Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hmmm....maybe we should stop...I don't know....immigration...of some kind...until we can figure out WHY THE HELL OUR SCREENING SYSTEM ISN'T DOING FARGING BACKGROUND CHECKS!!!...

...or something.

Because I don't think that Americans need to die just so that we don't offend people with "anti-American sentiment."

From James Taranto:

//The New York Times had an important scoop over the weekend:

Tashfeen Malik, who with her husband carried out the massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., passed three background checks by American immigration officials as she moved to the United States from Pakistan. None uncovered what Ms. Malik had made little effort to hide—that she talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad.
She said she supported it. And she said she wanted to be a part of it. . . .
Had the authorities found the posts years ago, they might have kept her out of the country. But immigration officials do not routinely review social media as part of their background checks, and there is a debate inside the Department of Homeland Security over whether it is even appropriate to do so.
That is a dramatic understatement, a whistleblower later told ABC News. The DHS’s ignorance of Malik’s social-media policies was the result of a strict policy:

Fearing a civil liberties backlash and “bad public relations” for the Obama administration, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson refused in early 2014 to end the secret U.S. policy that prohibited immigration officials from reviewing the social media messages of all foreign citizens applying for U.S. visas, according to a former senior department official.
“During that time period immigration officials were not allowed to use or review social media as part of the screening process,” John Cohen, a former acting under-secretary at DHS for intelligence and analysis.
In the fall of 2014, the department began a few “pilot programs” to screen social-media postings, “but current officials say that it is still not a widespread policy. A review of the broader policy is already underway, the DHS said.”

“Already.” After one attack on America and 14 American civilians killed.

DHS appears to operate under the assumption that nonresident aliens applying for admission to the U.S. enjoy the full range of civil liberties under the U.S. Constitution. That Times report ends with an odd observation that points in the same direction.

On social media, Fehda Malik [the dead terrorist’s sister] has made provocative comments of her own. In 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, she posted a remark on Facebook beside a photo of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center that could be interpreted as anti-American.
Social media comments, by themselves, however, are not always definitive evidence. In [Malik’s native] Pakistan—as in the United States—there is no shortage of crass and inflammatory language. And it is often difficult to distinguish Islamist sentiments and those driven by political hostility toward the United States. At the time Fehda Malik’s comment was posted, anti-American sentiment in Pakistan was particularly high; four months earlier, American commandos had secretly entered Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden.
The first sentence of the latter paragraph verges on tautology. When Malik entered the U.S. last year, it would have been impossible to find “definitive evidence” that she was a violent jihadi—because she had not yet committed acts of violent jihad. Although the Times report avoids overt editorializing, it seems to imply that it would be wrong to exclude aliens who merely express “anti-American sentiment.”

But why? Such expression would be protected under the First Amendment if made by a U.S. citizen. But then so would speech advocating violent jihad, assuming it did not rise to the level of incitement or true threat. Tolerating citizens who hold such views is a reasonable price to pay for freedom. Inviting in aliens who do is not.

And as we noted last week, there is no legal basis for the DHS’s supposed civil-liberties concern. The Supreme Court has held Congress’s power to regulate immigration to be plenary, and in 1972 it rejected out of hand a Belgian communist’s claim that the U.S. could not constitutionally refuse him admission on account of his otherwise protected political speech.

As for the concern about “bad public relations,” it will suffice to say it’s called the Department of Homeland Security, not the Department of Good Public Relations.

The DHS’s putative rationale is in keeping with the Obama administration’s approach to terrorism—specifically, with the president’s politically correct but theologically and intellectually vapid assertions to the effect that “ISIL speaks for no religion.”

Last week Donald Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” There are good arguments that the Trump solution is too sweeping. But it’s hard to fault his description of the problem. Not only have top administration officials failed to figure out what’s going on, it is their policy not to know. Earlier this month 14 Americans in San Bernardino paid the ultimate price for their government’s willful ignorance.///


1 comment:

mrez said...

THIS IS BIZARRE. How long it is going to take "us" to create the best policies to keep Americans and others safe? Is it not true that certain persons in government actually pledge to work to keep persons safe. How can anyone with a functioning mind choose to ignore information that could keep people safe? It is reasonable to look for information anywhere it can be found in order to promote safety. No one who deliberately causes harm deserves a modicum of privacy or the rights we seem to take for granted. Good Article.

 
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