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Congress Pushes Back on White House Counter-Terrorism Training Review

A sweeping and secretive review of all counter-terrorism training recently set in motion by the White House has raised widespread concerns that this politically motivated initiative will undermine U.S. national security.  The review process has already blacklisted or sidelined many trainers and experts and imposes a debilitating level of political correctness on future training.  In response to pressure from Islamist groups, the White House is demanding the removal of all references to Islam in counter-terrorism training. This defies the recommendation of the Senate report on the Fort Hood shooting, A Ticking Time Bomb, which stated, the U.S. must “strengthen policies and training to identify the threat of violent Islamist extremism, which includes the radicalization process, and to prevent radicalization of service members to violent Islamist extremism.”

Sixteen members of Congress, led by Rep. Sue Myrick, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, HUMINT, Analysis and Counterintelligence, are challenging this move and asking for greater transparency in the process.

See The Westminster Institute report, White House Review Threatens Counter-Terrorism Operations” and Cliff May, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies,“What’s Islam Got To Do With It?”

The Westminster Institute • 6729 Curran Street • McLean, VA 22101

Tel. 1-703-288-2885 • www.westminster-institute.org

Katharine Cornell Gorka, Executive Director

kcg@westminster-institute.org

News Release

U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick

Representing North Carolina’s Ninth District

For Immediate Release                 Contact:  Taylor Stanford

December 15, 2011                   (202) 225-1976

Myrick, Colleagues Question Administration Changes To Counter-Terrorism Policy

(Washington, DC) –US Representative Sue Myrick (NC-09), along with several of her colleagues, today sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Attorney General Eric Holder regarding possible changes to federal enforcement and military counter-terrorism training and educational programs.

In the letter, Members expressed concern that any review and subsequent changes to the Administration’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) training may be influenced by politics and public perception, directly threatening our country’s national security.

Members also supported a February 2011 Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs report, which recommended that the Department of Defense “update its policies on extremism and religions accommodation to ensure that violent Islamist extremism is not tolerated”, and “train servicemembers on violent Islamist extremism and how it differs from Islamic religious belief and practices.”

In closing, Members asked four questions regarding the Administration review of its CVE training:

  1. What non-government organizations, agencies, and other individuals are involved in the review process?
  2. What are the objectives of the training reviews?
  3. What changes are you planning to implement?
  4. How will the changes improve the current model of counter-terrorism training?

“We cannot expect our armed forces and law enforcement agencies to combat the threat of radical Islamist extremism while simultaneously preventing them from discussing it,” Rep. Myrick said in a statement. “Politics and political correctness should never interfere with the security of our nation”.

Signers of the letter are: Rep. Mark Amodei (NV-02); Rep. Dan Burton (IN-05); Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03); Rep. Randy Forbes (VA-04); Rep. Trent Franks (AZ-02); Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01); Rep. Kay Granger (TX-12); Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14); Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-03); Rep. John Kline (MN-02); Rep. Bill Posey (FL-15); Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46); Rep. Allen West (FL-22); Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03); Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10).

Click here for the full text of the letter.

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