Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi had yet to be found when Inhofe spoke, but the longtime leader’s reign was all but over, Inhofe said.
“He’s history in terms of where we are,” Inhofe said. “I was hoping today to say, ‘Today we got him; it’s over,’ but we’re not able to do that.”
Inhofe (pictured), who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said his area of expertise is in African countries. Programs such as the International Military Education and Training pro gram, which brings army officers from African countries such as Uganda and Tanzania to the U.S. for training, are valuable assets.“Once they come here, then they have an allegiance to us forever for the rest of their career,” Inhofe said. “Our State Department used to say we are doing them a favor by bringing them back. Just the contrast, if we don’t do it, the Chinese will do it and we will lose that.”
Inhofe said the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay is necessary because keeping a suspected terrorist in the country where they were captured could lead to the person being released. The only other option would be to try that person in a civilian court in the U.S.
“One of the big fights I’ve had since 9/11 has been to keep Gitmo open. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world. It’s something we have to have,” Inhofe said. “They should be tried in a military court, because a military tribunal takes into consideration what these guys are. They are not entitled to our constitutional rights. They’re not criminals; they’re terrorists.”
Inhofe criticized Obama for not sending any more detainees to Guantanamo Bay. As a result, Inhofe said he introduced legislation — the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility Detention Act of 2011 — that, if passed by Congress and signed by the president, would require captured highvalue enemy combatants to be sent to the detention facility.We have an appeaser for the president of the United States.
—Sen. Jim Inhofe
The Obama administration has tried to stop so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, Inhofe said. Such techniques, including waterboarding, were employed by the CIA against some detainees. Waterboarding is widely considered torture, and following World War II, the U.S. executed Japanese soldiers who had waterboarded American prisoners of war.
Inhofe said he believed the information gathered from prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and through the use of controversial interrogation tactics has resulted in terror plots being foiled and the killing of Osama bin Laden earlier this year.
“We’ve been successful at keeping (Obama) from closing it,” Inhofe said of Guantanamo Bay. “The second thing he was trying to do is stop the types of interrogation, some of you I know would disagree with me on this, but we need to interrogate and get information.”
Tamya Cox, legislative counsel for American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, said her group believes the detention facility should be closed. The prisoners should be brought to the U.S. and charged with a crime and tried or sent to countries where they will not be tortured, she said.
“Being held indefinitely without any charges goes against American values,” Cox said.
Cox also took issue with previous comments by Inhofe over racial profiling in security cases; she said such actions do not make the country or community safer.
Inhofe praised the Patriot Act as a valuable tool in stopping terrorism.
“Any information we can get that is going to stop an attack such as we experienced here in Oklahoma City, then that’s where I think individual rights leave off, and we need to be on top of that,” Inhofe said. “It’s a tough thing to call, because I’m the guy who is always for individual rights and less government involvement.”
Inhofe also praised the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques,” claiming those measures and Guantanamo Bay both were critical in killing Osama bin Laden. Inhofe said the U.S. should emulate Israel in its security, intelligence-gathering and antiterrorism efforts.
his presentation and when speaking to the media afterward, Inhofe,
called the president “an appeaser.” The label that was often used by
politicians and right-wing pundits in 2008 for Obama after he said he
would have a dialogue with Iran about its nuclear program without
setting preconditions. “We have an appeaser for the president of the
United States,” Inhofe said.
“He wants to appease our enemies. You don’t get anywhere by appeasing enemies. I think we need to know who our friends are and be loyal to our friends.”
Inhofe said Obama does not adequately support Israel, and criticized the president for giving a 2009 speech in Egypt. Inhofe said Obama “slapped Israel in the face” when he proposed its pre-1967 borders should be the basis for an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, although those boundaries have been the same starting point endorsed by previous presidents.
“We’ve got to get out of this mentality of appeasement. An appeaser.
Right now, this administration has been appeasing people,” Inhofe said.
In order to return to greatness, the country must increase spending on defense and build partnerships with its allies, Inhofe said.
Inhofe also said he is still working to release the photos taken by U.S. military personnel of bin Laden’s corpse.
During his presentation, he also said the Iraq invasion was justified because Saddam Hussein was a “monster.” Currently, the biggest threats facing Western Europe and the U.S. are instability in the Korean peninsula and an Iranian nuclear missile, which he said would be completed probably by 2015.
“We don’t know
what they really have; we just know (North Korea) is a country run by a
monster,” Inhofe said. “They want to kill everybody in this room. That’s
the mentality you have to understand. Terrorists want to kill people.
They hate freedom.”
Photo by Mark Hancock