Editor’s Note: This is the second in WND’s planned series of one-on-one interviews with each candidate for the office of president. Today U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo warns that the United States must find something – anything – that is a deterrent to another 9/11.
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo
The United States must find something – anything – that will be a deterrent to terrorists, or face another 9/11 that could be nuclear, according to U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.
Tancredo told WND in an exclusive question-and-answer session he would be happy to back off his controversial remarks about threatening Islamic holy sites – if someone would offer an alternative.
“I believe that unless you can think of a deterrent the threat will become a reality,” he said, and he believes the threat of another attack on U.S. citizens and on U.S. soil “is real.”
“You have to deal with this reality,” he said.
“Know what I’m going to tell you is controversial, but again if somebody can show me an alternative to what I’m going to tell you, then I’m happy to listen. But right now, there is no deterrent to the commission of that crime,” he said.
“That act of terror. There is no negative consequence to the perpetrator. His death is not a consequence, from his, or her, position, point of view. What possibly can deter them, if it is not some threat to take some action that would threaten [what] their belief system tells them?”
The attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, killed nearly 3,000 innocent people aboard the hijacked jets and in the New York and Washington buildings struck. The killers committed suicide in order to carry out the attack.
As WND reported, Tancredo earlier suggested one deterrent would be to bomb Mecca, if it was determined that such an attack was the result of “extremist, fundamentalist Muslims.”
His words, exactly, were: “You could take out their holy sites.”
Tancredo told WND that certainly was controversial, and “everybody went ballistic.”
“If that isn’t a deterrent, fine. I’m more that willing to listen to anyone who tells me what a deterrent will be,” he said. “Because you’d better find one. That’s my point, You better find a deterrent, because if you don’t have one, I guarantee you, you will have the event.”
He said the key is coming up with something that will get the terrorists’ attention.
“What I mean by that is this: people who are committed to conducting an act of terror on the United States, and I mean something huge, nuclear devices going off in this country. If they’re driven by religious principles, if they’re modus operandi, their purpose, their raison d’etre, is to do what they believe their god is telling them, how do you deal with that without reacting to it from a standpoint of a religious response?” he said.
The problem, so far, is that nobody has generated a deterrent.
“There’s nothing. Nobody has suggested a deterrent. What we do is try and stop them before they do it. Well, thank God we have been able to do so. But do you want to bet your life, your children’s lives on the fact that we always will be able to do so, we always will be one step ahead of them. I’m not willing to bet mine on that, and so I’ve got to figure out, and any president has to figure out, what is the deterrent.”
On other issues, Tancredo said he believes the problem with porous borders in so significant that it affects, schools, prisons, the economy and even the ecology of the United States.
“And then what happens in terms of the quality of life when we go to a nation of half a billion people here by the mid-century, all, by the way, immigration-related. The porous borders, what does that mean for national security? How can you not talk about immigration and porous borders and border security if you want to discuss the issue of national security?” he said.
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