Congressman Suggests Obama ‘Signaled’ To Terrorists That It Was Okay To Capture Foley

Trent Franks
Rep. Trent Franks’ (R-AZ) | Screenshot

“Franks is just throwing red meat to his base of Obama-haters. This has nothing to do with logic, sense, or critical thinking skills.” ~ Comment section of TP

Think Progress

On Friday, a Republican congressman implied that the Obama administration’s decision to swap five Taliban officials for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl without notifying Congress in May emboldened terrorist organizations and may have contributed to the beheading of journalist James Foley.

Rep. Trent Franks’ (R-AZ) comments, delivered on Fox News, come a day after the Government Accountability Office concluded that Obama violated the law when he failed to give Congress 30 days notice that he had secured Bergdahl’s release in exchange for the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.

“[T]o somehow signal to terrorists that all they have to do to bring America to its knees is to kidnap one of our own, and hold them for ransom, it is a signal to the whole jihadist world, to go out and do it again and it is extremely dangerous,” Franks said, responding to the report. He added, “I don’t want to say anything politically to exacerbate the tragedy with the James Foley but I’m afraid James Foley is an example of that in his family and friends are feeling the tragedy more than anybody else could possibly imagine.” Foley, who had gone missing more than a year before Bergdahl was released, was beheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) earlier this week.

The Pentagon defended the transfer on Thursday, insisting the prisoner swap to recover Bergdahl was conducted lawfully after consultations with the Justice Department.

“The administration had a fleeting opportunity to protect the life of a U.S. service member held captive and in danger for almost five years,” said Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary. The Defense Department insists that the prisoner exchange was authorized under a section of the law that “allows transfers of Guantanamo prisoners if actions are being taken to reduce the risk that they will re-engage in hostile activity.” Under the terms of the agreement, the Taliban prisoners will remain in to Qatari custody for at least a year.

ISIS had demanded $100 million for Foley’s release but the United States refused, citing a longstanding policy of not negotiation with terrorists. This policy is what makes Frank’s comments all the more confused, as the Berghdal swap was the transfer of military prisoners, while Foley was a civilian hostage kidnapped while reporting in Syria. Earlier this week, the administration disclosed that it had launched a secret mission to attempt to rescue Foley and other American hostages, but they had been moved to another location.

Since August 8, the military has carried out at least 90 airstrikes against the organization and may soon expand its operations. During a press conference on Thursday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey characterized the ISIS threat as greater than anything America has faced in the past and admitted that the nation must do more to contain it. “We’re looking at all options,” Hagel said. Earlier this week, President Obama vowed that the United States “will continue to do what we must do to protect our people.” “We will be vigilant and we will be relentless,” he said.

But Franks rejected this policy on Friday. “I’m afraid we sent the message to the terrorists, again, that this president will vacillate and not do what is necessary in times of crisis,” he said. “It just brings a smell of fear to their nostrils and they are, are supercharged in this terrorist mindset and it is something that we have to get ahold of as a people.”


Michael Burgess: I Oppose Abortion Because Male Fetuses Masturbate

I promise you I’m not making this stuff up…

The Huffington Post

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) said Monday that abortion should be banned as early as 15 weeks after conception because he has witnessed male fetuses masturbate at that stage.

RH Reality Check first reported Burgess’ comments, which came during a late-night House Rules Committee hearing on a GOP bill that would ban abortions starting at 20 weeks after conception.

“This is a subject that I do know something about,” said Burgess, a former OB/GYN. “There is no question in my mind that a baby at 20 weeks after conception can feel pain. The fact of the matter is, I argue with the chairman because I thought the date was far too late. We should be setting this at 15 weeks, 16 weeks.”

“Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful,” Burgess continued. “They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain?”

The bill, called The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is scheduled for a House vote later Tuesday.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), the bill’s author, sparked outcry last week after saying heopposed an exception for rape victims in the bill because “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” Members of the House Rules Committee later, and quietly, added in exceptions to the bill for rape and incest victims. It’s unclear who was behind the change. A spokesperson for Franks did not return a request for comment.

Lawrence O’Donnell Heatedly Clashes With Trent Franks About Gun Control, Loughner (VIDEO)

Lawrence O’Donnell really hates it when a guest doesn’t give a straight answer…

Huffington Post

A furious Lawrence O’Donnell clashed with Arizona Republican Congressman Trent Franks on his Tuesday show about gun control and the Arizona shooting. O’Donnell was clearly incensed that Jared Loughner, the alleged shooter, was legally allowed to put so many bullets into the weapon he fired.

Franks gained wide attention when he said last week, “I wish there had been one more gun there that day in the hands of a responsible person.”

O’Donnell began the interview by asking Franks, “Congressman, don’t you wish Jared Loughner had a smaller capacity ammunition clip when he went to Gabby Giffords’ event in Tuscon?” Franks dodged the question, saying that “to focus on the clip is like saying…we’ll combat drunk driving by limiting the size of fuel tanks.”

O’Donnell asked Franks to imagine if the shooting had occurred in 2003, when, due to gun control laws then on the books, Loughner “would not have been allowed to get his hands on a magazine that held 30 bullets…and more citizens of Arizona would be alive today in your state.”

When Franks tried to make a different point, O’Donnell began to shout. “So, you’re not going to answer that question about the magazine?” he said. “Will you answer the question about the magazine?” Franks started to say that the individual, not the gun, should be blamed for the tragedy.

“I blame the individual for the first 10 bullets,” O’Donnell yelled. “I blame the law for the next 21 bullets that he fired.”


Rep. Trent Franks tries to bury his own right wing vitrolic behavior on CNN

Congressional Portrait of Trent Franks (R-AZ)
Image via Wikipedia

Crooks & Liars

Rep Trent Franks of Arizona made the rounds on the Sunday talk show circuit today and he did his best to make believe he’s really a very civil guy. The right is frantically trying to silence the criticism of the over the top rhetoric and violent activities during president Obama’s brief time in office that has emanated from the RWNM. I watched him on Meet the Press and then CNN. He certainly wasn’t too happy with Sheriff Dupnik’s comments about the hate that has filled our country and he cited Arizona as being the ‘Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.’

Dupnik: “When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government,” he said. “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

Crowley: Wow, the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.

Franks: Even in these circumstance, first of all I think our focus should be upon the tragedy that occurred here and I think it’s unfortunate to inject the comments that the Sheriff did in this case because he has been heavily involved in the whole immigration issue and he found himself in this case at ends even different than Miss Giffords. And I think that he’s carrying on that debate even in this tragic moment and I think it’s unfortunate.

Crowley: Probably should say that you all have been personally affected by this and that sometimes you say things you might not want to. The point being that there is now going to be this conversation about “why?” And right now we are seeing “the political conversation is terrible, it is heated rhetoric, we are seeing unhinged people to do things.” Do you see a link between increased sharp rhetoric, sometimes aggressive rhetoric, violent rhetoric, whatever you want to call it, in the political forum and this type of heinous activity.

Frank: Sometimes in any human dynamic there are so many factors that it becomes difficult to really analyze it. But sometimes you can see a central element, and that central element is this unhinged lunatic that had no respect for human life was willing to make some grand statement, I don’t know if he even knows what grand statement he was willing to make to take the lives of his fellow human lives to do it. And there is the problem, a lack of respect for innocent human life. It’s a lack of respect for the constitution, for freedom.     More…

Related Articles