OUR GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO PUT AMERICANS AT RISK
December 2, 2009
OUR GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO PUT AMERICANS AT RISK
A news article appeared in today's edition of the New York Post that deals with yet another spy scandal involving interpreters who had been born outside the United States and then lawfully immigrated to the United States and ultimately acquired United States citizenship via the naturalization process.
This news report was forwarded to me earlier today by a good friend and a founding member of 9/11 Families for a Secure America, Bruce DeCell. Bruce is a former New York City police officer whose son-in-law was one of many people who were slaughtered at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. I am, as you may know, a volunteer advisor to Bruce's organization.
The news article reports on a number of interpreters being actively investigated, who are working at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as were other such spies who were discovered in 2003.
Let me, once again, make my position as clear as I can. Many aliens who legally immigrate to the United States and are naturalized are loyal American citizens. My own mother who died of breast cancer more than 40 years ago when I was attending Brooklyn College was a wonderful example of an immigrant who loved this country. I can assure you that the great majority of such naturalized citizens have a great love for our nation.
The problem is that there are, unfortunately, those immigrants whose presence in our country represents a threat to national security. Among such malevolent individuals are those who have exploited their position of trust in our nation that their certificate of United States citizenship represents. These individuals have become citizens of our nation and, because they possess foreign language skills that are of great importance to our nation and that are in short supply, have parlayed their United States citizenship and language abilities into jobs that provide them with access to our nation's intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
I have previously written about a Lebanese woman, Nada Nadim Prouty who committed immigration fraud by entering into a marriage of convenience that initially provided her with lawful immigrant status and ultimately, United States citizenship. As I have noted previously, she became an FBI special agent and then a CIA and used her position of trust at those agencies to apparently spy on our government for Hezbollah.
Today's news article shows how interpreters, in acting as the eyes, ears and mouths of military, law enforcement and intelligence officers at Guantanamo have gained access to the terror suspects being confined at Guantanamo. The news report makes it clear that this access enables the interpreters to alter or eliminate certain responses that those in custody have given when questioned by our officials.
These duplicitous interpreters have also disrupted the interrogation process by passing information to the detainees at Gitmo and have provided them with advice on how to make allegations against their interrogators and otherwise undermine efforts aimed at punishing those who slaughtered three thousand innocent victims on September 11, 2001 and possibly thwart future terrorist attacks.
The well documented failures of USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) to create a bureaucracy that provides appropriate immigration benefits to those aliens who are truly deserving and entitled to those benefits while identifying, investigating and denying the applications for benefits filed by aliens who are committing fraud and/or are involved in terrorist or criminal schemes that endanger the lives of our citizens and compromises the security of our nation, make it crystal clear that USCIS needs to be be made to function as more than a high-speed assembly line where its employees are praised for moving the applications quickly and where the integrity of the process is all but ignored, and in fact, is all too often seen as an impediment to apparent primary goal of clearing up backlogs of applications.
United States Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut is remembered for his orders during the Civil War at the Battle of Mobile Bay that are paraphrased by the exclamation: "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"
At USCIS it would certainly appear that those in charge of that inept and beleaguered agency are instructing their subordinates, "Damn the fraud and danger to national security, full speed ahead!"
Of course Admiral Farragut's orders to his men represented courage and determination while at USCIS expediency rules- but at what cost?
Time and time again the GAO and the Office of the Inspector General have issued reports of investigations that paint a clear picture of incompetence and ineptitude at an agency that adjudicates applications for a variety of immigration benefits including the conferring of resident alien status and even United States citizenship upon aliens. Immigration benefit fraud is hardly a "victimless crime." All too often immigration fraud, in its various guises compromises national security and in many ways imperils the citizens of our nation. Immigration fraud also encourages still more fraud and makes honest aliens seeking to lawfully immigrate to the United States wait on the back of huge lines.
Immigration fraud has been identified by the 9/11 Commission as an entry and embedding tactic of aliens involved in terrorism. Yet little is really done to combat this huge and insidious threat to our nation.
Immigration fraud was a major issue during the Amnesty of 1986 that was enacted during the Reagan Administration. Immigration fraud was a major issue during Citizenship USA or "CUSA" a program created by the Cinton Administration to seek to naturalize more than a million aliens over a relatively short period of time. The GAO noted that perhaps as many as 100,000 of the aliens who were naturalized never should have been naturalized and, in fact, a significant number of them should probably been deported.
Worth considering is the fact CUSA was created years after the terrorist attacks of 1993- the January 1993 attack at the CIA by a citizen of Pakistan, Amir Kansi, who successfully gamed the immigration benefits program and receive political asylum by filing a fraud laden application. Kansi repaid our nation for its kindness by standing outside the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia on January 25, 1973, with an AK-47 and gunned down two CIA officers and seriously wounded three others. The very next month the World Trade Center was bombed by a number of Middle Eastern Terrorists including Ramzi Yousef, Mahmoud Abouhalima, Nidal Ayyad, Mohammad Salameh, Abdul Rahman Yasin and Ahmad Ajaj.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), in addition to being the alleged mastermind of the attacks of September 11, 2001 is alleged to have financed this first attack on the World Trade Center that was carried out on February 26, 1993.
As I noted on previous occasions, including when I have testified before Congressional hearings, Mahmoud Abouhalima acquired amnesty as an agricultural worker during the 1986 Amnesty. He never worked on any farm but, rather, drove a cab and had his driver's license suspended on numerous occasions for a variety of vehicle and traffic law violations. In fact the only thing he was ever found to have planted was a bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center that left 6 people dead, hundreds- if not thousands of people injured, and an estimated one half billion dollars in damages inflicted to that iconic fixture of the New York City Skyline that was reduced to rubble, along with the victims who were trapped in that complex and the airliners that struck them, as a result of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Time and time again, spies, terrorists and criminals have been shown to have easily committed immigration fraud and yet, our government has done absolutely nothing to plug this major leak that compromises the survival of our citizens and our nation!
In fact, this very same screwed up agency, USCIS, would be the agency that would be called upon to administer Comprehensive Immigration Reform if the duplicitous "leaders of our nation jammed this insane program down our throats!
There is a stock brokerage firm that includes a disclaimer in its radio advertisements that essentially says that previous performance is no guarantee of future performance. Perhaps where profits in the highly volatile stock market is concerned, this disclaimer makes sense.
Where immigration and the DHS (Department of Homeland Surrender) is concerned, I believe that previous performance all but guarantees future performance. If the inept and incompetent USCIS is put in charge of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, (A program I wrote about in an Op-Ed for the Washington Times over two years ago in which I stated that the truly descriptive name for that legislative detritus should be the "Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act," there would be absolutely no reason to not expect more of the same incompetence, nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance!
As those of you who are familiar with my writing (and speaking style) know that I like to use analogies in order to substantiate my position. When you consider how profoundly flawed the immigration benefits program is I want you to first of all to think of the Naturalization Certificate that is emblematic of the conferring of United States citizenship upon an alien, to represent the "keys to the kingdom."
Keeping that in mind, I want you to think about how parking garages that employ attendants who park your car for you almost always conspicuously post warning signs telling their patrons to only leave the ignition key and nothing else when they leave their car with the attendants. This is done to make certain that the attendants will not have access to the glove compartment or the trunk of the car. Furthermore, the reason for not leaving the house key with the car is to make certain that a possibly larcenous attendant would not be able to make a copy of the house key and then find out the address the key relates to by making an inquiry of the Department of Motor Vehicles to determine the address where the car is registered. Once a bad guy had the key and the address it related to, it would be a simple matter for him to show up when no one is home and simply unlock the front door and walk right on in without breaking a window.
This is certainly a commonsense approach to personal security. The idea is to keep the keys to the home of the patrons of the parking garage secure.
When I first began working for the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) in 1971 aliens who applied for United States citizenship had to provide two witnesses who would attest to the "Good Moral Conduct" of the alien seeking to become a United States citizen. The INS had a squad of investigators who would actually go out into the communities and conduct Good Moral Conduct (GMC) investigations of aliens who applied for United States citizenship. It was not enough that an alien had not been convicted of committing felonies, his (her) investigation had to demonstrate that the alien in question was a decent person who didn't beat his wife or kids, didn't frequent brothels or otherwise demonstrate a lack of good moral conduct.
Back then only INS employees, virtually all of whom were attorneys, who had many years of government service were allowed to adjudicate those applications.
Back then, United States citizenship really meant something! There were clear distinctions between what it was to be a United States citizen, a resident alien, a temporary visitor or an illegal alien.
Today our nation's "leaders" engage in deceptive language that is designed to blur these important distinctions. Illegal aliens are now referred to as undocumented workers. Alien Registration Cards are now referred to as PERM's (God forbid we should use the legally accurate and entirely descriptive term "Alien.")
By the way, the term "Alien" is absolutely not a pejorative. The definition of an alien as noted in the Immigration and Nationality Act is: "Any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States." The problem is not that the term "alien" is demeaning or insulting- it is that it is accurate and represents a clear definition- something the open borders advocates hate! The issue is not that the illegal aliens are living in the shadows as the open borders often allege- it is that they want the truth to be hidden from view in the shadows!
Today, it seems, that all too many of our leaders would sooner provide benefits to illegal aliens than they would to the citizens they were purportedly elected to represent.
Today, it seems, we cannot give United States citizenship away fast enough!
Wouldn't it be something if our government was as concerned about the keys to our nation's front door as the owners of the garages are about the keys to their patron's homes?
Actually, this is a goal that is within our grasp! Our government is comprised of people. People who serve in elected office and people who are hired and appointed by those who owe their jobs to the electoral process.
Our government is also comprised by the citizens of our nation!
Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors health care for illegal aliens and/or Comprehensive Immigration Reform should be shown the door at the next election!
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.
Next year each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Next year more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!
However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.
© 2009 - Michael Cutler - All Rights Reserved
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Michael W. Cutler graduated from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1971 with a B.A. in Communications Arts and Sciences. Mr. Cutler began working for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in October 1971 when he entered on duty as an Immigration Inspector assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport. In August 1975 he became a Criminal Investigator (Special Agent) for the INS at NYC.
He rotated through virtually every squad in the Investigations Branch. From 1988 until 1991 he was assigned as the INS representative to the Unified Intelligence Division (UID) of the DEA in New York. In 1991 he was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) which required that he work with members of other law enforcement agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Customs and local and state police as well as law enforcement organizations of other countries including Israel, Canada, Great Britain and Japan, to conduct investigations of aliens involved in major drug trafficking organizations. He retired from the INS in February 2002, after a career that spanned some 30 years.
Finally, Michael Cutler has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including Lou Dobbs, Fox News, MSNBC and many other television and radio news-oriented programs to discuss the enforcement of immigration laws.
The problem is that there are, unfortunately, those immigrants whose presence in our country represents a threat to national security. Among such malevolent individuals are those who have exploited their position of trust in our nation that their certificate of United States citizenship represents.