Tom Tancredo on Homeland Security

Republican Representative (CO-6)


Politically-correct rules of engagement get troops killed

One of the things that has really bothered me is the fact that we continue to be politically correct when we face threatening situations. Political correctness is going to get us all killed. It is absolutely the thing we have to fear. It has already gotten us killed in other places. I will never go to war under any circumstances by putting our armed forces in places of danger with their hands tied behind them with rules of engagement that they cannot live by. That’s never going to happen.
Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News , Sep 5, 2007

Waterboarding--simulated drowning--is not toruture

Q: You have said the president should have the power to approve enhanced interrogation techniques, like waterboarding (simulated drowning) in cases where conventional interrogation is not getting the job done. Would you approve the use of torture if you felt it would prevent a terrorist attack?

A: Torture. I mean, we get into this debate all the time, and as to what exactly is the definition of torture. The question that elicited the response that you mentioned was, what do we do [to prevent detonation of] a nuclear device. Yes, I would certainly waterboard--I don’t believe that that is “torture.” I would do what is necessary to protect this country. That is the ultimate responsibility of the president. All of the other powers vested in him pale in comparison to his responsibility to keep the people of this country safe. And, yes, I would go to great lengths to keep this country safe.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News , Sep 5, 2007

Use Jack Bauer-like methods to protect Western civilization

Q: Let’s say terrorists mounted 3 successful suicide attacks in the US, and a 4th attack was averted and the terrorists captured. How aggressively would you interrogate those being held?

A: We’re talking about it in such a theoretical fashion. You say that nuclear devices have gone off in the US, more are planned, and we’re wondering about whether waterboarding would be a bad thing to do? I’m looking for “Jack Bauer” at that time, let me tell you [referring to the counterrorism agent in TV’s “24”, who uses any methods needed to achieve desired results]. We are the last best hope of Western civilization. And so all of the theories that go behind our activities subsequent to these nuclear attacks going off in the US, they go out the window because when we go under, Western civilization goes under. As president you should make sure 1) it doesn’t happen, but 2), you better respond in a way that makes them fearful of you because otherwise you guarantee something like this will happen.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina , May 15, 2007

We are at war with Islamofascism

I believe the US & western civilization are in a “clash of civilizations.” And it is a real clash... a real war. This view of the current conflict is not acceptable conversation in politically correct circles. Although I believe it is understood in the White House, it is not articulated there either. Pres. Bush continues to refer to our enemy as terrorism or extremism. Neither of these isms accurately characterizes our enemy. The real enemy is Islamofascism. Contrary to popular belief, Islamofascism did not begin with our support for Israel, and it would not end if that support were withdrawn.

The clash of civilizations is not with the religion of Islam, but with the Islamic religion that has been married to a political philosophy that says all the nonbelievers must be annihilated, abolished, eliminated. It is with people who have openly & repeatedly stated that their desire is to eradicate us from the planet because we do not accept their political & religious ideologies.

Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p. 65-66 , Jun 6, 2006

Islam’s basic tenets are inextricably linked to terrorism

The basic tenets & characteristics of Islam are a cause for concern. Scholars lay out the basic lessons of Islam:Religious freedom is not permitted in the Islamic world. Conversions can only go one way: from whatever you are to Islam. Punishment for the reverse procedure is torture or death.

Many scholars believe that Islam is incapable of a radical transformation. Many are skeptical about the willingness of a vast number of righteous Muslims to reject radicalism in favor of a worldview in which Islam exists harmoniously with other religions, because Muslims view the Koran as a document that cannot be interpreted by man.

We are at war with radical Islam. We must all be aware of the enemy: who they are, what they believe, & why they believe it.

Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p. 67-68 , Jun 6, 2006

Self-deluded NEA union blames America for 9/11

Not long after 9/11, the National Education Association, the largest teachers’ union, distributed some “suggestions” for teachers and parents, instructing them on how to address the issue of the attack. Not one word mentioned the uniqueness of America and the importance of defending the country. The handout was aimed at telling people they should not think negatively about the people who attacked our country. We should not use the attacks to cast aspersions on any groups or organizations because after all, there are many bad things we have done too.

The 9/11 attacks seemed to incite more than just left-wing political responses. Instead of the shock, horror, and outrage expressed by most Americans, the attacks seemed to evoke a perverse sense of gratifications on campuses. The nation had not yet had time to tally its dead before many of the elites renewed their assault on the American character.

Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p. 42-43 , Jun 6, 2006

Technology can’t defeat religion-fueled suicide bombers

Congress appropriated more than $400 billion for the Department of Defense last year. Most of it went for the support of a traditional military infrastructure. Yet our most dangerous enemy does not spend money on weapons, systems, ships, or plans. It utilizes suicide bombers and inexpensive equipment: improvised explosive devices, anthrax, and suitcase nuclear devices. Our enemy does not need to be part of a national military, nor does he need to follow orders from anyone empowered by a secular authority.

This phenomenon has rendered much of our war plans ineffective. When the fuel for a suicide bomber is religion, no technology can defeat him. It is impossible to create a sensor to ferret out the individual who sees death as the doorway to a world of endless sensual pleasure. Additionally, the enemy knows that after he blows himself and his victims to bits, his mother will be giving thanks to God and she will receive Saudi cash.

Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p. 76-77 , Jun 6, 2006

If nuked by Islamic terrorists, take out their holy sites

A radio talk-show host asked me what America’s response should be to a nuclear attack by Islamic terrorists. I said our first option should be to think of something that would deter such an event. One option might be to threaten retaliation for such an attack by “taking out their holy sites.” Nothing I have ever said evoked the kind of reaction that followed, and the reaction was worldwide.

The death threats were numerous & serious. But not all reactions were negative.

One supporter made the commonsense observation that as the present time, there are no negative consequences to the action of a suicide murderer. Instead, those who matter most to the murderers meet these actions with praise. Let me say now that if the threat of destruction of the religious sites would not deter the religious zealots, then we’d better think of something that will. If all we do is kill the ones we can identify before they commit their deeds, we can expect the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse to be saddling up soon.

Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p. 78 , Jun 6, 2006

Active Hezbollah cells operate out of Mexico

Testifying before Congress in 2005, FBI Director Mueller revealed that his agency had “received reports that individuals form countries with known al Qaeda connections have attempted to enter the US illegally using alien smuggling rings and assuming Hispanic appearances.” Mueller confirmed that the FBI suspected many of these people had changed their Islamic surnames and adopted false Hispanic identities to escape detection.

Since 9/11, Mexican authorities have reportedly apprehended hundreds of individuals with suspected terrorist ties in the border region.

In 2006, Mueller told a house appropriations committee hearing that the FBI had broken up a smuggling ring organized by the terrorist group Hezbollah that had operatives cross the Mexican border to carry out possible terrorist attacks inside the US.

This was not considered newsworthy by mainline news media, so most Americans are still unaware that there are active Hezbollah cells within a day’s drive of our porous border.

Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p. 79-81 , Jun 6, 2006

Evil prowls this planet; defend with terrorist profiling

An al Qaeda spokesman asserted in 2002: “We have the right to kill four million Americans--two million children--and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands.” In a separate communiqu‚, officials found the essay “The Truth About the New Crusade: A Ruling on the Killing of Women and Children of the Non-Believers.” It argues that “the sanctity of women, children, and the elderly is not absolute” and concludes that “in killing Americans who are ordinarily off-limits, Muslims should not exceed four million noncombatants or render more than 10 million homeless.“

I would not advocate the suspension of habeas corpus or a declaration of martial law, but I would be the last to complain about measures such as terrorist profiling, eliminating all immigration from terrorist-sponsoring nations, and securing our borders to allow the government to do all it can to defend the country.

Evil prowls this planet. It searches for easy targets. And it strikes without mercy.

Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p. 97-98 , Jun 6, 2006

DHS not doing enough to keep terrorists out of US

Under current Department of Homeland Security guidelines, there is no doubt that terrorists have been given free access to our country. We are continuously showing terrorists that we are content to allow them to enter our country and do God only knows what to our homeland. One such example took place just six months after 9/11: immigration officials sent notices to two of the hijackers that they had been approved for flight school visas. The oversight outraged a mourning nation and President Bush vowed that this type of blunder would never happen again. But 9/11 and this blunder were not enough to prevent the same situation from happening again.

If our own agencies cannot keep track of who is in our country, how can we expect those charged with our protection to guarantee never again when it comes to terrorism?

Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p.137-138 , Jun 6, 2006

Bar foreign workers from working in nuclear facilities

The Y-12 National Security Complex plays a significant role in the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons programs. The facility is responsible for the production of nuclear weapon components, receipt, storage, and protection of nuclear weapon materials, surveillance of the nuclear weapons stockpiles and dismantling weapons. One would think this facility would take every measure to ensure that illegal immigrants would not gain access.

In 2005 the Energy Department revealed “non-US citizens were improperly allowed access to a leased facility at the Y-12 complex.“ The report said, ”We found that foreign construction workers, using false documents, had gained access to the Y-12 site on multiple occasions. Sixteen foreign construction workers were found to have been illegal aliens. These individuals may have had opportunities to access secret information.“

What does it say about our intelligence community when illegals not only get past the Y-12 gates but also gain access to top-secret materials

Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p.138-139 , Jun 6, 2006

Press said “pro-peace” rallies: crowd chanted “Allah Akbar”

Shortly after 9/11, when Congress was engaged in a debate over the possibility of a conflict in the Middle East and the efficacy of that conflict--whether or not it was in the national interests of the US to embark on this venture, whether a preemptive strike was justified, and whether or not sending men and women into harm’s way was appropriate--I took the House floor to quote from some speeches made at “pro-peace rallies” in D.C. I said the press misidentified these speeches as “pro-peace,” just as the media had misidentified the rallies I attended and spoke at as “pro-war.” Most of the people exhorting the crowd were not really interested in peace and the need for it but talked instead about the problems with America and saying America needed its own “regime change.” That American needed another “revolution.” They also led chants of Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar, at these rallies.
Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p.184-185 , Jun 6, 2006

Voted NO on restricting no-bid defense contracts.

  1. Improving the Quality of Contracts--to restrict the contract period of noncompetitive contracts to the minimum period necessary to meet urgent requirements; and not more than one year unless the the government would be seriously injured.
  2. Increasing Contract Oversight--to make publicly available (on websites) justification documents for using noncompetitive contract procedures.
  3. Promoting Integrity in Contracting--to prohibit former federal officials from accepting compensation from contractors as lawyers or lobbyists.

Proponents support voting YES because:

In Iraq, we were told we needed Halliburton to get a contract without any competition because they were the only ones who know how to put out oil well fires. So they got a contract on a cost-plus basis even though they had a history of overcharging the taxpayers. And then later we found out that they didn't do anything about putting out oil well fires in the first Gulf war; it was Bechtel, not Halliburton. Contractors were given special treatment by not having healthy competition.

In dealing with Hurricane Katrina, and we have seen the same mistakes again: No-competition contracts; cost-plus contracts. We have seen what the result has been: Wasted taxpayer dollars. This bill requires that if there is an emergency to give a contract, give it. But then have bidding within a year.

Opponents support voting NO because:

We support transparency and accountability in decision-making, but this bill asks for audit reports that are only advisory. To provide those to Congress not only gives you too much information, a lot of it can be misleading and can increase the number of contract disputes.

When you are fighting a war, you need to move quickly. You don't give a 6-month appeal to the folks that lose the competition. You don't give small business set-asides because there is one thing you don't have, you don't have time.

Reference: Accountability in Contracting Act; Bill H R 1362 ; vote number 2007-156 on Mar 15, 2007

Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant.

Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to allow the President & Attorney General to authorize electronic surveillance without a court order to acquire foreign intelligence information, after certifying that the surveillance is directed at the acquisition of communications of foreign agents.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Intelligence is the first line of defense in the war on terrorism. That means we have to have intelligence agencies and capabilities that are agile, that are responsive to changes in technology, and that also protect the civil liberties of Americans. Let me make an analogy. With modernization, we replaced Route 66 with Interstate 40. We no longer have the stoplights and the intersections. We created on ramps and off ramps and concrete barriers to protect the citizens where traffic was moving very quickly. That is like what we are trying to do here--FISA needs modernization.

Opponents support voting NO because:

We are legislating in the dark. We do not even know what the President is doing now because he will not tell us. The New York Times exposed that the administration had authorized secret surveillance of domestic conversations. When exposed, the President claimed he was operating under inherent powers, but court decisions have found that the President cannot simply declare administration actions constitutional and lawful, whether or not they are.

Yet rather than finding out what is going on, this legislation retroactively legalizes whatever has been going on. The President already has broad latitude to conduct domestic surveillance, including surveillance of American citizens, so long as it is overseen by the FISA court.

This bill does not enhance security, but it does allow surveillance without the traditional checks and balances that have served our Nation well.

Reference: Update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978; Bill H.R.5825 ; vote number 2006-502 on Sep 28, 2006

Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight.

A resolution providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 5020) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2007 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities. Voting YES indicates support of the current methods for intelligence-gathering used by the CIA and other agencies. The resolution's opponents say:
Reference: Intelligence Authorization Act; Bill HR 5020 resolution H RES 774 ; vote number 2006-108 on Apr 26, 2006

Voted YES on federalizing rules for driver licenses to hinder terrorists.

REAL ID Act of 2005: To establish and rapidly implement regulations for State driver's license and identification document security standards, to prevent terrorists from abusing the asylum laws of the United States, to unify terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal, and to ensure expeditious construction of the San Diego border fence.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner [R, WI-5]; Bill H.R.418 ; vote number 2005-031 on Feb 10, 2005

Voted YES on continuing military recruitment on college campuses.

Expresses the continued support of Congress for, and encourages the executive branch to continue challenging any judicial decision against, specified provisions of Federal law prohibiting making certain Federal contracts with or grants to institutions of higher education that prevent military recruiters from having access to their campuses and to certain information about their students.
Reference: Resolution sponsored by Rep Mike Rogers [R, AL-3]; Bill H.CON.RES.36 ; vote number 2005-016 on Feb 2, 2005

Voted NO on supporting new position of Director of National Intelligence.

Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004: Establishment of Director of National Intelligence, to be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Requires the Director to have extensive national security expertise. Prohibits the Director from being located within the Executive Office of the President or simultaneously serving as head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or any other intelligence community (IC) element.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins {R, ME}; Bill S.2845 ; vote number 2004-544 on Dec 7, 2004

Voted YES on adopting the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act:
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep Denny Hastert [R, IL-14]; Bill H.R.10 ; vote number 2004-523 on Oct 8, 2004

Voted YES on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2003: Vote to pass the bill that would supply $77.9 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations in fiscal 2003, including $62.5 billion for military operations in Iraq and the war on terrorism. The bill would also provide for $4.2 billion for homeland security, $8 billion in aid to allies and for Iraqi relief and rebuilding; $3.2 billion for U.S. airlines to cover additional security costs; and $1 billion in aid to Turkey.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Young, R-FL; Bill HR 1559 ; vote number 2003-108 on Apr 3, 2003

Voted YES on permitting commercial airline pilots to carry guns.

Armed Airline Pilots Bill: Vote to pass a bill that would create a program where commercial pilots would be deputized as federal law enforcement officers and would then be permitted to carry guns aboard airlines. To participate in the program, commercial pilots would have to undergo specialized training. At least 250 commercial pilots would undergo the training. Within two months of the bill's enactment, the Transportation Security Agency or TSA, would then be required to begin weapons training for pilots who had volunteered for the program. Airlines and pilots will not be held legally accountable when defending planes from terrorist acts except in cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence The TSA could temporarily put the program on hold if a pilot's gun unintentionally discharges and causes injury to a crew member or passanger. The bill also would entail flight attendants to undergo self-defense training. Also study training all federal law enforcement officers on aviation anti-terrorism.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Young, R-FL; Bill HR 4635 ; vote number 2002-292 on Jul 10, 2002

Voted YES on $266 billion Defense Appropriations bill.

Vote to pass a bill appropriating $266 billion in defense spending for FY 2000. Among other provisions the bill would allot $1.2 billion for research and development for next-generation tactical aircraft, yet would not include $1.8 billion in procurement funds for the new F-22 Raptor combat aircraft. The bill would also fund a 4.8 percent pay increase for military personnel. The bill would also allot $93.7 billion for operations and maintenance to be used to maintain military properties and spare parts that have been reduced due to overseas military combat missions.
Reference: Bill introduced by Lewis, R-CA; Bill HR 2561 ; vote number 1999-334 on Jul 22, 1999

Voted YES on deploying SDI.

Vote to declare it to be the policy of the United States to deploy a national missile defense.
Reference: Bill introduced by Weldon, R-PA; Bill HR 4 ; vote number 1999-4 on Mar 18, 1999

Allow assassination of terrorist leaders.

Tancredo co-sponsored allowing assassination of terrorist leaders

OnTheIssues.org explanation: The US Army and the CIA are currently prohibited by law from assassinating enemies, including terrorist leaders. These prohibitions were put into place after the Kennedy assassination, and after the CIA attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro, so that enemy countries would have no incentive to assassinate American leaders. This bill undoes those prohibitions. Pres. Bill Clinton claimed during his presidency, he interpreted this law to NOT apply to terrorist leaders, since "assassination" only applies to government officials. Hence Pres. Clinton DID attempt to assassinate Osama bin Laden, by cruise missile attack. Under that interpretation (which is not universally accepted) this bill would clarify that Pres. Clinton's actions were and are legal, and hence Pres. Bush may take the same action.


Source: Terrorist Elimination Act (H.R.19) 01-HR0019 on Jan 3, 2001

Rated 22% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record.

Tancredo scores 22% by SANE on peace issues

Peace Action, the merger of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and The Freeze, has effectively mobilized for peace and disarmament for over forty years. As the nation's largest grassroots peace group we get results: from the 1963 treaty to ban above ground nuclear testing, to the 1996 signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, from ending the war in Vietnam, to blocking weapons sales to human rights abusing countries. We are proof that ordinary people can change the world. At Peace Action we believe...

As the Pentagon’s budget soars to $400 billion, 17% of American children live in poverty. For what the US will spend on Missile Defense in one year we could: put over a million children through Head Start OR provide healthcare for over 3.5 million children OR create over 100,000 units of affordable housing OR hire over 160,000 elementary school teachers. At Peace Action our priorities are clear.

The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: SANE website 03n-SANE on Dec 31, 2003

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