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Revent of the Taliban: Part 2

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
March 17, 2022 3:00 pm

Revent of the Taliban: Part 2

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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Today on Sekulow, the Ravage of the Taliban. Keeping you informed and engaged, now more than ever, this is Sekulow. We want to hear from you.

Share and post your comments or call 1-800-684-3110. And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. Hey, welcome to Sekulow. Folks, we've got a special broadcast for you today. We started documenting the Afghan withdrawal and what became a disastrous withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan resulting in the loss of life, of course, of our U.S. troops, but also a horrendous catastrophe inside Afghanistan that continues on to this day, the persecution of religious minorities like Christians but also the treatment of women.

We know that because of the Taliban takeover, the way it was handled, the fall of Kabul happening in 48 hours rather than 90 days, the fleeing of the Afghan government, the Afghan military in a sense giving up arms as they were unwilling or just unable to fight the Taliban and everything that came with it. So my brother Logan has been sitting down with a lot of unique individuals with different points of view. So you're going to see a little mix of this today, Logan, because this is available for people to watch in long format. What we're trying to show them today is a mix of who was there.

It's people like Mike Pompeo and Rick Rinnell who people are used to on our broadcast, but also Tulsi Gabbard, Mike Waltz, John Ashcroft, so people that were there from the very beginning of this conflict to Nikki Haley. Yeah, it was a really fascinating thing to do. We sat down and interviewed these people.

Originally, it was done. We thought we were going to make a 90-minute documentary. It ended up being a over four-hour series that we released, and we did it in real time.

So we were doing it as the conflict was unfolding. So to me, it was a fascinating time to get people's raw emotions, and it is available right now for the first time ever in its totality on YouTube. And every episode will be released. The entire series of this limited series will be released by the end of this week. So we've been rolling them out one a day, and it's a 10-episode. Again, most of the interviews are between 25 to 35 minutes that you can sit down and watch, sort of in podcast form.

I'd say in some ways they're mostly interview, though there is music and incredible score, and there's B-roll, so you get a little bit more engagement. But I hope people will like it. As you said, there's even people that you're going to agree with or you're going to disagree with, and that was intentional. We wanted to get people's point of views from a bit of our realm and then a bit outside of our realm. So you'll have a conflicting version of what should happen maybe from a Tulsi Gabbard than you would from a Mike Waltz. You have two different veterans, both with great careers in the military, but both with two different ways on how we can proceed in Afghanistan.

And of course, a lot of this was done in August, September, October of last year. So again, it feels very real, feels very raw for our team, for Rick Grenell, for Mike Pompeo, and then you said John Ashcroft, who was there since the beginning. And then you even have Wes Smith, who is one of our people here on our panel, but he created at Dover the dignified transfer, essentially where the bodies are transferred.

If you're fallen in warfare, if you're fallen, you're brought over in this whole situation. He explains how that entire project was created and how running that was obviously an incredible emotional experience. So really great insight, very interesting. And like you said, it's available on our YouTube channel.

Yeah. So people get it's on our YouTube channel. That's youtube.com slash official ACLJ shows the production that we do in this longer format, longer discussion that you can even do. And we always talk about radio, how we can have a longer discussion than cable news. This is a longer discussion that we could even do on our broadcasting.

That was one individual uninterrupted and talking tech. I mean, you're going to people who were there in the White House from the day that war began from people who were fighting in that war. People were dealing with the bodies coming back from the war, American soldiers, and who were still active duty, who were representing the US at the UN. I mean, this again, you're going to do you see it from so many angles.

And we now know this was foreshadowing some pretty disastrous international policy, foreign policy and military decisions by the Biden administration. So we're living with right now as we speak, but I encourage you as you see this special broadcast today to support the work of the ACLJ. This shows more of our breath, more of what we're able to put together and the people we have access to support our work at ACLJ.org double the impact of your donation this entire month of March. We have a group of donors. They'll match every donation that comes in through the month of March. So $20 donations like 40, 50 is like 100 at ACLJ.org. Donate today if you're financially able to at ACLJ.org.

We'll be right back. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith. I'm covering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress. The ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. Our own intelligence community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse. That is not true. The first big city to fall was Kunduz. One after another, Afghanistan's biggest cities outside of Kabul were captured, Herat to the west. Terrorists in Kabul carrying out the deadliest attack on U.S. troops in over a decade. Afghanistan is lost.

Move it! Freedom came under attack. On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes.

At my direction, a small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage. They killed Osama bin Laden. Al-Baghdadi is dead. It's time to end America's longest war.

We'll do it responsibly. Rushing to the airport, behind them, the sound of gunfire. Deliberately, countless Afghans who helped American troops were left behind and safely.

Afghans by the thousands desperate to escape life under the Taliban. Today I'm joined by Congressman Mike Waltz of Florida. Representative Waltz has dedicated his life to this nation, graduating from the Virginia Military Institute and having served over 24 years in the U.S. Army. As an elite Green Beret, Waltz served in the special forces all over the world. He was awarded four bronze stars and two with valor. He currently holds the rank of colonel in the National Guard.

In addition to representing his home state of Florida, he has served as a counter-terrorism policy advisor to the White House and the Pentagon. Representative Waltz has experienced Afghanistan and the ferocity of the Taliban firsthand. It's an honor to speak with this distinguished American hero. September 7th, we're here with Congressman Mike Waltz from Florida, the first Green Beret to serve in Congress.

A guy with a wealth of knowledge of what's happening because, Congressman, unlike a lot of people who are on TV talking about this, you were there, you've been to Afghanistan multiple times. I want to get your feelings in general, what's happening, because we are just, when we're recording this, a lot of people are seeing this, they could be seeing this 10 years from now. Emotions are hot, people are motivated right now, and I wanted to capture this moment because you look back at our lifetime, a nation very much united after 9-11, I feel like that was that moment we all kind of remember where people got behind President Bush. And at least from that moment, 9 months out of the beginning of his presidency, September 11th happened, about 8 months, 9 months from the Biden presidency, this happens, you almost have a uniting on a different way, because Americans are compassionate people, we see what's happening visually, and we're concerned. But how do you feel, as someone who's representing an area of Florida that I love greatly, how do you feel that people are, are people uniting under what's going on in Afghanistan?

Are we seeing more political division? Well, you know, I can speak for a lot of veterans, and myself included, that we're somewhere on a spectrum between rage and grief at any given moment as we've gone through this the last several months. And, you know, not only have I spent time on the ground as a Special Forces officer, I also had to lead the search for that traitor, Bo Bergdahl, and know for sure that good soldiers died looking for him, and now to see four out of the five of the terrorists that were traded for him, now back in charge of what is going to very quickly become a terrorist state, again, puts me somewhere between rage and grief. But I think, you know, taking a step back, we have to pause for a moment to really appreciate what a disaster this truly is, on multiple levels, in ways that I don't think we're going to fully know for some time to come. But it is certainly a disaster from a humanitarian standpoint, whether they're ethnic minorities or women or so many of our allies, journalists, civil society leaders who stood for freedom and stood with us and stood with America against extremism and against Islamic autocracies. It's a disaster from a credibility standpoint.

You know, who in the heck in the world would sign up for Team USA right now and put their life on the line and their whole family's lives on the line? But you can imagine what people in Taiwan are thinking or in Ukraine are thinking, you know, and the Chinese, the Russians and all of our adversaries are being very clear right now, America won't stand with you. And I just talked to an ambassador from the Middle East who said, look, the message around the world is that jihad is won and democracy is lost.

And that is going to put their recruiting on steroids. And then finally, you know, it's a disaster from a counterterrorism standpoint. We are now far less safe. We're in a worse position than we were in 2001. This is going to be a repeat of when we yanked out of Iraq recklessly under the same team, the Obama Biden team that led to an ISIS caliphate that launched attacks on the world. But we're going to have a far worse situation when our military has to go back and deal with it.

So across the board, unmitigated disaster. You brought up that you were leading the team in the search for Pope or Dog, which I think a lot of people forget about a lot of these big moments that have happened over the last 20 years. But what you're saying is very clear that that's a moment we all kind of look back at. And you were there, what was that like as someone serving, knowing there were already these kind of massive, you don't want to say missteps, but misguided moments that were happening on the war on terror. We're not talking about just a month ago now or two weeks ago. You're talking about a decade plus ago at this point. What was that like as someone firsthand having to deal with that?

I can't imagine. Yeah, it was 2009, the day I took command of the border region, the special operations in the border region, Bergdahl deserted. So not only have I been on the ground, but I've worked this from the White House. I was Vice President Cheney's counterterrorism advisor, worked it out in the Pentagon. And as a reservist, I was mobilized.

I was literally leaving the White House and going out and thought, you know, I've got the strategy and now we're going to execute it. And that all got I mean, the chessboard just got kicked over by one soldier because we devoted everything to find him because we knew he'd be such a propaganda victory for the other side. We also knew at the time that he had stacked up his gear, left his weapon behind, sent emails denouncing America to his father and deserted and some even would argue defected and was actively working with the Taliban until they turned on him. So we knew all of that. But yet we stopped at everything to go get him.

Why? Because we don't leave an American behind, even a deserter. And obviously we didn't get him. But to fast forward and then see him being celebrated as a hero in the Rose Garden, to see Susan Rice pounding the table that he served with honor and distinction was just a slap in the face then. And it now see the Guantanamo. I mean, these are the Taliban's top draft picks that the Obama Biden administration traded for him to now see them in charge of what is going to be a terrorist mega state with Al Qaeda that is going to come roaring back from people that we had in Guantanamo and they gave away. It's a slap in the face. It's a slap in the face to every veteran who suffered and gave blood and treasure to put people like that away.

Absolutely. We mentioned, you know, even with deserters, no one was left behind. It was a promise now that feels a little ironic, you know, when a couple weeks ago we had the same kind of verbiage coming out. No American that wants to get out of Afghanistan is going to be left behind. How do we justify that when we know that there are plenty of citizens that are still there and are still having these issues getting out? Well, you know, there's two things, at least to me, that are just fundamentally un-American here. One, we don't leave people behind and two, we don't let terrorists dictate the terms for when we go get our people.

Republican and Democrat members of Congress who were veterans began pounding the table in April. As soon as he made this decision, we said, you cannot pull all of our military assets before you get our people out. And they did exactly that and shut down our bases. We should have been going out and getting Americans, not sending them emails, which you're hearing from Tony Blinken, Jen Psaki and others. Well, we notified Americans 19 times. Well, when you send an email saying, well, good luck, get through Taliban lines to Kabul and if you do, then America will get you out, that's unacceptable. And then the other piece, at the same time they were notifying everybody to leave, half of their other officials were saying in the same breath that everything's going to be fine.

So it was confusing. The administration did nothing to actively go get Americans and bring them to safety. Fortunately, thank God, so many veterans organizations sprung up in a grassroots-like fashion to take charge where this administration failed to leave. My own congressional office and so many others turned into operation centers with our staff on Nightwatch and literally guiding people through Taliban checkpoints.

It's just a mix of incompetence, I think, frankly heartless apathy and naivety. Folks, let me take a minute of your time here because this is a really critical month for the ACLJ. When we launch in the new year, this first month of March, it's a matching challenge month. It's when you hear us more often, we don't do it a lot on our broadcasts, but these months it is important because the ACLJ, of course, is a 501c3 organization. We exist because of your financial support. This broadcast, all of our attorneys, all the cases, all the work we do here in the United States and around the world, including our work in Israel, our work in the Middle East, our work on behalf of persecuted Christians, be part of our matching challenge at ACLJ.org today.

Music Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress. The ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. I have the honor of speaking with former Congresswoman, Presidential candidate, and current lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard represented her home state of Hawaii for eight years on the Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, and Homeland Security committees. Representative Gabbard began her life of public service at the age of 21 with a successful run for the Hawaii state legislature. Two years later, she declined to run again, choosing to volunteer for military service in Iraq. As a soldier, she served tours in Kuwait, in Iraq, and remains active in the U.S. Army Reserves, working as a civil affairs officer, and just recently returned from a deployment to Africa on a special forces mission to track down Al Qaeda-affiliated jihadists. We are joined today by Tulsi Gabbard, who is beyond many things a war veteran with deployments to the Middle East and Africa, and presently serves as lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, which I think a lot of people don't maybe know that you're actively involved, and maybe they found out in the last few weeks because of some of your social media posts of what you've been up to.

We'll get to that for sure. You continue, though, to serve our country. You voiced your support for the withdrawal in Afghanistan, something that I think a lot of people did was 80% of the country said they were for the withdrawal in Afghanistan, but you've also voiced your disapproval with the way things went in Afghanistan, the withdrawal. So, I just wanted to get your thoughts on, let's just start there, I guess, what went wrong from your point of view as not only someone who's served in the military, but also served in politics. Well, thank you, Logan.

It's great to talk to you. In order to answer that question about what went wrong, I think it's important to really take a step back because we're talking about something that has been going on here for the last 20 years in Afghanistan that was really instigated, that began with the Islamist jihadist attack and declaration of war against our country on 9-11. Like so many people, that day changed my life, and it's really what was the determining factor for me personally to make a decision to enlist in the military, to take on this commitment with my life, to defeat those who threatened our country, to defend the American people against this Islamist jihadist threat.

Now, this is a commitment that I've never forgotten. This is an enemy that continues to wage war against us today. But unfortunately, when we look to the leaders of our country, initially we went to Afghanistan, our special operations forces were sent there to go after and defeat al-Qaeda, which they did effectively and decisively and quickly. Instead of staying focused on that mission of both militarily and ideologically defeating this Islamist jihadist threat and terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and so on, our leaders got distracted. And they set us on this other path towards overthrowing secular dictators and follow on nation-building missions. And we've seen this in Iraq, we've seen this in Libya, we've seen this in Syria, and we've seen this happen over successive Democrat and Republican administrations. Now, this has come at a great cost to us, the American people. The results and the consequences of this is al-Qaeda is stronger today than they were before they attacked us on 9-11. We've seen countless lives lost, American lives and the lives of people in these countries, trillions of American taxpayer dollars spent. We've seen how Christians and religious minorities in many of these countries who were previously protected have either been killed or driven out because of this Islamist jihadist threat.

And the list goes on and on. What we've seen play out in Afghanistan recently is the latest consequence of failed leadership. As someone who was involved in the war, and really we brought this up with a lot of our guests, but for you and for me, we were roughly similar age. We were brought up with 9-11 really as sort of the backdrop to our young adulthood.

It was, like you said, it's what motivated you to serve. And you brought up the fact that you're not so sure we're in a better place now. And I think that's hard for people to hear. I think that's hard for people who lived through 20 years of this war, who again, for people of our generation, it's a very stark moment of what happened before that, the nostalgia in the 90s, and then now post 9-11 to say, well, was any of this worth it? If you're here saying you don't think necessarily we're in a better place, is that something that can be even changed then? And I know that's a little off topic, but I'm just curious your thoughts on that.

It just struck me as something that's a bit hard to deal with as the normal American. Of course, it has to change. It has to change. And it changes with leadership. It changes with the kind of leaders who respect and trust the American people, who are honest with the American people, and who most importantly put the interests of the American people in our country first.

Put country before party, put service above self. And unfortunately, over time, this is something that we have not seen happen for a whole host of reasons. But ultimately, coming down to that basic reality, whether it's partisan politics, desire for power, or continuing to wage these wars that are counterproductive, that do not make us more safe to serve the interests of the military-industrial complex, or because you have leaders who are not willing to admit, hey, we were wrong.

We screwed up. And we're going to get us back on track as a country. Ultimately, what it comes down to is having that kind of leadership that the American people and our servicemen and women deserve. And you bring up partisan politics.

I think that has become a major issue. You have seen some uniting in a weird way against some of the imagery we've seen in Afghanistan. The American people are compassionate people.

You've brought this up. I've discussed this as well, which is beyond Republican, Democrat, red or blue. There is a want to unite. But this time, unlike after 9-11, where people like you decide you're going to serve, there was almost a uniting, even from the conservative news and from the liberal news, from red and blue media, if you will, saying the images coming out of Afghanistan and this horrifying ending is something we can't live with as a society. As you said, Logan, I and so many others understood that this withdrawal from Afghanistan needed to happen.

Frankly, it should have happened a long time ago. We should never have embarked on this attempt to build a mini America in Afghanistan. That effort was destined to fail from the outset. However, the way that this withdrawal was carried out was an abject failure and a tragic, tragic disaster.

And that's really the case here in understanding that there's a few different things that we're looking at. We were never going to stay in Afghanistan forever. This withdrawal needed to happen. Unfortunately, our leadership did not listen to the commanders on the ground who months, months before the withdrawal actually occurred and the evacuation operation occurred. We're warning about what would eventually happen, the failure of the Afghan government, that this massive evacuation of civilians would need to occur. They saw that this is what would happen.

And unfortunately, leaders at the very top either ignored them or didn't even pay attention to what was really going on. Folks, let me take a minute of your time here because this is a really critical month for the ACLJ. When we launch in the new year, this first month of March, it's a matching challenge month. It's when you hear us more often, we don't do a lot on our broadcasts, but these months it is important because the ACLJ, of course, is a 501c3 organization. We exist because of your financial support. This broadcast, all of our attorneys, all of the cases, all of the work we do here in the United States and around the world, including our work in Israel, our work in the Middle East, our work on behalf of persecuted Christians. If we're representing a governor or a state because of a pro-life law, if we are, again, representing the Heritage Foundation in a fight against the employer vaccine mandate, all of those cases we're able to do because of your financial support.

Part of that, of course, is this broadcast as well. We're in a matching challenge this month of March. That means we can double the impact of your donation.

Let me explain how that works. So if you donate $15 online at ACLJ.org right now, we have a group of donors. They're going to match all those donations through the entire month. So your $15 triggers a $15 match.

So it's like $30 for us. Be part of our matching challenge at ACLJ.org today. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. I'm talking about freedom. I'm talking about freedom.

We will fight for the right to live in freedom. Keeping you informed and engaged. Now more than ever, this is Sekulow. We want to hear from you.

Share and post your comments or call 1-800-684-3110. And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. Hey, welcome to Sekulow.

Folks, we've got a special broadcast for you today. We started documenting the Afghan withdrawal and what became a disastrous withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan resulting in the loss of life, of course, of our U.S. troops. But also a horrendous catastrophe inside Afghanistan that continues on to this day. The persecution of religious minorities like Christians, but also the treatment of women. We know that because of the Taliban takeover and the way it was handled, the fall of Kabul happening in 48 hours rather than 90 days.

The fleeing of the Afghan government, the Afghan military in a sense giving up arms as they were unwilling or just unable to fight the Taliban and everything that came with it. So my brother Logan has been sitting down with a lot of unique individuals with different points of view. So you're going to see a little mix of this today, Logan, because this is available for people to watch in long format. What we're trying to show today is a mix of who was there. It's people like Mike Pompeo and Rick Rinnell who people are used to on our broadcast, but also Tulsi Gabbard, Mike Waltz, John Ashcroft.

So people that were there from the very beginning of this conflict to Nikki Haley. Yeah, it was a really fascinating thing to do. We sat down and interviewed these people.

Originally it was done. We thought we were going to make a 90 minute documentary. It ended up being a over four hour series that we released and we did it in real time.

So we were doing it as the conflict was unfolding. So to me, it was a fascinating time to get people's raw emotions and it is available right now for the first time ever in its totality on YouTube. And every episode will be released. The entire series of this limited series will be released by the end of this week. So we've been rolling them out one a day and it's a 10 episode. Again, most of the interviews are between 25 to 35 minutes that you can sit down and watch sort of in podcast form.

I'd say in some ways they're mostly interview though there is music, incredible score and there's b-roll so you get a little bit more engagement, but I hope people will like it. As you said, there's even people that you're going to agree with that you're going to disagree with. And that was intentional. We wanted to get people's point of views from a bit of our realm and then a bit outside of our realm. So you'll have a conflicting version of what should happen maybe from a Tulsi Gabbard than you would from a Mike Waltz. You have two different, both veterans, both with great careers in the military, but both with two different ways on how we can proceed in Afghanistan. And of course, a lot of this was done in August, September, October of last year.

So again, it feels very real, very, very raw for our team, for Rick Grenell, for Mike Pompeo. And then they said, John Ashcroft was there since the beginning. And then you even have, you know, Wes Smith, who is one of our people here on our panel, but he created at Dover the dignified transfer, essentially where the bodies are transferred.

If you're fallen in warfare, if you're fallen, you're brought over in this whole situation. He explains how that entire project was created and how running that was obviously incredible emotional experience. So really great insight, very interesting. And like you said, it's available on our YouTube channel.

Yeah. So people, again, it's on our YouTube channel, that's youtube.com slash official ACLJ shows the production that we do in this longer format, longer discussion than you can even do. And we always talk about radio, how we can have a longer discussion than cable news.

This is a longer discussion that we can even do on our broadcast sitting down with one individual uninterrupted and talking tech. I mean, you're going to people who were there in the White House from the day that war began from people who were fighting in that war. People who were dealing with the bodies coming back from the war, American soldiers and who are still active duty, who were representing the US at the UN. I mean, this again, you're going to do you see it from so many angles.

And we now know this was foreshadowing some pretty disastrous international policy, foreign policy and military decisions by the Biden administration. So we're living with right now as we speak, but I encourage you as you see this special broadcast today to support the work of the ACLJ. This shows more of our breath, more of what we're able to put together and the people we have access to support our work at ACLJ.org double the impact of your donation this entire month of March. We have a group of donors. They'll match every donation that comes in through the month of March. So $20 donations like 40 50 is like 100 at ACLJ.org. Donate today if you're financially able to at ACLJ.org.

We'll be right back. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith. I'm covering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress.

The ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support for that. We are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ is matching challenge for every dollar you donate. It will be matched. A ten dollar gift becomes twenty dollars.

A fifty dollar gift becomes one hundred. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected.

Is there any hope for that culture to survive? And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases. How we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists. The ramifications of Roe v. Wade forty years later. Play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry. And what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. Today, I'm sitting down to talk to my dad, Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice and the European Center for Law and Justice. My father is an accomplished and internationally respected judicial advocate and has presented oral arguments for the Supreme Court of the United States numerous times. He defends the Constitution, constitutional freedoms, and especially those involving religious liberty. He's also addressed the United Nations in defense of the state of Israel. The National Law Journal named him one of the hundred most influential lawyers in America. He is also the New York Times bestselling author of multiple books, including The Rise of ISIS, and has been honored for his work defending human rights and religious liberty around the world. We're joined today by chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice and my dad, Jay Sekulow, who has been involved in this ongoing, even through the beginning days of the war on terror, you were there. I think that's something people don't necessarily know because they don't have the 20-year overview.

But really, your work started pretty early in this. Well, right after the attack, actually, I received a call by the attorney general of the United States, John Ashcroft. He asked if I would assist in the drafting, especially on the constitutional issues of what was called the Patriot Act, which allowed governmental agencies to share information regarding terrorism with other governmental agencies inside the United States.

It had been pretty much siloed before then. If the CIA knew something, they weren't sharing it necessarily with the Defense Department. If the FBI had something, it wouldn't necessarily go to the CIA. So General Ashcroft asked a group of lawyers, it was me, Ken Starr, Viet Dinh, Paul Clement, others, to look at improving the law so that our capabilities could shift. Because we had to go from a law enforcement capability, which is what the Department of Justice primarily did, to a counterterrorism approach. And General Ashcroft was instrumental in that and I was fortunate enough in horrible circumstances to be able to work with him on the Patriot Act. Yeah, the Patriot Act has been something that's been brought up many times throughout the years for good and bad. People have expressed now, there are administrations who maybe have used the Patriot Act to overreach, it seems like, at times, to not use what it originally intended was for. I mean, originally we had sunset provisions in the act because I don't think anybody anticipated that 20 years after that act would pass, that we'd still be engaged in this kind of war on terror that we are.

So there's been some abuses, there's no doubt about it. I think the overall approach to the law was right. It was right for the country at the time and it was something that we needed to do. And I think it prevented other future attacks. But you've got to put yourself back into those days right after September 11th when I was in Washington.

I'm still seeing from our apartment, you don't remember this, but from the apartment on Pennsylvania Avenue that we had, you looked at the Pentagon and you saw the smoke for days. Yeah, so it was a different time. It was even a different time for America.

We brought up this with a lot of our guests, which is it felt like a very unifying moment. Now, again, for those who have watched this series, I know that I've asked this question before, but it's nine months into a presidency was the September 11th attack. We went to the Bush administration, we saw a big uniting of the country, all of us aggressively against what was going on in Afghanistan. And inevitably things happened in Iraq. There was more division there. Now we're nine months into a presidency, almost 10 months or nine months into a presidency.

So roughly the same amount of time has passed from when George W. Bush took office to September 11th to when President Biden took office to the what ended up being the very failed pullout of Afghanistan. And you kind of see people not uniting in that way. Maybe uniting, there maybe is finally some agreement, but not towards a political party. It's an agreement that this was just an agreed just disaster.

No, it wasn't. Look, a lot of the Republicans and Democrats wanted to get out of Afghanistan. We'd been there 20 years. Then there was others, and it looks like now that we've learned from the military after their testimony in the last several days, we've learned that the military wanted to keep that force of 2,500 in place because they felt that was sufficient to keep the Afghanistan army engaged. It was the fall of the Afghan army that really created the problem. But it was the fall of the United States intelligence community that didn't anticipate what was going to happen here. And there's been very serious geopolitical consequences of this.

You know, I'm trying to look at it historically. We were there for 20 years. Fighting them over there was better than fighting them over here. And their intent was to bring it to us. They did bring it to us 20 years ago. They brought it to the United States.

We had to deal with it in the United States. I'll never forget, I mean, this was part of the 9-11 experience, the horrible aspects of it. We then had the anthrax attack.

You remember that? Your brother and I were in Washington. I was in the Supreme Court building, the Department of Justice and the White House, all three of which had anthrax.

The whole mindset was different. You went in Washington, D.C. You saw on the streets. I went to dinner with Stuart Roth from our office and Jordan, who was in school then. And we went to Blackie Steakhouse, a famous steakhouse in Washington, D.C. And on the corners of the streets were tanks.

I mean, it was a different time. Today I'm speaking with ACLJ Senior Military Analyst and Chaplain, Colonel Wes Smith. Colonel Smith is a highly decorated veteran who served 26 years in the Army, including combat deployments in the Middle East. Colonel Smith served as the Senior Army Chaplain at Dover Air Force Base and the Dover Port Mortuary, as well as a Senior Ranking Army Chaplain for overwatch of all casualty operations. Wes also redesigned the casualty notification system for the entire Army.

Among his numerous awards and decorations are the Global War on Terror Medal, the Saudi Arabia Liberation of Kuwait Medal, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal. He is also an Episcopal priest affiliated with the Diocese of Atlanta. We are just about a day removed from the really heartbreaking moment that a lot of us watched happen live of the bodies and the remains of our fallen servicemen returning back to American soil to Dover Air Force Base. And again, it was a moment that was hard to watch, was important to watch, and I wanted to start this off by bringing in someone who maybe would know more about this type of situation than probably just about anyone. That is retired Chaplain and Colonel Wes Smith, who works with the American Center for Law and Justice in many different capacities. But Wes, I wanted to talk to you specifically today because this was part of your duty at Dover, but for a lot of people, they don't even know the background.

So why don't you give us a little bit your background on that, but also why these moments happen. Why does it feel like, and somewhat it was a very public kind of display. Whenever anyone is killed overseas, to include civilian contractors, members of the CIA, as well as military service personnel, they are brought back through the Dover port mortuary. But up until 2009, there were no families, and generally speaking, there was no media. President Obama, just a few months in his first term, said that, of course, casualties were high then, Iraq war was going on as well as the Afghanistan war.

And he said, you know, families should be allowed to come and to actually witness the final homecoming of their loved one at Dover Air Force Base at government expense. And yet when he made this decision, two things had not happened. There were no facilities there to really accomplish this.

We had a mortuary, but no place for families. And then also the casualty notification process had not been revised since the first Gulf War. So I was assigned to the Pentagon and then ultimately assigned to Dover Air Force Base to do two things. And that was, first of all, to totally revamp, rewrite the casualty notification system so that it was more uniform. In the advent of social media and cell phones, which were not around during the first Gulf War, we had to change how families were notified. So when I initially got there, I worked on the casualty notification system and then also ensured that that training took place army-wide so that when casualty teams go out now, they go with a casualty officer, notification officer, as well as a chaplain, a two-person team. And that's how they're notified. It's really important.

There are a couple of things that a lot of people don't know. It's not called a ceremony, because a ceremony somehow we felt like degraded what was going on there. This is a service member's final homecoming, and his family is there to witness something that is very, very sacred.

And so we refer to it as a dignified transfer, the final homecoming of a service member. So we began doing that almost immediately, but we had to work on the facilities. We also built a chapel meditation room, and then we took an existing building and we made it into what is called the Center for the Families of the Fallen.

It's like a reception area that you would see in a funeral home, only much, much larger, very elegantly appointed. There are always representatives of our government who come, who greet the families, and who take part as the official party on the tarmac for the dignified transfer. So part of my job was to set up this entire mission because it did not exist. And that's my background. So that like yesterday when I watched the dignified transfer, it brings back a lot of memories of how that mission was put together.

And of course, a lot of emotional memories as well. Because as you said, Logan, it is a very touching, moving, patriotic ceremony that takes place on the flight line in the presence of the family members. My team and I came up with what we call the gold standard. This is part of what I brief the dignitaries, G-O-L-D. The G stood for greet the family. The O stood for offer condolences. The L, listen.

And then D, don't be defensive. Because frequently, as we saw over the weekend, families are angry. They're angry at what happened. They're angry at what life has thrown at them.

And sometimes they're angry at the government or at the President or whomever. And so that last part is so important. And most of the people that I dealt with, and I dealt with a lot of people from D.C., they followed that advice, the G-O-L-D. You know, greet, offer condolences, listen, don't be defensive.

Very, very well. Folks, let me take a minute of your time here because this is a really critical month for the ACLJ. When we launch in the new year, this first month of March, it's a matching challenge month. You hear us more often.

We don't do it a lot on our broadcast. But these months, it is important to be part of our matching challenge at ACLJ.org today. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Today I'm talking to the Executive Director of the ACLJ, who also happens to be my brother, Jordan Sekulow. Jordan is an attorney and host of Sekulow, a syndicated radio program providing cutting analysis of today's political and legal landscape with elected officials and conservative leaders. Jordan serves as a liaison between the ACLJ and its international affiliates. He's engaged in high-level legal and policy discussions with leaders and government officials regarding human rights issues around the world.

It's October 5, 2021. I'm joined today by the Executive Director of the ACLJ and my brother, Jordan Sekulow. Jordan, thanks for joining us.

Thanks for having me. Do we need to hold people in Washington accountable for the last few months? And how do we hold them accountable?

Is it something that there are political actions taking place, or is it something where, as you've said many times, that elections have consequences? And we need to remember that. You have to remember the elections have consequences. And you've got to do something about it. Again, we're a polarized country, and it's easy now to get the access to information. You can go right to your phone.

You can dial up whatever history you want, whatever information you want. But ultimately, they have to hold all these individuals accountable at the ballot box and the party that they represent, the people that empower them as well. What about from the ACLJ point of view? As the Executive Director of the ACLJ, a lot of people turn to us when there are times of crisis, whether it's religious freedom, which, look, part of this in the war in Afghanistan, part of the reasons we were fighting was for religious freedom for people, something that they had for 20 years and sadly don't have now.

But what can members of the ACLJ do, and what do you do at the ACLJ, to actively respond when situations like this happen, including obviously spreading the word through the media? Well, I think this whole idea and what we're dealing with as a country, don't take for granted that everybody is an expert in the world affairs or what's going on in the Islamic world. I think there was a wake-up call to a lot of people. We'd seen acts of terror before from Al Qaeda, targeted at U.S. embassies, U.S. troops, but it was always overseas.

When terrorism came home to the United States, it started recruiting Americans to carry out these attacks from various communities where people were feeling isolated. And then you juxtapose that with the Trump administration putting forward the Abraham Accords and the peace agreements working together with countries like Saudi Arabia. A lot changes in 20 years, but I think what it did was it woke, including the ACLJ, the national security practice of the ACLJ, these laws, how do these laws affect us at home, and the actions we take abroad, and the international work of the ACLJ. We have been a country at war for my entire career at the ACLJ. Most of my entire life was a nation at war. So what did that mean? I think it meant something different for our generation. It was not maybe as divisive as Vietnam and some of the more recent conflicts that were at this scale.

But ultimately, part of the ACLJ's mission now, taken for granted to an extent, is not just calling out radicalism and supporting religious liberty, but doing so in the toughest places in the world. Today I'm speaking with former U.S. Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Secretary Pompeo also served four terms in Congress, representing Kansas' 4th District, where he sat on the House Intelligence Committee as well as the Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Select Benghazi Committee.

Pompeo graduated first in his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point and served five years in the U.S. Army. Secretary Pompeo is currently the Senior Counsel for Global Affairs at the ACLJ and possesses unparalleled experience regarding U.S. foreign policy, including dealing with Afghanistan. It's September 7, 2021, and we are joined by Secretary Mike Pompeo, who is going to talk a bit about not only his role in the previous administration, but also looking back on the history of Afghanistan and the Taliban and sort of what's unfolded in the last few weeks. What about for our allies, who clearly, a lot of them in the EU and even in the U.S., to some extent, people were thrilled to see President Biden be elected.

Times are changing. A lot of respect is lost there on the global scale from our allies. They're concerned. Look, I don't know if they should be honestly maybe giving us the only ownership of the world as they do, saying we have to protect. We don't know if we can believe that the Americans are always going to be there for us. But for you, how do we gain that respect back from our allies, some of them very powerful, like the United Kingdom, some of our strongest allies, who are publicly having MPs come out and say, we don't know if we can trust that American superpower is going to be the one to help and back us up.

Two things I know for sure. Words won't get it done. No great speech in Brussels, no remarks that the United Nations are going to solve this credibility problem.

Second, actions matter. So you can hypothesize a number of things the administration could do, right, that the NATO folks are wondering why on earth it was they were prepared to do work that we weren't prepared to do to get their folks out. We should demonstrate to them that we, in fact, are.

Those tools are still within our ken, within our power. You can imagine another place, the people of Taiwan. You can imagine doing things for them. How about delivering on some of the equipment that the Trump administration sold to them, actually have it show up, things that would demonstrate real American resolve to defend American interests around the world. It's not going to take sending our young men and women to do that. It's just going to take delivering against the set of promises that we have made to these friends and allies and partners.

I'll give you one more. How about this? How about stop traveling to Vienna to meet with the Islamic Republic of Iran just for a moment. The Iranians have now launched missiles out of Gaza Strip into Israel on this administration's watch. You could imagine saying, well, that's just unacceptable.

We are no longer going to negotiate with you. The simple things, but real deeds. And you brought up that there was a relative calm that happened. I think a lot of people forgot. And I tried to bring it up often whenever I was debating personally with many of my friends or even publicly on our radio broadcast saying, listen, you're all forgetting about the situation in Israel, what it was like under the Obama administration. You're all forgetting about ISIS.

It feels like because the Trump administration was so strong and so it defeated ISIS very quickly and rapidly, our memories are not very long. And people stopped thinking about it. And it didn't become a big talking point.

And maybe it should have. Maybe this should be something that conservatives next time around are running on, saying, no, remember what happened here? This is something quickly we as Americans can forget, that the Middle East in crisis ends up meaning our country also gets involved and our country ends up in crisis.

I hated that it didn't become a bigger issue even during the last election. It's certainly the case that we all want to turn our attention to the things at home, to our churches, to our faith communities, to our schools. Those are the things that affect our lives every moment.

But you're absolutely right. We can't forget what it means if there's chaos around the world. It doesn't mean we have to police it all. It means that America needs to be out there demonstrating resolve and leadership. We created the Abraham Accords without sending a bunch of folks into the desert to go fight and die. We needed a set of alliances that built out peace and stability there in the way that no one believed that we could possibly do. Those are the kind of things I hope people will remember and consider as we go to the ballot box and elect city council people and sheriff's offices and all that good stuff.

Remember that these conservative ideas about our founding and our republic are central to the very peace and prosperity here at home that we count on. Folks, let me take a minute of your time here because this is a really critical month for the ACLJ. When we launch in the new year, this is the first month of March, it's a matching challenge month. It's when you hear us more often, we don't do it a lot on our broadcasts, but these months it is important because the ACLJ, of course, is a 501c3 organization. We exist because of your financial support. This broadcast, all of our attorneys, all of the cases, all of the work we do here in the United States and around the world, including our work in Israel, our work in the Middle East, our work on behalf of persecuted Christians, if we're representing a governor or a state because of a pro-life law, be part of our matching challenge at ACLJ.org today.

At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-21 07:53:25 / 2023-05-21 08:16:36 / 23

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