Rick Perry on Homeland Security

Republican Governor (TX)

Unprincipled to create Department of Homeland Security

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

US should be strongest nation by insurmountable magnitude

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

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

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

Invest in defense to prepare for unpredictable threats

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

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

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

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

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

Unsettled policy on Guantanamo signals weakness to enemies

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

Always maintain a robust military capability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2004: DoD only unofficially supports Boy Scout Jamboree

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

Deal with terrorism as a joint federal-state responsibility.

Perry adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA policy HR-10: Domestic Terrorism 01-NGA5 on Feb 15, 2001

Include states in anti-terrorism planning.

Perry adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

The issue of terrorism will be of major focus for the 107th Congress. Governors have a critical interest in controlling domestic terrorism because they are responsible for ensuring that state and local authorities have the ability to deal with natural disasters and other types of major emergencies, including terrorist incidents.

NGA’s Position

NGA believes that any national strategy for dealing with terrorist incidents should include planning and training by state and local forces. The unique nature of terrorism coupled with national security implications requires the support and expertise of the federal government in working with state and local government in developing capabilities. A clear national strategy developed through a partnership among federal agencies and key state, local, and private sector stakeholders is essential to drive operational and programmatic planning, training, and service delivery in combating terrorism.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA7 on Sep 14, 2001

Study terrorist threats against nuclear waste repositories.

Perry signed the Western Governors' Association resolution:

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

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Rick Perry on other issues:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
GOP Candidates:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(MN)
Herman Cain(GA)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Rep.Thaddeus McCotter(MI)
Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
GOP Withdrawals:
Gov.Haley Barbour(MS)
Gov.Chris Cristie(NJ)
Mayor Rudy Giuliani(NYC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Donald Trump(NY)
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Page last updated: Feb 23, 2012