Last Friday, we paused to remember the nearly 3,000 innocent lives lost 14 years ago in the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City, in a peaceful field in Pennsylvania, and right here in our beloved Virginia at the Pentagon. We also honored those who made the tremendous sacrifices we witnessed in response to the terrible acts of terror which took place.
Since that horrific day, we have been fortunate that no such similar attacks have occurred on our shores thanks to the vigilance of our military and intelligence personnel around the world. But make no mistake – our world remains a dangerous place as threats around the globe continue to emerge and evolve. Strong American leadership on the world stage is vital to preserve our freedoms and the American way of life. Yet our current foreign policy is falling short in meeting the challenges we face.
It has now been over a year since the President addressed the nation about the growing threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and commenced air strikes against its forces, but the President has still not outlined a clear, comprehensive strategy to defeat this radical terrorist group. There is no doubt that ISIL has deliberately perpetrated unspeakable acts of terror against innocent people and that it poses a direct threat to the region and our own national security.
Last week, we learned that more than 50 intelligence analysts have filed formal complaints stating that senior officials inappropriately altered their reports on ISIL and al Qaeda and that the Pentagon Inspector General has opened an investigation into these claims. The analysts allege that the reports’ conclusions were adjusted by those higher up or were self-censored, and in some cases, the reports were not even passed up the chain of command, as they should have been.
As ISIL is only growing and expanding its reign of terror, accurate intelligence is vital for us to defeat it and the other serious threats we face. We cannot defeat ISIL without a complete strategy, which must be based on truthful intelligence. It is clear we must do more to dismantle and destroy this radical terrorist organization to avoid another catastrophic attack on our nation, and I am committed to doing so.
On another front, the House of Representatives resoundingly rejected the Iran Nuclear Agreement on a bipartisan basis on Friday. Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, and given its nuclear ambitions and history, I believe the agreement reached by this Administration is a dangerous deal for our nation, our allies, and the world. This nuclear agreement allows the Iranian regime to maintain much of its current nuclear infrastructure; to continue to advance its nuclear ambitions; and to facilitate its ability to promote terror throughout the world. For these reasons, I voted against the Iran Nuclear Agreement.
And while the House took action, the minority in the Senate once again used petty procedural tactics to block Senators from even debating this critically important issue. This agreement has profound implications for both our national security and the stability of our world, and the American people and their representatives in both houses of Congress should have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the debate and vote on this issue.
From developing a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIL to ensuring that Iran does not build or acquire a nuclear weapon, the importance of dynamic American leadership to our national security cannot be understated. We must remember the solemn lessons of September 11 and recognize the need to stand firm against the forces of evil that seek to destroy peace and prosperity in our world.
If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.
I met with Ernie Reed of Charlottesville.
Washington, DC - 125 Cannon HOB * Washington, DC 20515 * Phone: (202) 225-4711
Charlottesville - 686 Berkmar Circle * Charlottesville, VA 22901 * Phone: (434) 973-9631
Danville - 308 Craghead St., Suite 102-D * Danville, VA 24541 * Phone: (434) 791-2596
Farmville - 515 S. Main Street, P.O. Box O * Farmville, VA 23901 * Phone: (434) 395-0120