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Posted: 3/17/2002 4:24:28 AM EDT
...at least insofar as our federal government is concerned... [size=4]Status Quo[/size=4] [b]Heads should have rolled six months ago.[/b] by Delbert Murdock March 15, 2002 8:00 a.m. Nearly six months after they slammed jumbo jets into World Trade Center Towers One and Two respectively, killer pilots Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi received approval for flight training from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Nothing better highlights the outrageous lack of accountability for the most calamitous intelligence and law-enforcement blunder in U.S. history. Holes large enough to accommodate Boeing 767s still plague federal security agencies. [b]When will heads roll over 9/11?[/b] Rudi Dekkers, owner of Huffman Aviation International in Venice, Florida, (where the two kamikaze hijackers took flight lessons) was startled to receive these notices on March 11, the very day Americans commemorated the six months elapsed since terror struck. The documents — mailed March 5 from an INS-contracted processing center in London, Kentucky — upgraded Atta's and al-Shehhi's tourist visas to student status, allowing them to study at Huffman. According to NBC News, one of the notices was addressed to Atta himself. How on earth could federal authorities responsible for barring dangerous aliens from the United States see Atta's and al-Shehhi's names on federal forms and not trigger klaxons? [b]This is akin to presidential aides sending Lee Harvey Oswald an invitation to a May 1964 White House state dinner.[/b] How many other known fanatics are receiving student visas so they can hone their mass-murder skills? Atta's notorious name made no one at the INS say, "Hey, boss. Check this out!" so,why should such obscure names as suspected U.S. embassy bombers Saif al-Adel and Anas al-Liby raise eyebrows merely because they are on the FBI's 22 Most Wanted Terrorists list? The INS, for its part, says the visas were approved before anyone had ever heard of these suicide pilots. Still, the fact that these forms routinely traversed taxpayer-funded desks and computer screens a full half-year since September's slaughter indicates that U.S. officials are not just napping in the cockpit; they've lapsed into a deep, collective coma. And who can blame them? They can see clearly that no matter how badly they screw up, they can continue to collect their paychecks and plump up their pension funds. After consulting government sources, private-sector experts and Internet databases, I cannot name one federal employee who has lost his job over the 9-11 attacks. - continued -
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 4:27:54 AM EDT
The INS, for example, suggests it is too soon after this fiasco for anyone to be terminated. INS commissioner James Ziglar could snap his staff from their slumber by clearing out his desk. And the INS also should send people packing at the London, Kentucky facility. "I am unaware of anyone who has been fired or dismissed based on" 9/11, said spokesman Bill Carter of the FBI, the agency in charge of domestic counterterrorism. Asked if any of her colleagues had been sacked or had resigned in shame since 9/11, spokeswoman Anya Guilsher told me: "At the CIA, the answer is no." Director George Tenet, of course, still heads the CIA after America's most catastrophic intelligence lapse ever. In February 6 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Tenet actually boasted about the CIA's "record of discipline, strategy, focus, and action." He added: "We are proud of that record." Under the circumstances, one might have expected a bit more humility from Tenet. Apparently, working in Washington means never having to say you're sorry. [b]This is an era without consequences, and nowhere more so than in the federal government.[/b] High profile, public, congressional hearings might begin to expose the people and systems that totally malfunctioned that late-summer morning. Those officials who did not do their jobs surely are well-intentioned patriots. But if they lack the imagination, intellect, energy or basic competence to have prevented 3,054 deaths, they should not remain at their stations. If they are merely victims of faulty procedures, excessive paperwork, antiquated computers, or other factors, those immediately must be streamlined and modernized. Sweeping all this under a Persian rug while letting those who failed in their sensitive posts remain just won't do. Vacuuming up this mess is a matter of national urgency. That may scuttle some careers and hurt some feelings, but how many more mass funerals are we prepared to stomach? See article at:[url]http://www.nationalreview.com/murdock/murdock031502.shtml[/url] Eric The(Astounded)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 5:22:21 AM EDT
ETH, 99.9999999999999999999999999999675% of the time I agree with you. You expose the filthy, lying and putrid keystone in the arch of liberal thought. With almost a decade of decadence in the Fed agencies...........well, just because Reno is gone does not mean that the blind lady recognizes/dispenses justice once more. Dave S Being a piss-poor, back-sliding christian(hope He atleast lets me polish the bright work at the gate) I understand that sometimes only blood can fix things.
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 5:37:37 AM EDT
This is bureaucracy at its finest! [:)]
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 5:41:48 AM EDT
When they were talking about federalizing airport security and everyone was so for it, I was busy reminding people that this was the same federal government that's been under fire for screwing up everything it touches. Our tax dollars at work... The lack of accountability seems to be everywhere these days. Not just in government...
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 6:23:42 AM EDT
Let me offer these thoughts for your consideration: 1) Central Intelligence Agency - did the CIA fail or did those in power above the CIA fail when Osama Bin was offered (the offer was CIA arranged) on a platter to the Klinton administration and that administration declined the offer. For years the CIA has been virtually handcuffed in the recruitment and use of human intelligence. (Spies by any other name.....) 2) INS - the INS is heavily stocked with outdated information systems. The lack of proper systems is a least a contributing factor to their dismal record. Congress and especially the oversight committees bear heavy responsibility. HOW DOES THE INS TRACK THOSE LEGALLY IN THE COUNTRY WITH VISA'S ???? Unless some form of ID is required of visa holders and a requirement that the ID is shown when renting a car, a motel, etc., I don't know how you track a person in this country with our relative freedoms ?? I also do not know how motel clerks, rent car agencies and the like would know who to ask for their INS I.D. ?? ----------------------------------------------- PLEASE tell me I didn't just defend two government agencies !!
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 10:23:33 AM EDT
Immigration Inaction Six months later, and little has been done. By Mark Krikorian March 11, 2002 Six months ago today, 19 foreign citizens living among us launched the biggest attack yet in radical Islam's war on the United States, giving a whole new meaning to the term "home front." But little progress has been made in fixing the colossal problems with our immigration policy highlighted by the attacks, and there are even signs that border controls will be further eroded over the next few weeks. Taking its cue from the groups pushing for increased immigration, the administration has gone to great lengths to decouple immigration from terrorism. For example, INS Commissioner James Ziglar, vying for the Norman Mineta Award for Inappropriate Response to Terrorism, said "We're not talking about immigration, we're talking about evil." Perhaps the terrorists were summoned from a magic lamp rather than given visas and admitted through our border-control infrastructure. Another talking point of the "evil, not immigration" crowd was that the terrorists were not really immigrants at all, but just temporary visitors. Leaving aside the fact that 40 percent of illegal aliens start out as such "temporary" visitors, this objection ignores the previous decade of Islamic terrorism on our soil. Since 1993, we know of dozens of foreign-born terrorists associated with al Qaeda who have been active in the United States, and they represent the whole gamut of immigration possibilities. It's true that many of them were on valid temporary visas at the time of their attacks or arrests — as tourists, students, or business travelers. But others were legal immigrants or naturalized citizens, including Egyptian-born Ali Mohammed, who wrote al Qaeda's terrorist handbook, and Mahmoud "The Red" Abouhalima, an illegal-alien cabbie in New York who fraudulently received amnesty as an agricultural worker. And who can forget Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, who was issued an employment-based green card in the "minister of religion" category. Yet other terrorists were illegal aliens, several of whom were attempting to forestall deportation by applying for asylum. So despite the denials and wishful thinking, it's clear that Islamic terrorists have penetrated every aspect of our immigration system. Has anything been done since Sept. 11 to remedy this? Many of the measures widely discussed since Sept. 11 — such as a foreign-student tracking system, computerized entry/exit tracking for visitors, and federal standards for state driver's licenses — were actually passed by Congress more than five years ago, but were repealed or watered down in the interim. Not one lawmaker has been called to task for his actions in weakening our defenses against terrorism, though this may change as the November elections draw near. Since Sept. 11, the various agencies responsible for border control have taken some relatively minor administrative measures. The State Department, for instance, has instituted more thorough checks for young male visa applicants. The INS, meanwhile, has finally decided to hand over to the FBI the names of people who absconded to avoid deportation.
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 10:25:59 AM EDT
Useful as they are, such changes are mere baby steps in the right direction, and woefully overdue baby steps at that. State Department visa officers, for instance, are still handcuffed by a 1990 law which virtually prohibits the denial of a visa to a foreigner based on his "beliefs, statements or associations," if those beliefs, etc., would have been constitutionally protected in the United States. Thus the Palestinian woman we all saw on CNN ululating with joy over the murder of our countrymen has to be let in as long as she hasn't killed anyone yet. The one piece of legislation that holds promise has passed the House but is held up in the Senate by a procedural matter. The bill would require foreign visitors to carry an I.D. containing a fingerprint or other identifier so their departure (or lack thereof) can be reliably tracked. Interestingly, despite the fact that this bill has two conservative Republicans among its original cosponsors, it is opposed by the White House. But administration opposition to this kind of genuine improvement in visa control should come as no surprise, considering that the official responsible for long-term policy and planning at the INS is one Stuart Anderson, a libertarian crusader for higher immigration and weaker law enforcement. Anderson, formerly of the Cato Institute and later Sen. Spencer Abraham's immigration staffer, has actually described the very limited immigration law-enforcement response to Sept. 11 as "Gestapo tactics" — a sentiment more in line with Susan Sontag than John Ashcroft. Such hostility among some elements of the administration to enforcing the immigration law may also help explain two border-busting proposals on the horizon. As early as tomorrow, the House may vote to restore a provision of the immigration law known in the jargon as section 245i. This measure, strongly supported by the White House, is a quasi-amnesty for people waiting for green cards but who are already living here illegally. In addition to undermining the rule of law, such a measure would undermine security by permitting perhaps one-fourth of our entire "legal" immigration flow to undergo a background check by an INS clerk in the United States rather than by a State Department officer in their home countries, trained for that task and experienced in the culture. It would also promote illegal immigration more generally by rewarding lawbreakers and sending the unmistakable message that obeying the law is for suckers.
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 10:26:59 AM EDT
The other potential border-busting measure may come up during President Bush's trip to Mexico March 22. News reports suggest that the White House wants to announce a plan to put millions of Mexican illegal aliens on the path to citizenship through the vehicle of a guestworker program. Under such an approach, the illegals would be required to work as "temporary" workers and, after a period of several years, would be rewarded with green cards. Like the big 1986 amnesty, such a program would overwhelm the INS, foster massive fraud, and increase future illegal immigration. Despite the bad news, there is still hope that we will eventually act on the immigration lessons of Sept. 11. There are important elements in the administration strongly committed to immigration law enforcement and effective border control, most notably Attorney General Ashcroft and Gov. Tom Ridge. And it took three years after the first World Trade Center attack to finally get immigration and antiterrorism bills passed that sought to improve what would come to be called homeland security. But a lot can happen in three years.
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 10:33:15 AM EDT
While many will be quick to blame incompetence or lack of accountability, I think it's obvious that the problem is lack of funding. The federal gov't is hamstrung by its puny $2 trillion budget. I'm sending in an additional $10 w/ my 1040. Who's with me?
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 11:27:19 AM EDT
Now I know why the INS took four years to approve my green card application, despite every paper being in order and my squeaky clean background. All their time was taken up issuing visas to dead terrorists [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 11:30:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ludwig: While many will be quick to blame incompetence or lack of accountability, I think it's obvious that the problem is lack of funding. The federal gov't is hamstrung by its puny $2 trillion budget. I'm sending in an additional $10 w/ my 1040. Who's with me?
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ludwig, funding may be a small part of it, but the INS's operations are largely funded by substantial user fees. The problem is that the INS has become a horribly bureaucratic and inefficient organization where the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing. Some drastic reorganization has to take place for the nation's borders and interest to be protected, while processing the cases of lawful immigrants in a timely and responsive manner. Presently, neither are happening.
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 7:24:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ckapsl:
Originally Posted By ludwig: While many will be quick to blame incompetence or lack of accountability, I think it's obvious that the problem is lack of funding. The federal gov't is hamstrung by its puny $2 trillion budget. I'm sending in an additional $10 w/ my 1040. Who's with me?
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ludwig, funding may be a small part of it, but the INS's operations are largely funded by substantial user fees. The problem is that the INS has become a horribly bureaucratic and inefficient organization where the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing. Some drastic reorganization has to take place for the nation's borders and interest to be protected, while processing the cases of lawful immigrants in a timely and responsive manner. Presently, neither are happening.
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He's being facetious, dude[:D] $2 trillion. Check it out.
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 7:26:35 PM EDT
Right now everyone from the middle east currently here on a visa should be told to get the fuck out. Nor should anyone but diplomats be allowed entry. Not exactly rocket science.
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 7:51:41 PM EDT
The Federal Government failed to protect us? Well.... DUH! The Department of Defense(which is supposed to protect us) was too busy meddling in the affairs of other nations. The solution is instead of bringing our troops home and revising our defense establishment to protect us, we do the opposite, and create more government bureaucracies who will waste money and fail. When will heads roll? Never. We don't learn from our mistakes.
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 8:05:53 PM EDT
Anyone catch "60 Minutes" tonight? The story about the DOE and its mishandling of the most important cleanup of our time had me nearly crying. 100 square miles of groundwater contaminated at the Hanford site (I think it was Hanford) out west. It got so bad that at one point the radioactive slime was boiling out of control and could have exploded. The part about how they constructed a very expensive building only to find out the equipment would not fit inside--holy fleecing the taxpayer Batman! Holy shit is every government agency this out of control? The DOE blew $500,000,000 and still hasn't cleaned up but 2% of the waste. That's piss poor by any standard. Lockheed Martin ripped us off, to boot. And they never learn from their mistakes--they just cover them up.
Link Posted: 3/18/2002 1:37:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By drjarhead: Right now everyone from the middle east currently here on a visa should be told to get the fuck out. Nor should anyone but diplomats be allowed entry. Not exactly rocket science.
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You ugly racist![img]http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/smilie/biggrin2.gif[/img] How dare you suggest such a thing! Don't you know these people are only here seeking a better life? [img]http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/smilie/boohoo.gif[/img] Sweep deleted a post of mine along these lines back during September when I dared suggest Arab residents in this country should be VERY careful how they dressed and spoke for a while. The condition you are speaking of will self correct when the terrorists detonate their WMD in some major population center here. Arab "residents" will be found hanging from light poles then.[IMG]http://216.40.198.77/mysmilies/s/contrib/anym/hanged.gif[/IMG]
Link Posted: 3/18/2002 1:46:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 9:25:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By platform389: The condition you are speaking of will self correct when the terrorists detonate their WMD in some major population center here. Arab "residents" will be found hanging from light poles then.[IMG]http://216.40.198.77/mysmilies/s/contrib/anym/hanged.gif[/IMG]
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I suppose that we can all hope that you will be wrong, in all respects.
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 10:01:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By drjarhead: He's being facetious, dude[:D] $2 trillion. Check it out.
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My bad. I should have caught that. [:)]
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 10:45:45 AM EDT
Why isn't Imbroglio yelling Big Government is always out for everyones best interests. HUMMMM?
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 11:06:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2002 11:07:39 AM EDT by Sundrop]
Here's what bothers me so much about the stupid Federal government: [b]"Attorney General John Ashcroft, meanwhile, [red]asked leaders on Capitol Hill[/red] for the authority to fire INS officials -- a power that had been dropped during the appropriations process."[/b] How is it that the Attorney General doesn't have the authority already to dismiss the bungling idiots who aren't doing their jobs? [url]http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/03/15/ins.shakeup/index.html[/url] Jim
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