John Catsimatidis: Welcome back to the National edition of the Cats Roundtable, 970 AM The Answer in New York, 1260 AM The Answer in Washington, D.C. I'm your host, John Catsimatidis, and for our next guest, get that strong cup of coffee ready, our next guest—for 18 years Peter Hoekstra represented Michigan in the U.S. Congress, he is a longtime member of the House Intelligence Committee, and both a ranking member and its Chairman. Congressman, how are you this morning?
Pete Hoekstra: I'm doing just fine. Thank you John.
Catsimatidis: I know I read about you, and we talked about it. Right now you're working for the investigative group, and you have concerns with what's going on in Europe. There's been articles and there's been that the Turkish President has practically ordered the women of Turkey to have multiple, multiple births: three and over. How is that going to affect Europe overall?
Hoekstra: Well obviously Erdogan can't control what the birth rate is going to be for Muslims who are in Europe, but clearly over the last 10 years, with a significant migration of individuals, Muslims into Europe, there have been concerns in parts of Europe that in 30, 40, 50 years because of historically what has been a much higher birth rate among the Muslim communities and among mainstream Europeans where the birth rate is around 1.5, which is not even a replacement population that the face of Europe would change dramatically; that's based of course on the assumption that those birthrates stay constant. There's some evidence that they may alter or those birthrates may change as you move forward, but the bottom line is that people in Europe are concerned that Europe may not look like Europe in 30, 40, 50 years. What's happened more recently, John, is with this significant migration – take a look at a country like Germany last year took in almost 1 million refugees, migrants, whatever you want to call them, from the Middle East. Migrants are flooding across the Mediterranean from Northern Africa into Europe, and so the demographics are going to change much more dramatically, are going to change more quickly because of this mass inflow, but also the security situation is going to change in Europe very, very quickly.
Catsimatidis: Do you see—you left Congress a few years ago. Have you seen much change in the intelligence community? Is it getting better? What's happening with it?
Hoekstra: Well I think a couple of things have happened. Number one, I think it's become much more politicized in that for years, you know Peter King was on the Intelligence Committee when I was there. You know what we did is, and what you need for the intelligence community, you need intelligence. You need information and you don't want it massaged to fit the narrative of whoever is in political office or what the popular narrative is. You want the bottom line facts as to what the Intelligence community sees, and then the policy makers can go make their policies. But you know, what we've seen or what I've seen or witnessed as from outside of Congress now is an Intelligence community that is much more politicized. This administration has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood. Our director of national intelligence came out and said the Muslim Brotherhood was really nothing more than a social organization, and really it was a secular organization with no ties to religion, and really no ties to terrorism. That is 100 percent wrong. And so the narrative that was coming out of our director of national intelligence fit the narrative that was being made by our political leaders but wasn't grounded in truth. The intelligence wasn't very accurate on ISIS in Syria, where the president identified them as the JV team. I'm assuming that is based on briefings that he got from our intelligence community. Our intelligence community was way off on Libya where they said hey, I'm assuming they gave a narrative that said the people that were working to overthrow Gaddafi are going to bring some kind of democracy and representative government into Libya, and we'll be able to manage the transition. And what we now see is that Libya is a failed state. Now John, the intelligence community has not been providing us very good intelligence over the last number of years and too often it is massaged to fit the political narrative that the political leaders want, and not giving us just unadulterated facts.
Catsimatidis: I better go for a triple espresso. I need a lot of caffeine after that on a Sunday morning. The fact that the national intelligence [director] said—made those statements. You also wrote a book: "Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya."
Catsimatidis: And tell us about the book.
Hoekstra: Well the book is—well in 2003, John, one of my colleagues came to me and said "Hey Pete, do you want to go visit Gaddafi in Libya?" and my response was "No, not really" and he said "No, I'm serious; the Bush Administration wants us to go meet with Gaddafi. They think he's about ready to flip sides." So I went to meet with Gaddafi in 2004, I met with him on two other occasions between 2004 and 2010. So, I met with Gaddafi three different times in Libya. And I did watch this guy flip sides. Rather than being the ostracized, evil Gaddafi that we had known for 40 years, Republicans and Democrats consistently had ostracized this guy in the world community, and because of that consistent bipartisan policy in 2004, he decided he was going to change his ways. He paid reparations to the families of the victims of his previous terrorist activities. He gave up his nuclear weapons program, he gave up his chemical weapons program and then he joined the fight against radical jihad. And for about seven or eight years, he did everything that America asked him to do to keep northern Africa stabilized, but more importantly to keep America safe. In 2010/2011 the current administration decided that for whatever reason that Gaddafi needed to go. They partnered with the Muslim Brotherhood, they partnered with other radical jihadist groups. They overthrew Gaddafi, which was not hard to do. The United States along with NATO can overthrow a two-bit dictator in northern Africa of a country with 5 to 7 million people. That is not a problem. We did it. we did it successfully, and all that we've wreaked since then is chaos. Libya was a phenomenal success story of American foreign policy. It was a stable country in Northern Africa fighting radical jihadists. Because of the policies of the current administration, and because of the policies of Obama and Clinton, today it is a failed state. It is exporting weapons, fighters and ideology throughout Africa, into the Middle East and into Europe. It is a disaster. That's why, you know, the name of the book "Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya"--
Catsimatidis: That is fascinating the way you described it. I mean, this guy Gaddafi was a bad guy but in theory, he was our bad guy and now we have simple chaos.
Hoekstra: As I've talked with some of my friends who have discussed this, I got this from Steve Doocy from Fox News who kind of said exactly what you did but was a little bit more colorful. He said "Gaddafi was our bad guy and what he was doing, helping us was keeping the lid on the garbage can," and that is exactly right. Gaddafi was not a perfect person, very imperfect, but he was keeping the lid on the garbage can—the garbage can of radical jihadists.
Catsimatidis: Absolutely. Mubarak—I mean what happened there? I mean, you were there during the Mubarak administration. Why did we overthrow him?
Hoekstra: Well that's a great question. I met with Mubarak, I've met with his intelligence folks. They were very, very helpful to us. I still remember meeting Mubarak and his intelligence people when they told us "you really need to think twice about going into Iraq. You're not sure what's going to happen and we're just telling you a lot of bad things could happen if you overthrew Saddam Hussein," and so they warned us, but on the way out the door they also reminded us and said "if you decide to go into Iraq, which we are really not recommending that you do, but if you do then we will do everything you need us to do to support your effort." And they did. And so, again, what happened in Egypt, the Obama Administration decided to embrace the Muslim Brotherhood believing that if we embraced them, they would change their behavior, and what we did was is we unleashed war about a year—the forces of radical Islam in Egypt, and Egypt is still working to recover from that year of turmoil. ISIS and other radical jihadist groups established a foothold in the Sinai, threatening the southern border of Israel. Again, it was a total miscalculation. I could write "The Architects of Disaster: The Almost Destruction of Egypt," you could also write the book "Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Syria." This administration decided to engage with radical jihadist groups to overthrow Mubarak, Gaddafi and Assad. Three leaders who were very imperfect but they kept the lid on the garbage can which meant there was stability in much of the Middle East. There wasn't fertile ground for radical jihadists to develop their capabilities. And what we have today is we have a failed state in Syria, we have a failed state in Iraq, we have a failed state in Libya and we almost had a failed state in Egypt.
Catsimatidis: Congressman thank—Hoekstra, thank you for being with us this morning, and giving the American people the facts and that's what our show is all about: telling the truth. And I'll tell you, after this I do need another strong cup of coffee. Thank you, thank you for what you do for America.
Hoekstra: Hey thanks, nice talking with you, John.
Catsimatidis: Take care. This is the Cat's Roundtable. We'll be back after a few messages.