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Jeb Bush on Homeland Security

Republican FL Governor; V.P. prospect


Conflicting accounts of Benghazi emboldens terrorists

Jeb Bush said that the administration's conflicting accounts of the tragic murders of four Americans in the Benghazi terrorist attack has "emboldened" America's enemies and puts the United States "in a more perilous position." Bush added that the Obama administration's handling of the tragedy "has created a cloud that doesn't serve us well."

Bush indicated the administration's mixed messaging makes America look weak. "When the world sees us as uncertain and not surefooted, they act," he said. "Our friends act by pulling away and nervously kind of not being assured that the United States is there to support them. And our enemies are emboldened. "So the tragedy of this is that four people lost their lives; great public servants. And then, because of the politics of this, the Obama administration sent such a confusing signal out that they did themselves no good. And they've put the United States in a more perilous position," he added.

Source: David Patten and Kathleen Walter, Newsmax TV , Oct 28, 2012

Benghazi attacks had warnings which were ignored

Bush's broadside is one more indication that Republicans have no intention of easing the growing pressure for President Obama to clarify what the administration knew and when it knew it, regarding the first deadly assault on a U.S. diplomat since 1979. [It was recently revealed that] special ops soldiers made at least three requests for permission to respond to the developing firefight, which were denied. Bush said the tragedy "has been made worse by the knowledge that we now have, that there were warnings. The consulate had been attacked twice in the previous months, which was clearly known. And then there were pleas for extra security, which were ignored. And then when the evidence came--which was immediate--that this was a terrorist attack, the White House went in spin mode."
Source: David Patten and Kathleen Walter, Newsmax TV , Oct 28, 2012

1985: Contra freedom fighters' cause is noble and just

In January, Jeb had met with Felix Rodriguez, the former CIA operative who at the time was serving as North's chief supply officer in the arms flow. Despite this, Jeb claimed, just as his father did, that he had no idea anything illegal was going on. Jeb responded to a question about whether he was his Florida point man in the scheme: "I believe the freedom fighters should be supported to the maximum and that their cause is noble and just. But I know the difference between proper and improper behavior."

By late 1986, with the whole Iran-Contra Affair dominating the headlines and hammering the White House just as George Sr. got ready for his long-awaited run for the presidency, Jeb was splitting hairs as to how much, exactly, he had known about the shipments from Florida to Honduras, and thence onward into Nicaragua. "What I have done is a far cry from being part of an arms supply link to the contras," he said, but acknowledging that he had helped with "nonlethal" assistance.

Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.339-340 , Feb 15, 2007

Save Florida's 21 military bases from closure or downsizing

Gov. Jeb Bush led a delegation of business and retired military leaders in meetings with top Pentagon officials and members of Florida's congressional delegation as part of a mission to save the state's military bases from possible closure or downsizing. Protecting the 21 installations and three unified commands during the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, round is a one of Bush's core priorities.
Source: Bradenton (FL) Herald , Feb 9, 2005

Make Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation

We must protect our military bases and the $44 billion defense industry by aggressively defending our military installations in the 2005 base closure (BRAC) process. We must also find more ways to support the military men and women who serve their country from our state. I support the legislation proposed to help military families transition into our communities and our schools, as part of our effort to make Florida the most military friendly state in the nation.
Source: 2004 State of the State speech to the Florida Legislature , Mar 2, 2004

Threat from 9/11 is unprecedented for our generation

In most years, we mark change by the passing of foreseeable events. But since I spoke here last, a new rhythm has been violently layered over the old. We awoke one morning in September, and we confronted a threat that is unprecedented for our generation.

As I have come to expect from Floridians, we have been extraordinary in our response to that threat. As a state, we will meet, and soon overcome, the obstacles that evil has devised. We will understand, and soon eliminate, any barrier that would keep this state from realizing its destiny. And when we do, we will be stronger and better for it. Floridians are united as never before, and when the current crisis has passed, we will remain bound to one another in a spirit of caring and community that will endure. Stronger, wiser, with an unshakable determination: that is the state of our state.

We must continue to thwart those who would harm us. We must renew our commitment to ensure the security of our citizens and our guests.

Source: State of the State address to 2002 Florida Legislature , Jan 22, 2002

$17M for new programs for terrorism response

Immediately following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, we acted quickly. By executive order, I put in place new programs that bolstered law enforcement's ability to deal with the terrorist threat and authorized specialized training for domestic security personnel.

I am proud of the rapid response of the Legislature in aggressively addressing this new threat. A few weeks ago, in special session, you dedicated more than $17 million in new programs to bolster homeland security, put into place harsher criminal penalties for terrorist acts, and created a new, coordinated system for law enforcement's response to terrorism.

But we must do more. I am proposing this session that we spend $45 million to further strengthen domestic security, including $6 million to continue the efforts begun in the current year.

Source: State of the State address to 2002 Florida Legislature , Jan 22, 2002

Deal with terrorism as a joint federal-state responsibility.

Bush adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA policy HR-10: Domestic Terrorism 01-NGA5 on Feb 15, 2001

Include states in anti-terrorism planning.

Bush adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

The issue of terrorism will be of major focus for the 107th Congress. Governors have a critical interest in controlling domestic terrorism because they are responsible for ensuring that state and local authorities have the ability to deal with natural disasters and other types of major emergencies, including terrorist incidents.

NGAís Position

NGA believes that any national strategy for dealing with terrorist incidents should include planning and training by state and local forces. The unique nature of terrorism coupled with national security implications requires the support and expertise of the federal government in working with state and local government in developing capabilities. A clear national strategy developed through a partnership among federal agencies and key state, local, and private sector stakeholders is essential to drive operational and programmatic planning, training, and service delivery in combating terrorism.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA7 on Sep 14, 2001

Increase defense spending to meet global responsibilities.

Bush signed Project for the New American Century Statement of Principles

American defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century. We aim to change this.

We are living off the capital--both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements--built up by past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation's ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead.

We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration's success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges.

We need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

Source: PNAC Principles 97-PNAC-HS on Jun 3, 1997

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Jeb Bush on other issues:
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Page last updated: Aug 18, 2014