The first two Presidential primary debates are behind us but before Election Day there will be many, many more to come.
Typically the news media not only broadcast the debates but are quick to report on the statements and responses made by the candidate participants.
However, what receives little attention are the questions that were asked and the questions that were not asked by the journalist-moderators. This is a new version of “don’t ask – don’t tell!”
The importance of questions cannot be underestimated. My dad sagely told me that the only “dumb” question is the one you don’t ask.
The French philosopher Voltaire famously opined that you should judge a person’s intelligence by the questions he asks.
As an agent, my ability to ask the right question at the right time was a vital skill and one that I worked at for my entire career.
The questioning of an individual in a formal setting comes in two forms, the initial question and the follow-up question(s). I compare this to boxing. The initial question is not unlike the jab while the follow-up question is like the punch to the jaw and may actually score the knockout.
During the first two Democratic Primary debates many issues were raised that actually have relevance to the immigration crisis, yet this connection was never made.
Inasmuch as the “war on terror” continues and the “all clear” has not sounded and is not likely to sound for quite some time, I would want to start out by asking each and every candidate for any significant political office, but particularly for the Presidency, if he/she had read the 9/11 Commission Report and the companion report, 9/11 and Terrorist Travel in their entirety.
The 9/11 Commission was convened specifically to learn from our mistakes to protect America and Americans from future terror attacks.
The President of the United States is also the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces and is also of all federal law enforcement agencies.
Any serious candidate for the Presidency must consider those reports to be “required reading.”
The preface of the report 9/11 and Terrorist Travel begins with the following:
It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.
It went on to state:
Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.
In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.
Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.
Here is yet another excerpt:
Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.
This then lays the groundwork for these followup questions:
- Given the above-noted, how could any serious candidate call for permitting aliens to enter the United States without vetting and then permit them to apply for political asylum?
- How could you insist on a massive amnesty program to provide unknown millions of illegal aliens with lawful status even though there are no resources to interview all of these aliens, let alone conduct field investigations?
- We have seen terrorists easily commit immigration fraud, what would you do to address this vulnerability. Indeed, the candidates who demand the dismantling of ICE need to be pointedly asked how they could justify such a dangerous tactic?
On April 30, 2019 the Justice Department issued a press release, Jordanian National Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Bring Aliens into the United States, which noted that in 2017 the smuggler smuggled aliens from Yemen, a “Special Interest Country” into the United States without inspection from Monterrey, Mexico to Piedras Negras in Texas.
On April 12, 2017, the Washington Times reported, Sharafat Ali Khan smuggled terrorist-linked immigrants.
During the debate Bernie Sanders stated that there are individuals fleeing from Honduras because of gangs. He made it clear that he would permit all of these aliens to enter the United States and apply for asylum. He was never challenged as to how he would prevent the gang members from Honduras or any other country, for that matter, from entering the United States where they easily ply their violent, sociopathic “trades” often targeting the members of the ethnic immigrant communities.
Mr. Sanders should read the transcripts of several hearings on the issue of transnational gangs:
On June 20, 2017 the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence conducted a field hearing on Long Island in Central Islip, New York, on the topic, Combating Gang Violence On Long Island: Shutting Down The MS-13 Pipeline.
On June 21, 2017 the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “The MS-13 Problem: Investigating Gang Membership, its Nexus to Illegal Immigration, and Federal Efforts to End the Threat.”
On November 21, 2013 the Washington Times reported, Mexican drug cartels exploit asylum system by claiming ‘credible fear.’
The report quoted Bob Goodlatte, the then-Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee:
It’s outrageous that members of Mexican drug cartels and others involved in illicit activity are so easily able to exploit our asylum laws and live in the U.S. virtually undetected,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican.
Our asylum laws are in place to help individuals who are facing truly serious persecution in their country,” he said. “However, dangerous criminals are gaming the system by claiming they have a ‘credible fear’ of persecution when often they’ve been the perpetrators of violence themselves.
Concerns about the lack of integrity to this system were the focus of two House Judiciary Committee hearings conducted as a result of Chairman Goodlatte’s concerns:
Of course while one of the hearings focused on how asylum abuse was overwhelming our borders, in reality, asylum abuse is overwhelming the entire immigration system throughout the entire United States of America.
At the conclusion of my recent interview on Fox & Friends First to discuss the border crisis, I asked the rhetorical question that should be asked of all of the candidates:
“Would you board an airliner if you saw several of your fellow passengers sneak past the TSA at the airport?- Why then are we being forced to live among millions of aliens who ran our borders and evaded a similar vetting process conducted at ports of entry?”
At the conclusion of my recent interview on Fox & Friends First to discuss the border crisis, I asked the rhetorical question that should be asked of all of the candidates, “Would you board an airliner if you saw several of your fellow passengers sneak past the TSA at the airport?- Why then are we being forced to live among millions of aliens who ran our borders and evaded a similar vetting process conducted at ports of entry?”
EDITORS NOTE: This FrontPage Magazine column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.