GOP candidate warns of "1,000 Pearl Harbors"

House hopeful Ilario Pantano says he fears the Chinese could launch a devastating attack from Cuba

By Justin Elliott
Published October 13, 2010 5:05PM (UTC)
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Congressional candidate Ilario Pantano

In a new interview, GOP congressional candidate Ilario Pantano (whose candidacy -- and controversial past in Iraq -- we've been following) talks of his fears of the Chinese launching an attack equivalent to "1,000 Pearl Harbors" from Cuba, in what he calls a "second Cuban missile crisis" or "CMC2".

Wired's Danger Room blog quizzed Pantano, who is in a tight race in North Carolina's seventh district and hopes to sit on the House Armed Services Committee if elected, on his views about China, Iraq, and Islam.


On China, he thinks that the U.S. should use Afghanistan's mineral wealth to fund an "exploration race" with China (in space and in the ocean). He in fact wrote a policy paper on the Cuba-China threat titled, "The Cuban Piece in China’s Puzzle: The Second Cuban Missile Crisis (CMC2)."

A couple other interesting tidbits: He refers to the people the U.S. is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as "primitives."

Folks, one day we’re going to be in a fight with an enemy using [an] EMP [gadget-frying electro-magnetic pulse] and we better remember how to use a compass. We better remember how to use smoke. We better remember how to engage the enemy the old-fashioned way because one day we may lose our strong technical advantage. We certainly found that out as we fought primitives, whether it was in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Also Pantano may have done private contracting work of some kind in Afghanistan (though this does not show up on his campaign bio).


DR: I may be remembering this wrong. But I think you did some security consulting in Afghanistan…

IP: I don’t want to go into detail on that. I just want to say that I’ve been to Afghanistan and I’ve written on some observations on Afghanistan. I don’t want to comment on time spent there.

 Read the whole thing.

Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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