Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – The point is that you cannot materially aid or abet terrorists or, how do they phrase it in the Patriot Act, associated groups, I believe. If anyone is affiliated or associated with a terrorist organization, one of the ones we have listed, Al-Qaeda and what have you, then U.S. law, the Congress’s own law — these are probably laws, at least some of them, that President Obama himself, when he was a member of the United States Senate, that President Obama actually had to either vote for or against. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I brought this up last week, and I believe Andy and I actually talked about this when he was on the show two weeks ago or so. The point is that you cannot materially aid or abet terrorists or, how do they phrase it in the Patriot Act, associated groups, I believe. If anyone is affiliated or associated with a terrorist organization, one of the ones we have listed, Al-Qaeda and what have you, then U.S. law, the Congress’s own law — these are probably laws, at least some of them, that President Obama himself, when he was a member of the United States Senate, that President Obama actually had to either vote for or against. I don’t have his voting record here in front of me. I can’t say for certain on these particular laws, but we’ll get into it and we’ll find out. Andy writes this:
Tuesday, on the Corner, I decried Republican assent to the Obama policy of arming the opposition to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. As I’ve previously observed, these so-called rebels are more accurately described as mujahideen — meaning jihad warriors, which is what many of them proclaim themselves to be. Throughout its ranks and in key leadership posts, the Assad opposition championed by the bipartisan Beltway prominently features the Muslim Brotherhood, a virulently anti-American Islamic-supremacist organization.
In the Corner post, I belittled Washington’s approach as “the Obama-GOP Doctrine”: to wit, “If you are with us, you are with the terrorists” — a starkly embarrassing contrast to the Bush Doctrine (“Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists”) announced in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
This latest round in the roiling debate over Syria policy was triggered by President Obama’s waiver of statutory prohibitions against aiding terrorists. In response to fierce criticism, the administration and its bipartisan supporters claim that the waiver is a valid exercise of the president’s authority under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).
Mike: I have a question. Why do we have something called the Arms Export Control Act? We’re not talking about, I don’t believe, the Colt .45 factory or whatever used to make Colt .45s from the westerns, or the Smith & Wesson factory making handguns for sale in gun shops across the globe. What the AECA is is U.S. weapons manufacturers — remember, our military-industrial complex is, when viewed over multiple years, multi-trillion-dollar business. It is big business to bomb people back into the stone ages. It is big business to have the hardware necessary to bomb people back into the stone ages, or to fly drones over their heads to bomb them or shoot them back into the stone ages, or whatever other kind of mayhem and violence you wish to mete out to someone with our military hardware. There is a waiver against putting this hardware into the hands of terrorists, which can ultimately, one would think, use said hardware against the concerns of the American public, or against the wishes to provide for the common defense of the American public. In other words, you’re arming the enemy. But it’s okay to arm the rest of the world. Once they’re an ally of ours, they’ll never become an enemy, and those weapons will never fall into the hands of the bad guys. Oh, come now, surely you gest.
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They urge (a) that the waiver is necessary to provide the Syrian “rebels” with equipment that will protect them from what is alleged to be the Assad regime’s practice of using chemical weapons; and (b) that since the AECA applies to Syria only — purportedly — because of its relationship with Hezbollah, the waiver is appropriate because it is designed not to help Hezbollah but to help the opposition that is fighting both Hezbollah and Assad.
1. The Waiver Is Illegal Under the Terms of the AECA
Notice that my post does not confine itself to the AECA — I contended that Obama is violating “prohibitions in federal law” against aiding terrorists. These prohibitions are considerably broader than just the AECA. But for starters, let’s stick to the AECA.
Under the pertinent provision of the act, the prohibitions against military aid to a country are not limited by its government’s history of promoting particular terrorist groups. That is to say, even if it were correct that Hezbollah alone was responsible for the AECA’s application to Syria, this would not narrow transactions prohibited under the statute to those by which the Assad regime could benefit Hezbollah.
In point of fact, AECA prohibitions apply to countries, not regimes that govern countries — i.e., they apply here to Syria, not just Assad. [Mike: In other words, you shouldn’t be able to arm anyone in Syria, no one.]
2. Material Support to Terrorism
As noted above, my post was not limited to the AECA. Federal law prohibits material support to terrorism.
Mike: As a matter of fact, it does. I thought we were all aware of this. Remember that you and I are being snooped and spied upon right now by the CIA, the NSA and every other alphabet-laden agency out there because we might be providing material support to terrorists, and that’s why they have to have our metadata. They need to know whether or not me or you are doing it. You, citizen, you pedestrian, you peasant, you can’t do that. Only those that are in good favor with members of Congress can do that.
In fact, since being enacted in the mid-Nineties, the material-support laws have become the backbone of anti-terrorism prosecutions. Numerous sympathizers of al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hamas organization have been sentenced to lengthy jail terms for providing assets that can be useful to terrorists in their operations. [Mike: Again, it’s not okay for anyone other than the U.S. government to do this. The U.S. government can do it with impunity.]
3. Bring Back the Bush Doctrine . . . and Try Following It
A dozen years ago, following the 9/11 attacks — themselves the foreseeable result of Clinton-era fecklessness about al-Qaeda and solicitude towards “moderate” Islamic supremacists — Republicans rightly sensed that it was time to demonstrate firm resolve. President Bush spoke for them, and for most Americans, when he laid down an unambiguous, unapologetic marker: “You are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
Now, by contrast, the Obama administration has quite intentionally moved us away from that shining but fleeting moment of strategic clarity. What we need is an opposition party that resists. What we need is an opposition party that remembers why what President Bush said in the days after nearly 3,000 of us were killed needed both to be said and acted on.
Mike: The end result is the Obama administration, aided and abetted by House and Senate Republicans, is breaking laws that the United States itself has enacted to stop said aiding and abetting. What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here? Who is going to step in and demand that this stop? Who is going to bring an impeachment offense? It’s not just the president who can be impeached. Senator McCain can be impeached. Senator Graham can be impeached. Senator Menendez and Corker and all these yahoos out there that are saying, very publicly I might add, that we ought to be making sure the Syrian rebels, the antagonists of the Assad regime receive gas masks and suits and weapons and training, and Secretary of State Kerry, they’re all providing aid and comfort. That’s what those suits, that’s what those weapons, that’s what that training will do. Yet it still proceeds and continues apace.
What is going on here and how is this to be stopped? Well, it’s to be stopped by someone in the House having the courage to do a floor speech against it and then demanding that his colleagues or her colleagues sign off on a binding resolution in the House that condemns the activity and demands that it stop. If it doesn’t stop, then you move to the next stage: We warned you. We told you to stop. Now we’re going to bring about impeachment hearings and start impeaching people. Of course, that’s never going to happen because we have a budget fight we have to get to. Yes, we have much more important things than whether or not our vaunted ability to create weapons of mass destruction, which we do and then expert them to people who want to buy them, we can’t curtail that. Heaven forefend, no.
Of course, defense contractors are benefitting mightily from this. Those that have defense contractors in their districts and are beholden to them are politically benefitting from this. The sad thing is, at the end of the day, bad guys that we’re all supposed to be foresworn to fight, are also benefitting from this. We have a gaping wound. Let’s treat that gaping wound, says Uncle Sucker, and the way we’re going to treat it is we’re going to pour some Kosher salt into the wound. Let me rub that in for you. How does that feel? You writhe and wriggle and scream in pain. Quite unbelievable are the antics of the 114th Congress, ladies and gentlemen.
End Mike Church Show Transcript