Early today, unsubstantiated threats were sent to the country’s two largest school districts, New York and Los Angeles. They reacted night and day differently. New York played the odds, concluded the threat was not credible and kept its schools open, business as usual. Los Angeles closed its more than 1,000 school campuses.
Who was right? In New York, it was already midday. All the kids were already in school. The tough guy mentality prevailed. “Said, New York officials, “When we give in to terrorist threats, the terrorists win.” In Los Angeles, where it was early morning, and the word could be put out before the kids were in school, the schools were closed, not without considerable backseat criticism. Said Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines “On my watch, the safety of our children comes first. End of discussion.”
Who made the right call? New York or Los Angeles? Not even close. Los Angeles in a landslide.
What did Los Angeles risk for betting conservative and being wrong? A few dollars and PERHAPS some loss of face? Los Angeles put the children first, as well it should have. KUDOS TO CORTINES FOR NOT PUSSYFOOTING AROUND AND INSTEAD PROMPTLY MAKING THE HARD CALL, THE RIGHT CALL, AND TO LOS ANGELES’ MAYOR AND POLICE CHIEF WHO BACKED HIM AFTER HIS CALL PROVED “UNNECESSARY” INSTEAD OF SECOND GUESSING HIM AS THEY EASILY COULD HAVE AND THROWN HIM UNDER THE (SCHOOL) BUS.
New York officials want to play chicken with the lives of our children to show the terrorists how tough we are? And if the threat was for real? What would the New York officials have said then? If these politicians wanted to play tough, let them do it with their own lives, not the lives of our children.
Of course, the real goats here (with apologies to the goats) are our political representatives in Washington, D.C. and the bureaucrats they put in charge of our safety. We have potentially tens of thousands of “low profile” terrorists running around the country today. Why, because of the inept, porous vetting system we have been employing with our visa and visa waiver processes. And the present administration now stubbornly wants to use that same unreliable system to vet some waiting 20,000 Syrian refugees who we all know include some unidentified number of terrorists licking their chops and laughing at us as they make ready to take advantage of our “social values” and enter our country to repeat what we recently suffered at the hands of Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the latter of whom entered the country on a k-1 marriage visa.
It really bears repeating what Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau, a State Department spokeswoman, said in a recent interview reported by the Los Angeles Times on December 15:
Malik didn’t raise any red flags in the government’s review of her visa application, said Trudeau. “There were no indications of any ill intent at the time that visa was issued.”
Trudeau also said allegations made by Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that Malik gave a false home address in her application were not true. “We believe it was the correct answer.” (emphasis added)
According to Trudeau, Farook, a U.S. citizen born in Illinois, also would have undergone scrutiny to bring his fiancée into the country. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services application would have required him to provide his name and background, and to identify Malik and give her home address. Farook would then have signed the form as a U.S. citizen petitioning to escort his fiancée to the United States for marriage.
Once Farook’s petition was approved, Malik would have been instructed to undergo a medical exam at a clinic specified by the U.S. consulate and then report for a visa interview. There she likely would have filled out a questionnaire about her background. That’s certainly comforting. She would have filled out a questionnaire.
At that point, Trudeau added, barring any problems, the k-1 visa normally is issued within 48 hours.
Let me see if I have this right:
First, representatives of the State Department and the chairman of our Senate Judiciary Committee STILL can’t get together on whether Malik falsified her address on her application papers. Seems pretty basic to me. Either she gave her correct address or she didn’t. How come those who are charged with protecting our interests still can’t figure that out?
Second, the bulk of what Trudeau had to say in her interview is that the bad guys are trusted to certify that they are good guys. Does that work for you? That people radicalized enough or crazy enough to do what Malik and Farook did, including being fully prepared to die in the course of doing so, and to abandon their six-month old child, conceived as they prepared for their mission, could be trusted not to have falsified their application papers for Malik’s entry! It sure doesn’t work for me. BUT WHAT TRULY BOTHERS ME IS HOW NAÏVE OUR REPRESENTATIVES ARE!
Third, I am also amazed that once going through this patently superficial process, Malik received her visa in 48 hours. Great to see how efficient and prompt our government bureaucrats really can be, how quickly they can turn these admission processes around.
Further, when asked whether the process includes an examination of the social media posts of such visas applicants, Trudeau said that is not required, but can be done if in the judgment of the visa examiner it’s warranted. On the one hand, one can’t help but wonder when it wouldn’t be warranted. On the other hand, this seems like nothing more than an expectation that terrorists would publicly confess their true intentions in advance—when they are falsifying their application papers. Government officials were quick to point out that in many instances social media posts are confidential. Like Congress couldn’t do something about that.
But here’s the real deal: Why wouldn’t our leaders, on whom we depend for our safety, enact and implement a procedure that says anyone who wants to be admitted to our country must submit to lie detector tests and examination under professionally administered truth “serums,” such as sodium pentothal, short for a range of psychoactive medications used to obtain information from subjects who are unwilling to otherwise provide it. Such medications have been used for years in the course of investigating civil and criminal cases and for the evaluation of psychotic patients in the practice of psychiatry. Perhaps this is a bit indelicate for those who obsess over our country’s social values, but, pardon me, it’s not exactly water boarding and I’m a lot more concerned about the safety of our school children and the next round of innocent victims who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, like when Tashfeen Malik thanked us for our social delicacies and for making it possible for her to do what she and Farook did in San Bernardino.
For crying out loud, literally, who’s got our backs?
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