Herman Cain on Homeland Security
Republican Businessman & Talk-Show Host; 2011 GOP frontrunner
Cain: I believe in following the procedures that have been established by our military. I do not agree with torture, period. However, I will trust the judgment of our military leaders to determine what is torture and what is not torture. That is the critical consideration.
Q: You're familiar with the long-running debate we've had about whether waterboarding constitutes torture or is an enhanced interrogation technique. In the last campaign, John McCain and Barack Obama agreed that it was torture; do you agree?
Cain: I agree that it was an enhanced interrogation technique.
Q: You would return to that policy?
Cain: Yes, I would return to that policy. I don't see it as torture. I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique.
A: The rest of the statement was, you would have to consider the entire situation. But let me say this first, I would have a policy that we do not negotiate with terrorists. We have to lay that principle down first. Now, you have to look at each individual situation and consider all the facts. The point that I made about this particular situation is that I'm sure Prime Minister Netanyahu had to consider a lot of things befor he made that. So on the surface, I don't think we can say he did the right thing or not. A responsible decision-maker would have considered everything.
Q: Including if it's al Qaeda?
A: My policy will be we cannot negotiate with terrorists.
CAIN: No, I believe in the philosophy of we don't negotiate with terrorists. I would never agree to letting hostages in Guantanamo Bay go. No, that wasn't the intent at all. My approach is an extension of the Reagan approach: Peace through strength, which is peace through strength and clarity. If we clarify who our friends are, clarify who our enemies are, and stop giving money to our enemies, then we ought to continue to give money to our friends, like Israel.
PAUL: Well, what happened before 1979? We didn't have FEMA. FEMA just conditioned people to build where they shouldn't be building. FEMA's broke. They're $20 billion in debt. But I'm not for saying tomorrow close it down.
CAIN: I believe that, yes, you can find the concurrent spending cuts in order to be able to [fund FEMA]. No, don't eliminate FEMA. Let's fix FEMA. Let's fix Homeland Security.
Bachmann: I support DOD efficiency but defense spending did not cause our budget crisis & we must maintain our military strength.
Cain: National security and protecting our borders from foreign invaders is something we as a nation really can't put a price on. Mounting deficit spending is a concern, but this spending is necessary for all Americans to enjoy our freedoms and liberties.
Bachmann: Our security requires a strong defense and wise leadership. I will preserve our military strength while using it judiciously.
Cain: As president, I'd support any cuts to wasteful spending in the military, but nothing more. Military is key to US safety.
Bachmann: We must reserve military force for situations where we've been attacked, are threatened, or have vital interests at stake.
Unfortunately, national security has become far too politicized. In response, the safety and morale of our brave men and women in uniform are often at risk for political gain. The judgment of our military experts on the ground is often underutilized in exchange for political purposes. National security isn't about politics. It's about defending America.
We must support our military with the best training, equipment, technology and infrastructure necessary to keep them in a position to win. We must also provide our men and women in uniform, our veterans and their families with the benefits they deserve for their tremendous sacrifice. These heroes have served us. We must never forget to serve them.
SANTORUM: Under certain circumstances or any circumstances?
Q: Under any circumstances that you could imagine.
JOHNSON: I would not.
PAUL: No, I would not, because you don't achieve anything.
SANTORUM: Well it's just simply not true, Ron. The fact is that what we found is that some of this information that we find out that led to Osama Bin Laden actually came from these enhanced interrogation techniques.
PAUL: Not true.
SANTORUM: And by the way we wouldn't have been able to launch a raid into Pakistan to get Osama Bin Laden if we weren't in Afghanistan.
CAIN: I heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say it very clearly a few months after 9/11 2001 after the tragedy, the terrorist have one objective, to kill of us and so, yes, I believe that we should do whatever means possible in order to protect the people of this nation, that's their ultimate goal.
Our enemy is unlike any we have ever faced, as is his motivating ideology. In previous wars, our enemies fought to acquire land and power or spread a political philosophy. Islamic terrorists are instead motivated by the literal reading of the Quran's call for jihad of the sword--death to those who refuse to convert to Islam.
The enemy is further motivated by a hatred of western civilization and the religious, political and economic freedoms we fight to protect. Religious pluralism and economic prosperity for all who desire it are concepts completely foreign to the Islamic terrorist, and are principles they believe must be violently overthrown wherever possible.
Terrorists understand one thing--annihilation. It's either them or us.
Netanyahu's opening sentence is a strategic declaration: "The war on terror can be won with clarity and courage, or lost with confusion and vacillation." Netanyahu's speech was aimed at all US citizens who might question for even a second the necessity of waging war against terrorist networks on their home turf. There can be no doubt that terrorists all over the globe seek to disrupt and destroy our way of life, our values, and our freedoms.
We know from the terrorists' own words that they hate us and our freedoms: Republicans and Democrats; Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and Asians; Christians and Jews.
The closest Netanyahu comes is when stating, "Contrary to popular belief, the motivating force behind terror is neither desperation nor destitution. It is hope--the hope of terrorists tha their savagery will break the will of their enemies & help them achieve their objectives--political, religious, or otherwise." Netanyahu does not say, nor hint, that those objectives include "destroying our way of life."
Cain's analysis of Netanyahu's speech correctly concludes that Netanyahu seeks US resoluteness against terrorists, including fighting them abroad. But his juxtaposition with his own "destroy our way of life" conclusion falsely implies that Netanyahu agrees with that conclusion.
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