Sunday, September 23, 2007

Are We Secure Yet?

Last week at the Grand Hyatt in Washington D.C., the Transportation Security Administration held public hearings to discuss the Secure Flight Program. The SFP is a plan in which all people will be screened against watchlists prior to boarding an aircraft that arrives at or departs from any air terminal in the U.S.

At the public meeting, TSA Administrator Kip Hawley made the following comments,

“A week ago our nation commemorated the sixth anniversary of 9/11. The events of that day are a stark reminder that we face an adaptive enemy that has a continued appetite for attacking the West. We are today in a heightened threat environment and this threat is real. As time passes from 9/11, it does not mean the threat is fading. It means there is more time available for preparation—for the terrorists and for us. We have the responsibility to use every moment that we have to our best advantage.”

Hawley went on to say that,

“I'd like to point out that Secure Flight is a very focused program. It does not use commercial data, and it does not assign a score based on risk. In addition, TSA does not maintain the watch list. We receive the watch list from the Terrorist Screening Center at the FBI.”

TSA Webpage

Americans want to feel safe and secure when they are traveling. In the wake of 9/11, that is something we have been led to believe is the goal of our government, and particularly the Department of Homeland Security.

Just prior to the anniversary of 9/11, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff stated that one of his biggest obligations in the remainder of his term is to eliminate attitudes which oppose the costs and inconveniences of DHS security measures. He continued by saying that he will launch a campaign message of shared sacrifice "in as plain English as I can, as often as I can and in as many places as I can".

We now have added waits in lines at airports, we are required to take off our shoes for examination, and we cannot bring bottled water or any sharp objects onto planes. Add to all that we are now going to be pre-screened against some watchlist to make sure we do not pose a threat. (I wonder if I am on any of those lists?)

Think about this very carefully for a moment, what do all these plans and programs have in common? They all apply to air travel, that is what they have in common. September 11 was committed by someone, I don’t buy into the official story, who took aircraft and crashed them into the World Trade Center complex and the Pentagon, yet don’t you think our government has just a little case of tunnel vision in regards to our nations security? Everything they do to protect us, (sorry, ignore the giggles on that one), seems to be aimed at making air travel more safe and secure. I won’t go into the dismal records airlines have had recently in regards to delays and lost luggage. Think about it though, are airplanes the only thing we should be worried about?

What about our open borders and our governments refusal to take quick and firm action in the aftermath of 9/11 to slam the door shut on any further entry into our country from possible terrorists? Illegal immigration is an extremely controversial issue, and one in which most of you know my sentiments on it. I would like to go at it now from a slightly different perspective than I normally do.

This is just a scenario, but imagine you have 1000 illegal aliens entering our country every day. If 2% of those are terrorists we end up with 20 terrorists a day entering our country, 7300 annually. How many does our government claim it took to commit the attacks of 9/11? Imagine the havoc 7300 terrorists could create.

You say that won’t happen, our guys will catch them, they can tell the difference between a terrorist and a poor immigrant who is only looking for work. If you believe that you are dumber than I thought!

Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw recently stated that there had, in fact, been people arrested for crossing our border illegally who were linked to terrorism. Although Leticia Zamarripa, a spokesperson for ICE in El Paso stated that she was unaware of it, McCraws comments reflect those made previously by National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, who said that a small number of people with known links to terrorist organizations have been caught crossing the border. McCraw further stated that since March of 2006, 347 people from “terrorism-related countries” have been arrested crossing our borders illegally. Also, the number of Iraqis captured at the border has tripled since last year.

Are you aware that in Travis County Texas, approximately 20 Arab persons a week utilize the County Court to change their names and drivers licenses from Arabic to Hispanic names? If they are doing it legally here in the United States, doesn’t it seem like terrorists would be using the same tactics before attempting to enter our country illegally?

If that is the case, then what about when someone like the three Mexican nationals who recently attempted to use fraudulent identification to enter the Los Alamos National Laboratory?

News Story

If this data is accurate there could easily be hundreds of terrorist cells spread out throughout our nation, just awaiting the chance to strike, either individually or in a concerted attack to wreak massive damage to our nation. The whole time these terrorists could be working amongst the underground population of illegal laborers, sending money out of the country to support their terrorist groups back home.

According to the New York Times, in an article on Sept. 14, 1966 they say that some experts estimate that $4-$6 billion dollars a year is wired out of our country back to Mexico. Even a small portion of that would go a long way to funding any terrorist activity in the United States.

Yet the whole time President Bush turns a blind eye to our lack of border security, making only token gestures to the people that he is serious about dealing with this problem. In the meantime we are dealing with a flood of persons, in which many of whom could be possible terrorists, entering our country daily. I guess the best thing to do is stay airborne. With all the rules and safety guidelines regarding air travel, the only safe place any more will be in an airplane 30,000 feet off the ground. Thanks Mr. President, job well done!

1 comment:

The Zombieslayer said...

Well said. A Mexican accent is easy to fake, and Mexicans are diverse enough that someone with an Arabian look could easily pretend to be Mexican. Bush is an idiot. I'd rather have Homeland Security (sounds Orwellian, doesn't it) focus more on the border than on planes. Everyone knows that if someone tried to hijack a plane nowadays, you have to kill the hijacker by any means necessary. So I'm not worried about being hijacked.