Victims' Rights Caucus



Jul 18 2013



Mr. Speaker, it was September 1972. People from all over the world were gathered in Munich, Germany, for the Olympic Games. After World War II, there was a feeling of optimism and unity. But overnight, those feelings turned to turmoil and turned to terror.

The world awoke to images of a deadly terrorist attack in the Olympic Village. A terrorist group called Black September took 11 Israeli hostages and massacred them. In response, the Israeli Government did not hesitate. The Israeli policy was: you will not murder Israelis anywhere in the world.

So for 20 years, Israel hunted down the killers all over the globe, from Paris to London to Beirut to Stockholm. With its response, one thing became clear to the terrorists: if they hurt Israelis, there would be consequences, and the consequences would not be pleasant. Israel would find them, and Israel did find them.

So flash-forward 40 years. On the 11th anniversary of 9/11, there were once again attacks on American sovereign soil. In Egypt, militants stormed the U.S. Embassy. In Libya, our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were brutally murdered.

There has been no accountability or action from this administration regarding these crimes. All Americans have received are grainy surveillance photos and some empty promises.

Where is the justice for these families of these four victims? The identities of some of the attackers are known. Why have we failed to go get them?

When America has been tested by terrorists in the past, we have gone after them, just like Israel has done.

In 1996, 19 American soldiers were murdered in Saudi Arabia. The United States responded.

In 2001, when 3,000 people from all over the world were murdered here in the United States, we responded. President Bush said:

The search is under way for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice.

Is that our U.S. policy today? Well, we don't know. We don't know what the current U.S. policy is about Americans killed overseas. All we get is a lot of words with no results from the administration.

Our enemies continue to test us because they no longer fear us, Mr. Speaker. The world no longer knows where America stands on terrorist attacks--not our allies, not our enemies, and not American citizens.

So what is our policy when a U.S. Embassy is attacked? More broadly speaking, what is our foreign policy in north Africa? North Africa is a breeding ground for terrorism, and al Qaeda affiliates are being trained and expanding across the entire African continent.