Thursday, January 7, 2010


It was heartening today to hear President Obama admit we are at war with Al Qaeda. He did forget to mention there are more Islamic terrorists groups, other than Al Qaeda, bent on our destruction. But let's not be picky.
Yes, the fault for systemic security failures in the wake of the failed suicide bombing aboard a Northwest Airlines flight headed to Detroit, falls at the President's feet. And he took full responsibility. Commendable. Yet, he failed to tell us who was really to blame. I, for one, would like to know. But let's not be picky.
There is clearly one government department to blame and like a stealth bomber, it is going unnoticed and unmentioned - the State Department.
Why did the State Department not immediately yank the visa of a person identified by his own father as "radicalized?" Yes, the CIA man who spoke with the father of the failed suicide bomber, did send a cable to Washington, which did not appear to stir any immediate concern.
The burning question is why would the State Department not invalidate the bomber's visa, if only on a temporary basis and only as a precaution? That can be done at the embassy level.
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has been strangely silent through this crisis.
All aboard the Christman Day flight and all of us owe a deep debt of gratitude to several brave passengers aboard that flight, especially a man from the Netherlands who should receive a medal from our government. Instead, his individual quick action has not even been publicly acknowledged by the President or anyone in his administration as they paraded to the microphones.
It is time for Hilary to come out of the shadows and answer for the failures of the department she heads.
We should have imposed a one year moratorium on immigration and the issuing new visas following 9/11. We should at least declare a moratorium long enough now, to review all of the visas currently issued, other than diplomatic. It would tell us who wants in to the United States and for what reason. It would also allow time to check on anyone overstaying their visa.
In a sense, the State Department is a main line of defense in keeping those who would harm us out of this country. It, and the secretary who heads it, need to act more responsibly.
And yes, profiling, albeit politically incorrect, should be practiced. So far, the only people trying to kill Americans on their own soil from abroad have been young Muslim men issued visas.

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