Monday, June 6, 2016

Remembering D-Day 2016

On this 72nd anniversary of D-Day, when Allied forces stormed the beaches at Normandy, we should all remember their bravery, sacrifice, and the lessons learned from a world at war. The cost of freedom is dear and those who bore the greatest price should remain forever in our thoughts and prayers.

Today, after 15 years of conflict since the attack on the World Trade Centers, this generation of Americans has also witnessed the human cost of war. That’s why it remains our solemn responsibility to make certain our fighting men and women are supremely prepared, equipped and supported on all their missions abroad.

It’s also our duty to take care of them when they return from the battlefield.

Since 9-11, the Dept. of Defense now estimates that over 6,000 American troops have lost their lives and over 52,000 have been wounded in action since fighting began. And though the financial cost of our efforts abroad is estimated to be anywhere from $4 to $6 trillion--it pales in comparison to the toll on American military families.

WWII lasted four long bloody years, yet after 15 years fighting the war on terror, many Americans (and veterans) are justifiably frustrated. They still see terrorist attacks around the world. They see terrorists being recruited right here in Minnesota from an out of control refugee admissions program. They see our porous borders and worry about homeland security.

They tragically wonder whether all our blood and treasure has been enough.

No doubt, America faces many challenges. Containing China, North Korea, and Iran certainly top the list. Yet there’s an elephant in the living room that must be addressed.

28 pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 have still not been declassified for fear they may implicate some of America’s middle east allies–especially Saudi Arabia–in materially supporting some perpetrators of the attack on the World Trade Centers.

Sadly, there has long been evidence of support for Osama Bin Laden and others by wealthy Saudis and the so-called 20th hijacker, Zacarious Moussaoui (detained in Minnesota weeks before 9-11) has previously implicated senior Saudi officials in testimony from federal prison.

Since 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9-11 were Saudis I believe Americans deserve the whole truth and that all nations in the region must either crack down on these groups or lose American foreign aid.

It’s tempting to think we can battle every threat, but as Sen. Ted Cruz pointed out, the ouster of Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak and Moammar Gaddafi left geopolitical vacuums that ISIS gladly filled. I fear American intervention in Syria would have a similar result.

It’s abundantly clear that our principal enemy right now is the Islamic State (ISIS) and other Sunni terror groups who are responsible for Brussels, Paris, and San Bernardino.

On this D-Day 2016, we owe it to our vets to be honest about the possible complicity from some of our Arab allies and their wealthiest citizens. That’s why I agree with former Sen. Bob Graham of Florida and former Reagan administration Navy Secretary John Lehman, in calling for the release of the 28 pages of redacted material from the 2002 report.

My friends, transparency can sometimes be inconvenient. But we need candidates for Congress who are willing to buck the establishment and not take just take a poll in order to get on board the safest political position. We’ve had enough of that.

Join me today and let’s get the truth, defeat ISIS, and then bring our troops home.

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