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Sunday Study Guide: Foreign policy, national security and the president's second term

 Special discussion: American foreign policy, and the debate over national security and civil liberties

  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) issued a statement this week supporting a renewed call to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, expressing his concern that it “remains open, and that Congress continues to stand in the way of closing it.” The facility, according to the senator, is “unnecessary, expensive and inefficient ... it is not necessary to keep America safe, it contradicts our most basic principles of justice, and in fact it undermines our national security.” He is also chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee which held hearings on some of the major issues in Congress this year including gun control legislation, and now, comprehensive immigration reform. According to The New York Times, the issues before Judiciary Committee thus far in 2013 make this “perhaps Mr. Leahy’s biggest moment after 38 years in the Senate.” Watch his most recent appearance on Meet the Press.
  • Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) said there is an “institutionalized political correctness to the detriment of the safety of the American people” when it comes to talking about Islamic jihad terrorism in the U.S. According to Giuliani, Islamic jihad terrorists are “killing Americans for a purpose. … And if you don't recognize the purpose, it's very, very hard to detect them. It's very hard to keep a coherent program of monitoring them, watching them. This is not just terrorism for terrorism sake. This is terrorism to further the cause of Islamic extremism and that does not demean in any way legitimate members of the Islamic religion. I think if you don't understand that, there is a certain degree of prejudice.” He also wrote “Leadership.” Watch his latest MTP appearance here.
  • Former. Congresswoman and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee Jane Harman (D-CA) is now the director, president and CEO of the Wilson Center. Earlier this week, she said the situation in Syria is unlike Iraq. The intelligence failure there “was a long time ago. We have improved the way we do intelligence… while there is a range of certainty across the intelligence community, they all believe there are chemical weapons there and it’s time to roll out the contingency plan. We’ve done the vetting. Now we need to act.” Watch her most recent MTP appearance.
  • Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Politico called him the GOP’s “most aggressive next-generation advocate for military action overseas,” who is the “best hope for bringing the party back toward its post-Sept. 11 consensus on foreign policy.”


Special discussion: The president’s second-term agenda

  • Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) released a statement this week, which read in part, “It would be a major mistake to put American troops in Syria. No one in the region wants us invading yet another country. None of our allies want our strength diverted from Iran. There is no practical mission American forces could accomplish without a very large commitment. … If the neighbors are not sufficiently worried to act, however, the United States should not be drawn in to acting for them.” He co-wrote “Rediscovering God in America.” Watch Speaker Gingrich’s latest appearance here.
  • Former Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN) recently said he doesn’t “believe the White House will sit idly by. … This president, whatever you want to say about him, has been as strong and has been as resolute as any president on international matters, has use what some would call morally dubious methods including drones to enact his national security policy. The ball is now the president’s court, the white House’s court. They have defined what has to happen for action to take place. Now they have to define what that action will be.” He is also the author of “More Davids Than Goliaths.” Watch his latest show appearance.
  • Rich Lowry, editor of The National Review, wrote Friday about President Obama’s recent address before Planned Parenthood. Lowry wrote, “The right to abortion is the sneakiest, most shamefaced of all American rights. It hides behind evasion and euphemism and cant …. The unwritten rule when the Left discusses abortion is that it shouldn’t be called ‘abortion,’ but always ‘health’ or, more specifically ‘reproductive health’ — although abortion is the opposite of reproduction and, for one party involved, the opposite of health.” He is the author of “Lincoln Unbound.” Watch his most recent appearance on the show.
  • Joy Reid, managing editor of TheGrio.com and political columnist for The Miami Herald, said there is this idea that “it is something about Barack Obama that’s causing this obstruction [in Congress]. … as if there`s something about his personality that is stopping them from behaving.” However, she said it has become the primary focus of some GOP members: “There’s a reason why you’re seeing pundits calling [Repubulicans] a post-policy party because the only thing they all agree on is that they dislike, despise and want to dislodge this president. That’s their only policy agenda. You see it with everything, with immigration where he can’t touch it otherwise it can’t pass. This is not about dinners. This is about a party that dislikes the president.” Watch her most recent appearance here.


  • Brendon Ayanbadejo is a former linebacker for the Baltimore Raven and an advocate for same-sex marriage. He said, "I think the star power, especially with athletes, allows us to hit a demographic. ... I think this allows us to have our voice reach a little bit deeper to people who wouldn't normally hear our message."


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