Jim Gilmore on Homeland Security

Senate challenger 2008; previously Republican Governor (VA)


Psychology services should be included in veteran benefits

I'm going to speak about the issue that really confronts veterans, the concerns they have with the veterans administration. The lousy appeals process. The fact that sometimes they get good service at the V.A. and sometimes they don't and the fact that post-traumatic stress syndrome is not properly recognized. That psychology positions are unavailable in the Veterans Administration.
Source: 2016 Fox News Republican Undercard debate in Iowa , Jan 28, 2016

I think Gitmo ought to remain open

I think that Gitmo ought to remain open. I want to point out what the right topic is this international challenge we are facing, the international war that America is in. If I become president, I'm going to rebuild the military. We're going to take the sequester off the defense budget. Give the Navy the ships it needs. Refit the United States Army. Refit the United States Marine Corps. And we need to recognize our Special Forces, our intelligence community, and the people we need to protect us.
Source: 2016 Fox News Republican Undercard debate in Iowa , Jan 28, 2016

Dangerous to give Iran option to develop nuclear program

The Iranians may be moving towards a nuclear program, because the deal gives them a time frame up the road when they are going to be able to do that kind of program. That's dangerous and the US has to continue to exercise influence in the Middle East, stay active, and not do this pull-back type of program that we are seeing all over the place with President Obama, which is creating this kind of danger.
Source: 2016 Fox News Republican Undercard debate in Iowa , Jan 28, 2016

There will be further terror attacks; prepare for a long war

Q: The FBI Director says terrorists recruit behind the cyber walls that are built by American companies like Google and Apple. Do you agree?

GILMORE: I chaired the National Commission on Homeland Security Committee for United States. We warned about the 9/11 attack before the 9/11 attack occurred. I was the governor during the 9/11 attack when the Pentagon was struck. And I'm going to tell you this, we need to use the benefit of our law enforcement people across this country, combined with our intelligence people across this country. We need to use our technological advantages, because what we've warned of is an international guerrilla movement that threatens this country. It's going to happen in this country, there are going to be further attacks. We have to be prepared to defend the American people, prepare them for a long war, stand up for the defense of this country, and stand up for the values of this country.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Second Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Pre-9-11, Congress sensed terrorism was a rising threat

The Gilmore Commission was the congressionally mandated task force chaired by the former Republican governor of Virginia Jim Gilmore that had just issued a 173-page bipartisan report filled with recommendations that, prior to 9/11, Congress had at least some sense that terrorism was a rising threat. Among the recommendations that the Bush administration develop way to share intelligence gathered domestically and abroad with local, state, and federal agencies--an idea which, as a former governor, I instantly embraced. There was another key aspect to the report: Even as intelligence proliferated and got more and more people involved, safeguards for protecting against abuses, such as unjustified spying on citizens, needed to be developed. Within days, that report and some of its recommendations emerged in a critical debate in Congress and around the country.
Source: The Test of our Times, by Tom Ridge, p. 46-47 , Sep 1, 2009

Close the pay gap for long-term military retention

Q: What changes would you propose to the current compensation and benefits provided to active-duty military personnel, injured service members and veterans?

Gilmore: As a veteran myself, I believe we must provide for our service members and their families while they serve and that our injured service members and veterans must not be left behind. As a U.S. senator, I will support closing the pay gap in order to further long-term retention and readiness. As governor of Virginia, I dramatically cut taxes for many military families in the commonwealth. I support allowing military retirees to remain eligible for CHAMPUS or TRICARE military health care programs. As a beneficiary of the GI bill, I understand the importance of offering a first-class education to those who put themselves in harm's way. As a U.S. senator, I will work to modernize the GI Bill and enact comprehensive reforms to support the men and women of our Armed Forces.

Source: 2008 VA Senate debate reported in The Virginian-Pilot , Oct 17, 2008

Fighting terrorism too important for partisan politics

I call today for a national movement, led and empowered by our first response community, to make ready for any attack or catastrophe that might occur. My opportunity to lead in Homeland Security started about 6 years ago, when I was asked to chair the Gilmore Commission on anti-terrorism.

I felt that this task was a sacred trust, and I was determined to handle it not in a bi-partisan manner, but in a non-partisan manner. No politics. Zero. I’m sure you agree with me that Homeland Security is too important to be subject to partisan politics!

The best aspect of the commission was its membership. These weren’t policy wonks from Washington. They were police and fire chiefs, public health experts, intelligence experts, and retired military. These were the ones who would respond to the 911 call. They weren’t concerned with theories; they were concerned with what would work. We never forgot for a moment those first responders who are willing to risk their lives each day for their fellow citizens.

Source: Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Forum “Ready America” , Mar 31, 2006

Was Governor of Virginia during 9/11 Pentagon attack

At the time of the 9/11 attack, I was Governor of Virginia. That morning, I watched, and like you, I knew we were under attack. I took immediate action by picking up the phone and activating Virginia’s Emergency Operations Center. I gave orders that any incident of gunfire anywhere in Virginia was to be reported to the operations center. I placed the National Guard on alert. I then went immediately to my office in the Capitol and soon learned that the second state attacked was Virginia. Not a lot of people think of it that way, but the Pentagon is in Virginia. Who responded? Police, fire, rescue, and emergency services from Virginia, and later surrounding states. I held press conferences several times that day, and addressed the people of Virginia that night, to reassure them of what was being done. I visited the Pentagon, and visited those injured in the hospitals of Northern Virginia. Such are the duties of State and local officials who shoulder the responsibility of safety in the communities.
Source: Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Forum “Ready America” , Mar 31, 2006

Chaired commission on Terrorism Involving WMD

The Gilmore Commission is chaired by former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III. The formal title of the federally chartered Gilmore Commission, created in 1999, is the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction. The 17-member Gilmore Commission will disband in early 2004 now that its final report is complete. Since it began, the panel has made 144 recommendations, with 125 being adopted by the Congress & various government agencies.
Source: Press release from Gilmore Commission , Dec 15, 2003

There will never be a 100% guarantee of security

The US needs an improved homeland security strategy to strengthen security in communities facing the greatest risk, improve the use of intelligence, increase the role of local officials, and sharpen disaster response capabilities, the Gilmore Commission said today. DHS has resulted in improved planning and readiness, but, the report concludes, the overall national homeland security strategy should be directed by a White House-level bipartisan oversight board that “must have some clear authority over the homeland security budgets and programs throughout the federal government.“

A ”new normalcy“ acknowledges the threat of terrorism will not disappear, but still preserves and strengthens civil liberties. ”There will never be a 100% guarantee of security for our people, the economy, and our society,“ Gilmore writes in the report’s cover letter. ”We must resist the urge to seek total security-it is not achievable and drains our attention from those things that can be accomplished.“

Source: Press release from Gilmore Commission , Dec 15, 2003

Get homeland security money into hands of local governments

Q: Let’s talk about concerns that the war in Iraq will motivate militant elements to stage small-scale attacks in the US. The FBI recently said that such events are all but certain. How did the government take this into account, and how should national, state and local governments continue to deal with this threat?

A: We’ve come a long way since the September 11th attack, but we have a lot farther to go to prepare our homeland defense. Our police, fire, and rescue organizations are aware of the threat and there is more communication than ever before between law enforcement and national security agencies. The frontline of national security will be provided by local law enforcement organizations. As a nation we now need to decide on a national homeland security strategy, determine what needs to be purchased, and get the money into the hands of state and local governments.

Source: Washington Post interview, “Confronting Iraq” , Mar 24, 2003

Deal with terrorism as a joint federal-state responsibility.

Gilmore 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.

Gilmore 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

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Page last updated: Mar 12, 2016