Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas delivered a fiery speech on the Senate floor, expressing his strong opposition to Ambassador Elizabeth Richard’s nomination for counterterrorism coordinator. Cruz cited multiple concerns regarding her policies during her time as ambassador to Lebanon, claiming they make her unfit and unqualified for the position.
One of the major points of contention raised by Cruz was Richard’s support for funding the Internal Security Forces (ISF) in Lebanon with American taxpayer dollars. He argued that this policy indirectly aids groups like Hezbollah, which pose a significant threat to national security.
Cruz also highlighted the case of Amer Fakhoury, a former U.S. hostage who was detained and tortured in Lebanon. Despite never being previously accused of the charges, Fakhoury suffered six months of imprisonment before being released. Cruz expressed frustration that it took bipartisan efforts and the intervention of the Trump administration to secure Fakhoury’s freedom.
The nomination of Ambassador Richard has generated significant backlash from Republican voters and the family of Amer Fakhoury. They expressed shock and disappointment that the Biden administration would select someone with such a troubling record for a critical counterterrorism role.
Cruz criticized Richard for acting out of fear rather than prioritizing the safety of Americans abroad. He pointed to her decision to remove a military force deployed to protect the U.S. Embassy in Beirut after the assassination of Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani. Cruz argued that this action endangered embassy personnel and demonstrated a pattern of appeasement towards Hezbollah.
Cruz concluded his speech by emphasizing that Richard’s approach to counterterrorism consistently downplays the threat of terrorism and even indirectly supports terrorist groups. He declared that such an approach is entirely disqualifying for a nominee for coordinator of counterterrorism.
The nomination of Ambassador Elizabeth Richard has triggered a strong reaction from Republicans who are deeply concerned about her policies and actions in Lebanon.
Senator Cruz’s speech encapsulates these concerns and raises serious questions about her suitability for the role of counterterrorism coordinator. The outcome of this nomination will undoubtedly be closely watched by Republicans across the nation.
Source Fox News