FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lynch Resumes Campaign By Falsely Accusing Markey Of Voting Against Task Force That Responded To Marathon Bombings
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Boston Globe Says “Boston’s Joint Terrorism Task Force Was Created In 1997… It Was Not Crafted By Congress”
Charlestown, Massachusetts – Since resuming his campaign on Monday, a desperate Stephen Lynch has shamefully attacked Ed Markey’s record of fighting to stop terrorism and keep America safe. Since shifting strategies, Lynch has repeatedly accused Markey of voting against the law enforcement task force that responded to the Marathon bombings, a line of attack that is completely false, writes the Boston Globe today.
During the first debate, Lynch said:
“You voted [no] on creating the Joint Terrorism Task Force, that is the group that enabled our response. If Special Agent DesLauris, if Commissioner Ed Davis, if Tim Alben, if all those state and federal agencies could not work together we would not have had the effective response we had. On that bill, on that bill clearly, I voted yes. I don’t know how you are going to spin this. I voted yes and you voted no. It’s just, that is the fact.”
But as the Globe reports, the charge is completely fabricated:
“In two separate Democratic Senate primary debates, he repeatedly accused US Representative Edward J. Markey of voting against the creation of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the FBI-led interagency group that took command in investigating the Marathon bombings.
“‘I don’t know how you’re going to spin this,’’ Lynch said. ‘I voted yes. You voted no. It’s just, that’s the fact.'”
Lynch was mistaken. He had his terrorism task forces tangled.
Boston’s Joint Terrorism Task Force was created in 1997, an FBI spokeswoman said. That was four years before Lynch was sworn into office. And it was not crafted by Congress, said Tom Powers, a former FBI agent who helped create it.
Here are the facts:
- Lynch has repeatedly accused Ed Markey of voting against the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which responded to the Marathon bombings and enabled the coordinated response between local law enforcement and the FBI.
- But the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force was created in 1997 by the FBI – not by any congressional vote.
- While Lynch lobbed false attacks on Markey during the debates, his own campaign cited HR 5005 as ‘back-up,’ a vote on a completely different and unrelated task force, which was never created, does not exist today, and had nothing to do with the response to the Marathon bombings.
Shorter: in the final days of this election, Stephen Lynch is falsely accusing Ed Markey of opposing the task force that responded to the Marathon bombings.
“Stephen Lynch resumed his campaign after a terror attack on Boston by shamefully questioning Ed Markey’s commitment to keeping America safe, and falsely accusing him of opposing the task force that responded to the Marathon bombings,” said Markey campaign spokesman Andrew Zucker. “For his completely false, underhanded, Karl Rove-ian attack on Ed Markey’s work as a leader on national security issues since 9/11, the people of Massachusetts deserve an apology and explanation from Stephen Lynch himself.”
CLAIM: LYNCH FALSELY ACCUSED MARKEY OF VOTING AGAINST CREATION OF THE JOINT TERRORISM TASK FORCE, WHICH ENABLED THE RESPONSE TO THE MARATHON BOMBING.
During Debate, Lynch Claimed Markey Voted Against Joint Terrorism Task Force That Responded To Marathon Bombings. Lynch: “I think one of the stark differences between myself and Mr. Markey is our voting record on homeland security. I think one of the great parts of what happened this week in terms of the rescue and the coordination and the capture of these terrorists was the coordination between the different agencies, the joint terrorism task force. I voted to create the joint terrorism task force. Mr. Markey voted against that proposal. I voted for repeatedly voted for funding for homeland security. Mr. Markey voted repeatedly against that. So I would continue the priorities that I have and that’s probably why the firefighters and the nurses and the police are all backing me in this race.” [WBZ Debate, 4/22/13]
Later in the debate, Lynch said: “You voted no though. You voted no on the port security bill. You voted on creating the Joint Terrorism Task Force, that is the group that enabled our response. If Special Agent Delauris, if Commissioner Ed Davis, if Tim Alben, if all those state and federal agencies could not work together we would not have had the effective response we had. On that bill, on that bill clearly, I voted yes. I don’t know how you are going to spin this. I voted yes and you voted no. It’s just, that is the fact.” [WBZ Debate, 4/22/13]
During the Springfield debate, Lynch said: “I voted for the creation of the Joint Terrorism Task Force which Mr. Markey voted against and voted for the port security bill that provided great port security for the entire country which all major port representatives voted for including those in New York City which saw the highest damage from September 11th.” [Springfield Debate, 4/23/13]
FACT: MARKEY AND LYNCH VOTED ON THE CREATION OF A DIFFERENT TASK FORCE THAT WAS NEVER CREATED IN BOSTON
Lynch’s Campaign, In A Press Release, Cited The Vote Number And Statute On Which Markey & Lynch Differed. In a press releases sent at the same time, the Lynch campaign wrote: “In 2002, Congressman Lynch voted in favor of creating a Joint Interagency Homeland Security Task Force to facilitate communication and cooperation between federal state and local agencies. Congressman Markey voted against. (HR 5005 – July 26, 2002).” [Lynch Campaign Press Release, 4/22/13]
Amendment Markey & Lynch Voted On Authorized The “Joint Interagency Homeland Security Task Force” Within The Department of Homeland Security. Rogers amendment read: “The Secretary [of Homeland Security] may establish and operate a permanent Joint Interagency Homeland Security Task Force composed of representatives from military and civilian agencies of the United States Government for the purposes of anticipating terrorist threats against the United States and taking appropriate actions to prevent harm to the United States.” It continues, “It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary should model the Joint Interagency Homeland Security Task Force on the approach taken by the Joint Interagency Task Forces for drug interdiction at Key West, Florida and Alameda, California, to the maximum extent feasible and appropriate.” [Rogers Amdt, 586, 2002]
Joint Interagency Homeland Security Task Force Was Never Created In Boston. “On Monday, Lynch’s campaign attempted to bolster his argument by pointing to a July 2002 vote in which the two candidates parted ways. Lynch voted yes and Markey voted no for a piece of legislation that, when it became law, gave the secretary of homeland security the authority, though not the mandate, to create a Joint Interagency Homeland Security Task Force. But that Task Force is not Boston’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the group that led the hunt for the Marathon bombers. Indeed, a Joint Interagency Homeland Security Task Force was never created in Boston, according to a Department of Homeland Security official who declined to be named, citing departmental policy.” [Boston Globe, 4/25/13]
FACT: THE TASK FORCE THAT RESPONDED TO BOSTON MARATHON BOMBINGS WAS THE FBI’S JOINT TERRORISM TASK FORCE, AN ENTIRELY SEPARATE ENTITY
FBI’S (Boston) Joint Terrorism Task Force Responded To Marathon Bombings. “As soon as those important tasks were completed, first responders focused on establishing a criminal investigation. The FBI Boston’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, composed of more than 30 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including Boston Police, Massachusetts State Police, and ATF, HSI, United States Secret Service, and others responded to the scene. Many of them were already there as part of the general security for the marathon already in place.” [FBI.gov, 4/16/13]
FACT: THE FBI’S BOSTON-BASED TASK FORCE WAS CREATED IN 1997, WELL BEFORE THE VOTE LYNCH REFERENCED
The Boston JTTF, Which Responded To The Marathon Bombings, Has Existed Since 1997. “Boston’s Joint Terrorism Task Force was created in 1997, an FBI spokeswoman said. That was four years before Lynch was sworn into office. And it was not crafted by Congress, said Tom Powers, a former FBI agent who helped create it. ‘I don’t recall any congressional mandate or anything from Congress,’ said Powers, who was a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s Boston office in 1997. ‘It was an FBI initiative.’” [Boston Globe, 4/26/13]
FACT: THE NATIONAL JOINT TERRORISM TASK FORCE WAS CREATED IN 2002 BY THE FBI, NOT THE DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY
National JTTF Was Created By The Director of the FBI In 2002, Not DHS. “In July of 2002, the National Joint Terrorism Task Force (NJTTF) was created by order of the Director of the FBI. The NJTTF, staffed by representatives from 40 federal, state, and local agencies, is tasked with coordinating the flow of information between its participating entities and the Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) located in FBI field offices and resident agencies across the country.” [FBI.gov, 2002-2005]
FACT: THE NATIONAL JOINT TERRORISM TASK FORCE WAS CREATED BEFORE THE BILL LYNCH REFERENCED BECAME LAW
National JTTF Established By The FBI In October 2002. In October 2002, Director Mueller told the House Intelligence Committee: “We established a new National Joint Terrorism Task Force at FBI Headquarters to complement task forces established in each of the FBI’s 56 field offices and to improve collaboration and information sharing with other agencies. We currently have representation of 26 federal agencies and two state and local law enforcement officials who report to the FBI’s Command Center as part of this initiative.” [House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence, 10/17/02]