PompeoForCongress.com http://www.pompeoforcongress.com Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:31:31 EST Rep. Pompeo's Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST Read original article.

Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act:

Authored by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), this legislation will expedite and modernize the federal review process for natural gas pipeline permits to help facilitate the construction of new pipeline infrastructure needed to help transport the nation’s growing natural gas supply to markets and consumers. The bill sets reasonable deadlines for review and helps hold agencies involved in the permitting process accountable. Despite the country’s growing supplies of natural gas, consumers in many areas of the country are still suffering from high heating prices due to a lack of adequate pipeline infrastructure. Consumers along the East Coast were hit particularly hard during last year’s Polar Vortex. This bill will get much-needed pipelines in the ground quicker, delivering relief to families and businesses across the country.]]>
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Politico: Rep. Pompeo's bill gains two new co-sponsors Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST From Politico's Morning Agriculture report.

LAWMAKERS SIGN ON TO GMO BILLS: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo’s bill seeking to preempt state GMO labeling efforts and codify FDA’s GMO-free food labeling standards has added two new co-sponsors. Republican Reps. Chris Collins of New York and Anne Wagner of Missouri signed on to the bill, HR 4432, Sept. 10, bringing the total cosponsors up to 34. Meanwhile, on the same day, Rep. Michael Honda (D-Calif.) joined the 62 cosponsors of Rep. Peter DeFazio’s (D-Ore.) bill, HR 1699, seeking to to require the labeling of GMO foods.]]>
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Washington Post: Top GOP leaders moving quickly to approve Obama’s Syria plans Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST Read original article

If Congress approves President Obama's plan to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels in the coming days, with little drama, he'll have top Republican leaders to thank -- even if they're moving quickly for their own partisan reasons.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) -- who may soon be jointly leading a Republican Congress -- have been huddling to formulate a cross-chamber strategy designed to keep the party’s ranks united and tilting in a hawkish direction. The consultations have included frequent phone calls and meetings between aides close to both GOP leaders, according to Republicans familiar with those discussions.

Now the leaders have agreed on a plan that is expected to result in the House authorizing Obama's strategy by adding it to a short-term spending bill slated for consideration this week. The spending bill will expire in mid-December, giving Congress until just before the holidays to debate and approve a new blanket authorization for military force in the Middle East. Boehner and McConnell agreed that beginning a broader debate over war in the lame-duck period is preferred, aides said.

As the plans came together over the weekend and Monday, senior Senate Democrats did not raise any concerns, saying they would wait to see how things played out in the House. With a plan now in place, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) plans to spend Tuesday taking the temperature of his conference.

Even House Democrats seemed amenable to the GOP proposal.

“Congress has a right to demand these things, and what’s been proposed sounds seems workable,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (N.Y.), who is the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), a freshman member from the Scranton area, said he would vote yes but is “mighty reluctant” to approve new military operations. He also hopes to learn more about the makeup of an international coalition. “What I really want to see is Muslim countries at the tip of the spear,” he said.

House Republicans will meet Tuesday morning to go over their plan at a closed-door meeting and open the floor for comments from rank and file members. On Monday night at the U.S. Capitol, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was hosting a dinner for House members as his vote-counting team was briefed on the legislation and tasked with gauging support for both the amendment and for the short-term spending bill it would be attached to, in hopes of having a firm sense of whether passage is likely by late Tuesday.

One reason for the apparent lack of roadblocks for House GOP leaders is the way they are framing the vote. Rather than inserting the military plan into the government funding bill, it will be offered as an amendment. That will enable conservative hawks who oppose the spending bill to separately back the military plan, and some Republicans and Democrats to support the spending bill. Either way, both proposals pass with a handful of dissenting Republican voices.

Some conservatives outside of Congress said Boehner was smartly following the desire of most Republicans to engage the radical Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

“By limiting the period and revisiting it after the election, you’re minimizing the potential downside,” said John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. “In the short term, it’s the right thing to do.

"If this passes with a significant majority in both Houses, it’ll send a signal that Congress is with the public. The people want to see ISIS destroyed."

Still, not all corners of the GOP immediately embraced the Obama plan.

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), senior member of the House Intelligence Committee, suggested Monday that Congress might eventually have to authorize using combat troops in Syria.

“I haven’t heard from a single military leader who has said you can complete our strategic imperatives without having folks on the ground,” he said. “I’d prefer never to see ground troops, but if we want to complete the tasks, we’ll probably ended up concluding that we need to have them there. Whether they are U.S. troops or from other countries is an open question.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some Republicans raised doubts about any engagement at all.

"I don't think this plan is going to end well," Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), a vocal antiwar libertarian, said Monday night. "A year ago this week, I received about 700 phone calls, telling me to oppose U.S. intervention in Syria. I think the public still does not support our involvement in the civil war in Syria. And for the administration, it seems to be more about deposing Assad than combating ISIS."

"The bigger question is, where is the liberal left?" Massie said, when asked about the lack of influence his libertarian bloc appears to have. "Will they support the president to get us involved in a civil war?"

Outside the Capitol on Monday night, Rep. Trey. Gowdy (R-S.C.) said he was heading to a dinner with a group of conservatives, including some libertarians, who remain, like him, "undecided on it" and wary of "subcontracting out work that is in our national interest."

"I have to see it, and we're going to talk it all through," he said. "When you say we're arming moderate rebels, what do you mean by 'moderate'? Does that simply mean they're not going to cut your head off? We've got to get some answers."

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a Boehner ally, said top leaders are “trying to do the right thing” by quickly authorizing Obama’s plans.

“People are trying to be careful about making a large commitment before we have all the facts. But eventually we need to have a new authorization that’s simple and sweeping and empowers the president to use all means necessary to destroy ISIL,” he said. “Hopefully that can happen in the lame-duck session.”

Boehner’s decision to quickly introduce legislation underscores his hawkish outlook and how he has worked to keep his unruly conference moving in the same direction and holding to the traditional GOP line.

Last Thursday, Boehner mostly embraced Obama’s initial plan privately and publicly. A few days earlier, he welcomed to Capitol Hill former vice president Richard B. Cheney, who spoke to GOP lawmakers about the urgency of sending resources to the war-torn region. Leaving that meeting, younger libertarian doves sounded miffed by the turn toward war. But with Boehner heavily influencing deliberations, they acknowledged they had little chance of disrupting the march toward passage for legislation funding rebel forces.

“Some people are wary and worried about the rebels groups," Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a former Air Force pilot, said Monday. "Some of those same people have also started to say the president is not going far enough. You’re seeing things shift, and it’ll play out this week.”]]>
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Washington Post: Obama faces challenge in rallying support for his handling of foreign policy crises Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST Read original article.

President Obama’s bid to convince an increasingly skeptical public that he has an effective foreign policy will be tested agtain this week as he seeks to rally support for his handling of each of the three global crises that have consumed the White House in recent weeks.

Obama embarks Tuesday on a two-day trip to Atlanta and Tampa to visit U.S. facilities that are overseeing, respectively, his administration’s responses to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the rise of Islamic militants in the Middle East. He’ll be back in Washington in time to discuss the conflagration in Eastern Europe with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the White House on Thursday.

The schedule reflects the whiplash inside the West Wing as the crises on three continents have helped sow doubts about U.S. leadership abroad and preoccupied Obama and his advisers less than two months before the midterm elections.

“The term that I use is ‘compounding complexity’ — it just keeps compounding, and there’s no relief in sight,” said Julie Smith, a former national security adviser to Vice President Biden.

White House aides hope the president’s itinerary will build off his prime-time address last week in which he announced a military campaign to defeat the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The trip also sets the stage for Obama’s appearance next week at the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City.

President Obama will travel next week to Atlanta to address the Ebola crisis during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control. (AP)

Obama, who has been criticized for too cautiously engaging in international problems, has a chance to highlight direct U.S. intervention in the disparate global challenges. In Atlanta, he is expected during a tour of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to announce a significant boost in the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak, including stepped-up involvement of the U.S. military in the hardest-hit countries of Liberia, Sierre Leone and Guinea.

The visit “underscores how extraordinarily serious the administration believes this issue is,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday. “The president has identified it as a top national security priority.”

Over the past several weeks, the escalating crises have knocked the White House off message at a time when the president had planned, ahead of the November elections, to focus on the improving economy and Democratic proposals to further boost jobs and wages for middle-class Americans.

Obama slipped in a reference to the “thriving” auto and manufacturing industries in his speech on the Islamic State last week. But those asides angered his Republican critics on Capitol Hill, who chided the president for straying from the threat of foreign terrorists to make a political point.

“The president ends an incredibly important national security speech by talking about how great the economy is?” Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in an interview on Obama’s foreign policy strategy Monday. “I’m not trying to mock him. But it was such a clear example of where his mind is at, and it’s incredibly frustrating.”

The challenge for Obama this week is to frame his response to three very different international crises as consistent with his broader foreign policy goals. Obama has enunciated, in a series of speeches, a strategy that aims to wind down U.S. military engagement in the Middle East and shift America’s geopolitical focus to other regions, including Asia, while building broad international coalitions through diplomacy and employing targeted military force to avoid extended ground campaigns.

But his attempts to confront the Islamic State and Russian President Vladi­mir Putin have suffered setbacks as regional partners have not responded as forcefully as Obama might have wished. On Monday, Iran spurned an American request for cooperation in the battle against the Sunni extremists. On Wednesday, Obama will visit the Tampa headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, which is coordinating the military response in the Middle East.

“There’s a sense that there hasn’t been a clear strategy and the White House has been buffeted by events,” said Rosa Brooks, a former Obama administration official who worked at the Pentagon from 2009 to 2011. “That they make decisions over whatever the political pressures are felt most strongly at any given time, rather than out of a consistent approach to foreign policy that transcends the day-to-day crisis.”

Aaron David Miller, vice president for strategic initiatives at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, said Obama’s dilemma is that a majority of Americans have concluded that he is risk-averse when it comes to intervening overseas.

Just 38 percent of Americans approve of his handling of international affairs, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll last week, and 56 percent disapprove.

“The art of the presidency is trying to manage the perception of disorder and unruliness,” said Miller, author of “The End of Greatness,” an upcoming book on the American presidency. “It looks, literally, that the world is out of control.”

Obama’s meeting Thursday with Ukraine’s Poroshenko highlights another unresolved conflict the administration is trying to manage. While the cease-fire between the Ukrainian government and Russian separatists appears to be holding, there is little evidence that that accord and heightened sanctions by the United States and Europe have altered Russia’s overall designs on controlling the region.

Even so, Poroshenko — who is also scheduled to address a joint session of Congress during his visit to Washington — is likely to ask for additional U.S. assistance. The International Monetary Fund provided Ukraine with a $17 billion aid package in May, and it estimated earlier this month that it might need an additional $19 billion in financing by the end of 2015 if the conflict continues unabated. Lawmakers have been debating whether to provide lethal assistance to the Ukrainian government as well.

“There’s a common critique that the president doesn’t have a strategy,” said Smith, now a consultant with Beacon Global Strategies. “But in this era, in the post-9/11 world, you’re pulled in 50 different directions. There’s the great-power politics with Russia and China, counterterrorism in the Middle East and an unraveling of international institutions that makes it harder to deal with something like Ebola.”

She added that “trying to find a strategy to wrap up the U.S. approach and encapsulate all the challenges you’re addressing in the world is like the impossible dream.”]]>
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KAKE: More veterans come forward after KAKE News report on benefits delays Sat, 13 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST Read original article.

WICHITA, Kan.- Thursday night, KAKE News reported on a veteran in Wichita who has made it his mission to help other veterans process through the difficult process of applying for benefits or appeals, to help minimize their delays

After our story, other veterans have contacted KAKE News with their own stories of long delays and to try to get in touch with the local advocate who might be able to help with their appeals or benefits application.

KAKE's David Marcus spoke to a 41-year-old veteran who was wounded twice in his second tour in Iraq and collapsed twice in church after coming back home to Wichita.

After a two-year ordeal to try to receive benefits, he got the bad news last year.

"They sent me a letter last year saying they denied my appeal and said my headaches were getting better and they were taking me off the ratings for head pain and regular fever," said the veteran, who preferred to be known only as "JF".

Sweeping legislation to revamp how quickly the VA processes benefits claims and appeals has already passed the House. Supporters, like Congressman Mike Pompeo (R., Kansas) hope it will pass the Senate, within the next few months.]]>
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Fox News: Two years after Benghazi, US Attorney's Office wants more time to prosecute suspect Fri, 12 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST Read original article.

By Catherine Herridge

Published September 12, 2014

The Obama administration promised swift justice after a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi killed four Americans -- but exactly two years later, the U.S. attorney's office wants more time to prosecute Ahmed abu Khatallah, the only suspect in custody.

"You're dealing with classified information and a terrorist who was part of Al Qaeda for two decades, and so it doesn't surprise me at all that we've ended up in this place,"  Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who sits on both the House Intelligence and Benghazi Select committees, told Fox News.

Pompeo said there is no question, based on the classified evidence, that Khatallah played a central role in the attack, but he doubted a lot of that evidence will get into court because it will expose sources as well as methods used by the US intelligence community to collect information.

Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy Seals Ty Woods and Glen Doherty died in the attack.

Pompeo also warned the delay could be evidence the case is weak and in trouble.

"It shouldn't surprise anyone that when you try and force upon a terrorist a legal system that wasn't meant or intended to deal with crimes committed that night in Benghazi, Libya…I think the results are a mess."

This week, government prosecutors filed a motion to bypass the speedy trial rule, and District Judge Christopher Cooper granted a six-week delay, citing the fact that the attack, the evidence, and the witnesses are overseas.

Khatallah is being held without bail at a detention center in Alexandria, Va.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, under whose watch the case was assembled, told the Aspen Security Forum in July that the FBI faced serious blocks in Libya, and the significance of Khatallah’s capture there last June should not be underestimated.


Asked why it took 21 months to grab Khatallah, Mueller implied that it took time to gather evidence and there was only a handful of witnesses against him.

"The environment in Libya, to do an investigation as you know and understand well, was such that it makes it very,very difficult to identify witnesses and then to get two witnesses, and  one could assume if you did have witnesses, to try to interview them in places where they would not be killed the next day," Mueller said.

A leading national security analyst, who oversaw the detainee detention programs under President George W. Bush, said he suspects that politics played a role in the timing.

"I think they (the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney’s office) are realizing just like the prosecutors and military commissions have said all along, these cases of overseas captures are hard," said Cully Stimson of the Heritage Foundation.

"When you haven't preserved the crime scene...it takes a long time to develop a case...I think they also may be having witness problems," Stimson added. 

"Here it looks to me like they have indicted but they are still building the case at the same time. They are running on parallel tracks, which is not your typical U.S. Attorney's office approach." 

 “The prosecutors have had pretty good success in cases like this but there will be a case one day when we bring a terrorist to the United States of America,” Pompeo said. “And for whatever reason, the prosecution cannot proceed or a jury cannot convict and at that point we have a terrorist on American soil who can claim all kinds of American constitutional rights.”

And the congressman also warned his concerns go well beyond the courtroom. “There were many other options for making sure that we obtain the intelligence that we have and so this risk is very real and poses a significant risk to America if we continue this course.”

At the time of Khatallah's capture, Attorney General Eric Holder said the case was strong, while also suggesting that evidence collection continued.

"I can say the investigation is still obviously ongoing, but we are in a good place. I think we have a good case," Holder told reporters in July.

"It is always our hope in these kinds of matters to gain, not only actionable intelligence, but also information that can be used in a criminal proceeding, and I think that we were successful in doing that in this matter."

However, a former Pentagon official told Fox News that Khatallah did not provide any actionable intelligence  -- or information that the U.S. military and intelligence communities could immediately pursue -- during 10 days of interrogation aboard the USS New York .

Fox News was told that Khatallah only provided background information about the Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia, and, significantly, it was known to the FBI agents onboard the ship that “there was a lack of evidence that would be admissible in court,” the former Pentagon official said.

Asked about the case, Mueller's comments suggesting there are only a handful of witnesses, and the requested delay, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington said, "Because this is a pending case, and because the investigation is ongoing, we have no comment at this time beyond what has been filed and stated in court."

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The Washington Free Beacon: Pompeo Rips Apart Obama’s ISIL Speech Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST Watch video here.
 
Congressman Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) called President Obama’s Wednesday night prime-time address “disappointing,” “dangerous,” and “disconnected from reality.”

Pompeo told radio host Hugh Hewitt that Obama made a series of untrue statements regarding Somalia and Yemen, the ‘Islamic’ nature of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and the Assad regime’s disposal of chemical weapons.

“It’s just a very narrow effort to try and recapture some political high ground with no strategic though behind it,” Pompeo said.

“Incredibly disappointing, I was hoping he would finally step out and lead in the way an American commander-in-chief is going to have to.”

Other glaring omissions, Pompeo said, were the threats posed to Israel and the threats posed to U.S. forces now preparing to withdraw from Afghanistan.

“He doesn’t recognize that the radical Islamic threat is real; the jihadist threat is real, it is global in nature, and it wants to attack America,” Pompeo said. “He used the words ‘America is safer today’ … That’s simply not the case.”
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Rep. Pompeo: What Obama Needs to Say on ISIS Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST Read at NationalReview.com. 

Four principles the president should include in his strategy. 
 
By Mike Pompeo

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria poses a clear and present danger to the United States and has secured a base for its attacks that is larger, wealthier, and more secure than anything in al-Qaeda’s wildest dreams. The Islamic State’s barbaric executions of James Foley and Steven Sotloff are the group’s way of proving – both to its Islamic brethren and to the West — that it is serious about its threats to kill Americans.

We are already the target of the most lethal and powerful terrorist group ever to have existed. We must act now to defeat it before it is ready to strike us.

The rise of this threat should surprise no one. It has been growing since the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq at the end of 2011 and the partial collapse of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria that same year. The only surprising thing is that President Obama has remained passive for so long in the face of massive atrocities, humanitarian catastrophe, the destruction of two Iraqi Army divisions, the conquest by an al-Qaeda splinter of a vast region in Iraq and Syria, and the deployment of Iranian military forces and Lebanese Hezbollah into those two countries. If military action should always be the last resort, we are there. Four years of passivity, diplomatic engagement, public cajoling, and speechifying have permitted the emergence of a dire threat to the United States.

In an op-ed published one year ago, I and a colleague warned that the potential for radical Islamic terror to thrive in the Levant was great and would likely lead to further regional destabilization and conflict in the absence of a forceful American response. We felt it necessary to support American efforts both to crush the Syrian puppet government supported by Iran, which had recently used chemical weapons against its own people, and, equally, to crush radical Islamists who have subsequently gained such worrisome victories.

We did not have much company in our support for the mooted “unbelievably narrow” air strikes. Many of our colleagues distrusted the president’s determination and even ability to carry out a decisive action. Those sentiments were understandable, and the president’s decision to forgo military action entirely and thereby allow the situation to continue to deteriorate seemed to validate those concerns.

But the situation has gotten worse. The danger to the United States is far greater than it was a year ago. Thousands of westerners, many with European and even American passports, have joined the jihad and are returning to their home countries even more radicalized, and with experience and expertise in war and terrorism. The Islamic State has apparently gained control of several dozen kilograms of radioactive material from research institutions in Mosul, Iraq. It cannot be made into a nuclear bomb, but it could be used in a “dirty bomb” to contaminate a wide area with radioactivity. We must not allow last year’s mistakes to cloud our judgment today. The battlefield has now attracted other stripes of radical Islam all striving to defeat the Islamic State and fill the vacuum, mostly in the form of Iranian-supported military forces including the Hamas, Palestinian Jihad, Syrian military, the Quds force, Hezbollah, and the greater Iranian Revolutionary Guard. In other words, this area has become a veritable melting pot for America’s enemies, who have all worked to attack American interests for years.

That is why I call upon the president to take military action against these threats, and I call upon my colleagues to support the effort. That action should be based on four principles:

First, we must recognize that we cannot allow the Islamic State to continue to present an existential threat to America. It is grossly inadequate simply to say, as the president has, that such groups “don’t belong in the 21st century” and are “on the wrong side of history.” We must instead place this threat — with its massive persecution of Christians and murderous expansionist march against the West — on par with those who have challenged the world order before, whether in the name of Communism, Fascism or, now, Islamism. We must commit to wipe out this threat to America using hard and soft diplomacy, American airpower, and, yes, even American ground forces in Iraq and Syria. We must strike “limited” from the American arsenal.

The president and many others fear repeating the mistakes of Vietnam. It is time for Americans to recognize that it was precisely the attempt to pursue the most “limited” possible, calibrated, gradually escalated approach to conflict that led us into Vietnam. We cannot and should not reinvade Iraq or seek to bring “overwhelming force” to bear on a complex and delicate conflict. But we should take actions that offer a realistic chance of changing a very bad situation dramatically, not incrementally.

“Limited” is no recipe for defeating enemy forces. We should take actions that offer a realistic chance of changing a very bad situation dramatically, not incrementally. And defeat of ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and the al-Qaeda team — not containment or disruption — is the only worthy goal and is absolutely achievable. The president must lead and act by offering a sound, bold, strategic plan to accomplish that goal. I am confident members of Congress will support such a plan.

Second, this national commitment must be a sustained one. It is likely to be a years-long effort, not weeks or months. The president and others who oppose action are wrong to suggest that we cannot win this fight because Americans are “war-weary.” America was war-weary when Robert E. Lee marched into Pennsylvania in 1863 and when Washington marshalled his battered and beleaguered troops at Valley Forge. Yet in each case a leader, bound by his duty to defend the nation, marshalled the case for the expense of treasure and blood and presented it clearly to the American citizenry. Our nation always rallies behind a worthy, moral cause. It will do so again.

Third, we must recognize what the Jordanians, the Israelis, and even the Egyptians and Saudis know: that the fight is not just in the Levant, but extends to North Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Arabian Peninsula. If we pretend that the U.S. can remain a sleeping giant, Americans will be immeasurably more vulnerable to military and economic attack. We must never cooperate with President Assad, whose actions caused the collapse of his state and the rise of al-Qaeda there in the first place. We must consistently put pressure on Iran, whose sectarian militias constantly pour fuel on the flames of conflict throughout the region. We must work to reestablish both Iraq and Syria as free-standing states that will be able to defend themselves and prevent their lands from becoming safe havens for terrorists again once we have helped defeat them.

Fourth, we must engage with the enemy enough to identify local partners that will fight to help us destroy ISIS. As a former cavalry officer, I can tell you that it is difficult to develop a sound plan even at the operational level if we have no operational forces on the ground. We must move with sufficient force to fix the enemy in place, a classic reconnaissance and intelligence mission, and we must be prepared to exploit weaknesses identified quickly and decisively.

Rather than continue to downplay and obscure the threat, every American leader must work to protect us from the threat of our generation. Avoiding doing “stupid stuff” is a dodge, not a strategy. The defeat of al-Qaeda and of its offshoots is an imperative. It is also achievable, with the right leadership and the right goals.

– Mike Pompeo, a West Point graduate and former Army cavalry officer, is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
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GOP USA: Fox News Special Re-ignites the Benghazi Scandal Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST Read full article. 

Fox News aired new revelations this weekend in its documentary based on the forthcoming book, 13 Hours in Benghazi, but the left is not interested in what it calls old news. Benghazi is a “phony scandal,” right?

In fact, the left is on the defensive about this story, and is releasing salvos from all quarters. The Washington Post, The New York Times, Media Matters, and the Democratic members of the Select Committee have all gotten involved in the effort to dismiss what eyewitnesses have said about what happened that night, sometimes preemptively, as I cited in a previous column. Their message is loud and clear: This has already been investigated thoroughly; both sides agree that there was no wrongdoing other than bureaucratic missteps; this is another Fox News story and a phony scandal at that. Time to move on.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

What cannot be undone now is that eyewitnesses have publicly spoken out about what happened in Benghazi two years ago. What they say threatens to haunt the left’s strategy machine, which seems more concerned with spin than finding the truth.

Three contractors who were on the ground in Benghazi two years ago during the attacks on the U.S. Mission and CIA Annex said on Fox News that they were told specifically to “stand down” three times before defying orders, and heading out to try and save the personnel at the U.S. Mission, which was under fire—quite literally—less than a mile away from the Annex, where they were located at the time. They were delayed by 25 minutes, and say they could have possibly saved the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and Sean Smith if they’d been allowed to depart sooner. As a matter of fact, they all said that they believe the two would still be alive today had they been allowed to leave when they first made the request.

Washington Post writer Eric Wemple apparently received an advance copy of the book and said that these claims written therein, and previously reported by Jennifer Griffin in October 2012, were exaggerated for effect and “report after report has shredded this contention.” This is, of course, the line in the book that he voiced a problem with, saying it was mined for “maximum literary effect:”

“The more time the attackers had to dig in, the more likely they’d secure the Compound perimeter and organize defensive positions, at least until they achieved their objectives.”

“Maximum literary effect?” One wonders what world Wemple inhabits. Wemple points readers to the media’s favorite left-wing group, Media Matters, which also ran a hit piece on the broadcast sight unseen.

The day the documentary first aired, September 5th, the Democrats on the Select Committee on Benghazi went into full damage control mode. Representative Elijah Cummings (MD) stated that “these individuals were delayed while their supervisor attempted to ensure that he was not sending his team into an ambush,” the intelligence committees have already spoke to multiple witnesses on this issue, and “it is critical that the Select Committee understand what came before it to ensure we are not re-investigating the same issues all over again.” In other words, look somewhere else for your smoking gun. How many other topics are conveniently off limits for Rep. Cummings?

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, also stated that “The team said they were prepped and ready to go within minutes, but the senior CIA officers responsible for the welfare of all Annex personnel were concerned they might be sending their security team into an ambush so they tried to obtain better intelligence and heavy weapons before dispatching the team.”

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) did, indeed, explore “claims that there was a ‘stand down’ order given to the security team at the Annex” but found “no evidence of intentional delay or obstruction by the Chief of Base or any other party.” Will the bipartisan Select Committee on Benghazi reach the same conclusions? Shouldn’t it at least be allowed to re-investigate the issue?

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who heads the Select Committee, issued a statement on September 5th that “The Committee has heard of these concerns and they go to the heart of why Congress established this Committee—to determine all of the facts of what happened in Benghazi before, during and after the terrorist attack that day…There are still facts to learn about Benghazi and information that needs to be explained in greater detail to the American people.”

Something smells, however, in the approach that the Obama administration has taken in the past towards the optics of this particular piece of “old news.” Greta Van Susteren of Fox News recently outlined on her show how her channel was excluded from State Department and Central Intelligence Agency media background meetings. “Well, I think Fox News is being punished for aggressively asking questions, doing our jobs,” she said.  That wasn’t all. “A few weeks later, when reporter Jennifer Griffin said she was told that there was a stand down order at Benghazi, I got a weird call from the Obama administration trying to pressure me to get Jennifer to back down on her report. I thought the call from the Obama administration was dirty,” contended Susteren. The story was published.

Why, exactly, did the Obama administration not want to have this particular piece of information, now confirmed, not published in October nearly two years ago? Was it merely because of how it would affect the election, or was there something else motivating President Obama?

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), also on the Select Committee, reacted to the eyewitnesses’ story on Susteren’s show, saying, “We need to then establish in detail the timeline that you refer to, so that we know whether it was, in fact, 30 seconds, three minutes, or 30 minutes as described by these three men in the clip that you played.” Is Pompeo questioning the integrity of the three men interviewed by Bret Baier?

“There might have been a good reason to delay,” said Rep. Pompeo. “It might have been safety of those very men that were standing there. It might have been a bad reason. There might have been something political.”

And while Bret Baier and Fox News deserve a lot of credit for bringing this story to the public’s attention, they barely scratched the surface of these men’s stories. The rest of the media have been predictably uninterested in acknowledging even this bombshell part of their story.

The Select Committee on Benghazi can, and should, get to the bottom of these particular issues, regardless of the mainstream media’s sensibilities.]]>
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Hugh Hewitt: Kansas Rep. And Intel Committee Member Mike Pompeo’s RX For Congress And The President On ISIS Fri, 05 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST Listen to the interview here.

The former tank commander and graduate of West Point first in his class was a guest of John Campbell filling in for Hugh today. Unlike the President, his analysis of ISIS is clear, as is his course of action that’s needed.

The transcript:

JC: On the line with us now, we have a relatively new, but I believe regular guest on the show, Congressman Mike Pompeo from Kansas. Mike, welcome to the show. 

MP: John, it’s great to be on with a fellow future Kansas.

JC: Yes, that’s right. That’s right, which I, now have I got you for this segment and the next one?

MP: Yes, sir. That’s right. 

JC: Okay, good, because I want to have time. I want to get to the ISIS situation in a minute, because you’re on the Intelligence Committee, and because you are an Army officer and a graduate of West Point, first in your class and all that kind of stuff. So I think you’ll have a very unique perspective on this. But first, as a currently Kansas, have you been on the show since you crushed your primary opponent? 

MP: I have not been on the show since the election on August 5th. 

JC: Well then, congratulations on crushing your primary opponent.

MP: Thank you very much. We had a good day, and we were pleased that the voters of Kansas were so overwhelming in their support for me. It was, we worked hard, and we got a really good outcome. We were pretty happy.

JC: The 4th District of Kansas, I’m sure, will be happy to have you back. And all of America will be happy to have you back in Congress. But it’s amazing. Okay, so Kansas is this nice, little state in the middle of the country, red state, you know, Romney won it by 22 points. And so, and I turn on the computer this morning, and Politico and the Hill, and everything, and it’s all just all about Kansas news about this thing where Pat Roberts is Senator there. The Democratic candidates withdraws so that an independent can run. But now then, today, your secretary of state says no, the Democrat candidate can’t withdraw. And then we had Sam Brownback, your governor, on the show yesterday talking about his race being competitive. What’s going on there on a state level in Kansas, Mike Pompeo?

MP: John, it’s a good question. It is wild, political times here in Kansas to be sure. My race was different than anyone anticipated as well, being challenged by a former 8-term member of Congress. Now we have this issue about whether this Democrat’s even going to stay on the ballot in the U.S. Senate race with an independent who’s a self-funding guy, and a very difficult race for governor. So exciting times, I think you’re seeing two things go on, John. There is a case all across the country where Americans really want us to act. They want us to be aggressive. They want us to make the changes that they need. And in Kansas, they see their leaders working towards that but not getting there. And you know the political challenges we face as members of the House of Representatives. But they see that, and there’s a frustration. And I think to some degree, that gets taken out on every incumbent, perhaps justifiably so in some respects. But they’re demanding from us real leadership. And I think they’ll see that from both Governor Brownback and Senator Roberts. I think they’ll end up pulling through their races. But they’re certainly going to be competitive in ways that no one anticipated, even as recently as five or six months ago. 

JC: Yeah, the thing I would think, and as you pointed out, I spend a lot of time in Kansas these days, have a farm there and everything else. And when I talk to people who are unhappy with either one of those, they never have really looked at what they would be voting for if they voted for the other person, though, because their voting in both those cases, the Democrat or the independent in the case of Roberts, or the Democrat in the case of Brownback, are both, these are not moderate people. These are lefties. 

MP: Oh, that’s right, John, and that’s why I think as the next 60 days proceeds, Governor Brownback and Senator Roberts both end up being victorious. Kansas is a state that is a common sense conservative place, and neither of their opponents are that. The Senate candidate, Orman, is trying to hide as an independent, but he’s a radical lefty. And his first vote would be to keep Harry Reid as the majority leader. He hasn’t quite admitted that just yet, but ultimately, we know what he would do, and we know what Pat Roberts would do. And that kind of distinction, the fact that Senator Roberts has been in office so long is certainly weighing on his campaign. There’s no doubt about that. But when they see the Roberts record and lay it against what Mr. Orman would do, I think Senator Roberts ends up being just fine. And I think the same thing will happen with his opponent from the most liberal part of our state.

JC: Okay, let’s move on to the main reason I wanted you on today to talk about, is the exploding situation in Iraq and in Syria, and in the Middle East with ISIS or ISIL. I don’t know which you prefer to call it. We can call it whichever one you prefer. We did have Mike Rogers, Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, on yesterday, although not everybody heard that yesterday. But you have a perspective he doesn’t have in that you have worn the uniform. You graduated from West Point, first in your class. You were a tank commander, I believe, correct?

MP: That’s true, a long time ago

JC: A long time ago, but you have not only perspective as a member of Congress and knowing the things that people in the Intelligence Committee know, but you also have the perspective having worn that uniform and been on the ground in situations. So give me your perspective on the threat that ISIS provides, and what response the United States should be giving.

MP: So John, let me try and step through it. So I guess your first question is what is the threat from this radical Islamic terrorist group. It’s real. It’s not just a threat to the folks in the neighborhood in the Middle East. It’s a threat right here in America. It may not be tomorrow, it may not be a month from now, but it’s real. And I derive that simply from if you look at their desire, that is their stated intent and their capacity. Their stated intent is very clear. For them, this is not about Mosul and Tikrit and Fallujah. Their mission is to extend the caliphate to places like Denver and Omaha and Wichita, Kansas, and to California. That’s their goal. Once you take their goal, you marry it up with potential capacity, and you see that that threat is very real, something that America has an obligation to counter and to push back on. And when I hear the President talk about a foreign policy that says don’t do stupid stuff, it’s, for a former soldier, it’s incredibly frustrating. Don’t do stupid stuff is not a strategy. It is not the way to think about defeating an enemy, and that’s what we have there. They’re at war with us. We need to be at war with them. And to give speeches and to rail about the gates of hell, and then bring back a terrorist who killed four Americans in Benghazi and give him a lawyer and put him in a federal prison? That’s not the gates of hell. That’s, Abu Khattala today sits in a federal prison getting three meals a day and a hot cot. And so the administration’s rhetoric doesn’t match their actions, and it is time for America to begin to act in a way that’s going to protect all of us. 

JC: That is really a good point, really a good point. Okay, so now, we’ve only got a minute to the break, so you won’t be able to get through this complete answer, and we’ll get you back after the break. But I will see you Monday in Washington. We will be back there Monday in Washington. And I just finished in the section before this, segment before this, kind of setting up what’s going to happen back there. And there’s going to be, frankly, a lot of, we’re going to pass some bills that the Senate’s not going to take up. The Senate Democrats are going to talk about the Koch Brothers, one of your neighbors, and a bunch of other completely meaningless, worthless stuff to try and distract. But the bottom line is we are going to have to deal with this problem, whether the President wants to or not, and whether anybody wants to or not. So now I’ve talked all the way up to the break, so what I’m going to do is ask the question now. You can think about it over the break and come back and give me your answer. What do you, Mike Pompeo, from the Intelligence Committee, think we in Congress should be doing about ISIS over the next two weeks when we’re back in session? He’s going to give that answer when we’re back on the Hugh Hewitt Show. Stay with us. 

JC: It’s funny, Mike, you were talking before the break about how ISIS wants to, doesn’t just want to radicalize Fallujah, but they want to radicalize Wichita and Denver. And it says, there’s a CNN report, I’m just reading here, where they have some former ISIS defector, and he says, “That the goal is to establish an Islamic State that will encompass the Arab world, and after that, go on to other countries, just what you were saying. This former ISIS fighter also said that they executed an American so they could showcase their Western members and appeal to others outside Syria, and make them feel they belong to the same cause. So again, more and more evidence that this is not something, as much as many Americans would like to think, that well, it’s a long ways away, and they’re over there, and it’s really not a big threat to us now. It is a big threat to us now, so as you said before the break. But I’d asked you before the break what should we do about this in Congress in the next couple of weeks, and your answer is?

MP: So in Congress, we ought to do our Constitutional duty. We often rail on the President, that he’s got an obligation to fix this. He does. He’s the commander-in-chief. He has the tools. He has the capacity to do it. But in Congress, we have an obligation, too, and that is to make sure that the resources are available to accomplish the mission that we all choose. And the one I’ve described would be the complete and total defeat of both ISIS and al Qaeda that remains as part of the global jihad, and we ought to go on record and support that. So whatever that means in terms of ensuring that the President has the tools, military, political, resources in terms of dollars, and the authority he needs to track down these guys wherever he finds them. We ought to do that. And so we ought to have a thorough and complete debate. I think when we conclude that, I think most members of Congress will recognize that this threat is at a level that we should make sure and provide all that the President needs so he can execute the mission, and then continue to urge him to do this in a way that he has chosen not to do to date.

JC: Now you’re on the Intelligence Committee, which would be ground zero for this, and I realize it would involve Homeland Security potentially, and Armed Services Committee, etc. But do you have hearings scheduled? Do you have anything scheduled at this point? We go back into session Monday to start to work on this. Or have you been having phone calls or conversations?

MP: So there have been a bunch of calls about how to approach this, what the right legislative solution will be. It’ll take multiple committees, John. I think you’re right. It’ll be, Foreign Affairs will have a piece of this. There’s a State Department function here. There’s an Armed Services, Department of Defense function. But there is an enormous intelligence piece to this so that we can both find and fix the enemy, right, kind of the classic reconnaissance mission, making sure we identify friends inside the region that can help us there. They exist. There are folk who want to help us destroy ISIS. We should identify them, and we should allow them to do what they can do better than we can, so we only have to do what we actually have to do. And then we should make sure that our intelligence agencies are a part of providing the right data to all of our policy makers so that they can make good decisions about how to tactically and operationally crush this global jihad. We can do it, John. They’re not ten feet tall. But it is a serious threat, and the sooner we get after it, the less risk there is both to our soldiers, sailors and airmen who ultimately will have to be part of an operation to do this, and to the homeland. And if we have to do it now, and we have an opportunity to really successfully destroy these folks who are at war with us.

JC: The thing everyone’s afraid to talk about, will we need boots on the ground to totally eliminate ISIS? 

MP: Well, I’ll say two things. First, we should not be afraid to talk about that. It is the case, the President throws these words out. He talks about America being war weary, and boots on the ground, and he thinks he has made a logical argument for America abandoning the threat, right? He uses that as sort of the tool to sort of knock down, well, if we’re not going to put boots on the ground, there’s nothing to do, and I’m just going to allow this to continue. There are so many gradations of activity that America can take between 80,000 soldiers moving in through Turkey and in through other countries, into Syria and Iraq. I would not advocate for that. We’re nowhere near being prepared to do something like that. But there is every opportunity to use American expertise. Some of those will be uniformed military personnel. Some of them may well actually put their boots on the ground in these places. It is not enough to send folks to defend an embassy. We have to go use our intelligence folks, our special operating people that have skill sets that no other country in the world has in an appropriate way. And we can do that, I think, without significant loss of American lives. We can get others to help us do the combat that it will ultimately take to destroy them both in Iraq and in Syria. 

JC: Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas, thank you. I’ll bet Hugh will be having you on again next week.

End of interview.

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Wichita Eagle: U.S. must be resolute against ISIS, Pompeo says Wed, 03 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST Read blog here.

“There is only one reason that ISIS is beheading American citizens in the Middle East: because they want to send a message to the United States, a message of violence and Islamic jihad,” Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, said in a statement responding to the murder of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff. “How America responds is important, because it will signal to these terrorists and the world whether we are resolute in our mission to defend our national security and our allies.” President Obamasaid Wednesday that the United States would “not be intimidated” by acts of “barbarism,” but it is still unclear how the U.S. will respond to the Islamic State, other than to continue airstrikes in Iraq. – Phillip Brownlee]]>
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NewsMax: Republicans Call For Swift Action Against ISIS Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST Read full article. 

Republican lawmakers sounded a clarion call for quick, decisive action against Islamic State (ISIS) militants after the bloodthirsty group claimed to have beheaded a second American. 

"If this is not a wake-up call, what is?" Texas Republican Rep. Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, asked CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" Tuesday.

McCaul said he had watched the horrific video of 31-year-old Steven Sotloff’s execution. 

"It’s a very chilling, disturbing video, very similar to the execution of James Foley as well," McCaul said. "The executioner appears to be the same individual who we saw on the Foley video. Left handed, British accent. But just very, a chilling reminder about how savage ISIS is and how intent they are on killing Americans."

"It’s the fact that we have Americans and those with travel documents that can come back to the United States and perpetrate an act of terrorism," McCaul added, noting special precautions should be taken in advance of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

"They take anniversaries very seriously in terms of when they choose to attack in the United States."

McCaul's voice was one among several Republicans demanding the White House stop the barbaric violence.

"Kill 'em," Arizona Republican John McCain told Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren. "They've got to be destroyed, and you've got to have a goal ... and we have to have a strategy to fit that goal and policies that will implement it. We have none of the above."

In a phone call from Israel, where he was on a congressional mission, Republican House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce said he was calling Secretary of State John Kerry to testify as soon as Congress returns from its recess.

"Everyone agrees that the administration needs a strategy, that the president has to explain to the American people and explain to Congress how we are going to meet this threat," he said, adding he expects Kerry to present a plan for "rolling back ISIS." 

President Barack Obama has so far used his authority to authorize airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq without congressional consent, but he'll have to seek congressional approval if the actions extend beyond 60 days.

Several former administration and Pentagon officials insisted Monday that Obama wasn't backing down from a fight. Instead, he was being deliberative and focused on the end game against ISIS.

The president has always been “deliberative about these sorts of decisions,” one former senior administration official told The Hill. Another insisted that Obama would “take the time he needs to make a strong and appropriate decision.”

“But I’m sure this will further his resolve to deliver the most effective response to ISIS,” the official told The Hill.

But deliberations in the face of what everyone agrees is unfettered barbarity isn't sitting well with members of Obama's own party.

“I think I’ve learned one thing about this president, and that is he’s very cautious. Maybe in this instance, too cautious,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The quote was widely picked up and taken as a severe blow coming from a usually strong Obama backer.

The president will need Feinstein's support, especially if he goes to Congress to expand the attacks against ISIS. 

"We anticipate there would be a vote for authorization of the use of force" before the 60-day period expires, Royce said.

But South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham slammed Obama for admitting to having no strategy for dealing with ISIS in Syria; the president last week said he'd asked defense officials to prepare "a range of options."

"Mr. President, if you can’t come up with a strategy, at least tell us what the goal is," Graham said, The Hill reported. 

He also said tough words are not nearly enough for ISIS, which is also known as ISIL.

"[C]ondemnation is not enough to deal with this scourge. It is time we act decisively against ISIL wherever it resides," he said.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Mr. Sotloff and all those who have suffered under" ISIS’s "barbaric behavior," Graham said, adding Obama should extend the current airstrikes of ISIS.

"Whenever American air power has been employed, in coordination with reliable partners on the ground, ISIL has been devastated," the Senate Armed Services Committee member said, adding the tactic "should be aggressively pursued both in Syria and Iraq."

Another GOP lawmaker, Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, a member of the House intelligence committee, said the situation is urgent.

"We cannot afford to allow these terrorists to continue their march," he said,
Fox News reported.

Rep. Paul Ryan blamed the administration for contributing to the circumstances that led to the swift ascent of ISIS.

Ryan had been taking questions from a panel of reporters during a Milwaukee luncheon when he was asked to respond to a news report that journalist Sotloff had been beheaded. The congressman asked the several hundred people in the audience to observe a moment of silence, and then suggested that ISIS' rise to power coincided with a series of Obama missteps.

"I do think a good deal of this rise stem(s) from bad decisions made by the administration in foreign policy with respect to Syria and Iraq," Ryan said, adding, "Those decisions created a vacuum which is now being filled by ISIS," a reference to the Islamic State.

Rep. Peter King, meanwhile, agreed with McCain that the group must be wiped out.

"This is absolutely disgraceful. It's horrific. It shows how barbaric ISIS is," the New York Republican said Tuesday on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper." The United States and its allies must make every effort "to crush them and destroy them," King said.

The demand for White House action was bipartisan.

"The beheading of poor Mr. Sotloff really just brings back that we are dealing with a dangerous adversary," said Rep. Eliot Engel, ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who was traveling with Royce in Israel,The Daily Beast reported. 

"The threat of ISIS is just something that I believe very strongly that we cannot take lightly. We cannot dither, we cannot just twiddle our thumbs, or wait and see. We have to act and we have to act soon. The more countries that we can get in this crusade to destroy terrorism…the better it will be."

New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen agreed.

"We must use every tool at our disposal, short of introducing ground forces in combat roles, to put an end to the threat they pose to our national security," she said, CNN reported. 

Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson urged America to go after ISIS "right away because the [United States] is the only one that can put together a coalition to stop this group that’s intent on barbaric cruelty."]]>
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The Daily Beast: Obama vs. ISIS: This Time It's Personal Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST Read full article.

When ISIS beheaded an American journalist, it meant to intimidate—and provoke—the United States. It should be careful what it wishes for. The gloves just came off.

The Obama administration signaled Thursday that the United States has begun a new war against the so-called Islamic State, and that group’s operatives will not be safe from America’s wrath in Iraq, in Syria, or wherever they can be tracked down.

Since U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed the authenticity of a video that showed the beheading of American journalist James Foley this week, the president and top cabinet officers have employed rhetoric about the jihadists of the Islamic State (also known as the “caliphate,” ISIS, or ISIL) that echoes the Bush administration in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Secretary of State John Kerry called ISIS “the face of evil” and vowed that America “will continue to confront [it] wherever it tries to spread its despicable hatred.” Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the military’s response is to “take a cold, steely, hard look at” at ISIS and “get ready” for action.

While the Justice Department on Thursday announced that the FBI would be investigating the murder of Foley, Attorney General Eric Holder also left open the possibility that the United States may not wait for the verdict of a jury and judge. “We will not forget what happened and people will be held accountable one way or the other,” Holder said.

The most notable rhetorical tell came from Obama himself.

In the aftermath of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Obama vowed to bring the attackers to justice. This week Obama struck a different tone, saying: “When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”

The difference between bringing suspects to justice and seeing that justice is done is roughly the same as the difference between treating terrorism as a crime and as an act of war.

Even though special operations teams were dispatched to Libya after Benghazi to target the jihadists suspected of carrying it out, Obama chose to treat the attack, which cost the lives of four Americans, as a crime. It took until June of this year for the FBI in conjunction with U.S. special operations teams to capture one of the ringleaders of the attack and bring him to the United States to face trial.

“When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”

A different fate likely awaits the leaders of ISIS. According to the Pentagon, U.S. aircraft already have conducted 90 strikes inside Iraq since President Obama ordered what was billed as a limited air war against ISIS this month. That number is significant because some of those strikes occurred after the release of the ISIS video, which showed the murder of Foley. In that video, the terrorists promise to murder a second American hostage if airstrikes continue.

On Wednesday the White House confirmed that it had ordered a rescue mission in July to try to save Foley and other American hostages held inside Syria. This was the first publicly confirmed operation by U.S. soldiers inside Syria since Obama took office.

Today, that mission appears to be a signal of things to come. Speaking to reporters Thursday, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged that ISIS had effectively erased the frontier between Iraq and Syria. “They will have to be addressed on both sides of what is at this point a nonexistent border,” he said. “That will come when we have a coalition that takes on the task of defeating ISIS over time.” But there is little question that if such a coalition is to take shape, the United States will have to lead it.

The last time Obama proposed airstrikes inside Syria, nearly a year ago in response to the gassing of rebel forces and civilians near Damascus, many Republicans opposed the action. This time, the early criticism from the GOP was about who was responsible for the initial leak the administration said forced its hand to go public with the information about its operation in Syria.

On Thursday, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the disclosure of the mission “puts our troops at risk, reduces the likelihood that future missions will succeed, and risks the lives of hostages and informants alike.” Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Republican serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, called on Obama to go even further than he has already. “The president’s current path of action has been far too limited to make a difference,” he said. “We must do what is necessary to eliminate ISIS, protect the innocent, and keep Americans safe.”

But it will be hard for the Republicans to sound more hawkish than the president, whose tone and evident intentions are strikingly different today than they were only a few weeks ago.

In June, when ISIS first took Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, Obama was careful to emphasize the limited scope of the U.S. mission, declining to authorize airstrikes. When Obama finally did approve bombing missions this month in response to the ISIS march on the Kurdish city of Erbil, he stressed the they would only be to break the siege of Mount Sinjar, where thousands of Yazidis were trapped without food and water, and to protect American personnel and assets.

Today, as Obama finds his country facing an utterly barbaric enemy, and after weeks and months of delaying action, he appears ready to mount a war with the ambitious goal of actually winning.

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National Review: Welcome Back to Wartime With President Obama Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST Read full article.

By Jim Geraghty

“I don’t know why he used the word ‘justice.’ It’s not appropriate here. This is an attack on our country, we have to react to it,” an upset Chris Matthews reacted to a video excerpt of President Obama’s statement today about the beheading by an ISIS member of American freelance journalist James Foley. 

“This is our country versus this group that’s declared war on us. What’s justice mean in this con– I don’t know why the word’s used, like we’re going to go to the World Court with this?!” Matthews sneered to guest Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post Media Group on the August 20 edition of Hardball. Later in the segment, an irate Matthews insisted “no American president can survive if he lets Americans be beheaded on international television with impunity. Impunity! He has to strike back, as an American, it’s in our soul!”

I could quote Mollie Hemingway just about every day, but her thoughts on our response to the Foley outrage are particularly good. I suspect she’s way more skeptical and disinclined towards foreign military actions than I am, but her “have we thought this through” points are always worth examining. And here she perfectly isolates that section of Obama’s soaring optimistic rhetoric that sets off the BS detector deep within our brain stem:

That’s why they say 3) unbelievably inane things such as, “you’re on the wrong side of history.” Or “The future is always won by those who build, not destroy.” That is literally Mickey Mouse philosophy. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

President Obama’s utopian fantasy of “the future” “always” being “won by those who build, not destroy” is just obviously and resoundingly false, for better or worse. I mean, define “future.” And define “winning” and “building vs. destroying.” Tamerlane had tremendous success destroying and slaughtering his enemies — for most of a century. And World War II didn’t end by building up Nagasaki. There are good winners and bad winners littered throughout history.

What’s more, this “wrong side of history” nonsense is nothing more than a religious belief in supernatural causality. It implies that history isn’t shaped by men but, instead, by outside inevitable forces that can always be counted on. If this were so, we wouldn’t need to work so hard to raise up good children and fight the evils all around us.

Obama’s had this tic for a long time, and what’s fascinating is that he clings to it – bitterly? – even after five and a half years of being president. David Brooks, back in 2008:

Obama speeches almost always have the same narrative arc. Some problem threatens. The odds are against the forces of righteousness. But then people of good faith unite and walls come tumbling down. Obama used the word “walls” 16 times in the Berlin speech, and in 11 of those cases, he was talking about walls coming down.

The Berlin blockade was thwarted because people came together. Apartheid ended because people came together and walls tumbled. Winning the cold war was the same: “People of the world,” Obama declared, “look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together and history proved there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.”

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, West Point graduate and former Army cavalry officer, is…. somewhat less than inspired by the president’s response so far:

“The President is correct that terrorist groups like ISIS don’t belong in the 21st Century and that we must be relentless to see that justice is done. But there is another, even greater reason the United States must take action: To prevent more Americans from being killed. The President is wrong to continue to downplay this threat by saying that ISIS is claiming to be at war with America merely out of expediency, or that ISIS is motivated by sheer ‘nihilism.’ This is not a “J.V. team,” as the President has put it. ISIS is an army of cold-blooded killers motivated by radical Islam. They continue their march, uninterrupted, to convert by the sword, kill Christians and other religious minorities, and expand their control of the Middle East. The Iraqis have already demonstrated that they cannot stop them on their own. The President’s current path of action has been far too limited to make a difference. We must do what is necessary to eliminate ISIS, protect the innocent, and keep Americans safe.”
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The Hill: GOP rep to Obama: ISIS is no ‘J.V. team’ Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST Read full article.

By Ramsey Cox

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) called on President Obama to stop downplaying the threat presented by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“The president is wrong to continue to downplay this threat by saying that ISIS is claiming to be at war with America merely out of expediency, or that ISIS is motivated by sheer ‘nihilism,’” Pompeo said on Wednesday. “This is not a ‘J.V. team,’ as the president has put it. ISIS is an army of cold-blooded killers motivated by radical Islam.”

Pompeo’s remarks came after Obama spoke about the beheading of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic militants that have taken control of land in Syria and Iraq.

The administration has sent hundreds of military advisers and launched airstrikes in Iraq in an effort to push back advances made by ISIS.

Pompeo called on Obama to do more since the group continues to kill religious minorities in the region.

“The president’s current path of action has been far too limited to make a difference,” Pompeo said. “We must do what is necessary to eliminate ISIS, protect the innocent, and keep Americans safe.”

Pompeo serves on the House Intelligence Committee.]]>
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KSN: Oil and gas leaders talk regulation Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST Read full article.
 
WICHITA, Kansas – What’s the future of Kansas Oil and Gas? Lawmakers say it all depends on regulation.

“Don’t forget with the Lesser Prairie Chicken, that is the first of many species to come,” says Kansas Republican Tim Huelskamp, a U.S. Congressman from the 1st District.

Huelskamp claims Kansas jobs are endangered by endangered or threatened species. And, while he claims government regulations are costing jobs, he also says there has to be more discussion between all lawmakers on the future of regulatory affairs.

“This is ongoing, and it has to be,” says Huelskamp.

Huelskamp was one of nearly the entire Kansas Congressional District, plus Senator Pat Roberts, speaking to a packed house at the Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association (KIOGA) meeting on Monday.

The Lesser Prairie Chicken was brought up by producers.The bird’s habitat can’t be disturbed at certain times of the year, and some oil and gas producers say that is costing them money.

“We had to move an oil drilling rig out of Western Kansas, and move it to an area of Butler County because of the (Lesser Prairie) Chicken,” says one producer.

Lawmakers pointed to several environmental regulation issues as one reason the Kansas Oil and Gas industry is not experiencing more growth.

KSN asked lawmakers about keeping the environment clean.

“Of course we have to do that,” says U.S. Congressman Mike Pompeo of the 4th District. “But we also have to have common sense.”

Pompeo joined Senator Pat Roberts in calling for less in the way of new federal regulations.

“We have to keep asking about environmental issues. But, we also have to question new regulations,” said Roberts. “What does that do to the industry involved? How many jobs are involved? What is the catalyst involved? What is the impact of this upon our states and our country?”

Oil and Gas producer Scott Hampel of McCoy Petroleum in Wichita, says he understands oil and gas regulations have to be carefully considered . After all, he says, oil is a high risk, high reward business.

“It takes a big investment to drill an oil and gas well. It’s kind of like Vegas,” said Hampel. “If you drill a dry hole, your money is gone. It’s not like a poor stock choice where you lose a little bit but save some of your principle. But, you have to be reasonably successful to stay in the game.”

And to be successful, Hampel says, the government needs to strike a balance between regulations, the environment and the Oil and Gas industry.

KIOGA President Edward Cross says, state regulations may be helpful in finding the right mix.

“We think the state regulatory process is one that has been around for many decades and that’s the best place for regulatory actions,” says Cross.

However, Cross says, the industry recognizes that federal regulation will certainly continue, and more is likely on the way. So, KIOGA stays active.

“We try to educate policy makers both Republican and Democrats about the impact of the oil and gas industry,” says Cross. “And some of the policies that would help us become more energy independent in this nation and also help our economic growth.”
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Friends of the Fraternal Order of Police PAC endorse Rep. Pompeo for re-election Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST  ]]> http://www.PompeoForCongress.com/media/?subsec=7&id=614 The Hill: House Republicans: End ‘harmful’ wind tax credit Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST Read full article.

By Ramsey Cox

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) called on House GOP leadership to end the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC). Pompeo and 54 other House members wrote to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader-Elect Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Wednesday calling on them to let the “crony” tax subsidy for energy companies to expire.

“We offer our full support of the current process undertaken by the House Committee on Ways and Means that will allow the most anti-competitive and economically harmful tax provisions, specifically the wind energy production tax credit (PTC), to expire,” the letter stated. “Ensuring that our nation’s patchwork tax code undergoes significant reform is a noble goal and, as part of this process, we believe Congress should stop picking winners and losers and finally end the wind PTC.”

The lawmakers argued that the PTC costs taxpayers too much while inflating energy costs.

“Extending the wind PTC is a key priority for the Obama administration and its efforts to prop up wind and other favored ‘green energy’ technologies,” the Republicans wrote. “Proponents of the wind PTC continue to call for an extension despite growing evidence that this subsidy has not only cost taxpayers billions, but has caused significant price distortions in wholesale electricity markets.”

The Senate tax extender bill included an extension of the PTC, but House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has been passing tax reform in a piecemeal fashion — extending one tax credit at a time and deciding to let others simply expire.

“By ending this program now we will have given the wind industry a more than generous phase-out for a credit that is being awarded to a mature technology,” the letter stated. “We applaud Chairman Camp’s leadership on this important issu

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The Hill: House Republicans: End ‘harmful’ wind tax credit Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST Read full article.

by Ramsey Cox

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) called on House GOP leadership to end the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC).

Pompeo and 54 other House members wrote to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Wednesday calling on them to let the “crony” tax subsidy for energy companies to expire.

“We offer our full support of the current process undertaken by the House Committee on Ways and Means that will allow the most anti-competitive and economically harmful tax provisions, specifically the wind energy production tax credit (PTC), to expire,” the letter stated. “Ensuring that our nation’s patchwork tax code undergoes significant reform is a noble goal and, as part of this process, we believe Congress should stop picking winners and losers and finally end the wind PTC.”

The lawmakers argued that the PTC costs taxpayers too much while inflating energy costs.

“Extending the wind PTC is a key priority for the Obama administration and its efforts to prop up wind and other favored ‘green energy’ technologies,” the Republicans wrote. “Proponents of the wind PTC continue to call for an extension despite growing evidence that this subsidy has not only cost taxpayers billions, but has caused significant price distortions in wholesale electricity markets.”

The Senate tax extender bill included an extension of the PTC, but House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has been passing tax reform in a piecemeal fashion — extending one tax credit at a time and deciding to let others simply expire.

“By ending this program now we will have given the wind industry a more than generous phase-out for a credit that is being awarded to a mature technology,” the letter stated. “We applaud Chairman Camp’s leadership on this important issue and urge you to stand firm with him in opposition to extending this provision and allow the wind energy to compete on its own.”

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2014 TV Messages Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST
 

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