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Tim Pawlenty on Homeland Security

Republican MN Governor


Enhanced interrogation techniques counter radical jihadists

Q: There is a renewed debate about enhanced interrogation in the aftermath of the taking out of Osama Bin Laden. Two years ago, you would not endorse waterboarding of high value detainees. You said "we have to weigh the benefits of the information agains the damage it causes not only to the individual, but to our values, more broadly." Since then, have you decided where you stand on waterboarding?

A: I believe my position hasn't changed. There is a group of individuals who are radical jihadists; we nee to call them by name. They believe it is okay to kill people in the name of their religion. It is not all Muslims. But there is a subgroup who believe it is okay. In fact it is their plan and design to kill people. The people and the mindset that killed 3,000 of our fellow citizens on September 11th, 2001 would have killed 300,000 if they could have, or three million. We need to do everything we can to make sure that doesn't I support enhanced interrogation techniques under limited circumstances.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina , May 5, 2011

Military & veterans' issues top legislative priority

While I never served in the military, I have enormous respect and reverence for the men and women who do. I made it a personal mission to appear at every deployment ceremony I could during my time in office--as well as every funeral for the fallen. A Minnesota flag flown by one of our National Guard units to Iraq in 2005 was one of my favorite mementos. It came back dusty and torn, and it hung in my office in that condition, which I thought was appropriate. As Commander in Chief of the MN National Guard, I knew a good deal of my time and attention needed to be focused on them and on military issues. They deserved that and much more. In addition to showing up at events, I also made sure that military and veterans' issues were on the top of the legislative priority list. My administration modernized, enhanced and improved the support for men and women in the military and their families in a nation-leading way during my time as Governor. I am most proud of the work we accomplished in that regard
Source: Courage to Stand, by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, p.144-148 , Jan 11, 2011

Torture of terrorists might be ok to obtain info

Pawlenty is open to the possibility that terror suspects might have to be tortured to obtain information. When former Vice president Dick Cheney was criticized for his advocacy of waterboarding in 2009, Pawlenty said there were two sides to the debate, and Cheney's position was valid: "I think he has probably some inside information about who was waterboarded and what information was derived from that and what events it prevented. Since 9/11, the country wasn't attacked and didn't have another terrorist incident, so they must have done something right. How far do you go? I think, clearly, we have to weigh the benefits of that information against the damage it causes, not only to the individual, but to our values more broadly."
Source: Sam's Club Republican, by J.A. McClure, p. 62 , May 10, 2010

Feds should fund REAL ID driver licenses, not states

The nation’s governors are committed to providing secure driver’s licenses and identification cards for their citizens. Consequently we ask for a commitment to REAL ID by providing $1 billion this year for states for their upfront costs and committing to cover ongoing state costs.

Governors supported initial legislation to enhance driver’s licenses through a cooperative negotiated rulemaking. When that legislation was repealed and replaced with REAL ID, governors objected, and the Department of Homelan Security improved its draft regulations.

Governors also asked Congress to provide adequate funding to cover the cost of this new national mandate. If REAL ID is to become reality, the federal government must provide sufficient funding to cover states’ cost and preserve flexibility for states to manage their unique systems. State compliance with REAL ID regulations will cost states nearly $4 billion over the next ten years. To date Congress has appropriated only $90 million for REAL ID.

Source: Letter from two governors to President Bush , Mar 20, 2008

Require federal electronic verification for state employment

Source: Executive Order 08-01, “Requiring Use of E-Verify” , Jan 7, 2008

Over $2M for National Guard and numerous military programs

Source: 2006 Gubernatorial website, www.timpawlenty.com, “Issues” , Nov 7, 2006

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Page last updated: Mar 14, 2014