A former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee tells Newsmax the deadly shooting in Chattanooga, Tenn. last week was "an overall strategic failure."
During an appearance on Newsmax TV's
"Newsmax Prime," Pete Hoekstra told host J.D. Hayworth the shooting, which left five Marines and one Navy sailor dead, was a failure on all intelligence levels.
The alleged shooter, Kuwait-born Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, was shot and killed by police in a gun battle.
"This is an overall strategic failure," Hoekstra says. "It's going to be hard to catch each and every one of these individuals before they carry out these attacks, especially when you don't acknowledge that the threat is really out there. We're spending more time trying to determine whether this was a threat or whether this attack was radical jihadism or whatever, and we're spending the time to define and describe the attack rather than to get the information, recognize the threat, and say, 'This is how we stop it in the future.'
"We're trying to make this a politically correct type of a process. This is a national security issue. It needs to be treated as such and we need to start to identify it and stop worrying about the semantics."
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Hoekstra also would like to see military recruiters, like the ones who were attacked at the first of two locations Abdulazeez targeted, be allowed to carry weapons. The five victims who died were at a Navy and Marine reserve center and were also not armed.
"Arm them, provide them with the means to protect themselves," says Hoekstra, who is far from alone in calling for military personnel at U.S. recruiting stations to be armed.
Hoekstra, a Republican who represented Michigan's 2nd district from 1993-2011, adds that he would like to see President Barack Obama face the threat posed by radical Islam head-on.
"It's time for this president to recognize that there is a real threat from radical Islam and to start articulating that threat and be a forceful voice against fighting radical jihadists, whether it is the people that are perpetuating these acts here in the United States or whether it is the folks in Northern Africa or the folks in the Middle East or any other part of the world," he says. "This president has always shied away from identifying the threat and confronting it. It's time for him to acknowledge the threat and fight it at all levels."
Retired U.S. Army colonel Patrick Murray, another member of the "Newsmax Prime" panel, agrees with Hoekstra's assessment.
"Barack Obama loves to talk about the fact that he has a telephone and a pen," Murray says. "With a stroke of his pen, he can change this Clinton-era policy so that we can provide basic force protection for our troops who are out serving their country in our communities in the United States of America."
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