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Rick Santorum on Homeland Security

Republican Jr Senator (PA)


Privacy is in 4th amendment, but Patriot Act is ok

Q: [to Paul] Sen. Santorum believes that the Supreme Court was wrong when it decided that a right to privacy was embedded in the Constitution.

SANTORUM: No, let's be clear. We're talking about the 10th Amendment and the right of states to act.

PAUL: I think the Fourth Amendment is very clear. It is explicit in our privacy. You can't go into anybody's house and look at what they have or their papers or any private things without a search warrant. This is why the Patriot Act is wrong, because you have a right of privacy by the Fourth Amendment.

SANTORUM: Congressman Paul is talking about privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment, in which I agree with him, I don't necessarily agree that the Patriot Act violates that. But I do agree that obviously we have a right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment.

Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 7, 2012

Confront virulent threat of radical Islam

HUNTSMAN: So how long do you want to wait, Rick? How long do you want to wait to get out of Afghanistan?

SANTORUM: Until the security of our country is ensured. That's what the job of the commander-in-chief is. And you make that decision--not the generals--you make that decision based on an analysis of understanding how virulent the threat of radical Islam is. And you confront that threat not just militarily, and importantly not just militarily. You confront it first by being honest with the American public about what this threat is. This president has sanitized every defense document, everything. The word radical Islam doesn't appear anywhere. Why? Because we are fighting political correctness--we're trying to fight this politically correct war and not being honest with the American public as to who the enemy is, how virulent they are and why they hate us and what we must do to stop them.

Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 7, 2012

Giving money to Iran rebels is not enough

Q: How do you prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?

Gingrich: Every possible aspect short of war of breaking the regime .

Q: Is it worth going to war to prevent that?

Romney: If there's nothing else we can do beside take military action, then of course you take military action.

Santorum: This is the most important national security issue that we're going to be dealing with this year: I agree with Romney on the issue of Iran getting a nuclear weapon. Back in 2004, I proposed giving money to the rebel forces there to help the pro-democracy movement and to put tough sanctions in place. I was opposed by Pres. Bush. And yet, we passed the Iran Freedom and Support Act. And then Pres. Bush didn't provide money for the pro-democracy movement. And Pres. Obama cut that money. Now we have a situation that's different. I disagree with Newt: more sanctions and providing more support for the pro-democracy movement isn't going to be enough.

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

Don't cut one penny out of defense spending

Q: [to Paul]: You proposed a 15% cut to the Defense Department. Can you guarantee national security will not be hurt by that?

PAUL: I think it would be enhanced. I don't want to cut any defense. There's a lot of money spent in the military budget that doesn't do any good for our defense.

SANTORUM: I would absolutely not cut one penny out of military spending. The only thing the federal government can do that no other level of government can do is protect us. It is the first duty of the president. And we should have all the resources in place to make sure that we can defend our borders, that we can make sure that when we engage in foreign countries, we do so to succeed. That has been the problem in this administration. We've had political objectives instead of objectives for success. And that's why we haven't succeeded.

PAUL: Well, I think we're on economic suicide if we're not even willing to look at some of these overseas expenditures, 900 bases, 150 different countries.

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

Removing Don't-Ask injects social experiment into military

Q: Do you intend to circumvent the progress that's been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?

SANTORUM: Any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. And the fact that they're making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege, and removing "don't-ask-don't-tell" I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military's job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country. We need to give the military the ability to do so in a way that is most efficient at protecting our men and women in uniform. I believe this undermines that ability.

Q: So what would you do with gay soldiers?

SANTORUM: Look, what we're doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now. And that's tragic. Going forward, we would reinstitute that policy And as far as people who are in, I would not throw them out, because that would be unfair to them.

Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL , Sep 22, 2011

Department of Homeland Security fixed an internal mess

Q: [To Santorum]: In his book, "Fed Up," Governor 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 the Department of Homeland Security 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 had no information sharing that was going on. This was right after 9/11. We saw the problems created as a result of 9/11. And 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

Cut waste in DOD, but don't cut defense budget

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

Gingrich: The exploding debt crisis is because of exploding politician spending in Washington, not because of national security.

Santorum: The first priority of the federal government is to keep America safe. I would not cut defense--freeze it; cut waste; and then plow savings back into Defense.

Johnson: The debt is the greatest threat to national security we face today. Besides, we do not need 60,000 to 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to protect ourselves. Nor do we need nation-building.

Gingrich: We spend less on defense today as percentage of GDP than at any time since Pearl Harbor.

Santorum: The first priority of the federal government is to keep America safe. I would not cut defense--freeze it; cut waste; and then plow savings back into Defense.

Gingrich: Controlling the border and defending America are job #1 under the Constitution.

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

Terrorism is an asymmetric threat; we need worldwide bases

Q: We're in debt up to our eyeballs. We have nation building going on around the world. We're the world's police force. World War II is over. The Korean War is over. But we still have military bases all over Europe, all over Asia. Are you willing to shut down the bases that aren't vital to our national security, and take that money to pay off our national debt?

SANTORUM: We have actually closed down a lot of bases overseas. Look, what we're dealing with is a failure of leadership on this administration's part to actually put together a strategy where we can confront our enemies. And our enemies are asymmetric threats: terrorism. That means that they are not just positioned in the Middle East, but around the world. That means we have to have the ability to confront those threats from around the world, which means we need basing around the world. We do need that basing. We do need to be able to be nimble and to be able to attack where we're attacked because it's not just a threat.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Waterboarding gets useful info, like on Osama bin Laden

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

We need to spend money to study the EMP threat

Here is something the big spenders from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other will be glad to hear: We need to spend money to study the electromagnetic pulse threat; to help states, localities, and families prepare; and to protect our critical electric infrastructure and transportation networks now.

America's enemies know our Achilles' heel and are no doubt planning to exploit it. The government is wise to protect our senior leadership. Now how about the rest of us?

Source: Santorum in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Doomsday Scenario" , Aug 27, 2009

War against Islamic fascism will be won or lost in America

CASEY: Rick, you just talked about Iran, calling it “Islamic fascism” [instead of terrorism]. What we need, Rick, is not a change in the terminology, we need to change the tactics. We should be finding and killing Osama bin Laden, then we can hold a seminar on whether he’s a dead terrorist or a dead fascist.

SANTORUM: My opponent has no plan. All you suggested with your plan is more Special Forces. Do you support more intelligence gathering?

CASEY: Absolutely.

SANTORUM: The Democratic Party has gone out and said that you have serious questions about our intelligence surveillance programs.

CASEY: You’re debating me, not the Party. We should keep the programs and keep the wiretaps.

SANTORUM: I think you just fundamentally misunderstand the problem. You’re saying that somehow or another the terminology doesn’t matter. You believe that we’re going to win or lose this war on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t. I think we’ll win or lose this war right here in America.

Source: Meet the Press: PA 2006 Senate Debate, Tim Russert moderator , Sep 3, 2006

Invest in our armed services' fundamental mission

Invest in human potential. If there is anything we are doing here with the defense bill--and by protecting our country--we are, in fact, doing just that. What human potential has been lost on the battlefield. Look at the young men & women who have died. Look at that potential. That is gone. Educated, hardworking, bright people, trained, who gave up their lives because, in many cases, we were not ready. We did not invest in our armed services to do the fundamental mission that this Government was created for, to protect and defend this country. Do not talk to me about wasting human potential. This prevents the waste of human potential more than any single thing we can do. If you want human potential invested in, then you give a peaceful environment where people do not have to worry about going to war but worry about going to work.
Source: Santorum speech in "A Senator Speaks Out", p.201-202 , Aug 4, 1995


Rick Santorum on Defense Spending

There are good earmarks, like Osprey military program

Q: Senator, you have said there are good earmarks and bad earmarks?

SANTORUM: The idea that somehow earmarks during the time that I was in Congress were this thing that drove up spending--as a percentage of GDP, the debt went down. What happened is there was abuse. When abuse happened, I said we should stop the earmarking process. But I did say there were good earmarks and bad earmarks. We wouldn't have the V-22 Osprey, which was the most essential air platform for our Marines in particular in the war against the radical Islamists. We wouldn't have it if it wasn't for an earmark. That program would have been killed. Dick Cheney and the Defense Department wanted to kill that program, and many of us, including myself, stood up and made sure that was there. Congress has a role to play when it comes to appropriating money, and sometimes the president and the administration don't get it right. I do believe there was abuse, and I said we should stop it, and as president I would oppose earmarks.

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary , Feb 22, 2012

Voted NO on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees.

Sen. Specter's amendment would strike the provision regarding habeas review. The underlying bill authorizes trial by military commission for violations of the law of war. Excerpts from the Senate floor debate:

Sen. GRAHAM [recommending NO]: The fundamental question for the Senate to answer when it comes to determining enemy combatant status is, Who should make that determination? Should that be a military decision or should it be a judicial decision? That is something our military should do.

Sen. SPECTER [recommending YES]: My amendment would retain the constitutional right of habeas corpus for people detained at Guantanamo. The right of habeas corpus was established in the Magna Carta in 1215 when, in England, there was action taken against King John to establish a procedure to prevent illegal detention. What the bill seeks to do is to set back basic rights by some 900 years. This amendment would strike that provision and make certain that the constitutional right of habeas corpus is maintained.

GRAHAM: Do we really want enemy prisoners to bring every lawsuit known to man against the people fighting the war and protecting us? No enemy prisoner should have access to Federal courts--a noncitizen, enemy combatant terrorist--to bring a lawsuit against those fighting on our behalf. No judge should have the ability to make a decision that has been historically reserved to the military. That does not make us safer.

SPECTER: The US Constitution states that "Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." We do not have either rebellion or invasion, so it is a little hard for me to see, as a basic principle of constitutional law, how the Congress can suspend the writ of habeas corpus.

GRAHAM: If the Supreme Court does say in the next round of legal appeals there is a constitutional right to habeas corpus by those detained at Guantanamo Bay, then Sen. Specter is absolutely right.

Reference: Specter Amendment; Bill S.AMDT.5087 to S.3930 ; vote number 2006-255 on Sep 28, 2006

Voted NO on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods.

Amendment to provide for congressional oversight of certain Central Intelligence Agency programs. The underlying bill S. 3930 authorizes trial by military commission for violations of the law of war. The amendment requires quarterly reports describing all CIA detention facilities; the name of each detainee; their suspected activities; & each interrogation technique authorized for use and guidelines on the use of each such technique.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

I question the need for a very lengthy, detailed report every 3 months. We will probably see those reports leaked to the press.

This amendment would spread out for the world--and especially for al-Qaida and its related organizations--precisely what interrogation techniques are going to be used.

If we lay out, in an unclassified version, a description of the techniques by the Attorney General, that description will be in al-Qaida and Hezbollah and all of the other terrorist organizations' playbook. They will train their assets that: This is what you must be expected to do, and Allah wants you to resist these techniques.

We are passing this bill so that we can detain people. If we catch someone like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, we have no way to hold him, no way to ask him the questions and get the information we need, because the uncertainty has brought the program to a close. It is vitally important to our security, and unfortunately this amendment would imperil it.

Reference: Rockefeller Amendment; Bill S.AMDT.5095 to S.3930 ; vote number 2006-256 on Sep 28, 2006

Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.

This vote reauthorizes the PATRIOT Act with some modifications (amendments). Voting YEA extends the PATRIOT Act, and voting NAY would phase it out. The official summary of the bill is:
A bill to clarify that individuals who receive FISA orders can challenge nondisclosure requirements, that individuals who receive national security letters are not required to disclose the name of their attorney, that libraries are not wire or electronic communication service providers unless they provide specific services, and for other purposes.