Bill Weld on Homeland Security

Libertarian Party nominee for Vice Pres.; former GOP MA Governor; 2020 GOP Presidential Challenger


Lesson of Iraq War: train Saudis, but no US troops there

Q: How would you handle U.S.-Saudi relations?

WELD: One of the things that troubles me about Trump in the foreign area is he claims to be a non-interventionist but he's awful quick on sending those troops. A couple of months ago he said, "I'm sending 5,000 more troops to the Middle East immediately." Well, they never got there because they must have had a second thought. And he never said what it was for. I'm not quite clear why we're sending troops to Saudi Arabia to defend their oil supplies. Don't they have any troops over there? I know they have a lot of weapons--because we sold them all to Saudi Arabia--but maybe we should make sure they know how to fly those planes and fire those missiles. I just I don't get it. Boots on the ground to another country for regime change or to correct something that we see in the other country that we don't like? That's the height of the lessons we learned from the Iraq war --we shouldn't do that.

Source: Business Insider 2019 GOP presidential primary debate , Sep 24, 2019

Take on ISIS with FBI task forces, like we took on the Mafia

Q: What should be done in terms of measures to stem gun violence from terrorists, and in particular proposals on no-fly lists or terrorist watch lists?

WELD: In my time in the Department of Justice, we had great success with specialized task forces, the most prominent example being the organized crime strike forces. And Rudy Giuliani and myself and a bunch of other U.S. attorneys really did succeed in taking out the top three echelons of the La Cosa Nostra organized crime families in the late '80s. I suggest that 1,000 FBI agents be hired with a supplemental budget and then 1,000 people with terrorist training and backgrounds, specialists, would go to this new task force and a like number, you know, 200 or however many prosecutors were required. And this is not to get [any particular terrorist]; this is to get ISIS. So it's a big national priority. And then you would have a hotline encouraging any tips whatsoever, and you would have this database of ISIS tips and tips on lone wolves.

Source: Washington Post interview of Johnson & Weld on 2016 election , Jul 7, 2016

Pardon Snowden; no one was harmed by what he released

Q: You talk about turning satellites away from the United States, what if by due process, that you find [a case where] surveillance would be necessary?

JOHNSON: Well, prior to Snowden, none of us had any idea about what this is, on an overall contextual basis.

Q: Would you pardon Snowden?

JOHNSON: Initially, when the Snowden thing happened, my concern was, "Holy cow, has information been released that are going to put U.S. spies in harm's way?" [But] Snowden took all of this into account before he released this. So, yes, I would pardon Snowden, based on what I know. But what I know is that no one has had any harm done to them as a result of what was released by Snowden.

Q: Governor Weld, do you feel the same way?

WELD: I was relieved when Gary said yes, he would pardon Snowden.

Source: Washington Post interview of Johnson & Weld on 2016 election , Jul 7, 2016

Phase down our nuclear stockpile

Q: Would you maintain a nuclear deterrent, and if so would it be the same size, different composition of what we have now?

JOHNSON: Well, just philosophically speaking, do we need the capability of blowing up the world 18 times?

WELD: No, we don't. There's a Nobel Prize winner--his name is John Polanyi--he's written a lot on this topic and there are agreements underway among the existing powers to phase that down. This is a certain amount of resistance, which I would call rearguard resistance, but I'm interested in the topic and would put my shoulder behind efforts to reduce the stockpile.

Q: Do you accept that we need a nuclear triad? Missiles, submarines and airplanes?

JOHNSON: Yeah, yeah.

WELD: I thought the question was how many, and I'm saying reduce the number.

Source: Washington Post interview of Johnson & Weld on 2016 election , Jul 7, 2016

Treat ISIS as a gigantic organized crime family

In the Justice Department, and I was an organized crime prosecutor, [when we] took out the whole top three echelons of organized crime in the 1980s. And I think we should do the same with a thousand-person FBI taskforce treating ISIS as a gigantic organized crime family, which is exactly what it is. And you have them add the probable cause bit by bit, just like the Justice Department does.

Jim Comey, the head of the FBI, was practically a national hero when he was deputy attorney general, together with my deputy in the Justice Department, Bob Mueller, who was head of the FBI for 12 years. These people know how to do this, task forces like the department had against Enron, financial crimes. So they could get results there treating ISIS as an organized crime family and taking them out.

Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

Nuclear proliferation is #1 threat to world security

[Trump's hard line on immigration] is not the limit of the really unreasonable foreign policy proposals by the presumptive Republican nominee. The notion of having Japan and South Korea have access to nuclear weapons is crazy in a world where nuclear proliferation is the number-one threat to the security of the world. The notion that he is going to impose huge penalties on Mexico and China at will violates our obligations under treaties and international agreements like the World Trade Organization.
Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

Maintain invincible defense but cut military 20%

Q: How do you balance maintaining the military while attempting to eliminate wasteful spending?

WELD: The baseline position of the Libertarian Party is an invincible defense. An invincible defense includes projection of military supremacy both air and naval around the world, because people around the world really do pay attention. It does not encompass interventionism, boots on the ground, American blood on foreign soil. [But] every agency has 20% waste [so we will cut the military by 20%].

Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Bill Weld on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

External Links about Bill Weld:

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

Page last updated: Feb 25, 2020