Frank Gaffney: What do you make of what the president has cooked up with Iran, and its implications for the strategic interests of this country?
Rep. Mike Rogers: I can’t imagine what the president was thinking as far as his motivation, other then he wants to see the world disarm and he thinks if we lead the way and make it easier for others to run over us it will happen. I can’t make anything else out of it, because this deal with Iran does nothing for us. It’s wonderful for them, but they didn’t stop doing anything that was going to in any way inhibit their ability to go ahead and get an ICBM that they can then cap with a warhead. I don’t know what he was thinking but he sure did give them a breath of fresh air by letting them have their money back and some investors for their new auto industry.
FG: What do you expect, if anything, the Congress might do about this? There’s lots of talk about adding sanctions even though the Iranians say that’s a deal killer, and the administration feels the same way. Is that in prospect as a realistic possibility?
MR: I think it’s very realistic. We were already working with our Senate counterparts to push toward some statutory sanctions, and there’s been a good bit of movement on it because in the Congress we saw the president move in this direction. We didn’t think it would be this bad of a deal, but we saw him trying to do something on his own before we blocked him. But I do think on a bipartisan fashion you’re going to see a sanctions package come in the not-too distant future. But it won’t un-rein the bill here. As you just mentioned, Iran’s already gotten their eight billion dollars, and you can bet that the Chinese and Europeans are rushing in to invest into their auto industry. So even if this deal falls apart in six to eight weeks, which is what I think will happen, I don’t think they’re going to actually let inspectors see anything. They got the reinforcements they needed financially, and it doesn’t matter then if it falls apart then or not. But I do think we will come with some statutory sanctions that will tie the president’s hands from making another idiotic deal like this again.
FG: You called attention in a letter that you sent over to the administration to deep concerns you have about an idea that the State Department apparently has cooked up to help the Russians build some electronic facilities across the United States. Tell us what that’s about and what kind of response you got to the concerns you’ve raised.
MR: The naivete of the administration never ceases to amaze me. You would think after they took Edward Snowden in and gave him sanctuary for his treasonous disclosure of information, and you’d think after Vladimir Putin tells the president “no, thanks” on any talks beyond New START–and frankly he’s not even adhering to New START yet–that the president would get it that they have no intention of disarming or being our friends. The State Department has proposed allowing the Soviets to put equipment in our country to help their version of GPS monitor better. And my question is “why in the world would we want to do that?” It would be a competitor to GPS. We know that the Russians have Edward Snowden and they’ve been spying on us, and for all we know this equipment will help them in that endeavor. I just want someone to explain to me why it’s in our interest to allow the Russians, who are our acknowledged enemies to anybody who’s paying attention, to come in here and set up basically spying equipment, because that’s what I’m afraid it would be. And even if it wasn’t, even if on its face it was correct and it was just to help their GPS systems, they’re still going to compete with ours. Why would we want to help our competitors? It just doesn’t make sense to me other then the president’s wanting to hug them and act like they’re our friends, and they’re not.
FG: We learned recently that the administration is evidently determined, despite explicit promises it made in the context of that new START treaty you spoke of a moment ago, to begin taking down what’s left of America’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Force, the ICBM land based leg of the Triad. What’s up with that, and do you think that is going to in fact eventuate?
MR: Well, if you hadn’t noticed lately, the president’s known to kill misrepresentations.
FG: (laughing) It has come to my attention, sir.
MR: If you like your insurance you can keep your health insurance, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Well, this is another one of those examples. He wanted the New START Treaty through, come hell or high water, and he told people what they wanted to hear, whether he meant it or not. The good news is the overwhelming majority in the Congress is completely opposed to this, and I don’t see him getting anywhere…This is not going to happen, and I’m just amazed at the gall of them trying to do something that they explicitly said they would not do.
Photograph: Vahid Salemi/AP
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