by bob rodriguez
Returning the United States of America to a land of the free with reduced government interference, getting rid of lying politicians, eliminating terrorist threats and securing the borders.
Those were major goals listed by two principal speakers, who received standing ovations, during three hours of presentations at the fifth annual Big Horn Basin Tea Party picnic in Emblem at Rob and Diane DiLorenzo’s Fallowfield Ranch on Saturday, Aug. 15. He told the audience that he and his wife believe that lovers of liberty must be alert for the truth to be able to take appropriate action, which is why they sponsor the annual gathering with “the people who make the news.”
The primary speakers were Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer with a U.S. Navy background who has spent 27 years in intelligence with the CIA; and Dallas Pastor Rafael Cruz, who was part of the revolt against dictator Fulgencio Batista in Cuba, which resulted in imprisonment. He also is the father of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican candidate for president.
The Conservative gathering attracted approximately 150 attendees, fewer than at last year’s rally when attendance was estimated at some 350 persons. Several Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office deputies in civilian clothing were present for the proceedings. Presentations began 90 minutes after the gates opened with the kickoff by Wyoming Rep. Nathan Winters (R-District 28). An associate pastor in Thermopolis, he first offered an invocation and then drew applause from the intent crowd seated on folding chairs under three large canopies for his remarks including supporting states’ rights and decrying federal regulatory power. “We must cherish and defend freedom at all costs,” he said. He especially noted that “a new birth of freedoms” is needed and that it can be brought about “by standing for historic liberties.”
Winters’ talk was preceded by the audience reciting the Pledge of Allegiance led by Rep. Marti Halverson (R-District 22). She and others with her on the platform added (after “justice for all”) the words “born and unborn,” which were applauded.
Simmons, who spoke for more than an hour, including a short question-and-answer session, made it clear that the truth about the September 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya was hidden by President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He also noted that his “patriotism runs very-very deep” and that it is “virtually impossible to comprehend that we have a Communist, Socialist, Muslim sitting in the White House. This is not what I think,” he said, but derives from the president’s actions and those around him. “The president has weakened our great country and our military.”
Being directly involved in the House Committee on Armed Services Majority Interim Report: Benghazi Investigation Update of Feb. 10, 2014, Simmons stated that there is “unequivocal proof” that a video, as claimed by the adminstration, was not responsible for the attack that caused the death of the U.S. Ambassador and four Navy Seals. He said that information about the attack was available some 10 days prior, but that no action was taken and that orders to “stand down” were issued during the attack. He stated several times that what he was telling those assembled is not opinion, but based on solid evidence.
“Why did this (attack) happen?” he asked. “Because even though Muammar Gaddafi, (who was the dictator of Libya before being deposed) was ready to surrender if we’d just let him abdicate, that did not fit Obama’s caliphate. Gaddafi had even lowered his guns and moved his troops. And he hated the Muslin Brotherhood.” Simmons cited a “dereliction of duty” by the U.S. Government, adding that “Obama is a complete failure as commander-in-chief as is Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. The blood of Benghazi is on their hands.”
Simmons also castigated the lack of success on securing the U.S. Southern border, noting that ISIS and others are actively recruiting expert personnel trained in espionage and terrorism from other countries. The United States is being infiltrated by a wide range of terrorists, he said, many of them “sleepers who will wait for months and months under cover” until told to act. Based on his training and continued experience, he said, the threats could be wiped out but for the reluctance and ineptitude of the government.
The intelligence expert also lambasted the administration for “the lack of sanctions” in the deal with Iran revolving around development of nuclear weapons. Besides scoring what he terms the behind-the-scenes deals that prevent proper inspections of the Iranian efforts, he chastised the president for “$150 billion that we are releasing back to Iran; funding that will be used for terrorist groups worldwide and which pose a drastic threat to Israel.” His commentary included scorn that after 20 months of negotiations by Secretary of State John Kerry, the United States basically gave away the store, not even seeking the release of U.S. hostages nor challenging Iran’s human rights violations.
He stated flatly that Iran “could be brought to its knees overnight” if the U.S. government got serious. He concluded his talk with a quote by Winston Churchill: “Victory at all costs, victory in spite of terror, victory however long and harsh the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.”
Because of the heat of the day and a number of extra speakers, Cruz opened his 30-minute, passionate talk to a crowd that had dwindled to approximately 50 persons. A Cuban native, he eventually settled in Texas and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005. He now is a pastor at a church in Dallas and serves as the director of Purifying Fire Ministries ministering in the United States, Mexico and Central America. He is also a professor of Bible and Theology and the president of Kingdom Translation Services.
His opening comment brought chuckles, as he said, “I lost my freedom once and I’m not willing to do it again. I will die first.” He quoted President Reagan, who said, “Freedom isn’t free.” Said Cruz, “We must fight for it, and we must rescue America now while there is still time” by electing the best person for president. Regarding his son’s candidacy, he observed with a grin, “I am biased; I better be.” His opinion is that if the RNC puts up Jeb Bush then Hillary Clinton will be elected chief executive and “she will be worse than Obama.”
He said that “ignorance and apathy” among many in the country are a big part of the current ills. There are people, he said, who when challenged to stand for America to remedy its downhill slide, say, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” He sees “complacency” as a huge problem that has contributed to the steady demise of “the greatest nation.” Several times he used Biblical quotations to highlight the necessity to elect the best, noting that, “We need to elect capable people and stop electing the village idiot. We need men and women of truth instead of those who make promises and then when elected do nothing.
“We need to stop listening to rhetoric and look at the record of what they do. My son is a working Conservative; he believes and he acts.” The pastor pointed to his son’s record of fighting against huge odds to accomplish what he knows is right for the country such as achieving the proper recognition for those killed at Fort Hood. “It was not workplace violence, as Obama claimed,” he said. “America is in crisis,” he continued, “and in OK’ing the Iran nuclear deal “he has violated his oath of office as did Kerry. We need crisis leadership now; not crisis management.” He pointed to his son’s plans and positions in many areas that he feels will take the country into a better place.
In conclusion he asked the audience to trust in divine providence and do whatever it takes to again make America “the shining light on the hill,” and exhorted those present “to take this country back” from the liars and lifetime politicians.
Other speakers during the rally were Anthony Bouchard, director of the Wyoming Gun Owners Association; Shannon Walker, who heads the Northwest Battle Buddies K-9 program for veterans with PTSD; Rebecca Brown, Heritage Action for America western regional coordinator; and Jim Nations, director of the Cassandra Project, who says that Common Core is “a Trojan horse.” H. Leighton Steward, president and chairman of Plants Need CO2, a group working “to educate the public on the positive effects of additional atmospheric CO2 and help prevent the inadvertent negative impact to human, plant and animal life if we reduce CO2,” did not speak, but literature on the cause was available.