Pete Hoekstra refutes former Secretary of State John Kerry's comment that the U.S.' proposed travel ban is a recruitment tool, and contextualizes how the ban would help, not hurt, counterterrorism efforts.
David Asman: The White House continues pushing for a travel ban. Former secretary of state John Kerry is slamming the plan. Take a listen.
[video clip of John Kerry]
John Kerry: Travel ban will be cannon fodder to the recruiters. It's the worst thing we could do.
[end video clip]
Asman: Cannon fodder. Here now, former congressman Pete Hoekstra from Michigan. He served as the chairman of intel committee. Sir, it sounds almost sound exactly like the rhetoric we heard about shutting down Gitmo. That Gitmo sort of acts like kind of a recruiting tool. Every time we come out with a method to keep terrorists away from the United States, we hear that it's a recruitment mechanism to bring terrorists into the United States to which you say what?
Pete Hoekstra: It's once again, i'm sorry, John Kerry, it's not our fault. Hillary Clinton and Benghazi, no it is not our fault because because of a video about Islam and those types of things. It is not our fault. I can tell you right now there are lots of politicians and people in the UK who wish that there had been a travel ban and more extreme vetting of the Libyan-Islamic Fighting Group that the UK welcomed in in the '90s. There's lots of people in Europe who wish there were more extreme vetting and a travel ban for these million-plus people who came in the last 12 to 18 months.
Asman: Absolutely. No question. And yet, in addition to hearing John Kerry say it's a recruiting tool, you hear people continuing to conflate idea of a travel ban with a Muslim ban, forgetting that 90% of the world's Muslim population is excluded from this travel ban.
Hoekstra: That is exactly right. We're excluding people -not excluding- we want to exclude or vet people coming in from failed nation states, countries that don't have the mechanisms in place to vet the people who are coming in. You know, at Investigative project on Terrorism where i work, we documented that in Syria, ISIS -when they overran Syria- took, established the caliphate, they took over printing presses and materials that the Syrian government had used to make passports. So now ISIS had the capability to manufacture what would appear to be legitimate passports.
Hoekstra: So, you can't vet people from a failed nation state.