Breitbart News Executive Chairman and former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon honored slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry Saturday, recounting that not only did Terry lay down his life that night in December 2010, but his legacy shaped the central issue that saw Donald Trump elected in 2016: southern border security.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that he will lay down his life for his friend,” Bannon said, as he began speaking to attendees of the annual Brian Terry Foundation Courage Awards Dinner. “Brian Terry laid down his life for his friends, his family, his community, and his country. I don’t think you’ll meet a braver man.”
Bannon was invited to the dinner to speak on border security and receive the Brian A. Terry Courage in Journalism & Reporting Award. He took the stage and turned the attention to the historic role that Terry’s life and death played in pivotal moments for the country in the seven years since.
“I want to put his life tonight in historical context. And his death,” he continued.
Bannon recalled the 2011 actions of whistleblower John Dodson, who was present and honored that night with the same award awarded to Bannon. Dodson testified before Congress during hearings on the Obama-era gun running scandal Fast and Furious. A Fast and Furious gun was identified in connection with Terry’s murder.
“Our great Border Patrol agents, the problem on the southern border, these transnational cartels, the crime, the almost narco-state that Mexico had deteriorated into, the establishment’s looking away, all of those issues were not really on the front burner,” said Bannon.
“It was the death of this great Border Patrol agent and the courage of John Dodson that made it a national issue in 2011,” he continued.
Bannon recalled resistance from the Republican establishment to address these border and immigration issues back in 2011.
Is anything more dramatic than the death of Brian Terry in that canyon? With what, rip crews from transnational, what, the Sinaloa cartel? And a brave man that served this country as a Marine, dying to protect his community from more drugs coming into it, drugs that would destroy the community? Is there anything braver than Dodson up on that congressional hearing? And you could tell up there, with the phoniness of some of the congressmen up there. They didn’t want to address the issues.
In 2012, then-President Barack Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress. Bannon pointed out to charity dinner participants that this was the first time in the history of the Republic that this had happened to a sitting Attorney General.
Bannon tied this directly to the death of Terry and the exposure that it gave to the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal. “Later, 120 Republican representatives actually called for [Holder’s] resignation,” he added. “It gets so heated in 2012 that even Mitt Romney, and all the other establishment candidates that were running for President that year, actually were forced to ask for Holder’s resignation.”
Bannon spoke of then-House Speaker John Boehner’s resistance to holding Holder in civil and criminal contempt. It would be just two years later that Boehner would be ousted as Speaker. According to Bannon, this came largely as a result of Boehner’s failure to support conservatives on the issue of southern border security.
In summer 2013, the Gang of Eight tried and failed to pass amnesty. Bannon recalled the tight vote and that the issue of border security continued as a preeminent issue. He also recalled that border security was the “one issue” that propelled Dave Brat and his 200,000 dollars to win his primary challenge against House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and his 20 million dollar war chest in 2014.
Bannon described, from 2014 through 2016, some of the high points of Trump’s bid for the presidency and the pivotal role that the issue of border security played in his success.
“President Trump has, I think, done a tremendous job in his first year,” said Bannon.
“But,” he went on to say:
I can tell you, he wouldn’t be President of the United States if [not for] the incident that happened here. This is, Brian Terry will live in history as a historical figure and the reason was, he brought to the attention of the American people, he put a human face on it, he put a hero’s face on it, of what is exactly at risk on the southern border of our country.
Bannon thanked the Terry family and received the Brian A. Terry Courage in Journalism & Reporting Award from the Foundation.
Proceeds from the dinner benefit the Brian Terry Scholarship Program, which provides “financial assistance to the families of slain Border Patrol agents.”
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