In the wake of the terrorist attack in Orlando, Hillary Clinton has accused Donald Trump of promoting rhetoric and policies that would make America less safe — but a dive into the foreign policy of the Obama-Clinton tenure demonstrates a record of decisions that have jeopardized America’s national security.
In a December survey from Pew Research Center, 94 percent of Americans said the federal government should play a major role in keeping the country safe from terrorism. Since then, though, a CNN/ORC poll found 60 percent of Americans say they disapprove of Obama’s handling of terrorism. A June 2 poll from Gallup indicated voters share similar apprehension about Hillary Clinton’s ability to protect American lives. Trump led Clinton 50-46 in the survey for which candidate respondents trusted more on terror.
Americans want a strong commander-in-chief to make protecting American lives the top priority (and so did the Founders, who made the first section of president’s job description in the Constitution about the duty to protect America). Obama and Clinton have a spotty record at best on that account, including several notable major policy decisions that meaningfully made Americans less safe.
Syrian Refugee Resettlement
According to the federal government’s Refugee Processing Center, more than 100 Syrian refugees have been admitted into the country every day so far in the month of June — more than 1,000 came into the United States in May. The vetting process for these refugees has drawn significant criticism from congressional leaders for both its lack thoroughness and lack of transparency.
In fact, the vetting process for an individual refugee has already been sped up to just three months as opposed to the previously standard of 18-24 months. Obama has set a target of resettling 10,000 refugees by Sept. 30, 2016, and has opened a center in Amman, Jordan to help process the migrants. 600 people are interviewed at that location daily according to the Associated Press.
“While the resettlement process usually takes 18-24 months, the surge operation will reduce time to three months,” said Gina Kassem the regional refugee coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Amman. She also suggested that the 10,000 number is just a floor, not a ceiling, signaling that more refugees could be pushed through.
The rushed nature added to the process has many Americans and lawmakers particularly concerned, especially in light of the November terrorist attacks in Paris in which one attacker successfully posed as a Syrian refugee to enter Europe — literally slipping through the cracks.
The Obama administration’s dangerous push to import 10,000 refugees also comes with a hefty $6.5 billion price tag for American taxpayers, according to Heritage Foundation scholar Robert Rector. The lifetime cost includes community services, education, healthcare, welfare and retirement costs.
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In the moments after a horrific tragedy, the Left is always quick to exploit the events to push a progressive gun control agenda — blaming the weapon instead of the real enemy and failing to take any meaningful action to protect Americans from terror. The latest terrorist attack in Orlando is no different, with White House press secretary Josh Earnest saying that Obama is not ruling out further executive action on gun control.
Obama enacted his first executive action on gun control in January 2016 in the wake of the San Bernardino attacks which included a 10-point plan, ostensibly to keep guns from people who shouldn’t have them. The executive action included federal clarity on who is “in the business” of selling firearms and who needs to get a federal license. It also called for research money to look into smart gun technology to reduce accidental shootings.
Clinton has been far more boisterous on guns, and has vowed to take on the gun lobby as president. In the wake of the tragedy Sunday, Clinton, using typical anti-Second Amendment rhetoric, slammed loopholes that don’t really exist and that wouldn’t have stopped the attack in either case. “You shouldn’t be able to exploit loopholes and evade criminal background checks by buying online or at a gun show,” Clinton said.
“We have to make it harder for people who should not have those weapons of war and that may not stop every shooting or every terrorist attack — but it will stop some, it will save lives, and it will protect our first responders.”
The problem is that the American people are scared and it is their constitutional right to defend themselves — the Left’s gun control agenda would render law-abiding citizens helpless in moments of danger.
The Push to Close Guantanamo Bay
Obama has talked about closing Guantanamo Bay since he first ran for president in 2008. In February, the White House sent a plan to empty the base before the president’s term in office is over to Congress.
“The plan we’re putting forward today isn’t just about closing the facility at Guantanamo … This is about closing a chapter in our history,” Obama said. “Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values.” The plan also called for the transfer of dozens of detainees to maximum security prisons in the United States — bringing dangerous terrorists onto American soil. New reports on Monday show that Obama no longer plans to close Guantanamo Bay by executive order — recognizing he lacked a strong legal defense for it and the difficulty it would bring in an election year.
Weeks before Clinton stepped down from her post as secretary of state she urged Obama to close Guantanamo in a memo. “I remain a strong advocate of your policy to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility responsibility and to ensure U.S. detention policy and practice for terrorism suspects are consistent with U.S. values and do not strengthen our enemies,” said Clinton in a memo obtained through a FOIA request.
Her support for closing Guantanamo didn’t end when she stepped down either, in February 2016 Clinton backed Obama’s proposal to Congress to close the detention facility.
However, even without closing Guantanamo completely the Obama administration has released dangerous detainees — as of March there were 91 men held at Guantanamo down from 250 when Obama took office in January 2009. The Director of National Intelligence reported that at least 5 percent of the prisoners released since Obama took office have re-engaged in terrorism and an additional 8 percent are suspected of engagement.
What’s more, Americans have been killed by the prisoners that have been released from the detention center — yet 36 of the 91 men held there remain set for release by the administration.
The Obama administration has touted the Iran Deal as a legacy-defining accomplishment but it has been lampooned across the foreign policy community as complete disaster. The deal lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, something that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said would only funnel more money to terrorist efforts.
“What is clear is that Iran will now have more resources to divert to terrorism and its aggression in the region and around the world,” Netanyahu said in January as the Obama administration touted the lifting of sanctions.
Secretary of state John Kerry has defended the deal saying that the Middle East and the rest of the world is safer thanks to the Iran Deal.
What’s more, Obama’s national security advisor Ben Rhodes admitted that he duped Americans into passing the Iran Deal, bragging about how he helped created a false narrative. Rhodes knew that the public would not have accepted the deal had it known that the United States was not negotiating with “moderate” Iranians like he said. Instead the U.S. was negotiating with less than moderate Iranian leaders and they were calling a large majority of the shots.
As if the lies and spin weren’t enough, Clinton has boasted about her role in the early stages of the deal saying that she helped drive them to the negotiating table while serving as secretary of state.
Trump has taken every chance he can to hit Clinton and her ties to the reckless foreign policy of the Obama administration begging the question, “are we better off” than we were eight years ago? Trump is effectively communicating to Americans that a vote for Clinton in November is a vote for more of the same.