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Mike Huckabee on Homeland Security

Republican AR Governor


Use everything at presidentís disposal to keep US safe

Q: Congress would not pass a reauthorization of the controversial surveillance policy the administration says are necessary to protect the American people in the war on terrorism. Congress says it offered a temporary extension. The administration said no

A: I think it is important to have very thorough surveillance capabilities, but they also need to be monitored by Congress. With technology being what it is today, we have new tools that have never been available before, things that our founding fathers never envisioned when the Bill of Rights was crafted. And so it is uncharted territory. Two things we need to remember--one, the first job of the president is to keep this country safe. He should use everything at his disposal to do so. But it is also the job of Congress to make sure that the executive branch does not overstep its boundaries in terms of power. That is why we have the balance of power. And I think there is a healthy tension that was designed into our system.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series with John King , Feb 24, 2008

Support moderate modern evil over Al-Qaedaís medieval evil

The United Statesí biggest challenge in the Arab and Muslim worlds is the lack of a viable moderate alternative to radicalism. On the one hand, there are radical Islamists willing to fight dictators with terrorist tactics that moderates are too humane to use. On the other, there are repressive regimes that stay in power by force and through the suppression of basic human rights--many of which we support by buying oil, such as the Saudi government, or with foreign aid, such as the Egyptian government.

Although we cannot export democracy as if it were Coca-Cola or KFC, we can nurture moderate forces in places where al Qaeda is seeking to replace modern evil with medieval evil. Such moderation may not look or function like our system--it may be a benevolent oligarchy or more tribal than individualistic--but both for us and for the peoples of those countries, it will be better than the dictatorships they have now or the theocracy they would have under radical Islamists.

Source: Americaís Priorities in the War on Terror: Foreign Affairs , Jan 1, 2008

Fight terrorism by increasing spending on armed forces & CIA

Terrorist enemies plot and train in small, scattered cells, but can be tracked down and eliminated by the CIA, U.S. Special Forces, and the military forces of the coalition countries united to rid the world of this scourge. We can achieve a tremendous amount with swift and surgical air strikes and commando raids by our elite units. But these operations demand first-rate intelligence. When the Cold War ended, we cut back our human intelligence, just as we cut back our armed forces, and these reductions have come back to haunt us. I will strengthen both.

Right now, we spend about 3.9% of our GDP on defense, compared with about 6% in 1986, under President Ronald Reagan. We need to return to that 6% level. And we must stop using active-duty forces for nation building and return to our policy of using other government agencies to build schools, hospitals, roads, sewage treatment plants, water filtration systems, electrical facilities, and legal and banking systems.

Source: Americaís Priorities in the War on Terror: Foreign Affairs , Jan 1, 2008

Torture is unproductive, and should not be US policy

I donít believe that we ought to torture. I think itís a policy that is beneath us. It is obviously unproductive. And every single military person with whom Iíve spoken, people who actually have been trained & who have been on either side of this issue, either being tortured or being asked to do it--Iíve got to tell you, I canít find anybody who says that ought to be the policy of the United States.
Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 ďChoosing the PresidentĒ interviews , Dec 9, 2007

Kick rear ends if documents destroyed to protect rear ends

Q: What do you make of the CIA destroying the tapes of those two interrogation interrogations?

A: When we start destroying documents, what are we destroying them for? Are we doing it for security purposes or to cover somebodyís rear end? If weíre covering somebodyís rear end, we need to expose their rear end and kick their rear end for doing something thatís against the best interest of the US and the responsibility and the respectability of this country.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 ďChoosing the PresidentĒ interviews , Dec 9, 2007

Opposes waterboarding; close Guantanamo as a bad symbol

Q: You came out against waterboarding and you also came out for closing Guantanamo Bay because you said that it had become a ďsymbol,Ē that it represents to the rest of the world about something bad about America. As president, how important would foreign opinion be in your determining your policies?

A: Well, I wouldnít let foreign opinion determine our policies, wouldnít let it dictate it. But we do have to make sure that we live in such a way as Americans that we have friends, not enemies, across the world. And over the past several years, it seems as weíve made even our friends our enemies. Weíve got to change that. There is an important role that the United States has as the most powerful nation on earth militarily and economically, to act in such a way that people respect us and that people also realize that we are a great nation, not one that wants to push ourselves on others.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 ďChoosing the PresidentĒ interviews , Dec 9, 2007

Raise enlistment rates with Veteransí Bill of Rights

Q: Regarding declining minority enlistment, what do you say to minorities who are overwhelmingly opposed to the continuation of this war?

A: One of the tragedies is that our military veterans have kept their promises to us; we have not kept all of our promises to them. Many of them have come back to be told to wait in line for their health care, to be told that mental health would be something that might be rationed out. Thatís not acceptable. And, if I were president, Iíd like to see us have a very plainly written, simple-to-understand veteransí bill of rights that would make sure that every single thing that these veterans have been promised is delivered. And itís delivered as the first fruits of the federal Treasury before anyone else gets their nose in the trough, the veterans get their benefits paid--not on the basis of a limited budget, but on the basis of making sure that we keep promises to the people who have kept us free. That, I believe, will help people want to be a part of the military

Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University , Sep 27, 2007

No student visas to citizens of terrorist states

Q: US policy of extending student visas to foreign students has been much too lenient. Many of the 9/11 hijackers received student visas. Would you support continued issuing of student visas to nationals of countries that are state-sponsors of terrorist groups?BROWNBACK: We ought to limit a lot of these, but I donít think you can go and just block them altogether.
Source: [Xref Brownback] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Guantanamo prisoners are treated very well

Q: General Colin Powell was asked about the status of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, whether suspected terrorists should be housed there. He said:
FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL: If it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo. Not tomorrow, but this afternoon. Every morning I pick up a paper and some authoritarian figure, some person somewhere is using Guantanamo to hide their own misdeeds. And so essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in Americaís justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open.
Q: Do you agree with Secretary Powell?

A: I know itís become a symbol of whatís wrong. Itís more symbolic than it is a substantive issue, because people perceive of mistreatment when, in fact, there are extraordinary means being taken to make sure these detainees are being given, really, every consideration.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer , Jun 10, 2007

Better to make mistakes at Guantanamo to protect Americans

Q: Gen. Powell said, ďIf it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo. Not tomorrow, but this afternoon.Ē Do you agree?

A: I know itís become a symbol of whatís wrong. Itís more symbolic than it is a substantive issue, because people perceive of mistreatment when, in fact, there are extraordinary means being taken to make sure these detainees are being given, really, every consideration. Most of our [Arkansas] prisoners would love to be in a facility more like Guantanamo and less like the state prisons that people are in.

Q: But the argument isnít so much the physical condition as to the legal system that they face. These suspected terrorists, these detainees are being held, by and large, without charges, without any evidence. Theyíre just being kept there indefinitely.

A: I understand that. Thereís not a perfect solution. The perfect solution is to get people to quit being terrorists. If weíre going to make a mistake right now, letís make it on the side of protecting the American people

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer , Jun 10, 2007

Islamic jihadists celebrate death; we have culture of life

I believe life begins at conception, and I believe that we should do everything possible to protect that life because it is the centerpiece of what makes us unique as an American people. We value the life of one as if itís the life of all, and thatís why we look for miners when the mine explodes, because we value life, and itís what separates us from the Islamic jihadists who are out to kill us. They celebrate death. They have a culture of death. Ours is a culture of life.
Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina , May 15, 2007

Guard & Reserve did their duty; itís beginning to wear

We need to be very careful about the overuse of the Guard and the Reserve in our military. As a governor and commander in chief of our Guard, Iíve seen 80% of our Guard forces deployed to Iraq. Now weíre talking about sending them back yet again & again. These are citizen soldiers. They didnít sign up to be gone all the time. Theyíre willing to do their duty, but the toll that itís taking on their families, their employers and their communities is-itís beginning to really wear.
Source: Meet the Press: 2007 ďMeet the CandidatesĒ series , Jan 28, 2007

Strength is more effective deterrent to war than weakness

A true leader shares his power rather than shows his power. True greatness is revealed by humility rather than hubris. Fear can be obtained by a gun, but true respect can only be earned by using oneís strength for unselfish service. Jesus reminded us that if we really want to be great, we must be willing to serve rather than to be served, and that the spirit of our actions is as important as the actions themselves.

I would never want to sacrifice one particle of Americaís power. Ronald Reagan had it right when he led this country to unprecedented military strength. Our best defense is a military so well equipped and so well trained that no one wants to challenge it. Strength is a far more effective deterrent to war than is weakness, and the US should never be apologetic for the development of the strongest military forces on the face of the earth. But with the development of strength and unprecedented power there must also be unprecedented restraint.

Source: From Hope to Higher Ground, by Mike Huckabee, p.133 , Jan 4, 2007

Keeping Guantanamo prisoners more important than location

THOMPSON: [To Huckabee]: I disagree with my friend Mike [on whether Bushís foreign policy] is arrogant. Closing down Guantanamo because people will think better of us, and bringing those people here to give them rights that they donít have there.

HUCKABEE: I felt we should keep Guantanamo open until the court case had come down indicating that there was no real substantive difference in whether they were in Guantanamo or Leavenworth. The fact is, I donít care what the rest of the world thinks. I care what America thinks. And itís become a divisive issue. I visited Guantanamo, & I visited every prison in my state. The truth is, Guantanamo was too darn good. The conditions down there were amazingly hospitable. I thought a little bit too much for my taste, considering what these people had done. So itís a matter of a policy that brings this country together and not tears it apart. I donít think where we keep these people is as important as it is that we keep them and we donít let them go.

Source: 2008 Fox News NH Republican primary debate , Jan 6, 2006

Islamic terror is about worldwide caliphate, not US attacks

PAUL: [to HUCKABEE]: They donít attack us because weíre free & prosperous--but because we invade their countries, because we have bases in their country--and we havenít done it just since 9/11, but we have done that a long time. It was the Air Force base in Saudi Arabia before 9/11 that was given as the excuse for 9/11.

THOMPSON: Who have we invaded before 9/11?

PAUL: We had an air base in Saudi Arabia. And how many governments have we propped up?

HUCKABEE: The fact is when there is a serious threa to this country, it is not a threat because we happen to be peace-loving people. Itís a threat because in the heart of the radical Islamic faith--not all Islam. This isnít an Islamic problem. This is a jihadist problem. This is an Islamo-fascism problem. There is nothing about our attacking them that prompts this. They are prompted by the fact they believe that they must establish a worldwide caliphate that has nothing to do with us other than we live and breathe and their intention is to destroy us.

Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate , Jan 5, 2006

Deal with terrorism as a joint federal-state responsibility.

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.

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

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Homeland Security: Mike Huckabee on other issues:
AR Gubernatorial:
Mike Beebe
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John Boozman
Mark Pryor

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