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February 15, 2007

Dissolve Border Patrol, Put Money Toward Illegal Costs

Yet another shooting at the border by a Border Patrol agent has occurred on the Mexican border, and it's currently being "investigated." There was also a death in Arizona last month, and we have Border Patrol agents in prison for shooting a drug smuggler as he fled.

My question to the American public is: why do we have a Border Patrol at all? The Bush administration is not serious about keeping our borders secure. The proposal of $7.8 billion in this year's budget for the Border Patrol and Customs (almost a 10% increase from last year) is simply window dressing. Infected with the PC bug regarding our country's supposed discrimination against immigrants, especially those from Mexico and other countries to our south, our president, along with many in Congress, is turning a blind eye to our borders. Promising some kind of amnesty (while refusing to actually call it that) in order to possibly secure votes is a travesty. But it seems that's politics today.

My suggestion: Disband the Border Patrol, then apply that $7.8 billion toward what illegal immigrants cost our country every year. Back in 2004, a report claimed that illegals cost the U.S. over $10 billion a year. While the $7.8 billion wouldn't cover that, at least it would go a long way in offsetting it. And for once, it would be honesty in government and politics. If we're not going to be serious about controlling our borders and letting those who are supposed to guard it do their jobs, why bother?

If we're going to have an open-door policy, at least be honest about it!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:33 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Homeland Security

November 13, 2006

Watch Your Back


From Cox and Forkum.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:17 AM | Comments (44) | TrackBack (0) | Homeland Security

May 31, 2006

Guilty for a Second Time

For the second time, John Allen Muhammed was found guilty of the terror he inflicted upon the citizens in the Washington D.C. area back in 2002. (Was it really that long ago?) From the Washintgon Post:

A jury deliberated less than five hours yesterday before finding John Allen Muhammad guilty in each of the six sniper slayings in Montgomery County, marking the second time he has been held responsible in the 2002 rampage that terrorized the Washington area.

The verdict, returned in the county where the snipers did most of their killing,ended a four-week trial that brimmed with new claims about the mechanics of the slayings and the motives behind them. The source of those claims was Muhammad's younger accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, who agreed to plead guilty and testify for the first time against the man he once regarded as a father.

Muhammed is already in death row in Virginia as a result of his 2003 conviction there.

Malvo, whose testimony was key during this trial, "testified that he expected no leniency in exchange for his [guilty] plea and was cooperating with prosecutors because he wanted to help the victims' families and to confront Muhammad."

Taking responsibility for his crimes. That is a novel concept indeed in these times, when the criminal is so often portrayed as a victim. Who knows? If it hadn't been for Muhammed's "tutelage," Malvo may have turned out to be an exceptional young man.

Of course, we will never know now.

"I don't see how he [Muhammed] can stand in front of the judge and the lawyers and the family members and the public and say he didn't do it," said Vijay Walekar, whose brother was killed while pumping gas. "I just don't see how he does it."

He's a killer who hoped to get away with it. He is evil. That's how.

Michelle Malkin reminded us last week of what was really behind the killings. You won't see these drawings anywhere else.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Homeland Security

February 27, 2006

Another Look at the Port Debate

I'm glad there is a postponement on the UAE-owned company takeover of managing six major US ports. I admit I was one of the ones who thought the administration must be off their rockers when I first heard of this. However, as time goes on, I wonder if we all weren't a bit hasty in our jump to criticize. After all, Dubai Ports World will not be handling security, and will be continuing to employ the same US unions who currently work at the ports now.

However, can anyone blame us? Considering the UAE's spotty record on terrorism, rational thinkers had every right to question the deal. Now, let's take a look at a similar hypothetical situation:

The US decides to sell control of our border posts on the US/Mexican border to a Mexican company. We will still provide security (you know, the guys with guns), but the actual day-to-day running of the border posts will be overseen by this Mexican company. That is to say, the Mexican company and its employees will be in charge of checking authorization of people wishing to cross over from Mexico to the US.

What's wrong with this picture? Would you have absolute trust in a Mexican company to make sure illegal Mexican immigrants don't come streaming over the border? I know I sure wouldn't.

And that's why many of us are skeptical of DP World managing our ports. Can we trust that they will have our best interests at heart? If it's a foolproof, ironclad plan, then I'm glad. But I want to hear about it. The biggest gaffe President Bush could have made in this situation was to simply say "trust me." It's not him I don't trust, it's a company owned by a country that recognized the Taliban as a legitimate government in Afghanistan before 9/11.

The UAE is considered to be one of our (few) allies in the Middle East. There is an argument being made that by allowing this port deal to go through, it will strengthen our ties. If a postponement of the deal allows proof of this to see the light of day, then I'm all for it.

Let's hope Congress doesn't squander this opportunity to make good.


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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Homeland Security

February 23, 2006

What About Airport Security?

With all of the hoo ha about the ports this week, Peggy Noonan has a very timely article regarding the security at our airports. Her assessment? It still stinks.

I am almost always picked for extra screening. I must be on a list of middle aged Irish-American women terrorists. I know a message is being sent: We don't do ethnic profiling in America. But that is not, I suspect, the message anyone receives. The message people receive is: This is all nonsense. What they think is: This is all kabuki. We're being harassed and delayed so politicians can feel good. The security personnel themselves seem to know it's nonsense: they're always bored and distracted as they go through my clothing, my stockings, my computer, my earrings. They don't treat me like a terror possibility, they treat me like a sad hunk of meat.

I don't think most of us get extra screening because they think we are terrorists. I think we get it because they know we're not. They screen people who are not terrorists because it helps them pretend they are protecting us, in the same way doctors in the middle ages used to wear tall hats: because they couldn't cure you. It's all show.

I do not fly often. I flew for the first time since 9/11 back in November of 2004 to England. Last year I went on two business trips to the Midwest, flying for both of them. I can't say that I felt any safer with the new security measures either. It was a hassle, to be honest, having to take my laptop out of my bag, take my shoes off, etcetera.

Michelle Malkin wonders if we're now all ethnic profilers since the port story blew open.

For the past several years, I've been condemned as an "extremist" for advocating nationality profiling – unapologetically applying stricter scrutiny to terror-sponsoring and terror-sympathizing countries in our entrance, immigration and security policies.

Now, mirabile dictu, some of the same Democrats who have routinely lambasted such profiling are rushing to the floors of Congress and in front of TV cameras espousing these very same policies. The impetus: the White House's boneheaded insistence on ramming through a $7 billion deal giving United Arab Emirates-owned Dubai Ports World control over significant operations at six major American ports in New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Miami.

Why the discrepancy? Does this mean ethnic profiling might start taking place at airports? Not likely. However, the double standard is striking.

I agree that the port issue needs to be revisited. Put it on hold and examine it more closely before allowing Dubai Ports World to pass GO and collect $200. If this deal truly has merit, President Bush needs to sell it to the American people. Some people might be willing to take him at his word, but many are not. Tell us why this is a good idea, other than the "we can't discriminate" line.

And while we're at it, let's take another look at airport security.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Homeland Security

February 16, 2006

Arab Company To Manage US Ports

Okay, MSM: stop talking about Dick Cheney, as there is more serious news to be discussing.

The Bush administration on Thursday rebuffed criticism about potential security risks of a $6.8 billion sale that gives a company in the United Arab Emirates control over significant operations at six major American ports.

Lawmakers asked the White House to reconsider its earlier approval of the deal.

The sale to state-owned Dubai Ports World was "rigorously reviewed" by a U.S. committee that considers security threats when foreign companies seek to buy or invest in American industry, National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones said.

Why the concern?

U.S. lawmakers said the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan. They also said the UAE was one of only three countries to recognize the now-toppled Taliban as Afghanistan's legitimate government.

I think that's a legitmate issue, as is the following:

Critics also have cited the UAE's history as an operational and financial base for the hijackers who carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Outsourcing the operations of our largest ports to a country with a dubious record on terrorism is a homeland security and commerce accident waiting to happen," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "The administration needs to take another look at this deal."

Write this down for posterity: I agree with Chuck Schumer on something.

Having a UAE-based company run operations in ports located in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Miami is akin to giving a burglar your keys and asking him to watch your home for you while you go away on vacation. Or, as the popular saying goes, having the fox guard the henhouse.

Absolutely insane.

What can George Bush be thinking? Forget the 30-day window for objections being closed. This is a vital issue that needs to be addressed, before something happens that we'll all be sorry about.


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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Homeland Security

February 10, 2006

Border Issues

With all of the focus on Muslim rioting over cartoons and our thoughts of support for Denmark, it's sometimes easy to forget what's going on here at home.

At the 33rd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Senator John Cronyn said that our border with Mexico needs to be treated as a national security issue. From the Washington Times:

"We are proud to be a nation of immigrants ... but we are also a nation of laws," said Mr. Cornyn, warning that other nations, including Mexico, must "have respect for this country's laws and our nation's sovereignty."

He said human traffickers, drug smugglers and criminal gangs from Brazil, China and other countries are "using Mexico as a point of entry into the United States."

Mr. Cornyn, whose appearance capped a morning of speeches and panel discussions devoted to border issues, drew applause when he said he would push for a Senate bill to provide "a comprehensive solution" to U.S. immigration problems "that does not include amnesty."

Absolutely. But just you wait for the accusations of bigotry and racism to come flying.

In a related article from the WTimes, Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff is assigning nearly $1 billion of next year's budget toward more Border Patrol agents, electronic surveillance and other security measures.

"There has been an over-100 percent increase in the last fiscal year in border violence aimed at our Border Patrol agents, and that ranges from gunshots fired across the border to rocks being thrown, sometimes flaming rocks, and let me tell you, rockings are serious," Mr. Chertoff said at a press conference in Washington.

"We are not going to tolerate this kind of behavior ... if they think they're going to back us down or chase us away, the answer to that is no. Our Border Patrol is properly trained. They have rules of engagement. They are entitled to defend themselves. They will defend themselves. We will support them in applying these rules of engagement," he said.

Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar noted there had already been 192 assaults on his agents since the start of the new fiscal year in October.

This nonsense needs to stop. Not only are these people violating our laws, but some are bringing drugs and other contraband into the country. Let's not forget too, that al Qaeda operatives have a golden opportunity to slip through our southern border if holes continue to be left unplugged.

Wake up and smell the coffee, people!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Homeland Security

December 28, 2005

More Democrat Whining

Democrats charge that the Department of Homeland Security isn't doing its job properly:

WASHINGTON — The Homeland Security Department, created in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has failed to fulfill 33 of its own pledges to better protect the nation, according to a report released Tuesday by House Democrats.

The report concludes that gaps remain in federal efforts to secure an array of areas, including ports, borders and chemical plants. There also are still delays in the department's sharing terror alerts and other intelligence with state and local officials, the review said.

Considering that this is a government agency, I am not surprised that there are gaps and delays. Since when has anything the government undertaken been quick and flawless?

And, as my friend Cookiewrangler points out, now that President Bush's poll numbers are up, they need to find something to complain about.

If they have any better ideas, I for one would love to hear them.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Homeland Security

December 08, 2005

Latest on Miami Airport Shooting

From ABC News:

Federal law enforcement sources told ABC News they had been on the alert for a possible shoe bomber when a federal air marshal opened fire at the Miami International Airport yesterday.

So air marshals were already on the lookout for possible trouble when Rigoberto Alpizar claimed he had a bomb in his backpack and ran from authorities when they told him to stop. According to his wife, he was bipolar and had not taken his medication.

It's a sad situation, but the air marshals were doing their job. Had they not, and Alpizar had actually had a bomb, what then? When split-second decisions need to be made, there is no time for second guessing.

My prayers go out to Alpizar's family.

Thanks to GD for the tip.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Homeland Security

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