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Mr. GOHMERT. We had a bill we took up the last vote of the day before we are out for October, and it was strange because this bill got rushed to the floor. I can't find anybody on our side of the aisle who had any idea this was coming until yesterday afternoon.
It is interesting, though. It is titled Fairness for 9/11 Families Act, and it makes $2.982, right at $3 billion, available for 9/11 families.
There has been a lot of money provided in the past, but it is interesting because just last week, I was talking about this article from September 12 by Daniel Greenfield about what the Biden administration was doing in battling against 9/11 victims' families in court.
There was $7 billion of Afghanistan assets, bank funds, liquid money funds in the bank in America that were frozen after 9/11 when we found out who was responsible.
The 9/11 victims' families sued, and they had gotten a judgment against the Taliban, al-Qaida, and Iran for $6 billion.
As this article points out, White House Democrats have a history of fighting against terror victims who are suing Islamic terrorists.
The Obama administration battled American terror victims suing the PLO. In 2015, after they won a $218 million judgment against the terror group, Blinken, then only a Deputy Secretary of State, intervened, claiming that the lawsuit threatened ``several decades of U.S. foreign policy.'' In other words, he took up for the terrorists against the victims' families.
The article points out that now the Biden administration is fighting 9/11 victims on behalf of the Taliban. At stake are billions of dollars being held by the Afghan central bank fund in the United States.
Further down, it points out that since Afghanistan has assets in this country, the United States, including $7 billion in bank funds, it is now entirely possible for the victims to collect that money.
Biden officially announced that he was splitting the $7 billion between the families of the victims and a trust fund to provide ``humanitarian aid'' for the people of Afghanistan.
For those who don't understand international relationships, when the Biden administration says it is for humanitarian aid, what it means is they have to give that money to the Taliban and trust the people who have lied and killed Americans and killed 13 Americans on the very day that the Biden administration had that ridiculous, hasty retreat. You are going to trust them? Are you kidding me? It is just so outrageous.
The article points out that $3.5 billion was placed in a separate trust that would be separate and distinct from around $800 million the Biden administration has already spent on aid to Afghanistan.
It wasn't enough that this administration left $85 billion worth of military equipment that they could use to attack us later, but they have been sending millions of dollars over there, like that is going to really go to help the people.
The article points out that what Biden actually did was take money off the table for the 9/11 victims, and it got worse. On the same day as Biden's executive order reserving $3.5 billion for the terrorists, his Justice Department filed a statement of interest in court arguing that the judgment for the victims of terrorism here in the United States was too large and that actually turning over the money to those victims in America would interfere with the Biden administration's foreign policy in Afghanistan, like we have a foreign policy in Afghanistan. Who believes that?
This administration tucked tail and ran, and ran so fast, it exposed our military, our people, our allies to death. Policy in Afghanistan, for heaven's sake.
The article points out that now a magistrate judge has repeated back much of the Department of Justice's arguments and ruled for the Biden administration that the 9/11 families who were laying claim to the other half of the $7 billion, that $3.5 billion, were not entitled to it.
If it weren't for the Biden administration going to court and fighting against the 9/11 victims' families, there would have been $3.5 billion, and this is not just some speculation. That is money in the bank. This is liquidity. This is money that is there.
The Biden administration has been fighting them in court to keep them from getting that $3.5 billion with a b that the Biden administration wants to give to the Taliban for ``humanitarian aid.''
Now, the Taliban is more likely to torture and kill, as they have done, anybody who was our ally than provide true humanitarian aid. To them, humanitarian aid is treating women like property, preventing them from having an education, which was improving, and killing those with whom they disagree. It is just tragic.
If there is any doubt about who would get the money, the deputy governor of the bank that this will go through is a Taliban leader who we have listed specifically as a global terrorist. That is who the Biden administration wants to help.
It shouldn't have been a surprise. I talked about this here on the House floor last week, that the Biden administration was fighting our own 9/11 victims, trying to keep them from getting reimbursement from the terrorists.
So, what happens? The last thing, here we come, running in here. Oh, we don't want the 9/11 families too mad at us. Let's take $3 billion that American taxpayers have paid and give that to the 9/11 victims instead of the $3.5 billion that belongs to the Taliban, we are told, by this administration.
Well, I think most Americans, if they knew that this had gone on, would say this is crazy. Do you actually want to give the people responsible for killing 3,000 Americans $3.5 billion so that you can take taxpayer money from Americans and give that for the damages that the terrorists did?
That makes no sense, but it does explain why the last bill for the next month and a half was $3 billion of taxpayers' money that the Biden administration wants to use instead of the $3.5 billion that they say they need to send to the terrorists, the Taliban, in Afghanistan.
It was bad enough that this administration deserted our allies in Afghanistan and left them to be massacred by the evil within the Taliban, but now they want to give the terrorists even more money?
I mean, at least you would have thought somebody in this administration would have said: Do you know what? We left them $85 billion of military equipment. I think they can get $3 billion out of that.
That would pay the victims of 9/11. But this administration--$85 billion of equipment they left with them--has added $800 million of American taxpayer dollars sent over there to the Taliban for humanitarian aid. Now, they want to give $3 billion more of taxpayer money, instead of terrorist money, to 9/11 victims?
I think there were 30 or so Republicans who voted against this. Anybody who tries to say they don't care about 9/11 victims is a liar because they do, and that is why we have appropriated billions of dollars for them.
But in this case today, I can't help but think if everyone on both sides of the aisle--well, I know some would have known. If they had known there was $3.5 billion from the terrorists' own money in our banks that we could give to the 9/11 victims, then they would say that is probably a better idea than taking it from American taxpayers. That is outrageous.
Now, shifting to what is going on in our Department of Justice. We have been seeing these tactics that have been coming for some years, and people know that there was some corruption within J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. People should have gone to prison within the DOJ for what they did to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to the point not only did they harass him, spy on him illegally, but even send him messages that he needed to kill himself.
We know it has been bad in the past, but most of us felt like there have been great strides forward to the point that in the 1980s and 1990s, if you asked people around the world, they would say the FBI is probably the greatest law enforcement entity in the world.
That is not the case anymore. Some of the first people that will tell you that are people working for the FBI, but they have to be very careful. I have heard from FBI agents, former FBI agents, people that have been around awhile, one of them said, you remember the way it used to be? The FBI was a class organization.
We knew if there was a defendant who was nonviolent that--and I remember this happening before I went on the bench as a judge, and then during my years on the bench as a district judge. I knew of cases, where the FBI knew they were nonviolent, white-collar crimes, and even though they were very, very serious felonies, they would call the guy's lawyer, and say, you need to show up at the jail at this time, you have been indicted or you will be indicted. They knew they would show up because otherwise they might come knock down the door. That was not what they did. That was not their practice. They believed in civility and humanity.
I have been thinking about the intimidation tactics that have been used by the FBI, and it was for no other reason but intimidation. I think Merrick Garland, through some of the things he and Christopher Wray have said, they made it clear, they are out to intimidate conservatives, and they have done a good job.
Many are afraid to speak up about the improprieties that are going on within the FBI and the DOJ, even to the point that the head of the Department of Justice, the Attorney General himself, who was nominated for the Supreme Court--thank you, God, that he is not there--but he is in a place he can do a lot of damage to people's rights, and he has. He issued an order that DOJ and FBI, they were not to speak to a Member of Congress or the Senate without going through the FBI.
I have heard from people that have complained about what is going on in DOJ and FBI. They have talked about how Christopher Wray has talked repeatedly using this line, protect the brand. Protect the brand.
From the things that he would say, they tell me, he made it clear, we are not asking you to be honest and truthful. We are asking you, when you find something that is criminal or a wrongdoing within the FBI, don't tell anybody, just pass it up the chain of command. Let's keep it inhouse because if people find out about corruption inside the FBI or the DOJ, then it hurts our brand.
Christopher Wray and Merrick Garland apparently don't understand the damage that they have done to the brand of the FBI and the DOJ.
The Attorney General knows the Constitution and knows this body's right of oversight and knows that everybody inside and outside the Department of Justice has a constitutional right to talk to their Member of Congress without going through Merrick Garland's screeners. Yet, he orders that they don't have the constitutional rights they have got because he thinks his orders take precedence over the U.S. Constitution.
Why wouldn't he think that? They have been giving orders that take precedence over the Constitution.
I have been thinking, there is so much in the way of intimidation tactics being utilized by the FBI and the DOJ, that is exactly what the tactics were of a group that people understood they were all about intimidation. We hear comparisons, people say, oh, Donald Trump is like Hitler.
He wants more participation. He wants to have more rights back in the States. He wants to spread out the power of the government.
And that the left thinks is like Hitler?
No, that is not.
When you have a so-called Justice Department that is using the exact same tactics as the gestapo--you need to understand your Republic, a democratic Republic as it is often referred to, because we elect Representatives and then have Representatives represent us. They are servants of the people. So it is a Republic, democratically elected, it is in jeopardy. And ours is in jeopardy when the DOJ gets this powerful.
Now, there were some that were extremely upset about what happened on 9/11, like all Americans were, but they were concerned about what they saw as infringements on liberty within a month after 9/11. They have been talking about those for years now.
It has really come into focus in recent days as the FBI has knocked down doors, leaked information to media so that they are there to film people when they drag them out in their underwear. In some cases, not even giving them a chance to put on clothes.
Contrast that to the same treatment they would have gotten back in the 1980s or 1990s of telling them they need to report to the jail on a certain day and a certain time. I don't use the term ``gestapo'' lightly.
And why is our Justice Department feeling like they got to be like the gestapo?
I greatly admired the FBI when I saw the way they worked in the 1980s and 1990s. They were so professional.
Then along came Mueller in 2001 as the new director of the FBI. He started a policy that allowed the FBI to run off thousands and thousands and thousands of years of experience because he wanted nothing but young, yes-people working at the FBI.
So over the years, those people that would have said, excuse me, I know you think that is a good idea, but let me tell you what happened when we tried that before, or let me tell you where that is going and why it is not a good idea. They didn't want those people there.
If they wanted to go after a candidate like Donald Trump, they wanted people around them that would say, okay, here is how we can do it. We can do this secretly and we can do this and that. If it violates the Constitution, we don't care. We need an insurance policy to keep Trump from getting elected. If he gets elected, we need to violate more rights and we need to have people working for the Justice Department that will lie in an affidavit.
I am telling you, that is why when I saw the lack of response, or appropriate response from the FISA court, when they found out that the FBI and the DOJ lied to them, and then kept filing for a warrant every 90 days, basing it back on a lie, those FISA judges should have been outraged. The Chief Justice across the street on our Supreme Court should have been outraged. They weren't. They really didn't do anything.
The State district judges I know and the former Federal district judges I practiced in front of trying cases, I couldn't imagine them not calling a lawyer in and finding them in contempt because it was done in their presence and sending them to jail for 6 months before any criminal prosecution even took place, and then demanding that there be a criminal prosecution. That didn't happen.
So it tells you something about the FISA courts. We learned, I believe it was 2007, that the National Security Letters that give the FBI the ability to just send a letter like a warrant saying, produce all the records you have on this individual, that individual. And, by the way, it is a Federal felony if you tell anybody that you got this letter.
The IG did an inspection and ultimately said, oh, there are probably 3,000 or so National Security Letters that were sent out by the FBI when there was no case, there was no probable cause, they were just doing fishing expeditions. That is unconstitutional. We would have hoped that that got cleaned up, but we had an FBI director named Mueller that kept adding to the problems.
Instead of punishing the FBI agent that fabricated a case against Ted Stevens, a Republican Senator, the one that brought forward the fraud by the FBI, he gets run out of the FBI. The one that was involved in the fraud got a promotion and got a better job. So that tells you even back not long after Mueller took over at the FBI, he was involved in intimidation.
Really, I felt that ever since--we know that William Jefferson was a criminal, committed a crime, and was punished as he should have been. But when the FBI under Mueller made it clear--this is intimidation to Congress--you better not mess with me or counter me or have legitimate oversight over what I am doing, or I may just come search your office. Well, they did. It had never been done before that.
It was all about Members of Congress concerned about what was happening at the FBI, the abuses of our Constitution. So he shoves it right back in our face. It is intimidation. These are gestapo-type tactics.
There was an article that was written in the ``Eurasia Review'' back on September 1 of this year, and it expressed the concern I have. It is titled ``The FBI's Gestapo Tactics: Hallmarks of an Authoritarian Regime.''
It talks about, ``With every passing day, the United States Government borrows yet another leaf from Nazi Germany's playbook: Secret police. Secret courts.''
We have FISA, and I am fine if we get rid of them. We had national secrets that were kept before FISA. But the abuses and the lack of concern about the abuses by the judges tell me we need to get rid of them.
It says, ``Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Censorship. Intimidation. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption.''
Look, if that power is there and the Republicans take over and put staunch conservatives in there, you know, we still would need very, very stringent oversight, so that nobody did that to the Democrats because when it happens to one side it should concern everybody.
I got really upset when I found out about the abuses of the National Security Letters, and that was under the Bush administration. I was calling it out. I was angry about it. And I am not hearing any Democrats concerned about the abuses of the Constitution that have gone on. The intimidation, borrowing pages directly from the gestapo.
This is how you intimidate people. This is very serious, and I don't have time to go into all of this. It is a good article from the Eurasia Review, but it goes and documents what the Gestapo did and what the FBI is doing, and it is scary.
I hope that if Democrats are not willing to address this issue now then, surely, they will be when we have a Republican administration because the abuse needs to stop.
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