Saturday, July 18, 2015

Donald Trump in Arkansas says, "If you don't have a border, you don't have a country, and that's what's happening now."

"If you don't have a border, you don't have a country," he said. "And that's what's happening now." (last sentence in article)

7/17/15, "Trump hits on immigration, jobs in Arkansas speech,", Gavin Lesnick, Hot Springs

"Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Friday called it imperative that the U.S. build a stronger border to enforce its immigration laws, knocked Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush as politicians hampered by donor obligations and said he would be "the greatest job-producing president that God ever created."

Trump, speaking to a crowd of more than 1,000 Arkansas Republicans at the Reagan-Rockefeller Dinner in Hot Springs, touched on those and other topics in nearly an hour of speaking and answering audience questions. He also spoke to reporters for about 15 minutes beforehand, touching on many of the same themes.

Trump — who called the Hogs and was presented separately with an Arkansas Traveler certificate and a Henry rifle — also likened inner-city crime in the U.S. to "war zones," said Obamacare must be repealed because it's a "disaster" and criticized politicians for being "all talk and no action."

"If Hillary gets in, this country is in big trouble," he said in remarks before his speech.

"Because you won't take back our jobs from China. She's totally controlled by people that love China. And if Jeb Bush gets in, it's the same thing. A politician. They put up $100 million for him. They will totally control him, just like a puppet. They will totally control Hillary just like a puppet."

Trump, a businessman who has placed his own wealth at $10 billion, said he would be immune from such influence because of his business success.

"Nobody's controlling me," he said. "If I want Ford to move their plant into the United States, they'll do it. Believe me."

Trump expanded on that scenario in his dinner speech, telling the attendees that he would institute a 35 percent tax on Ford's U.S.-bound products if the automaker refused to put a $2 billion factory in the U.S. and instead located it in Mexico.

He said he expected Ford would choose to relocate within the day rather than pay the hefty tax.

"[The Ford official will] say 'please.' And I'll say drop to your knees," Trump said. "He'll say 'please Mr. President.' And I'll say no. I want the jobs here. He'll say 'Mr. President, we're moving the plant back to the USA.' That's what will happen. 100 percent ... Politicians can't do that. They can't do that. It's not in their blood."

The Iran nuclear deal announced this week by President Barack Obama should have never been agreed to, Trump argued during his speech, saying the U.S. should have stiffened sanctions instead and done a better job negotiating.

He said Secretary of State John Kerry was "out of his league" and had been "out-negotiated."

"It so sad to see that we have such opportunity," he said, "but we have such stupid people representing us."

Trump before and during his speech characterized himself as a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. He referenced the shooting rampage that Thursday left four Marines dead at two military sites in Tennessee and another attack in 2009 that left one soldier dead and another injured in Little Rock. He said soldiers should be armed at such facilities, a stance Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson echoed when he addressed the crowd.

"They would have had a good chance if they would have had a gun," Trump said. "You had the same problem in '09. You had the same thing [in Little Rock] ... You had a problem where you had Islamic terrorism, which the president doesn't want to use the term. He doesn't want to use it at all. To fix the problem, you have to know what the problem is. I'm not sure he even knows what the problem is."

Hutchinson — who said he was "delighted" to welcome Trump and hoped other candidates would visit next — said he on Friday directed the Arkansas National Guard to "make sure our full-time military personnel in National Guard bureaus are able to carry firearms to protect themselves."

Trump said he believed he could win support from Hispanic voters despite backlash over comments he made when he first entered the race likening some immigrants to criminals and "rapists."

He suggested during his speech that his quote had been taken out of context and repeatedly emphasized that he would make securing the border a hallmark of his presidency.

"If you don't have a border, you don't have a country," he said. "And that's what's happening now.""


2011 article about 2009 killing at Arkansas recruiting facility of a US Army officer and wounding of another by an Islamic terrorist, referenced by Trump:

7/11/2011, "Federal government isn't touching Arkansas terrorism case," LA Times, Richard A. Serrano, Reporting from Little Rock, Ark., and Memphis:

"Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad of Memphis, Tenn., says his trial in a fatal Little Rock Army facility attack is being handled in Arkansas state court to get him the death penalty. His father alleges a government coverup."

"Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad insists he is an Islamic radical, has confessed to killing an Army soldier and wounding another at a Little Rock recruiting station two years ago, and wants to be tried on terrorism charges in federal court
But in an unusual twist, state prosecutors, with the blessing of the federal government, are treating him like a common American criminal and trying him in state court next week on capital murder charges.

Either way, Muhammad could become the first person sentenced to death in the U.S. for an act of terrorism — even if that is not the charge — since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Muhammad, 24, born Carlos Bledsoe in Memphis, Tenn., has a profile that is now familiar in home-grown terrorism cases. He converted to Islam at age 20 at a Tennessee mosque, changed his name and traveled to the Middle East.

In 2008, he was arrested in Yemen for overstaying his visa and holding false Somali papers.

His father said he became radicalized in a Yemeni jail after mixing with other prisoners there.

Six months after Muhammad returned to the U.S., he allegedly drove his black Ford Sport Trac truck to the military recruiting station. Inside the vehicle were a rifle, scope, laser sight, silencer and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He allegedly fired several rounds before fleeing.

Later, at a police roadblock eight miles away, Muhammad was captured with a semiautomatic handgun tucked in his waistband.

Police said he told them he was "mad at the U.S. military because of what they had done to Muslims in the past." He said his "intent was to kill as many people in the Army as he could."

Melvin Bledsoe, who runs a Memphis tour bus company, said he learned of his son's incarceration in Yemen from a Tennessee FBI agent who interviewed Muhammad while he was in jail there. But that was the last Bledsoe heard from the FBI. And he believes that gets at the explanation behind the federal government's strange lack of interest in trying his son.

Bledsoe charges that federal officials deferred to state prosecutors because they feared a federal trial would make them look bad — because they knew his son was a radicalized Muslim and yet did not watch him when he returned to the United States.

"They should have done their job and this never would have happened," Bledsoe said. "I think that somebody in the federal government and the FBI should be charged with negligence. Negligent homicide."

Bledsoe's son has a different explanation for why he is not being charged as a terrorist.
Muhammad, who says he is affiliated with several terrorist organizations, has written jailhouse letters to Pulaski County Judge Herbert Wright demanding a federal trial. "In my eyes it's a sham trial [in Little Rock] set up only to make sure I'm handed down a death sentence," he wrote May 10.

Ten days later, he wrote again: "The facility where the shooting took place was a federal building. The army recruiters outside that federal building were federal employees. I was under federal investigation at the time of the shooting by the FBI. Why then is this a state case in state court, which the state seeks my execution? Injustice!"

To some outside legal experts, both father and son make valid points.

"That's unquestionably embarrassing for the FBI," said Brian Gallini, a University of Arkansas criminal law professor. "I can't come up with a comparable example of a mistake the feds would want to admit to."

But John Wesley Hall Jr., a longtime Little Rock criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, said that "just because the FBI didn't follow him doesn't mean it was their fault."

In similar terrorism-related cases since the Sept. 11 attacks, federal prosecutors have wasted no time in taking the lead.

Just recently, federal officials in Seattle charged two alleged terrorists with plotting a raid on a military recruiting center there. They were charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction (a grenade) and unlawful possession of firearms.

In fact, the federal government has never won a death sentence in a terrorism case since Sept. 11. In 2006, federal prosecutors sought a death sentence for "20th hijacker" Zacarias Moussaoui, but his Alexandria, Va., jury gave him life without parole.

On the other hand, Arkansas, a mostly rural and conservative state, would seem the ideal setting to try a self-acknowledged terrorist on a capital offense.

The official explanation by the FBI for why Muhammad was not charged in federal court is that local authorities were first on the scene. "We did assist in the investigation," said FBI Special Agent Steve Frazier in Little Rock. "But when we arrived at the scene, the Little Rock police were already in charge."

However, the federal government routinely seizes jurisdiction from local authorities when it wants to prosecute a case....

FBI officials in Memphis and Little Rock declined to respond to Bledsoe's allegations of a coverup.

"That's not something we would find prudent to comment on," said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Joel Siskovic in Memphis.

In Arkansas, prosecutors view Muhammad as more of a "cold-blooded killer" than a lone terrorist. "You can draw your own conclusions about him," said John Johnson, the chief deputy prosecutor in Little Rock. "But it's ultimately the jury's decision."

Muhammad's attorney, Patrick Benca, said his client is not a terrorist and not a premeditated killer. Though he confessed in writing and to investigators, Muhammad has pleaded not guilty and Benca plans to use an insanity defense."...


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