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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Will the intelligence overhaul make us safer?


First, the Democrats complained that George W. Bush wasn’t acting fast enough to enact the recommendations of the September 11 Commission. Apparently, they would have prefered that the President automatically endorse, and the Congress automatically pass the Commission report into law without considering its provisions. That’s no way to run a railroad.

Now that the President has endorsed the bill and the conflict among Congressional Republicans has been worked out and the bill has passed, the Democrats are complaining about the bill that was passed.

There’s just no pleasing some people.

But in the haste to appease the Democrats and the families of 9-11 victims who are vocal critics of the President, the bill passed with some serious problems. We are assured, as were the reticent Republicans, that these problems can and will be addressed next year. We can only hope that really happens.

"We remain a nation at war, and intelligence is our first line of defense against the terrorists who seek to do us harm. I am pleased the measure also contains many critical law enforcement tools that I have called for that will help make America more secure. I look forward to signing this landmark piece of legislation into law," said the President in after the Senate vote.

But the best intelligence in the world won’t be enough unless we get a few aspects of national security under control.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., wrote a column appearing on the TruthNews Website on October 23 that said, in part:

The 9/11 reform bill is currently snagged by the Senate's refusal to address three critical issues: Should states continue to issue driver's licenses to illegal aliens? Should we tighten our asylum system that terrorists exploited to such deadly effect? Have we ensured the military chain of command is not broken in our intelligence restructuring?

Intelligence-reform efforts will be wasted if we fail to address other security loopholes that the 9/11 hijackers studied to hatch their deadly plans. Once the 19 hijackers arrived here, they were able to secure 63 validly issued driver's licenses. Using these licenses, they were able to blend in and eventually board U.S. planes. Learning from this, the 9/11 Commission Report -- which this legislation is based upon -- recommends that the federal government "set standards for the issuance of birth certificates and other sources of identification, such as driver's licenses. Fraud in identification documents is no longer just a problem of theft." … What is controversial about setting strong standards to stop another [terrorist] from receiving a driver's license?

The chain of command issue was resolved, but the other issues remain. After the bill’s passage, Mr. Sensenbrenner held a press conference outlining a bill he will introduce in the next session that addresses the issues omitted from the intelligence reform bill.

However, nobody’s talking much about doing something to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S., particularly from Mexico. It is a no-brainer that allowing this to continue is stupid and, worse, dangerous.

Numbers USA reports that “Census 2000 results indicate that there between 8 and 11 million illegal aliens living in the United States in 2000. The Center for Immigration Studies has reported that Census Bureau stats show that 700,000 to 800,000 new illegal aliens were settling in the U.S. during the late 1990s and that around 1 million settled in the most recent year of record. Far more than that enter illegally each year, but there is a lot of back and forth. The 1 million represents illegals who truly settle in for at least a couple of years, and usually much, much longer.”

Even if none of those illegals is a terrorist or criminal, this trend is unhealthy and expensive for taxpayers. An estimated $20 billion net taxpayer dollars go to support illegal immigrants each year.

1 comment:

MrPaw said...

I must say that I too am concerned about the new legislature. I think that there are so many issue that have been left either unresolved or the legislature that does deal with them is not strong enough.

The issue with the driver's liscenses bothers me a great deal, and not to introduce another subject all-together but up here they are trying to pass legislature that would give the children of Illegal Immigrants the right to have in-state college tuition, something that I can't even get and I've been a U.S. citizen all my life.

This example and the driver's liscense example are two proofs that Illegal's are getting preferencial treatment that U.S. citizens would never be given. I really believe it is not only ludacris but also potentially dangerous.

I hope they pick the right person to head this new organization they are setting up, and I also hope that they do a better job of defining his powers et al.

Hope for the best.