HH: One of the first Americans to react to the slaughter in Paris, the assassination of journalists and police alike this morning was Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina. He put out a statement on the terror attacks. He was talked to by Dana Bash, and he joins me now. Senator Graham, welcome, thank you for joining us, and I think you hit the right note here, which is people have got to wake up. This is getting worse, not better.
LG: It is, and what should we learn from this? My condolences to the families and the people who were killed and injured, and to the French people, but it’s not an attack on our homeland, but it’s definitely an attack on our way of life. So here’s what I take from Paris. We should reevaluate our Defense policies on several fronts. Number one, this was definitely ISIL-inspired, if not directed. Here’s the first question. Is there a command and control capability from Syria and Iraq to direct people in France or other places? Was there a French franchise of ISIS that’s so organized they could direct this attack? Somebody planned this attack. Somebody directed it. It was very professional. Did that happen inside of France, or was there a connection to Iraq and Syria? The longer it takes to destroy ISIL, the more likely we are to get hit, because every day they survive and stay rich and entrenched in Syria and Iraq, the more likely a foreign fighter comes our way with an American passport or a European passport.
HH: Now earlier today, Senator…
HH: …you told Dana Bash over on CNN people in your business need to be concerned.
HH: I think this was a strategic attack by ISIS on a journalistic outlet to send a message to all media.
HH: Do you agree with that?
LG: Totally. They’re soft targets, and they get a big bang for their buck. But President Obama is really not engage in a strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL. I believe he’s trying to contain the threat and get it, you know, let the clock run out on his watch, because to destroy ISIL, you’ve got to have an American ground component. Mosul is a city of a million people. Fallujah was a city of a hundred thousand. And the only way we liberated Fallujah from Al Qaeda in Iraq was about 99,000 Marines and American Army personnel. Mosul’s ten times larger. How can the Iraqi Army do it without some American help? And the Syrian side is a complete mess. So number one, I think the President is consciously avoiding a policy to destroy ISIL, and that makes us less safe at home, causes opportunities to hit us. Number two, the President’s policies regarding high value terrorist suspects is to read them their Miranda rights. We no longer hold people as enemy combatants. We give them a lawyer, put them in federal court within hours or days of capture. We’re losing a lot of human intelligence because he’s abandoned an enemy combatant law of war model. And third, and we’ve talked about this a lot, the Defense cuts, the intelligence community’s budget is going to be devastated when sequestration kicks back in, in 2016. There’s a perfect storm brewing to have this country hit again.