANN hand off to multinational entity
DANIEL HOROWITZ, Senior Editor at Conservative Review:
- Recap of last night’s debate
- How courts are overruling voter fraud
We’re back. We’re joined by Congressman Michael Pompeo. He serves with the greatest distinction the people of the fourth district of Kansas. He has an extraordinary background in the national security arena, especially having graduated first from his class at West Point, served in the United States Army during the Cold War, having succeeded in business in Kansas, and now representing, as I say, his constituents in the House of Representatives on a couple of critically important committees, including the House intelligence committee, the House select committee on Benghazi, the energy and commerce committee, not least. All of these are vital to the issues that we’re interested in talking with him about and always delighted to do so. Congressman, we’re glad to have you. Welcome back.
It’s great to be with you, Frank. Good to be back.
I want to ask you about something I talked about briefly in an earlier segment with Senator James Lankford, namely, the Ben Rhodes revelations about the Iran deal. Nobody, I think, on Capitol Hill was more aggressive and effective in criticising this deal. And you were up against what now seems to be a pretty sophisticated and determined propaganda machine. Some say that’s illegal, but tell us what you make of this, these revelations at the Sunday New York Times Magazine.
Frank, sadly, in some ways, I found it unsurprising. The administration consistently has deceived congress in important ways about the content and the scope and most certainly with respect to their intent in enforcing terror sanctions and stopping their ballistic missile program. And all the things the administration said, hey, don’t look here, this is just a nuclear deal. We’re going to stop the Iranian machine. And of course, it appears – it is very obvious now that that was deceit. They didn’t intend to do that all along. The piece in the New York Times about Mr. Rhodes just confirms that this was an effort to move past the truth and the reality that Iran remains the world’s largest state sponsor of terror and they had to sell a deal that the president had made a political commitment to and Americans are worse off for that having happened.
I know you’ve tried to prevent it from getting worse still, notably by proposing legislation to prevent the purchase by the United States government of nuclear materials from Iran. Tell us why that’s important and where that stands, Congressman Pompeo.
So today we all complete an NDA, our defence authorisation on the House floor will contain language I expect that prevents Iran from receiving taxpayer money to sell their heavy water. A key component of their continued effort to enrich uranium. A restriction on that is important in its own right, but it is a part of an effort to stop the Iranian regime from being able to re-enter the commercial marketplace. That is, every time a taxpayer dollar, or frankly a European dollar, US taxpayer dollar or European dollar, ends up in the hands of the Iranians, some fraction of that will be returned to kill Europeans and Americans. And so the administration made a commitment. They said, we are – we’re going to continue to hold Iran accountable for its terror action. It hasn’t slowed down. It has only accelerated. And preventing Iran from engaging in dollar transactions and in commerce throughout the world while they’re still sponsoring terror is important and I’m very hopeful that congress will not only pass this legislation with respect to heavy water re-purchases, but also prevent dollarization and Iranian return to being just another good commercial customer for European and US businesses. That would be a moral disaster.
Let me turn to another place where you’ve been leading and that is in trying to get to the bottom of the Benghazi-gate scandal. We’re told that there will be a report this summer from your select committee. I reckon you probably can’t talk much about its contents, though you’re welcome to if you choose to, but I would like to ask you about one issue that has arisen and that is some rather harsh criticisms that have come out of the committee about our friends at Judicial Watch, who I consider to be an extraordinary watchdog, extra-governmental to be sure, but some of the oversight that they’ve been able to do through their freedom of information act request has really been better than what we’ve seen out of some in congress. Give us a read on what’s going on there and what you think may come of the report effort.
So we are, in effect, just a handful of weeks out from being complete. There are – a lot of work going on to make sure that we have the language right that matches the facts that we’ve uncovered. We’re now, you know, a hundred witnesses knew, and no committee every looked at, maybe just a couple short of that. But a significant new date in fact that will provide context for the American people about how it was the case that we had the first United States ambassador in thirty years killed. And so I don’t want to say more about the contents of it other than I am confident when the American people read that two things will arise. One, it’s facts-based, fact-based inquiry. It wasn’t a political inquisition. It is a – Chairman Gowdy led a group of folks desirous of trying to help understand how this happened and how we can put policies in place to reduce the risk of something like this ever happening again. And second, I think people will see that the federal government failed in its primary task, which was we sent some warriors to a faraway place to help keep us safe and we did not do everything that we could to keep them safe. And I think that will become very clear from the facts there. And with respect to Judicial Watch, I am – with respect to helping these four families get answers, I am all for everyone helping us get these facts. We – congress doesn’t have some, we can’t get before a federal judge, we have limits on our capacity. And so having others, including Judicial Watch conduct inquiries and make FOIA requests and continue to pursue these facts I think is important and additive to the important understanding the Americans deserve about the incidents on September 11th, 2012 in Benghazi.
Mike Pompeo is our guest, again, from the fourth district of Kansas. You mentioned the National Defence Authorisation Act. It is, as we speak, pending final action by the House. The president is already threatening a veto over an issue that I know is very important to you and, frankly, to all of us. Namely, a prohibition, a renewal of the prohibition on his closure of Guantanamo Bay. If you could, just give us an update on that, sir.
So there will be restrictions, much as there have been in previous years, bipartisan restrictions, frankly, it’s truly, this has been a bit of a fetish in the Obama administration to close this important national asset where we’ve gained enormous intelligence and, frankly, we need to keep open so that we can continue to collect intelligence against the jihadist terror threat. So we’ll have language restricting the president from closing Guantanamo Bay and bringing the detainees back to the United States. Sadly, the president continues to empty the place out. Sending these detainees to countries that have no capacity to control them or keep them from the battlefield and now I guess this last month the administration had to admit that there have been Americans killed as a result of detainee releases. We’re going to do everything we can to keep it open for these last seven months of this administration. And to have this important place where America can take these enemy combatants from the field, learn about terror networks, and continue to keep Americans safe. Closing it is, poses an enormous national security mistake.
You spoke about the jihad. And one other facet of it, as I know you are aware, Congressman Pompeo, is the Muslim Brotherhood piece of this, the civilisation jihad. Not so much non-violent as pre-violent. I was very pleased to see that you were one of the regional sponsors of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist designation act, which has been reported out now by the judiciary committee and is, I guess, awaiting floor action. You’ve had some experience with these Brotherhood types in your own constituency. Notably the sheikh Monzer Taleb who you, I think quite properly called out and discouraged the Islamic Society of Wichita from hosting. Could you just very quickly talk a little bit about that particular internal threat and why this bill is necessary?
Yes, so, look, we – there’s broad agreement that there is a threat from radical Islamic terrorism. And we have to understand that it is not only those who are violent but those who are aiding, that is providing encouragement, resource, financial and otherwise, to those who are actually the trigger pullers and folks who are doing the physical harm. That far exceeds the number – the number of folks who are participating in that far exceeds the number of actual violent extremists and in order to get this threat under control, we’re going to have to solve this problem and attack this at its very core, at its very root. And stop those who are fanning the fuel in the same way that the admitted member of Hamas, Sheikh Monzer Taleb, was doing. And so it’s a big, long struggle. I was just in Africa and I saw the expansion of the Muslim Brotherhood and its impact there. We don’t have to say that all Muslims are bad. You’ve been very clear about this as well, as have I. But this problem extends beyond just those who are engaged in violent extremism and we’re going to have to have a broader approach in order to keep Americans safe.
Keep up the good work, my friend. Come back to us again very soon. Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas, a member of the intelligence committee, and we’ll look forward to our next conversation in the near future. Next up, Dr. Dan Goure joins us. We’ll talk a bit more about what old Vladimir Putin is up to. In addition to making the lives miserable of folks like Vladimir Bukovsky, the threat that he may represent to yours. That and more, straight after this.
With Sen. James Lankford, Diana West, Rep. Mike Pompeo and Dan Goure
SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK), Member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Select Committee on Intelligence:
- Senate hearing today on ransomware threat to critical infrastructure
- Ben Rhodes refuses to testify before House Oversight Committee
- Senate bill passed, allowing 9/11 victims’ families to sue Saudi Arabia
- Zika virus research funding
DIANA WEST, author of “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character”:
- British Officers visit mosque linked to Tablighi Jamaat
- Good news about Vladimir Bukovsky
Rep. MIKE POMPEO (KS-4), Member of House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Select Committee on Benghazi:
- The Ben Rhodes propaganda machine
- Preventing the U.S. from purchasing Iranian nuclear material
- Benghazi Committee updates
- Efforts to keep Guantanamo Bay open
Dr. DAN GOURÉ, Vice President of the Lexington Institute, Adjunct Professor in the National Defense University’s Homeland Security Program:
- Putin’s military modernization in full effect
- A look at the advanced air defense systems of Russia
Welcome to Secure Freedom Radio. This is Frank Gaffney, your host and guide for what I think of as an intelligence briefing on the war for the free world. A man whose intelligence we seek regularly and are delighted to get access to from time to time is our friend Mike Pompeo, a member of congress representing with great distinction the people of the fourth district of Kansas. He is a member of the House permanent select committee on intelligence, among other things, serving on its subcommittees on the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency and cyber-security. He’s also a member of the House select committee on Benghazi and the House committee on energy and commerce. A very full plate, a portfolio that touches our national security interests here at Secure Freedom Radio in myriad ways and we’re always delighted to have a chance to visit with him. Congressman, welcome back. Good to have you with us.
Frank, it’s great to be with you. Thanks for having me on the show again.
Pleasure. Listen, I wanted, first of all, to say thank you for your leadership in and initiative in your own community on exposing something that was very troubling and that had a salutary effect, at least for the moment, talk a little bit about it if you would, Sheikh Monzer Talib.
Well, now, almost a week ago, or actually a week ago today, I learned that we were having, our Islamic Center of Wichita had intended to hold a fundraiser and they were bringing in Sheikh Monzer Talib to speak and to be a fundraiser. Apparently, he does this all across the country. We got a tip from someone he was coming. It wasn’t being hidden. It was on their website. So they weren’t trying to sneak him into town. But we got a tip from someone that this was taking place. We learned who he was. We did a little bit of work. Frankly, we researched lots of groups, including you all. To try to make sure we understood the full scope of the threat that was posed by this man. And concluded that it was completely inappropriate for him to be in Wichita, Kansas, not the least of which was he was going to be speaking on Good Friday. He was going to Wichita, Kansas on the night of Good Friday to raise money. We know Sheikh Monzer Talib was listed in the Holy Land Foundation trial as an unindicted co-conspirator. He himself has said he’s a member of Hamas. He has a long history of being engaged in terror-linked activities. So we asked publicly that the Islamic Center of Wichita reconsider and not bring him to our town. And they, next morning, announced that they wouldn’t. In fact, cancelled the event, and they did. And so I was very pleased with the outcome. There’s no place in America and certainly not in Kansas for a terror-linked cleric to be speaking. We have all these challenges with radical Islamic extremism and this is not necessary.
Let me ask you a couple of questions that arise from this and, first of all, thank you for, as I say, calling him out, and raising awareness about what this Islamic society of Wichita is doing with a guy like this. First question, Congressman Mike Pompeo, is when you look at this fellow’s history, it’s my understanding he was actually captured on videotape that was introduced into evidence in the Holy Land Foundation trial singing a song, doing a solo as a matter of fact, in the song as part of a fundraising act that one of the other songsters was convicted in that trial for raising funds for Hamas. This guy’s song is “I Am From Hamas”. I guess the question is, why hasn’t he been prosecuted on similar charges?
Boy, that’s a good question. I don’t know the answer to that. There’s a newspaper here, you know, as it happened, said, you know, tried to say, well, Mike Pompeo thinks he’s part of Hamas. Well, that’s true, but more importantly –
With good reason.
Right. More importantly than that, he believes he is. And so sometimes, Frank, you’ve seen this a million times, we have evidence but not everyone is going to agree that the evidence amounts to – is sufficient to make such claims, but in this case, he claims it. And so this is a very straightforward one. What was interesting is I made very clear in my release, they had every right to bring him here, right? You and I are deep believers in the First Amendment, Frank. He’s not been convicted. He is free to travel in the United States. He is free to say anything that is not – that doesn’t lead to the incitement of violence. He wanted to come to town. He claims to be a motivational speaker. Frankly, that’s what I’m afraid of. That he’s really a good motivational speaker and it’s what he’ll be motivating people to do that will cause concern for my community. But in spite of the fact that they had the constitutional right to do it, it was just horribly bad judgment and I to this moment don’t understand why they made that decision. It’s no secret – what we just described about his history is no secret. And so I hope to find out why it’s the case that they chose to do this and, frankly, thank them for making the decision not to do it.
Well, let me ask you a pointed question if I may, Congressman Mike Pompeo. One of the things, of course, that you pointed out in your press release is the timing of this was not only rather poor in terms of it being a very important holiday for Christians, but beyond that, this was shortly after attacks in Brussels demonstrated that the jihadists there were able to draw upon an infrastructure that was supporting them, enabling their planning and so on. You have, I think, been very, very alert to the challenge posed by the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States and the degree to which it has established, well, mosques among other things like the Islamic society of Wichita and elsewhere. Should we be concerned that what may be going on here in terms of welcoming a fellow like Sheikh Monzer Talib is indicative of a similar kind of infrastructure problem in our own country and that the bill that I know is awaiting consideration in the House now to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation might have bearing in this particular case.
So, certainly, I’ve co-sponsored that bill. We all have observed that infrastructure has been built up for the radical Islamic terrorist regime, not only as we’ve seen it in Europe, but as we’ve seen it elsewhere. We’ve seen an event here in Wichita, Kansas coming up on two and a half years ago where a gentleman was inspired by reading Islamic materials that were put out radicals in the Middle East, he read them online, and he decided he would go to the Wichita airport and blow it up. Blow up some airplanes sitting on the tarmac. So it is, in fact, all around us. And it’s not just, Frank, it’s not just trigger pullers and folks with explosive vests. There’s an infrastructure that builds up beyond that and creates risks and my comment in my press release was that his man’s visit, the fundraising visit on Friday was featured prominently on the front page of their website, they didn’t try to hide that he was coming here to Kansas. Nowhere on that website was there any indication that this mosque and the people who worship there condemned the killing of almost three dozen people that had happened just a few days before that. We have to have people from all faiths condemning everything connected to the terror infrastructure that now presents numerous threats throughout the United States. And I regret that the Islamic society of Wichita did not do that the way that I think is necessary if we’re ever going to be able to defeat this ideology.
Well, this is the key issue, it seems to me, defeating that ideology. And we appreciate, again, Mike Pompeo, your leadership on this as on so many other issues. Let me pivot, if I may, to Iran, a subject you’ve been deeply concerned about for some time. You’re on the energy and commerce committee as well as the intelligence committee. Just quickly, sir, what are your thoughts on this revelation that Iranian hackers were inside the, well, the control systems of a dam in upstate New York for apparently some period of time? What does it tell you about the threat, particularly to our infrastructure, our infrastructure as well as the nature of the Iranian regime?
Well, I have been working to try and alter American policy with respect to Iran. It’s probably one of the top – first thing I spent my time on. This administration views the leaders of Iran as being partners in peace. And yet you see, whether it was the cyber attacks here in America, including the one where somebody had access to controlling important components inside a major waterway in the United States, or now launching missiles in direct contravention of the UN security council resolution, which they therefore scoff at. The core challenge with respect to Iran is accepting the fact that this regime is intent on getting a nuclear weapon. And is intent on conducting terror operations around the world through their Iranian – through the IRGC. And the United States policy today appears to be to try to welcome them into the world and think that that behaviour is going to change. This is a fool’s errand and dangerous.
Let me ask you to pause for just a second on this. We’re delighted to have a second segment with Mike Pompeo of the fourth district of Kansas. I want to talk to you about the concession that is apparently now in the offing that can only make matters worse, it seems to me. That and more with Congressman Pompeo right after this.
We’re back. We’re visiting with Congressman Mike Pompeo of the fourth district of Kansas. A leader in the House of Representatives on national security matters, a man with a distinguished record of service in uniform, first in his class at West Point, with service in the United States Army thereafter, as well as work in the defense industrial sector following his time in uniform. Congressman, you have had a leadership role, there’s no question about it, in terms of exposing this Iranian regime. Its ambitions, as you say, for nuclear weapons. The administration has turned a deaf ear to all of your warnings and is now, apparently, according to the Wall Street Journal, imminently going to be further empowering this Iranian regime by giving them access to dollars in the international currency markets. Could you talk about what is going on here and the possible implications?
It’s incomprehensible. This position appears to be prepared to allow Iranian companies and perhaps most importantly Iranian banks to have access to the entire international global trading system and finance system. The administration promised, they told congress, they told the Democrats who voted to support the JCPOA, don’t worry, we will keep terror sanctions in place. If they don’t go back to nuclear weapons, if the Iranians continue to spread terror around the world, we will continue to keep sanctions in place. And yet it appears they are now ready to allow Europeans to trade not only with Iran but using US dollars. And that is illegal. We’re going to, in congress, extend the statute that allows the treasury to make that illegal. And it’s an enormous mistake. You will now have the IRGC, through front companies, having access to the international global finance and trading system, making enormous risk to lots of companies throughout the world. And we just talked about cyber threats and just talked about their ability to infiltrate in places and now we’re going to open up the financial system to permit them to trade through the global trading system. It will ultimately touch US banks. And they will have extended their foothold throughout the world and it will be – the administration says, don’t worry, if we find out they’ll do it, there will be snapback sanctions. That’s a joke.
Yeah, the snapping back is becoming more and more problematic by the day. We’re visiting with Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas. And, Congressman, you have, as I’ve said here before with you and without you, played an enormously important role in, I think, illuminating so many of these challenges. You serve, as you mentioned, on the cyber security subcommittee of the House permanent select committee on intelligence. And one of the things that I’m just wondering if you’ve been concerned about, as am I in that regard, is the idea that this president is making yet another concession to, well, Iranians and Chinese and Russians and others who I think do not have our interests at heart by transferring control of an important function of the internet to so-called international stakeholders. And doing so under circumstances that seem to lend themselves very directly to, well, the cyber manipulation of the internet and the restriction of free speech and perhaps worse. Could you talk a little bit about this so-called ICON transfer initiative and what congress might do to prevent it?
So the president and his leadership at the Federal Communications Commission concluded, now goodness, a couple of years back that they would allow a transition to take place which took the United States out of the leadership role with respect to how – it’s a little more complicated, but how the internet operates. What is very, very simple to see from that is that it’s not even so much that the United States won’t be in the leadership role, it’s that the people who will be will use it in ways that are detrimental to not only the United States, but to commerce, to the national security of law-abiding countries all around the world. The risk that’s associated with transferring this power from a country that’s done a darn good job of making sure that people all around the world have access to the internet now is handing over those reigns. There was no reason to do it. There’s no upside to the United States for having done so. And it’s a mistake that will be incredibly difficult to walk our way back from. Congress has tried, the House of Representatives has attempted to slow this down. Indeed, we’ve passed bills to do that. But unfortunately the Senate hasn’t been able to put legislation on the president’s desk so we have enough votes to stop him from what he’s trying to do.
I think it’s the case that there’s actually a prohibition in place through the end of this fiscal year on this transfer and I guess the question is could we extend that beyond and I certainly hope that will be the – one of the things congress takes up. Listen, there’s so much more to talk about, Congressman, let me just turn to another area that you’ve been very involved in, if I may. Hillary Clinton’s emails first came to light as a result of the work that, well, I think Judicial Watch was doing, but also your select committee on Benghazi to try to figure out what she was doing among others and saying and ordering at the time of that disastrous debacle. Given what we’ve heard so far, the intelligence that has been compromised, perhaps the criminal activity by Hillary Clinton, do you anticipate that there will be, in fact, a prosecution of Mrs. Clinton in time to spare us, perhaps, of, you know, her role as a commander-in-chief?
So I try and stay away from predicting what others will do. What I can tell the folks listening today is that I have had the chance now to read the twenty-plus top secret emails that were sitting on Secretary Clinton’s home brewed server, a setting that was not remotely secure in a way that the United States government handles national security information. And we’ve heard some on the Clinton team, including herself, say that, gosh, this was just – this was a nothing order. I’ve read those emails. That is false. They are appropriately classified. Anyone who’s had any kind of experience handling this kind of information would read those and recognise that it wasn’t appropriate for this information to be in a place that the Iranians and the Chinese and others who want access to US classified information could get it more easily. And so it’s very, very clear to me that there was information that was in places that was completely inappropriate and I am confident the FBI will do a thorough investigation and I’m hopeful the Justice Department will take that information and do the right thing.
Yeah. Well, you are, in addition to being a distinguished national security expert, a lawyer by training, as I recall, and you have, I think, an assessment, I’m sure, of the degree of criminal exposure here. Would you say, based on what you know that there is a real problem?
Yeah. There’s no doubt this information was not handled in a way that is consistent with the law in my judgment. And so we’ll see how they proceed. Remember, too, it’s not just Secretary Clinton. There would have been multiple people inside the United States government executive branch, senior leaders, who were also part of this as well. And so I think that’s – I think that’s part of the work the FBI has to engage in and find out exactly who and exactly how did this information jump. I mean, it’s not easy. I handle national security information with great frequency. To get it out of the secure system is not just – you don’t just hit forward –
It’s meant to be hard –
You have to go to some lengths.
There are reasons it’s difficult, exactly.
Yeah. Let me ask you in closing, Congressman, you have spent a lot of time on one other subject near and dear to our hearts, which is Guantanamo Bay. The chairman of your committee, Devin Nunes, recently described in the Wall Street Journal the growing importance of human intelligence because of the compromises of our various signals intelligence and other collection techniques. How important do you think it is that we be able to retain that facility, among other things, for the purposes of doing the kinds of human intelligence collection and interrogation that apparently is going to be more needed in the future even than today?
Frank, that’s a great question. You know, we often talk about Guantanamo Bay and its closure in the context of releasing these nasty, dangerous men who are there today and that’s important. We can’t do it – to bring them back to the States to read them their Miranda rights. So that’s a big deal. But we seldom spend enough time talking about this is an incredibly important asset going forward. We will, next week or the week after, capture a terrorist on the battlefield, an enemy combatant. We will need a place to confine and interrogate them. And today the option set is to either release them, turn them over to a third country or bring them back to the eastern district of Virginia. All are really bad options if your goal is to take down the terror network and find out what this person knows. So Guantanamo Bay is a key asset to take down radical Islamic terror networks throughout the world in a way that keeps America safe.
We can’t say how much we appreciate your work in that regard, Congressman, and look forward to continuing our conversations about that work. Keep it up, my friend. Come back to us again very soon. Next up, we’ll take stock with another very distinguished member of congress on Iran’s new demands and more. Straight ahead.
Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas was on Secure Freedom Radio with Frank Gaffney Friday and revealed that the Islamic Center of Wichita recently tried to host a cleric with direct ties to Hamas. To make matters worse, they had invited him to come on Good Friday. Pompeo asked the group to reconsider and fortunately, they cancelled the event.
Gaffney pointed out that it was also distasteful timing considering the recent terror attacks in Brussels and made a larger point about social infrastructure in certain radical portions of Muslim communities which made those attacks possible. He suggested to Pompeo that this incident is an example of the same infrastructure which exists in select clusters in the United States.
Gaffney then shifted topics to Iran and the recent news story about Iranian hackers taking control of a dam in New York State. Pompeo said that it’s a serious issue, that the Iranian regime is determined to develop nuclear weapons. They scoff at the terms of the nuclear deal and Pompeo described the Obama administration’s efforts to welcome Iran into the peaceful community of nations as a fool’s errand.
Gaffney also asked Pompeo about the administration’s efforts to give Iran access to finances. Pompeo responded:
“It’s incomprehensible. This administration seems to be prepared to allow Iranian companies and most importantly Iranian banks to have access to the entire international global trading system and finance system. The administration promised, they told congress, they told the Democrats who voted to support the JCPOA, don’t worry, we’ll keep terror sanctions in place… If the Iranians continue to spread terror around the world, we will keep sanctions in place, and yet, it appears they now are ready to allow Europeans to trade not only with Iran but using U.S. dollars and that is illegal… and it’s an enormous mistake.”
Another guest on the show with Frank on Friday was Steve Cook, President of the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys.
Gaffney asked Cook to explain the sentencing reforms for non-violent offenders currently being advanced with bipartisan support. Cook responded:
“The premise that’s being sold to the public and to congress is that our federal prisons are full of non-violent drug offenders. That conjures up all kinds of false images, it’s just a false narrative. What I think about when you say a non-violent drug offender is this kid I went to high school with that’s smoking dope in a bathroom. That’s not who’s in federal prison and the notion that that’s anything like who’s in prison is just crazy talk.”
Cook suggests that the cases which are going to federal court are high level drug trafficking cases, cartel cases and heroin trafficking cases and gangs which sell drugs to generate money for violent crimes.
Cook also reminds us that because of the massive cash revenues associated with high level drug trafficking, the people who engage in this business almost have to be prepared to engage in violent crime to protect their profits. In other words, the entire idea of these people being non-violent offenders is incredibly misleading.
Cook offered real life examples such as a man out on early release in Columbus, Ohio who murdered his girlfriend and her two young daughters and another early release criminal in Tennessee who killed a man with whom he had a hostile exchange. Cook says there are dozens of other examples just like them.
Gaffney made the point that compounding this problem is the number of these individuals who have been converted to radical Jihadism while in prison. Cook expanded his point:
“Well just look at the Brussels and Paris attackers. Those individuals are individuals who came from neighborhoods fraught with drug dealing and violent crime, people who have been involved with that themselves.. The link there is unmistakable.”
As Gaffney mentioned in the broadcast, Cook has created a powerful Powerpoint slide presentation on the subject which can be viewed here.
The next president will have a lot of work to do.
With Rep. Mike Pompeo, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Steve Cook, David Satter
Rep. MIKE POMPEO (KS-4) Member of the House Permanent Select Committees on Intelligence and Benghazi:
- The Islamic Center of Wichita’s efforts to host a Hamas-linked cleric
- Jihadist networks in place inside the US
- Iran’s ability to directly attack the west, as seen in the hacking of an upstate New York dam
- Tehran regime being allowed access to international financial markets despite previous sanctions
- ICANN agreement transferring important internet control functions to “international stake holders”
- Will the ongoing email scandal disqualify Hillary Clinton from the 2016 Presidential Race?
- Importance of the Guantanamo Bay facility for human intelligence capabilities
Rep. LEE ZELDIN (NY-1) Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, served in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division:
- More US concessions on the JCPOA
- Unilaterally giving up leverage to Iran without extracting concessions from the Mullahs
- Disconnect concerning the reality of proliferation at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington
STEVE COOK, President of the National Association of Assistant US Attorneys:
- Current sentencing reform legislation regarding non-violent offenders
- Inherent violence associated with drug trafficking
- Examples of murders at the hands of early release individuals
- Islamic radicalization taking place inside the world’s prisons
DAVID SATTER, author of the forthcoming “The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep: Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship Under Yeltsin and Putin” (May 2016):
- Vladimir Putin’s tactics for dealing with enemies both domestic and abroad
- Information operations through media outlets like “Russia Today” and ”Sputnik”
- How Russian officials continue to manipulate their western counterparts
Senator Steve Daines of Montana was a guest on Secure Freedom Radio with Frank Gaffney yerterday and they began their conversation by talking about an incident most Americans haven’t heard about.
It seems in 2013, Iran engaged in a cyber-attack on a dam in New York State. Daines suggests this is nothing new and says that hackers have infiltrated the IRS, the White House and many other government agencies. He also points to the very real threat of an attack on our power grid and recommends fixes from the private sector which always moves faster than government.
Gaffney then moved the conversation to Gitmo. Daines was part of a delegation which recently visited the facility at Guantanamo Bay and remarked on how impressed he was with members of our armed forces who oversee the prison. He also commented on the need to keep it open:
“We just had reports right after we came back from Gitmo, where U.S. special forces… captured a high value ISIS detainee and so we need a place to put them and guess what, Gitmo is the perfect place for that, to ensure that they never get back on the battlefield. As you know, we have numerous situations and cases where these Gitmo detainees have been released and are back on the battlefield killing American soldiers.”
Gaffney and Daines agree that the closure of Gitmo would also result in the loss of valuable intelligence in the fight against terror.
Finally, they spoke about legislation Daines is working on to improve healthcare for veterans. Daines again cited his background in the private sector and said that vets would benefit from having more choices and the ability to go outside the VA system if necessary. He also suggested an easier process to fire VA bureaucrats if they stand in the way of vets trying to receive care.
Later in the program, Gaffney spoke to congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas, another Republican who has led the fight to keep Gitmo open. Gaffney asked Pompeo for his take on Obama’s pledge to close the prison:
“What we know now is we’ve said it in the House we’ve said it’s illegal, we’ve had the president sign bills to make it so, now we have his attorney general, secretary of defense Ash Carter, and most recently in a letter to me, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff all said it would be illegal to do and yet I continue to remain concerned that this president is intent on doing what he has told his base he will do which is close this facility and bring these terrorists back to the United States. It is ludicrous and dangerous and I’m going to do everything we can to stop him.”
Pompeo also suggests that Obama’s upcoming trip to Cuba is partly a fact finding mission for the president to explore his options in shutting down Gitmo, a move he would see as a victory in his final months in office.
“Victory for him, defeat for the United States of America, I’m sorry to say.”
With Sen. Steve Daines, Rep. Mike Pompeo, Rick Manning, Diana West
Sen. STEVE DAINES (R-MT) Member of the Senate Committees on Appropriations and Energy & Natural Resources:
- Administration admitting Iranian malfeasance in a prior cyber attack on a New York state dam
- Necessity of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility
- Intelligence assets lost if Gitmo is turned over to the Castro regime
- Using a private sector model to fix the VA health care system
Rep. MIKE POMPEO (KS-4) Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Select Committee on Benghazi:
- President Obama’s upcoming Cuba trip as a ”shut down Gitmo” campaign
- Continuing down the path towards an Iranian nuclear weapons program
- Restraints on the IAEA on sanctioning the Islamic Republic
- Obama’s Global Engagement Center in combating extremism
RICK MANNING, President of Americans for Limited Government:
- The Trans-Pacific Partnership rewriting the rules for the world economy
- Unfair, anti-American trade practices in the current TPP
- How to stop a lame duck vote on the TPP
DIANA WEST, nationally syndicated columnist:
- Emergence of migration restrictions as Germany becomes increasingly “Balkanized”
- Study finding sixty-one million immigrants currently in the US
- Chicago shutdown of the Trump rally from an emerging coalition of leftist groups
Frank Gaffney: A member of Congress with whom I am very pleased to say we’ve had the privilege with to work closely is Congressman Michael Pompeo. He represents the people for the 4th District of Kansas in the United States House of Representatives. He’s had a distinguished record of public service going back to his time as the first in his class graduate of West Point, a Calvary Officer in the United States Army, in the business private sector, now in the United States congress where he is one of the country’s real leaders on matters involving national security and in particular, intelligence and on energy issues as well. Michael Pompeo, welcome back, its good to have you with us sir.
Rep. Mike Pompeo: Frank its great to be with you
FG: Let me ask you, if I may, first and foremost Congressman about the efforts you’ve been making on the ground as it were to prevent something we talked about with your colleague congresswoman Vicky Hartzler earlier in the program, namely the hijra if I may use that expression – the movement, the transfer of jihadists, known jihadists, from Guantanamo Bay where they’ve been detained, into places like perhaps Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
MP: Right, Frank we’ve been working hard all across America especially in Kansas to make everyone’s voice heard about what a bad idea it would be to transfer known jihadists, folks who real blood has been shed to capture. Last week I along with Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins held a town hall meeting at the gates of Fort Leavenworth, just listening to the committee to what it would mean to them, what that would look like not just about ‘not in my back yard’. They’ve certainly don’t want it there, but they have a deep understanding of the risks associated to national security to bring folks to US territory where every plaintiff lawyer in the world will work to set them free, and jihadists will begin to find a target here as well. There are lots of domestic reasons its bad, in addition to all of the horrible foreign policy reasons to close down Guantanamo Bay.
FG: You’ve also written a bipartisan letter opposing this, I congratulate you for that Mike Pompeo. But let me ask you. In our conversation with Vicky Hartzler, she described an investigation she’s just conducted on the release of five particularly dangerous detainees, namely the folks called the Taliban Five in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl a few years ago. And the fact that the President violated the law in doing that in numerous ways, you now have several other laws on the books that will prohibit him from bringing these people to the United States. Do you expect him to violate that law as well, and what can Congress do to prevent such a thing.
MP: Frank, we talked a lot about that at the town hall. We had a hundred plus people show up in the middle of a day on a Friday to talk about just that. They were confounded they’d say ‘you all made it unlawful, and we said ‘we did in multiple ways’, and we’ll do it again this week, we’ll vote on another provision to make it unlawful again. And yet we’ve watched a president behave in this way consistently over my five years in Congress who just says ‘well you write something down, I’m going to ignore it’. Look there are few folks who are bigger believers in the power of a president in Article Two, but this crosses the boundary that is. I can’t imagine that there be any lawyer’s support. So we are concerned in spite of the fact that the President’s own Attorney General said that it would be illegal to close Guantanamo Bay and bring detainees to the United States, this President will go fulfill his campaign promise, one of the last ones left on his list to tick off over the next year and bring them back to the United States. It would present enormous risks to the country.
FG: Well it would and I want also to salute you, Mike Pompeo, for your leadership in another area. You’ve enlisted a number of your colleagues who, like you, have served in uniform to really put a marker down with the United States military that this could constitute an unlawful order. I hope that will be another break on the president’s action in this regard
MP: We do too, its unconscionable to put our military leaders in this position. Where the commander in chief asks of them something that is clearly unlawful, and my intention was not to put pressure on those amazing soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, but rather to inform everyone that you can’t ask folks in the military to execute an unlawful order, and I hope that they understand there’re members of congress who have their back in the event that they choose to make a decision that comports with their duty.
FG: Lets turn to another topic on which you’ve been very importantly engaged Congressman Pompeo, you and your colleague Senator Tom Cotton really led in the debate about this so-called Iran deal becoming less and less of a deal all the time bad deal to being with, now not even a deal according to the State Department, but you were warning about the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency and side deals and the like. Talk if you would about what the latest shenanigan has been out of the IAEA with the respect to the so-called Nuclear Program File of Iran.
MP: Frank, I’ve tried to make it hallmark of my life to not say ‘I told you so’, but what happened just yesterday is exactly what I feared back last summer when we were trying to convince this administration not to move forward with giving the Ayatollah the capacity for a nuclear weapons program. Yesterday the IAEA essentially looked the other way. It conducted an investigation, the history of the Iranian nuclear weaponization program, it found that they lied, that they deceived that they in fact had a program. Iran continues to deny that they had a weaponization program, and in spite of that deceit, the fraud that the Iranians committed during that verification component of the deal, the IAEA voted unanimously to let them off the hook and close the file and begin the process that allows the president to relieve sanctions on this terror regime. But having said that, we now saw what this watchdog did, it became it lap dog. The president said himself that we can’t trust the Iranians, we have to verify. And the verification actors have now shown their complete unwillingness to hold the Iranians accountable.
FG: That’s for sure, and as you say, Mike, the real concern here is the president also said that when we do have issues like this arise, we’ll catch them, and then we will force this sanctions to snap back, and I can only take from your point that there was a unanimous vote of the IAEA, that the American representative was among those supporting this kind of rollover.
MP: You got that right, I wrote (inaudible), who’s our representative to the IAEA, imploring him to acknowledge what the IAEA wrote, which was that the Iranians did not comport with their obligation about the possible military implications of their program and was dually ignored. Its not a personal affront, it’s an enormous deterioration in American capacity to do nuclear proliferation verification around the world. I assure you, other countries are watching this.
FG: Just in the closing couple of minutes, Mike, I would like to ask you about, this past week the terrific outside group Judicial Watch came up with a letter that I gather the committee actually had in its files that makes it pretty darn clear that we’ve been lied to by Leon Panetta and I think Hillary Clinton, certainly others, that there was nothing that could be possible done by the United States military to help those poor folks on the ground in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012. We now know that in fact that there were options that they were quote “spinning up to engage”. What happened? Where did that letter go in the opportunities that you’ve had to interview Hillary Clinton and others, and have we in fact been lied to?
MP: Frank, we’ll get a chance. We did in fact have that email; the committees had it for a period of time. We’ve had a chance to ask a handful of witnesses about it. We still have a number of witnesses including some of the most senior leaders in the CIA and the Department of Defense to come before our committee, after the first of the year. And we will get all of the answers about that. It is very clear, from that email and others that we’ve spoken to, that the military did have resources and there’s lots of disagreement, even within those military folks, with how quickly they could have gotten their precisely, what the restrictions might have been, I mean real restrictions, just can’t physically cover the ground. But what we now know I think without a doubt is we didn’t accomplish the most important mission. When you have a man down, you move heaven and earth to go get that man or woman back to safety. And that means moving everything as quickly as you can, as fast as you can, regardless of the risks associated with that. We didn’t do that. It was simply the case that the administration appears to have failed to take on that most fundamental task, which is if you send someone into harms way, you have an obligation to do all that you can to assure they are brought back safely.
FG: Just very quickly, yes or now answer, I gather from what you have said that the committee will not finish its work by the end of the year, it will continue into next year
MP: That’s correct, I’m hoping we’re wrapped up by this spring, but were not going to quit until we’ve done all that our duty requires.
FG: We expect nothing less needless to say of you Congressman Michael Pompeo, member of the house select committee on intelligence and select committee on Benghazi.