Gohmert Speaks: Real Men Don’t Close Embassies . . . HOO-rah!
Well, as I mentioned yesterday, it’s Silly Season which means lots of open-mic time for politicians aiming to make an impression on the American electorate. So it is that Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Planet Xanax) subbed for Sean Hannity on his newly-divorced-from-Cumulus radio program, yesterday.
Gohmert opened with a shout out to the blogging community:
All of you on the left coast, the left bloggers that … you couldn’t find your rear-end with both hands, well listen: I know you monitor every word I say,” he said. “Well, grab some popcorn, we’re going to have a fun three hours.
And things deteriorated from there . . .
Inevitably, a caller to the program asked guest-host Gohmert for his take on the recent announcement that, due to interception of messages indicating a very credible, imminent al-Qaeda threat, some US embassies in al Qaeda territory will be closed for a bit.
Ahhh, the choices for that spin cycle! There’s “manufactured crisis by Obama administration to deflect attention from NSA spying;” oh and there’s “our military is being crippled by the ‘President’s sequester;’ but Gohmert, being a man’s man from The Lone Star State, settled for Obama’s making us look “like a bunch of cowards.”
Here’s Gohmert’s expert opinion on the matter:
We don’t want any more people to die. But it brings us back to the question that Hillary Clinton asked, what difference does it make at this point?
The difference it makes is, that if you will bother to find out exactly what went wrong, why you didn’t have security where you needed it, where you need security to shore up, what you can do to make sure that doesn’t happen again, you don’t have to close your embassies like a bunch of cowards that go running away.
The implication being that nobody “has bothered” investigating the Benghazi attack outside of Darrell Issa and his merry band of witch-hunters.
Gohmert also alleged that the U.S. didn’t bother to learn after bombings on U.S. embassies during President Clinton’s administration, and warned that failing to look tough will only invite more attacks.
We didn’t learn it then, by golly, we better learn it now or we’re going to get hit again and we’re going to look weak.
Hard to imagine what Gohmert visualizes as “tough” embassy security that will make us look “strong.”
Armed fortresses with sniper towers? moats? does Gohmert have the smallest clue what the purpose is of having a diplomatic presence in a country? what would Louie have to say if, suddenly, the embassies on Diplomat’s Row in the District started to bristle with razor wire and armed assault troops around the embassies of countries that want to project a strong image?
The security of a diplomatic entity on foreign soil is a cooperative effort built on mutual trust and respect [I know, hard for the GOP mind to fathom . . .]
Here’s how it works outside of LouieWorld:
Under reciprocal treaty obligations, host nations are obligated to provide security for the diplomatic facilities of sending states. However, instances in which host nations have been unable or not fully committed to fulfilling this responsibility have sometimes left U.S. facilities vulnerable, especially in extraordinary circumstances.
U.S. facilities therefore employ a layered approach to security including not only the measures taken by a host country, but also additional, U.S-coordinated measures, to include armed Diplomatic Security agents, hardened facilities,
U.S.-trained and/or contracted local security guards, and sometimes U.S. Marine Security Guard detachments (whose principal role is securing classified information).
But here’s the good news, Rep. Gohmert—the US Congress, of which you are a member, has the ultimate control over this situation and the power to help or hinder the administration’s efforts to make sure that our embassies are secure—the Power of the Purse.
As I’m sure Rep. Gohmert knows, on May 7, 2013 the Congressional Research Service issued a report entitled Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel Abroad: Background and Policy Issues. I’m sure that Rep. Gohmert has studied that report carefully, given his role as a member of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. And, I’m sure that Rep. Gohmert is already planning to help remove some of the obstacles to embassy security cited in that report:
As Congress examines funding levels for the purpose of properly securing American personnel, embassies, and information around the world, it continues to do so in a climate of shrinking budgets; proposed funding increases might be met with calls for offsetting cuts elsewhere.
Of continued concern is the possible effect that the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25) sequestration could have on diplomatic security funding in FY2013 and beyond.
Across-the-board spending reductions are being implemented at an estimated 5% reduction with an
additional 0.032% rescission, according to Sec. 3004, Division G, P.L. 113-6. Meeting BCA spending caps set through FY2021 by reducing embassy security funds could undermine future security funding needs.
Adding to the difficulty of meeting future security needs around the world is the unpredictability in the timing of funding bills being passed by Congress. Fiscal years may not be in sync with new increasing needs or with contracts. When Congress passes funding bills well into the new fiscal year, or passes continuing resolutions in place of spending bills for the remainder of the fiscal year, the agency is left to guess what annual funding it can expect and has fewer months to spend the funds once received.
So. There you have it, Louie. Make us proud! Make us STRONG! Be exceptional . . . instead of playing Sean Hannity on the radio.