Rick Perry on Homeland Security

Republican Governor (TX)


1970s: flew C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in Air Force

Between 1972 and 1977, Perry served in the U.S. Air Force flying C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in Europe and the Middle East. He is a lifetime member of both the NRA and American Legion Post #75. Prior to being elected Lieutenant Governor in 1998, he served two terms as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture and three terms in the Texas House of Representatives.

Perry married his childhood sweetheart, Anita, in 1982. They have two children and two beautiful granddaughters.

Source: Energy.gov official website for Trump Cabinet biographies , Dec 31, 2018

Patriot Act gives us a technological advantage

HH: As we speak, Senator Paul has launched a filibuster in the US Senate against renewing the Patriot Act. What does Rick Perry think?

RP: It's good to have a contrarian voice that's thoughtfully engaging in a process like that. Now from my perspective, it is very, very important for us to be able to have a technological advantage, and use every advantage that we have to be able to identify these people that would come into our country or would put our allies in jeopardy. We've been a country that always balanced our civil liberties against protecting our citizens. But I will always err on the side of defending our citizens' safety, but again being very mindful that our civil liberties don't need to be trampled on. And if there are agencies or people that are abusing that, they need to be held accountable, and use every bit of the power of this country to punish anyone who is using the Patriot Act in a way that is not appropriate.

Source: Hugh Hewitt 2015 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 20, 2015

Hillary needs to answer questions about Benghazi & ethics

HH: Your opponent, if you're the nominee, has taken about four questions total all year long. Is that acceptable in a public figure?

RP: No, it's not. When you start looking at what she's doing from the standpoint of this Clinton Foundation, there is a clear quid pro quo about speeches her husband has given. I mean, $30 million dollars in the last year and a half for speeches? Then when you look back at when she was Secretary of State, the places that Bill Clinton went to give speeches, I just think this thing is getting so smelly.

HH: Hillary appears to have forgotten that she used a lot of different emails on her private server.

RP: The fact is this is not a lapse of one's memory. This is a lapse of one's ethics. There are real ethical questions that must be answered by the Clintons from the Foundation through the Secretary of State. And we haven't even gotten into this entire Benghazi issue. And as we peel back the layers of the onion, if you will, this becomes more and more rotten.

Source: Hugh Hewitt 2015 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 20, 2015

Barbarism of 9/11 terrorists still threatens us today

Gov. Rick Perry today released the following statement to mark the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks: "The memory of those murdered on September 11, 2001 is etched forever in the heart of a tolerant and freedom-loving nation still sickened by the atrocities committed on that terrible day. The recent murders by extremists of two brave American journalists are vivid reminders that we still face an enemy capable of senseless and profoundly evil acts. We stand against such barbarism with resolve and a commitment to advance the values upon which our nation was founded. On this day especially, we remember the Americans in uniform at posts around the world who vigilantly guard our freedom. And we pray for the safety of our nation's first responders, who carry on the legacy of service exemplified by those who gave their lives on September 11, 2001."
Source: Austin County News 2014 coverage: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 11, 2014

NSA listening in on our phones breaches rule of law

I would suggest to you that the issue [on immigration] really goes back to that rule of law: we're not securing the border as the Constitution calls for us to. When you add the IRS scandal that's going on and the outside of the rule of law there, I think there is some extraordinary concern in this country about the rule of law not being followed and too many things are being decided in arenas that shouldn't be decided from the standpoint of a government that's out of control.

People want to get back to the rule of law and knowing with certainty that our border is going to be secure, that the IRS is not going to come knocking down their door looking for things, and that the NSA is not listening in on our phone conversations.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2014 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 17, 2014

Hamas uses civilians as shields; help Israel defend itself

Q: We have heard the president and Secretary Kerry talk about Israel's right to defend itself. They did express their worries about the large number of civilian casualties that seem to be taking place in Gaza.

PERRY: The fact is, you have Hamas that are using their children to protect their missiles, and I think Prime Minister Netanyahu was very specific when he said that Israel uses their missiles to protect their children. There is a very different perspective, and a very different result in those two statements, and, frankly, in the two organizations.

Q: Governor, you have long been a staunch supporter of Israel. But when you look at the 1,700-plus Palestinian deaths in Gaza, the large majority of which are civilians, what is your reaction?

PERRY: War is a horrible thing. There are individuals who lose their lives. But when Hamas is actually using their citizens as shields, at that particular point in time, it loses a lot of the power, if you will, from my perspective.

Source: CNN SOTU 2014 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 3, 2014

Unprincipled to create Department of Homeland Security

Q: [To Santorum]: In his book, "Fed Up," Gov. Perry says that it was "unprincipled" for Republicans to vote in favor of creating the Department of Homeland Security. You were one of those Republicans who voted yes. Respond?

SANTORUM: We created DHS because there was a complete mess in the internal [workings] in protecting our country. We had all sorts of agencies that had conflicting authority; we put together a plan to try to make sure that there was better coordination.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library , Sep 7, 2011

Glad Obama kept Gitmo open; America is safer because of it

Let me just say something about the president of the United States. He's taken lots of slings and arrows here today. But one thing that I want to say that he did do that I agree with is that he maintained the chase and we took out a very bad man in the form of bin Laden.

And I might add that he kept Gitmo open against the will of his base, and I'm glad he did that. America's safer for it.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library , Sep 7, 2011

US should be strongest nation by insurmountable magnitude

In 2026, I see a great nation. I see a federal government that focuses on the few things for which it is empowered and well-suited--such as national defense, border enforcement, and foreign commerce--and does them well.

I see an America that has the strongest defense in the world, by an insurmountable order of magnitude. I see defense technology that is miles beyond our allies or adversaries, and servicemen and women who are better trained and equipped than anyone. I see a functional missile defense system protecting us and our allies, and I see modernized fleets of ships and aircraft that are unsurpassed in their ability to overwhelm the enemy. I see a world where America promotes peace through the strength of her forces, which continue to be used to protect freedom rather than in conquest.

Source: Fed Up!, by Gov. Rick Perry, p.170-173 , Nov 15, 2010

Invest in defense to prepare for unpredictable threats

There is no reason to believe that armed conflict with any major power is imminent, but the world is rapidly changing, and the US must be prepared for the ramifications of shifting balances of power.

North Korea and Iran, in contrast, are utterly unpredictable and do present an imminent threat with their nuclear ambitions. Kim Jon Il's regime sunk a South Korean ship, the "Cheonan", for no apparent reason, killing 46 sailors. Iran is rattling its sabers and developing nuclear technology with impunity. Hugo Chavez is harboring communist rebels in Venezuela. All of these issues require our attention and investment in defense capabilities.

Yet it is clear that after decades of ignoring the constitutional division of authority, our bloated national government is distracted and running thin on resources to perform its central mission.

Defense spending is not being squeezed out of the budget because of the explosion in entitlement spending.

Source: Fed Up!, by Gov. Rick Perry, p.125-6 , Nov 15, 2010

Unsettled policy on Guantanamo signals weakness to enemies

Almost a full decade after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Washington still has not settled on a policy for detaining and, if necessary, prosecuting enemies captured in the War on Terror. President Obama naively campaigned as if terrorism should be handled as a law enforcement matter, and in November 2009 Attorney General Holder held a major press conference to announce that Guantanamo Bay would be shuttered and that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would face a civilian trial in Manhattan. Both plans have crumbled in the face of public and congressional opposition, and to this day the administration refuses to decide what to do. Washington's paralysis on the seminal issue of our time--dealing with terrorists whose mission is to kill as many American as possible--signals weakness to our enemies.
Source: Fed Up!, by Gov. Rick Perry, p.132 , Nov 15, 2010

Always maintain a robust military capability

Today we remember those sacrifices and pay homage to Americans who gave their lives in defense of freedoms we too often take for granted. But we also know that a black thread is woven into the complex fabric of human nature, a seam of depravity that feed a hunger for power, a willingness to violate every rule of decency to attain it, and cold-blooded commitment to maintaining it with an iron grip.

For that reason, we must always maintain a robust military capability, led by principled, decisive leaders who will employ it when necessary where freedom and security are threatened. Since the founding of our democracy, the threats to our freedom have shifted in their appearance and approach. But the guiding principles have remained the same. With our inherent sense of fairness, Americans do not like bullies and will stand up to defend what is right, no matter where in the world the threat exists.

Source: Memorial Day speech to veteran's group , May 26, 2008

1976: Vietnam-era C-130 pilot in US Air Force

When I got to Texas A&M in 1973, I was not confronted by the student unrest that was gripping campuses in the late 1960s; A&M remained a conservative place dedicated to training military officers. When I graduated, our nation was still embroiled in Vietnam. I received my commission in the Air Force, earned my pilot's wings, and jumped into the co-pilot seat of a C-130. Not fancy flying, like the jet fighters.

In 1976, I was flying a C-130 on tactical airlifts to South America, Europe, and the Middle East as a pilot. As such, I was relearning through international travel that America is unique because Americans understand that freedom is not the same as license, and that it comes with social obligations. One such obligation is to defend freedo with one's life, as I was willing to do and many before me and after me have done. In my case, that calling never took me to the field of battle. I was fortunate. I left the Air Force in 1977 and returned to the family farm and ranch.

Source: On My Honor, by Gov. Rick Perry, p. 8 & 20 , Feb 12, 2008

2004: DoD only unofficially supports Boy Scout Jamboree

For 70 years the Boy Scouts have had a Jamboree. Every 4 years, Scouts and their adult leaders gather on the red soil of the US Army's Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia for a 10-day gathering of events and skill demonstrations. The 2005 Jamboree drew some 40,000 participants and is estimated to have pumped $17 million into Virginia's economy. The ACLU decided in 1999 to launch a lawsuit against the Department of Defense to bring an end to its sponsorship of Scout troops and its support for the Jamboree (about $7 million). The suit targeted the DoD's logistical support of the quadrennial Jamboree. It was also aimed at sponsorship by the DoD of BSA units overseas. In Nov. 2004, the DoD entered into a settlement in which it agreed to remind military bases that official sponsorship of any non-government organization (such as the Boy Scouts) is prohibited. Contrary to what the ACLU may want you to think, boys attending the Jamboree are not required to pray or to attend church at the gathering.
Source: On My Honor, by Gov. Rick Perry, p. 81-83 , Feb 12, 2008

Deal with terrorism as a joint federal-state responsibility.

Perry 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.

Perry 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.

NGA’s 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

Study terrorist threats against nuclear waste repositories.

Perry signed the Western Governors' Association resolution:

  1. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) should reexamine the issue of terrorism and sabotage against spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste shipments in order to determine the adequacy of the current physical protection regulations, as part of the NRC licensing process for a geologic repository or an interim storage facility.
  2. The NRC should conduct a comprehensive assessment of the consequences of attacks that have the potential for radiological sabotage, including attacks against transportation infrastructure used by nuclear waste shipments, attacks involving capture of a nuclear waste shipment and use of high energy explosives against the cask, and direct attacks upon a nuclear waste shipping cask using antitank missiles.
  3. The NRC should conduct the comprehensive reassessment of terrorism/sabotage consequences in a forum conducive to meaningful participation by all affected stakeholders, including the creation of a stakeholder advisory group to assist the NRC in this task.
  4. DOE should also fully evaluate the impacts of terrorism and sabotage against spent fuel and nuclear waste shipments in the Yucca Mountain and in any interim storage facility.
  5. DOE should incorporate terrorism/sabotage risk management and countermeasures in all DOE transportation plans relating to operation of a repository, interim storage facility, and/or intermodal transfer facility, including liability for costs and damages resulting from terrorism/sabotage against nuclear waste shipments.
  6. DOE is encouraged to expeditiously complete the Department’s guidance process for codifying the “Transportation Protocol Manual,” [with] review with the participating states and tribes prior to formal adoption.
  7. The governors encourage NRC, DOT and DOE to use the “Transportation Protocol Manual” as the beginning point for requirements for the transport of both federal and commercial radioactive materials.
Source: WGA Policy Resolution 01-03: Terrorism Against Nuclear Waste 01-WGA03 on Aug 14, 2001

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