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Herman Cain on Homeland Security

Republican Businessman & Talk-Show Host


Trust military to determine torture; waterboarding is not

Q: What is your stance on torture?

Cain: I believe in following the procedures that have been established by our military. I do not agree with torture, period. However, I will trust the judgment of our military leaders to determine what is torture and what is not torture. That is the critical consideration.

Q: You're familiar with the long-running debate we've had about whether waterboarding constitutes torture or is an enhanced interrogation technique. In the last campaign, John McCain and Barack Obama agreed that it was torture; do you agree?

Cain: I agree that it was an enhanced interrogation technique.

Q: You would return to that policy?

Cain: Yes, I would return to that policy. I don't see it as torture. I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy , Nov 12, 2011

No negotiating with terrorists, but look at each situation

Q: Israel has just negotiated with Palestine to exchange 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for one Israeli soldier. If al Qaeda had an American soldier in captivity, and they demanded the release of everyone at Guantanamo Bay, would you release them? You said recently, "I can see myself authorizing that kind of a transfer." Comment?

A: The rest of the statement was, you would have to consider the entire situation. But let me say this first, I would have a policy that we do not negotiate with terrorists. We have to lay that principle down first. Now, you have to look at each individual situation and consider all the facts. The point that I made about this particular situation is that I'm sure Prime Minister Netanyahu had to consider a lot of things befor he made that. So on the surface, I don't think we can say he did the right thing or not. A responsible decision-maker would have considered everything.

Q: Including if it's al Qaeda?

A: My policy will be we cannot negotiate with terrorists.

Source: GOP 2011 primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 18, 2011

Keep Guantanamo open; keep terrorists without negotiating

BACHMANN: For any candidate to say that they would release the prisoners at Guantanamo in exchange for a hostage would be absolutely contrary to the historical nature of the US policy. That's naive. We have an absolute policy: We don't negotiate.

CAIN: No, I believe in the philosophy of we don't negotiate with terrorists. I would never agree to letting hostages in Guantanamo Bay go. No, that wasn't the intent at all. My approach is an extension of the Reagan approach: Peace through strength, which is peace through strength and clarity. If we clarify who our friends are, clarify who our enemies are, and stop giving money to our enemies, then we ought to continue to give money to our friends, like Israel.

Source: GOP 2011 primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 18, 2011

Fix FEMA; don't abolish FEMA

Q: [to Paul]: Regarding FEMA: Your position is to abolish it. What happens in its absence?

PAUL: Well, what happened before 1979? We didn't have FEMA. FEMA just conditioned people to build where they shouldn't be building. FEMA's broke. They're $20 billion in debt. But I'm not for saying tomorrow close it down.

CAIN: I believe that, yes, you can find the concurrent spending cuts in order to be able to [fund FEMA]. No, don't eliminate FEMA. Let's fix FEMA. Let's fix Homeland Security.

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

Can't put a price on security; cut waste, but nothing more

Q: How do you weigh the cost of fighting the war on terror against the exploding debt crisis?

Bachmann: I support DOD efficiency but defense spending did not cause our budget crisis & we must maintain our military strength.

Cain: National security and protecting our borders from foreign invaders is something we as a nation really can't put a price on. Mounting deficit spending is a concern, but this spending is necessary for all Americans to enjoy our freedoms and liberties.

Bachmann: Our security requires a strong defense and wise leadership. I will preserve our military strength while using it judiciously.

Cain: As president, I'd support any cuts to wasteful spending in the military, but nothing more. Military is key to US safety.

Bachmann: We must reserve military force for situations where we've been attacked, are threatened, or have vital interests at stake.

Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on Twitter.com , Jul 21, 2011

Best military training, equipment, & technology

The primary duty of the President is to protect our people. In fact, it is the principal duty of a limited federal government. They must ensure that our military and all of our security agencies are strong and capable.

Unfortunately, national security has become far too politicized. In response, the safety and morale of our brave men and women in uniform are often at risk for political gain. The judgment of our military experts on the ground is often underutilized in exchange for political purposes. National security isn't about politics. It's about defending America.

We must support our military with the best training, equipment, technology and infrastructure necessary to keep them in a position to win. We must also provide our men and women in uniform, our veterans and their families with the benefits they deserve for their tremendous sacrifice. These heroes have served us. We must never forget to serve them.

Source: Campaign website, www.hermancain.com/ "Issues" , May 21, 2011

Protect our people by whatever means, even waterboarding

Q: Would you support a resumption of waterboarding under any circumstances?

SANTORUM: Under certain circumstances or any circumstances?

Q: Under any circumstances that you could imagine.

SANTORUM: Sure.

JOHNSON: I would not.

PAUL: No, I would not, because you don't achieve anything.

SANTORUM: Well it's just simply not true, Ron. The fact is that what we found is that some of this information that we find out that led to Osama Bin Laden actually came from these enhanced interrogation techniques.

PAUL: Not true.

SANTORUM: And by the way we wouldn't have been able to launch a raid into Pakistan to get Osama Bin Laden if we weren't in Afghanistan.

CAIN: I heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say it very clearly a few months after 9/11 2001 after the tragedy, the terrorist have one objective, to kill of us and so, yes, I believe that we should do whatever means possible in order to protect the people of this nation, that's their ultimate goal.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina , May 5, 2011

START treaty gives away too much; build missile defense

I believe our military is being weakened. On the START treaty, I believe we gave away too much. I don't think the United States should tie its hands when it comes to developing missile-defense systems. The world is now more dangerous, not less dangerous. Not being able to build that missile-defense system in Turkey, or not being able to deploy that system in other friendly parts of the world, I think that's moving in the wrong direction.
Source: Interview by National Review Online , Jan 1, 2011

Terrorists hate our freedoms and want our annihilation

Our enemy is the irreconcilable terrorist wing of a religion--Islam--and a handful of nations that harbor terrorists and fund their activities. Those nations include Iran, Syria, Venezuela and North Korea.

Our enemy is unlike any we have ever faced, as is his motivating ideology. In previous wars, our enemies fought to acquire land and power or spread a political philosophy. Islamic terrorists are instead motivated by the literal reading of the Quran's call for jihad of the sword--death to those who refuse to convert to Islam.

The enemy is further motivated by a hatred of western civilization and the religious, political and economic freedoms we fight to protect. Religious pluralism and economic prosperity for all who desire it are concepts completely foreign to the Islamic terrorist, and are principles they believe must be violently overthrown wherever possible.

Terrorists understand one thing--annihilation. It's either them or us.

Source: Column, "Anatomy of World War III" , Jul 26, 2006

No doubt that terrorists seek to destroy our way of life

In April 2002, former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a captivating speech to the US Senate in which he called on his lifetime of experiences in confronting the evils of terrorist states and encouraged the US to remain resolute in the global war against terrorism.

Netanyahu's opening sentence is a strategic declaration: "The war on terror can be won with clarity and courage, or lost with confusion and vacillation." Netanyahu's speech was aimed at all US citizens who might question for even a second the necessity of waging war against terrorist networks on their home turf. There can be no doubt that terrorists all over the globe seek to disrupt and destroy our way of life, our values, and our freedoms.

We know from the terrorists' own words that they hate us and our freedoms: Republicans and Democrats; Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and Asians; Christians and Jews.

Source: They Think You're Stupid, by Herman Cain, p.126-132 , Jun 14, 2005

FactCheck: No, Israel leader never mentioned our way of life

Cain misleads readers into thinking that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports the concept that terrorists want to "destroy our way of life." Cain does so by juxtaposing his interpretation of Netanyahu's speech in the same paragraph as Cain' "way of life" assertion. Netanyahu actually said no such thing.

The closest Netanyahu comes is when stating, "Contrary to popular belief, the motivating force behind terror is neither desperation nor destitution. It is hope--the hope of terrorists tha their savagery will break the will of their enemies & help them achieve their objectives--political, religious, or otherwise." Netanyahu does not say, nor hint, that those objectives include "destroying our way of life."

Cain's analysis of Netanyahu's speech correctly concludes that Netanyahu seeks US resoluteness against terrorists, including fighting them abroad. But his juxtaposition with his own "destroy our way of life" conclusion falsely implies that Netanyahu agrees with that conclusion.

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on H.Cain's "They Think You're Stupid" , Jun 14, 2005

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Herman Cain on other issues:
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Herman Cain(GA)
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Page last updated: Feb 23, 2012