Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) lost the Michigan Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday, and since he’d given up on his own congressional re-election bid to seek the governor’s office, it now looks like one of the Obama administration’s most vocal critics on national security won’t hold public office next year.
In his years in Congress, Hoekstra has made national security a specialty of sorts, at least in the sense of pegging his name to some very out-there stances.
Let’s look back on the times we’ve shared with Hoekstra:
1. Obama Is Weakening Our National Security! Can You Spare Some Dough?
Back in December, after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s failed Christmas Day bombing, Hoekstra sent out an email to his supporters, denouncing “weak-kneed liberals” trying to “weaken our security.” Then he asked if people could make “make a most generous contribution of $25, $50, $100 or even $250 to my campaign.”
2. Dems Are Using Gitmo Detainees To Bribe Hard-Hit Towns!
Before trying to make money off attempted terrorism, Hoekstra was busy calling out Democrats on the issue of Gitmo detainees. Hoekstra argued that Dems were trying to solve the problem of where to put the detainees by “bribing” economically struggling communities with the lure of jobs.
“They’re going into communities that are hard-pressed economically and holding out a pot of gold,” he said.
3. House Republicans Sure Know What It Feels Like To Be An Iranian Protester
During the protests of the Iranian presidential election in June 2009, Hoekstra took to Twitter and wrote: “Iranian twitter activity similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House.”
The tweet earned Hoekstra wide-spread @heckles.
A Hoekstra spokesperson tried to explain: “The two situations do share the similarity of government leadership attempting to limit debate and deliberation, and the ability of new technologies to bypass their efforts and allow for direct communication. That’s the only point that he was trying to make.”
Hey, that’s way over 140 characters.
4. Hoekstra Accuses Obama Admin Of Withholding Information On Hasan — Sort Of
In November, Hoekstra released a statement criticizing the administration for withholding information about suspected Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan from the Congressional intelligence committees, even after those panels had already been briefed on Hasan.
Hoekstra told ABC News, who originally quoted him anonymously, that “the CIA had, so far, refused to brief the intelligence committees on what, if any, knowledge they had about Hasan’s efforts.” The CIA denied the charge.
5. Gitmo’s ‘A Great Place’
In a November appearance on Face The Nation, Hoekstra said he didn’t understand the push to close Guantanamo Bay prison. “It’s been a great place,” he said.
6. Hey, Everybody, We Found The WMDs In Iraq — Oh, Oops, Nevermind…
In 2006, Hoekstra and then-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) announced that weapons Of mass destruction had finally been found in Iraq. But there was just one catch: the intelligence community and even the White House denied the claim.
David Kay, who headed the U.S. WMD-hunting team in Iraq from 2003 until early 2004, called the weapons, produced before the 1991 Gulf War, “less toxic than most things that Americans have under their kitchen sink at this point.”
7. Let’s ‘Leverage’ The Power Of The Internet: Posting Nuclear Bomb Info Edition
In March 2006, at the urging of Hoekstra and other Congressional Republicans, the government set up a website making public an archive of Iraqi documents obtained during the war. Among them, according to experts consulted by the New York Times, was some helpful information about making a nuclear bomb. In November 2006, according to the Times, “the government shut down the Web site after The New York Times asked about complaints from weapons experts and arms-control officials.”
In April after the site went up, Hoekstra said the aim was to “leverage the Internet to enable a mass examination as opposed to limiting it to a few exclusive elites.”
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com