Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Politics of Self-Preservation (Op-Ed)

The New York Times published a front-page article on Saturday, December 12, describing how San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik was subject to - and passed - three background checks conducted by both the U.S. State Department and the Department of Homeland Security before setting foot in the United States, despite her self-proclaimed and self-published support for violent Islamic jihad.

Malik and her husband Syed Rizwan Farook were responsible for the Dec. 2 shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., that killed 14 people and left 21 wounded in what counter-terrorism experts are now calling the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil since September 11, 2001.
The White House has continued to tell the American people that it will conduct "extraordinarily thorough and comprehensive" vetting procedures on incoming refugees from Middle Eastern countries such as Syria - countries that both sympathize with and host known terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (Malik herself was originally from Pakistan.) However, it has become clear that the American public is no longer buying President Barack Obama’s detached rhetoric: A survey published November 18 by political journalism organization Politico discovered that the majority of Americans (53%) disagree with the President’s plan to expedite 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States by the end of 2016.

“Neither you (Obama) nor any federal official can guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terrorist activity,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott stated in a front-page article published November 17 by USA Today. “As such, opening our doors to them irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril.” More than half of the nation’s governors (31 at last count) say they oppose allowing Syrian refugees into their states, at least until the federal government and Congress conduct a thorough review of current screening procedures and background checks.

The recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino has given credence to this concern. If a jihadist sympathizer can pass the vetting process, what does that say about said process? Who else can slip through the cracks?

Who else already has?

Time will tell if the White House will override the will of the people, as seems to be the growing trend in this day and age.

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