Want to Fight a War? Fight on Our Border, Not Syria’s

Over 30,000 people will be killed there this year. There are powerful terrorist groups that are defeating government forces, beheading and torturing townsfolk, and controlling every form of human- and drug-smuggling over the border. This is not Syria and the Turkish border. I’m talking about Mexico and our own border.

It is truly astounding how so many of the self-described national security hawks like Mitt Romney, who believe we have blood on our hands for not having troops flung out in Syria during a civil war, never utter a word about the need to deploy troops more aggressively at our own border to combat the cartel terrorists.

The Mexican cartels are defeating the government in major cities. There are battles just south of us; they are shooting at our agents; they have operatives in every U.S. state spreading drugs and gang violence; and they are working with MS-13, which is more of a threat to our communities than anything going on in Syria. Thus, the stability of Mexico matters a lot more to us than the stability of Syria. If Romney, Rubio, and other establishment Republicans, along with Democrat leaders, feel we need several thousand troops at the Turkish border, they should support several hundred thousand troops at our own border, based on a commensurate measure of what actually affects our own security.

Yesterday, Mexican national guardsmen detained Ovidio Guzman López, the son of former Sinaloa Cartel head “El Chapo,” in the city of Culiacán. On Thursday afternoon, Sinaloa members dispatched a stronger force of soldiers and weapons than the Mexican government, and the government was forced to release him. They also released his brother, Ivan. This is a failed narco-state right on our border. The cartels are now officially more powerful than Mexico’s military, even when the government is actually trying to combat them. The government has now lost control of a city of 785,000 people.

What’s even more embarrassing is that this failed operation was done at the behest of our government, which had requested Guzman Lopez be extradited to the U.S. for trial, according to Mexico’s president. That is a black eye for our government and something that should concern Mitt Romney a lot more than Syria.

Here is who truly controls Mexico:

Jaeson Jones, retired captain for the Texas Department of Public Safety’s intel and counterterrorism division, has long been a proponent of taking a more aggressive stance against the cartels and believes this is a wake-up call. “Intense violence rocked Culiacan, Mexico, yesterday as government authorities captured leaders of Sinaloa Cartel,” said the cartel expert, who just took a trip to Mexico to meet with sources. “Only hours later, the president of Mexico would cower and show the world the Mexican government was not in charge of the safety of its country. For years, I have tried to convince our citizens and government how hyper-violent the Mexican cartels have become and why we must designate the Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. Yesterday, the world witnessed it; the question now is will the U.S. State Dept. still refuse to take action?”

The cartel members are also very heavily armed.

“We observed .50 cal belt-fed machine guns mounted in armored vehicles, Barrett .50 cal sniper rifles engaging Mexican authorities, convoys of armored vehicles being called into the city along with the use of hand grenades and 40 millimeter grenades,” observed Jones. “They also released prisoners, implemented roadblocks, and a day later, the city is still on fire. Yesterday’s events showed a president cower and a nation kneel. These are not just drug cartels any more.”

It’s truly shocking how nobody in either party in Congress who is ready to die on the hill of the Syrian civil war even utters a peep about the fall of our number one trading partner, which happens to be right on our own border.

You might think this is just a Mexican problem. The issue is that the increasing violence every month is going to impel a new wave of Mexican migration to our border. After steep declines in Mexican illegal immigration for the past decade while the Central Americans began coming, we are now coming full circle and witnessing the early stages of increased Mexican border migration, thanks to the cartel violence.

The Washington Post reports today that there is a new increase in Mexicans asking for asylum at our border. Mexican adults caught at the border have increased 25 percent since the end of July, even as the number of Central Americans has dropped sharply. “In recent weeks, thousands of Mexican adults and children have been camping out in queues at U.S. border crossings, sleeping in tents while awaiting a chance to apply for safe refuge.”

One agent who patrols in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas told me he is already seeing this new trend on the ground. “They are coming from Mexico with an ‘official document’ that has been notarized, which describes their harsh living conditions and threats to safety from the cartels,” said the agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized to speak to the media.

Again, it’s truly astounding how nobody in Congress, the State Department, or the DOD wants to view our own border as a national security problem because it’s not located in the Middle East. It seems like our military only exists for nonexistent borders of other groups around the world. (For more from the author of “Want to Fight a War? Fight on Our Border, Not Syria’s” please click HERE)

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If SCOTUS Won’t Overturn Even Recent Bad Decisions, Why Does Anyone Think Roe Is in Danger?

It should be a no-brainer that any reputed conservative Supreme Court would easily overturn recent bad decisions limiting sentences of life without parole for juvenile murderers, like the infamous D.C. sniper, Lee Boyd Malvo, who, along with his older partner, killed 17 and injured 10 in 2002 in the D.C. area. Yet here we are, completely unsure whether we have to five justices willing to affirm the long-standing precedent.

Many conservatives somehow think we are building an originalist majority to overturn terrible court decisions from 50 years ago, such as Roe v. Wade, yet no legal analyst seems to think we even have the votes to overturn terrible decisions made by Anthony Kennedy this past decade. Then what good are these much-vaunted Supreme Court nominees?

Before delving into the Malvo case, some background is in order. In 2005, contrary to practice in our country since the Founding, the Supreme Court ruled that capital punishment for juveniles violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment in all cases. Writing for the majority in Roper v. Simmons, Anthony Kennedy applied foreign law to overturn a 1989 Supreme Court decision (Stanford v. Kentucky) and rule that a punishment in practice at the time of our Founding somehow violated our own Constitution. He felt that “the evolving standards of decency” gave him the right to unilaterally amend the Constitution. Liberals never have problems reversing precedents they don’t like when they discover new “rights.”

Well, what’s the alternative to the death penalty for people like Malvo who commit mass murder at the age of 17? Life in prison without parole, right? In Graham v. Florida (2010), Kennedy, joined by the liberals and Roberts, ruled that life in prison without parole for a juvenile is unconstitutional except for cases of murder. Then, in his incremental ad hoc constitutional amendment process, in Miller v. Alabama (2012), Kennedy took it to the next level and joined with the four liberals to rule that state laws mandating life in prison without parole even for murder are unconstitutional. Finally, in Montgomery v. Louisiana, the court retroactively applied the Miller v. Alabama decision to roughly 2,500 people already serving mandatory sentences of life without parole as juvenile murderers. Roberts bizarrely joined in with Montgomery, even though he wrote the dissent in Miller.

Freeze-frame right here. Given that it was Anthony Kennedy who insidiously took a hatchet to long-standing state powers over juvenile justice from 2005 to 2016, and he has now been replaced with the much-vaunted Brett Kavanaugh, shouldn’t we have the confidence that everything from Roper through Montgomery should be reversed? If we are promised by the Republican legal establishment that the new Supreme Court will overturn long-standing bad precedent, it certainly should easily overturn this craziness from just a few years ago.

Remember, we are not debating the policy or political merits of capital punishment or life without parole for juvenile murderers. We are debating the notion that the Constitution prohibits states from passing these laws. No originalist can ever contemplate such a novel idea, and with all the hype surrounding Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, this should be easy to overturn. Anyone calling himself an originalist should agree with what Thomas wrote in Graham v. Florida – that “the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause was originally understood as prohibiting torturous methods of punishment—specifically methods akin to those that had been considered cruel and unusual at the time the Bill of Rights” (emphasis added).

Sadly, none of the legal analysts believe this will happen, and as is the case with so many issues, there is no confidence that anyone besides Thomas and Alito would categorically overturn these four cases.

The issue at hand in Mathena v. Malvo is whether to expand Montgomery to a case where the juvenile murderer wasn’t even sentenced to life without parole under a mandatory guideline. Lawyers for Malvo argue that the jury never really contemplated anything lower than life without parole, so while such a punishment wasn’t mandated, the jury never fully vetted out whether this specific juvenile was “incorrigible,” as required under the Miller decision. The Fourth Circuit agreed with Malvo.

Most of the oral argument time on Wednesday was dedicated to splitting hairs over whether Malvo fits into Miller and Montgomery. And even on that account, some legal bloggers like SCOTUSblog’s Amy Howe hypothesized that “Justice Brett Kavanaugh [is] potentially the pivotal vote.” Howe believes it’s “possible that a majority might try to navigate a middle ground that sends the case back for the lower courts to take a closer look at whether Malvo had a real opportunity to have the judge and jury consider whether his youth might warrant a lighter sentence.”

Time will tell, but notice how it’s not even under discussion that there might be five votes to completely overturn Montgomery and Miller, much less the previous cases. Nobody in the legal world believes anyone other than Thomas and Alito would categorically apply the Eighth Amendment as understood at the time of its adoption. That is because Gorsuch, although decent on many issues, is no Scalia, and Kavanaugh certainly is not. Roberts is getting worse by the day. And while many of these justices will not add to the existing bad case law, their political motivations will make them reluctant to overturn even the most egregious 5-4 decisions of the past decade or two.

Do you think Democrats have any doubt that the current four liberals plus their next potential fifth vote would overturn the Heller decision on gun rights from 2008 in a heartbeat? Heck, in the gay marriage case of 2016, they overturned a 9-0 decision from 1971. The courts have always been a one-way ratchet for the Left and a dead end for conservatives. The Left will toss out 200 years of precedent, history, tradition, and statute overnight on immigration or social issues, while judges like Roberts and Kavanaugh will dogmatically legitimize that breach itself as new precedent that must be accorded the highest degree of respect.

For decades, rather than militating against the premise of judicial supremacy over political questions, the GOP legal establishment has legitimized the concept, albeit with the promise that we would somehow win the supremacy game by “appointing better judges.” It was the ultimate scam for voting Republican rather than looking outside the GOP for a home for conservatism. Now, they believe they’ve finally achieved that goal. Yet nothing has changed. As always, when liberals have a clear majority, they make earth-shattering transformational changes. When Republicans get a majority, the lower courts still make radical decisions, and at best, the Supreme Court merely maintains the status quo. And in some instances, there is at least one GOP appointee peeled off to join with the transformational changes, as we witnessed multiple times last term.

Just remember, in the current legal system, for every Clarence Thomas, there are numerous John Robertses and Brett Kavanaughs – and an endless supply of Ruth Bader Ginsburgs. The capacity and resolve of a good judge to do good is nowhere near the capacity and resolve of a bad judge to do bad. (For more from the author of “If SCOTUS Won’t Overturn Even Recent Bad Decisions, Why Does Anyone Think Roe Is in Danger?” please click HERE)

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Red Flag Laws and the Misguided Worship of Due Process

Congress is in one of what it euphemistically calls its “District work periods,” and so the pressure is off gun-owners for a fortnight. However, the threat will resume right after Columbus Day — which, surprisingly, is still a federal holiday. Gun-owners correctly perceive their Second Amendment rights to be balanced on the edge of a knife, awaiting the pressure to build again after the next well publicized shooting.

For gun-owners, the pattern is all too familiar: a mass shooting, such as those in El Paso and Dayton, followed by massive amounts of publicity by the anti-gun media and posturing politicians, accompanied by a demand that Congress “do something,” such as red flag laws. In response, gun-owners demand that their elected officials stand firm against the pressure, holding their collective breath, waiting to see how many of those members of Congress who promised to support gun rights in the months before the last election are willing to sacrifice those principles a year before the next election.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) promised that under his bill, to get a federal grant, the state red flag laws would have to provide “due process.” Similarly, President Trump has sought to assure the public that any red flag legislation will provide for “rapid due process.” When questioned, most congressional Republicans say they will support police seizing guns only if rigorous due process is provided. Don’t buy it. Red flag laws violate the Second Amendment, and “due process” is not a magic wand to be waved to make the infringement go away.

Due process is the idea that the government must follow the procedural rules under our system of justice. These guarantees protect Americans against arbitrary decisions by the government to take away life, liberty, and property. The Supreme Court has described due process circularly as “what process is due.” There is no one set of rules for all situations. Typically, the greater the liberty interest at stake, the more extensive the due process protections must be.

Most associate due process with concepts like the right to a hearing, an unbiased decision-maker, the right to be represented by a lawyer, and the ability to present evidence in your defense. But is it really true — as the president and many others appear to believe — that the government can take away someone’s rights, so long as it showers him with lots and lots of due process? The promise of due process is little comfort when those exercising that process have no respect for the rule of law.

Imagine if the government accused you of wanting to be a drug-dealer. You’ve never been charged with — or even accused of — having actually sold drugs. But still, someone thinks there’s a good chance you may in the future. So you’re given a hearing, allowed to hire a lawyer, and permitted to testify why you won’t become a drug dealer in the future. But at the end of the day, a judge still believes there’s an unreasonable risk that you will enter the drug business. So, in order to prevent that possibility, for the next year or so, you no longer have any Fourth Amendment rights. The police may now stop your car and search it any time they wish and enter your home to search for drugs at will. What, that doesn’t sound fair? What’s the problem? You were given loads and loads of due process!

The government can’t strip away Fourth Amendment rights simply because, in doing so, it has complied with due process rights. The Fourth Amendment still protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures” and requires a warrant based on probable cause. Likewise, the Second Amendment protects “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” — regardless of whether the government thinks it’s a good idea that a particular person have guns.

Certainly, young children, illegal aliens, and murderers are not part of “the people” protected by the Second Amendment. Current law makes firearms possession illegal by a person convicted of a felony or who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution.” But there is absolutely no historical or legal precedent for taking Second Amendment rights away from those who the government’s “precogs” declare may commit a crime in the future.

President Trump should be familiar with this concept. In response to the Mueller investigation, President Trump lamented that he should be cloaked with the presumption of innocence and that it’s a tall order to prove a negative — for someone to show that he didn’t commit a crime. How true. But how much harder is it for a person to prove that he won’t do something in the future? It’s impossible. Yet that’s the standard red flag laws impose on their victims.

Three of the governments in the last century that experimented with their versions of red flag laws, allowing government judges to declare political enemies mentally unfit in order to make it easier to subjugate them, were communist (red) China, the Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany. Each of those nations had lots of red in its flags.

History has taught us time and again that governments are far more dangerous to liberty than are criminals. A person’s odds of being murdered by a tyrannical government (termed “democide”) are astronomically higher than by a mass shooter. Yet too many people seem oblivious to the fact that far worse than some criminals getting access to guns is a system where the government gets to decide who should be disarmed. In fact, that is the beginning of the end of a free society.

Many people won’t like to hear this, but it has never been the job of government to prevent future crime. If it were, then our entire Constitution and Bill of Rights would stand as an obstacle.

Lindsey Graham has moaned that “the Second Amendment is not a suicide pact.” What he’s really saying is that constitutional rights shouldn’t impede the government doing whatever it wants to do. On the contrary, the Bill of Rights protects the freedoms of all Americans. There’s no way around that. In a truly free society, bad people will sometimes do bad things — like falsely yell “fire” in a crowded theater. The role of government is to punish bad actors and provide justice to victims — after the commission of an illegal act.

If the government takes on the improper role to prevent future crime, that inevitably will result in an Orwellian surveillance state, where freedom is theoretical at best. Many believe we are already on that road, and red flag laws are certainly a big step in the wrong direction.

The maxim is still true that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. A government agent armed with a red flag law is a poor substitute. Even the left-leaning Mother Jones magazine has questioned whether red flag laws would actually stop mass shootings.

Regardless, it is not up to our “overlords” to weigh and balance Americans’ constitutional rights against the potential future danger they may pose. And the robust protection of Fifth Amendment due process rights means little if the process results in the infringement of protections that the Second Amendment unequivocally declares “shall not be infringed.”

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John Velleco is the executive vice president of Gun Owners of America, a national gun rights organization representing more than two million members and supporters. Follow him on Twitter. This article originally appeared in the American Thinker.

How Can Incarceration Rates Be Racist If They Reflect the ACTUAL Crime Rates?

Under a true system of justice, if you do the crime, you do the time. Law and order deter bad guys. Period. However, once we start social engineering and going soft on crime in order to avoid rightfully incarcerating individuals of particular races, everyone is harmed, including those the limousine liberals purport to help. The most dangerous example is our current rush to push jailbreak legislation under the false premise that black people are incarcerated unfairly and to ignore the appalling levels of crime committed by young black males. It hurts everyone, including law-abiding African-Americans.

If one were to be dropped here from Mars with no preconceived notions about violence in America, one would come away with the impression that white supremacy is the biggest threat to public safety. DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan announced last month that the Department of Homeland Security would be using increased resources to confront “racially based violent extremism, particularly white supremacist extremism.” Yet the reality in the everyday stories from New York, where Jews are being attacked by violent black youths every day, or the knockout game continuing in places like Maryland, paints a very different picture. And it’s backed up by the data.

Cory Booker claims that there is “systemic racism” in our criminal justice system leading to unjust mass incarceration of black people. The facts simply say the opposite. According to the new National Crime Victimization Survey published by the Bureau of Justice Statics, out of the 593,598 interracial violent victimization crimes between blacks and whites reported in 2018, 90 percent were black against white, and 9.5 percent were white against black. That is simply astounding given that black people compose just 12 percent of the general population and white people comprise 62 percent. And the trend is getting worse. As Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute observes, “That ratio is becoming more skewed, despite the Democratic claim of Trump-inspired white violence. In 2012-13, blacks committed 85 percent of all interracial victimizations between blacks and whites; whites committed 15 percent.”

[B]lack-on-white crime is by far the most predominant interracial victimization, followed by Hispanic-on-white. White-on-black and Hispanic-on-black crimes are the rarest form of interracial violence, according to the DOJ’s victim survey.

The lopsided share of crime committed by black people is a problem across the board, but particularly for violent crimes. According to the FBI’s 2018 Uniform Crime reporting, of the 11,514 homicide offenders whose race is known, a whopping 55 percent were black, 42 percent white, and three percent other. Though black people make up only 12 percent of the population, they composed 53 percent of all murder victims in cases where the identity of the victim was known and reported. In cases where the race of both the victim and offender was known, a staggering 88.9 percent of black homicide victims were murdered by black offenders.

To drill down even further, in 2017, black males accounted for 45 percent of homicides, even though they make up just seven percent of the population. That means they commit murders at a rate eight times higher than whites.

In 2018, African-Americans accounted for 54 percent of those arrested for robbery, 34 percent of those arrested for aggravated assault, and 43 percent of weapons violations. In total, they composed 37.4 percent of all violent crime arrests. Yet, despite the complaint about black imprisonment, only 33 percent of state and federal inmates in 2017 were black. And their numbers are dropping quicker than any other group.

All of these numbers were even higher among juveniles. For example, black youth were responsible for 58 percent of juvenile murders, 64 percent of robbery, 41 percent of aggravated assault, 52 percent of motor vehicle theft, and 48 percent of overall violent crime among offenders under 18.

So, if anything, black criminals are underrepresented in the prison population relative to their share of violent crime. Contrary to the endless lies from the political class, black incarceration has nothing to do with drug laws whatsoever. If anything, FBI data show black people are arrested at a slightly lower percentage for drugs than for most violent crime offenses.

Even among the more targeted “hate crimes” documented by the FBI in 2017, black perpetrators were the offenders in 21.3 percent of cases, almost twice their share of the population. According to the NYPD, anti-Semitic attacks in New York City have increased 63 percent over last year, which itself saw an increase from the previous year. And unless you have been living off the grid, you will know that law enforcement is very reluctant to designate crime committed by what the political class considers as “minorities” as hate crimes.

Last November, the New York Times reported, “During the past 22 months, not one person caught or identified as the aggressor in an anti-Semitic hate crime has been associated with a far right-wing group.” In a shocking admission, the paper of record observed that the growing “anti-Semitism bypasses consideration as a serious problem in New York,” because “it refuses to conform to an easy narrative with a single ideological enemy,” given “the varied backgrounds of people who commit hate crimes in the city that make combating and talking about anti-Semitism in New York much harder.”

Well, that is one way to explain it! Those “varied backgrounds” pose a big challenge to intellectual honesty.

To discuss race in the context of criminal justice and public safety and completely ignore this data is to cover up the greatest threats to public safety. Though black criminals commit interracial crimes much more than criminals of other races, they still victimize their own race more than anyone else. Thus, refusing to deter violent black criminals because of the effort to abolish incarceration will harm black victims more than anyone else.

All threats need to be deterred with tough punishment against violent and repeat offenders, but pushing weak laws and distracting with white supremacism will fuel the most rampant violence in this country, which is black-on-black and black-on-white crimes in inner cities like Baltimore and Chicago. Simply letting violent felons off the hook or reducing sentencing because of racial politics will harm everyone. The subtle bigotry of low expectations, pandering, and deflection will get people of all races killed, and the sooner we return to punishing dangerous criminals regardless of race, the more just our system will be. (For more from the author of “How Can Incarceration Rates Be Racist If They Reflect the Actual Crime Rates?” please click HERE)

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Both Republicans and Democrats Are Clueless About Afghanistan

For eighteen years, we have wrongly applied counterinsurgency doctrine to a proxy war waged by Pakistan against the U.S. and Afghanistan. Bilateral negotiations with the Taliban will not bring peace to Afghanistan nor will it provide an adequate strategy to underpin U.S. national interests in South Asia, the future threat being China in the form of the China-Pakistan alliance.

Both Republicans and Democrats are Clueless about Afghanistan

Up until now, the ill-fated U.S.-Taliban negotiations were comprised of a collection of exit criteria based on relatively narrow War on Terror yardsticks, our presence being our sole bargaining chip in exchange for Taliban assurances, largely unenforceable without that presence.

Whatever strategy we think we’ve had has been constructed of false notions and an unwillingness to accept and act upon the regional nation-state dynamics of which the Afghan conflict is fundamentally a biproduct.

The War in Afghanistan has its origins in the decades-old antagonism between Pakistan and India, spawned by the violence-punctuated partition of the British Indian Empire in August 1947.

Pakistan has always viewed Afghanistan as a necessary client-state, a security buffer against what they consider potential Indian encirclement.

Not surprisingly, Pakistani interference in Afghanistan long pre-dated Soviet and American involvement during the 1980s, but it clearly accelerated Islamabad’s use of 4th generation warfare as an instrument of its foreign policy. That is, Islamist militants were found to be useful proxies for the Pakistani military and its Inter-Service Intelligence agency, the ISI, particularly against India and in Afghanistan, and that retaliation for their use could be largely “immunized” by Pakistan’s newly-acquired nuclear umbrella and its expanding alliance with China.

One source of America’s current dilemma in Afghanistan was the failure by the Reagan Administration, allowing the Central Intelligence Agency to blindly outsource Mujahideen funding to Pakistan’s ISI, which funneled American money and arms not to Afghan nationalists like Ahmad Shah Massoud, but to pro-Pakistani Islamists such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani.

It is now an undisputed fact that the Taliban were created by the ISI beginning in 1994 as a means to intervene in the Afghan civil war and influence the outcome in favor of Pakistani national interests when its previous favored Islamist, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, failed in that effort.

While the U.S. has been fighting the War on Terror in Afghanistan since 2001, Pakistan has been using the Taliban as a proxy to control Afghanistan as part of its struggle with India and to promote the foreign policy ambitions of its “all weather” ally, China.

For eighteen years we have wrongly applied counterinsurgency doctrine to a proxy war waged by Pakistan against the U.S. and Afghanistan. That approach was never a winning strategy as long as Pakistan controlled the supply of our troops in landlocked Afghanistan and regulated the operational tempo through its proxy army, the Taliban, who has maintained an extensive recruiting, training and financial support infrastructure inside Pakistan, immune to attack.

Bilateral negotiations with the Taliban will not bring peace to Afghanistan nor will it provide an adequate strategy to underpin U.S. national interests in South Asia, the premise of which should be that U.S. adversaries do not unduly benefit from our withdrawal. U.S. leaders on both sides of the aisle need to acknowledge some on-the-ground realities.

First, Pakistan, not Afghanistan, is the epicenter of regional Islamic militancy and an exporter of jihad. Actions being taken by Pakistan in Kashmir against India are strikingly similar to those of its Taliban proxy in Afghanistan.

Second, China’s growing geopolitical strength and its increased presence in Pakistan have changed the strategic dynamics of the region, largely rendering whatever remains of U.S. South Asian policy obsolete. The future threat is from China in the form of the Chinese-Pakistani alliance. China’s aim is to dominate South Asia, first economically based on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Afghanistan’s incorporation into it as a part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.

China then plans to expand militarily using its alliance with Pakistan to establish military bases, particularly on Pakistan’s Arabian Sea coast, thus controlling vital maritime lanes and the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Those bases would provide a critical link between China’s military facilities in the South China Sea and its naval base in Djibouti at the entrance of the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

An Afghanistan solution should be framed within the context of a new South Asian strategy focusing on preventing Chinese-Pakistani domination. From a politico-military standpoint, two approaches, operating in parallel, are required.

We should adopt a traditional containment policy, including greater cooperation with India. U.S. naval and air power projection should be augmented to counter Chinese attempts to box-in U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf area and outflank the U.S. naval base at Diego Garcia. Additionally, increased financial and economic pressure needs to be applied to Pakistan to restrain its use of terrorist proxies as an element of its foreign policy.

In order to maintain a balance of power, the U.S. should use strategic disruption to thwart Chinese plans to dominate the region by targeting Pakistani vulnerabilities. Tactically, that would involve managing and, when necessary, exploiting the inherent conflicts in South Asia including state-to-state disputes, such as the Kashmir issue, the Sunni-Shia divide and ethnic separatism within Pakistan.

It is such a strategy Democrats and Republicans should be debating, not merely arguing over now meaningless War on Terror platitudes about Afghanistan. (For more from the author of “Both Republicans and Democrats Are Clueless About Afghanistan” please click HERE)

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Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired US Army Reserve colonel, an IT command and control and cyber security subject matter expert and a veteran of Afghanistan, Iraq and a humanitarian mission to West Africa. He receives email at [email protected]

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Why Conservatives Must Fight Judicial Supremacism — and Not Hang Their Hopes on John Roberts

The reason why judges don’t stand for election is because they are supposed to look narrowly at the law, regardless of their political positions or political pressure from elites in media and culture. Yet Chief Justice John Roberts appears to be crafting vital legal opinions based on nothing more than a scorecard of how often each political side wins on a legal question. The latest revelation that Roberts might have changed his mind on the census case, just as he did on Obamacare, should give conservatives pause about putting their faith in a “conservative Supreme Court” rather than delegitimizing the concept of judicial supremacy in the first place.

Joan Biskupic, a CNN legal analyst and Supreme Court biographer, wrote an “exclusive” exposé on Thursday suggesting that initially, “Roberts was ready to rule for [Secretary of Commerce] Ross and the administration. But sometime in the weeks that followed, sources said, Roberts began to waver.”

The reason this report sounds credible is because, as I noted at the time of the ruling, if you read Roberts’ plurality opinion, the legal reasoning sounds like the opposite of his final order, the same phenomenon that gave away his flip in the Obamacare case. Roberts noted that the citizenship question is the essence of the census, has been with us for most of our history, and that nothing in the Constitution, census statute, or even the rule-making process under the APA precluded the president from doing this. But he then concluded that the case should go back to the lower court because he didn’t like the reason the secretary of commerce gave for why the administration chose to reinstate the citizenship question.

The problem with this rationale is that if there is no violation of statute or the Constitution, then how is there a valid case or controversy against the administration, regardless of the reason they give for a policy, especially something as obvious as asking about citizenship on a census? Whether you are a liberal or a conservative, his decision made no sense.

I have noticed in following many other Roberts decisions that he has an iron political motivation to avoid making the Supreme Court look too “conservative” at all costs. Thus, he finds ways to either allow liberal rulings to stand by not taking up appeals or uses tortured logic to join with the liberals on some other cases, but in a convoluted way that he thinks won’t offend his personal jurisprudence. He so badly doesn’t want to be political that he is more political than anyone else.

In the run-up to this past term’s grand finale in June, many court watchers and commentators that I follow were speculating about a “conservative sweep” in the critical cases. But Roberts found ways to side with the leftists. He did so on a number of criminal “rights” cases, executions, a global warming case, and an administrative state case, in addition to flipping on the census.

There is a simple reason why conservatives should win every case at the Supreme Court: The law compels it. Most (but not all) political cases initially brought to court are from the Left. This is because, in general, leftists control the legal profession and more aggressively litigate political issues, but it’s also particularly true today because Trump is president and they will naturally shoot at anything he does in court. Thus, by definition, the cases the Supreme Court gets are appeals from lower court judges who created insane new constitutional rights or adopted novel rules of standing. Sorry to break it to you, Roberts, but you have an obligation to aggressively swat them down categorically.

Most of the court’s cases are not 50-50 equal constitutional questions. They are legally 100-0 no-brainers but nonetheless are viewed, at least by the elites, as political 50-50 issues or as leftist winners. Any judge, regardless of his politics, is obligated to side with the law, even if that means siding against the political outcome of the more popular political movement in Washington 10 out of 10 times.

Take Obama’s DACA amnesty, for example. Among the D.C. elites, 90 percent of Republicans support it. Heck, even Trump supports it. Nonetheless, anyone with any legal honesty would know that this doesn’t even register as a legal case. There is no way, however much you want the result, to say that Obama can take people whom law requires be deported and give them legal documents, much less mandate that Trump must continue this usurpation. You could be a rabid open-borders advocate from a political standpoint, but you’d have to concede that there is no legal justification, much less legal mandate, for Obama’s amnesty.

But it appears that for Roberts, it would be perceived as an act of right-wing court bias to rule correctly. Thus, either he will employ another tortured legal trick to avoid categorically throwing out the lawsuit, or he will “compensate” for a proper ruling on amnesty by agreeing with the Left in another absurd case. And there are plenty of totally absurd cases to choose from: a ruling creating a right for 7.8 billion people to immigrate, a ruling creating a right for Planned Parenthood to be subsidized, another case where they say transgenderism is in the Civil Rights Act, and yet another case where the Ninth Circuit says the Eight Amendment creates a right for prisoners to undergo taxpayer-funded castration.

No sane person can say the law or Constitution mandates those policies. As such, any honest justice not only must reverse those opinions, but is obligated to do so as early and as categorically as possible. The simple reality is that most cases coming before the court that are very political have a “legal” foundation built upon insanely novel “constitutional” ideas.

Imagine for a moment if the shoe were on the other foot. Let’s say conservatives got their favorite judges to indulge the following propositions: abstinence organizations are entitled to free taxpayer funding, government can mandate that all citizens without a criminal record must own a gun, and government must pay for at least one firearm for people who can’t afford them. Even with gun rights emphatically listed in the Constitution, while the right to immigrate is not, Americans suing for government-funded guns is absurd. And illegal aliens crashing our border and then suing because they don’t like the free medical care they get is even zanier. But the Supreme Court would immediately “side with the Left” in these hypotheticals, and likely call for the removal of those lower court judges mandating taxpayer-funded firearms.

But the Left has successfully made its most insane ideas mainstream and at least a 50-50 toss-up legal questions in the courts. This is why Roberts feels the pressure to make up reasons to rule with the Left and often quietly allows absurd lower court rulings to stand in the “shadow docket,” as he sometimes agrees to overturn others.

Which brings us back to the census case. Nobody had any inkling that Roberts could buy into the absurd notion that the census can’t ask a citizenship question. But he is not governed by law or rationality; it seems he is governed by his perception of the equilibrium of politics in Washington.

This is why conservatives are foolish to agree to judicial supremacism and then put their faith in somehow winning the supremacism game. Instead, it’s time to educate the public in the fact that the courts don’t have the final say over political matters. Courts are every bit as political as the political branches. So let’s keep the politics where it actually belongs, where it is more transparent, and where the public can address their problems through elections. (For more from the author of “Why Conservatives Must Fight Judicial Supremacism — and Not Hang Their Hopes on John Roberts” please click HERE)

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The Primary Threat Now Is Civilization Jihad, and It’s on Our Own Shores

In my first article commemorating the eighteenth anniversary of 9/11, I discussed how, rather than dialing back immigration from the Middle East, we stepped on the gas pedal, bringing in millions more without any guarantee we can vet them. But there is the other half of the equation: The radicalism already on our shores and not aggressively investigated and prosecuted by the government.

There was a long-standing Muslim Brotherhood network already in this country in 2001 that was instrumental in inspiring and working with those behind the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 as well as other terror attacks. Rather than going after that network with a vengeance after 9/11, our government still treated them as legitimate Muslim community outreach leaders. That problem is still huge today.

In 2009, the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding trial gave Americans a jolting dose of reality when it came out that so many of the leading charity and community organizations within the American Muslim community had significant ties to terror groups like Hamas. Federal Judge Jorge Solis implicated in the Holy Land Foundation terror trial the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the North American Islamic Trust. His 2009 order denied efforts by CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood affiliates to have their names expunged from the trial record. Solis noted that “the Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (‘IAP’), and with Hamas.”

The judge cited a 1991 memorandum from a Muslim Brotherhood official explaining the organization’s goals in America as follows:

“Understanding the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America” is “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

Rather than following up on this case at every level and actually prosecuting these groups while banishing the Muslim Brotherhood umbrella organizations from polite society, as with KKK, the government indulged their leaders as legitimate partners with the Muslim community. With so many new people coming from the Middle East every year, how do they even have a chance to assimilate into Americanism if these are the ones leading the community and are legitimized by government?

In 2010, counterterrorism expert Patrick Poole, who now writes for PJ Media, wrote a white paper on 10 jihadists living in America who were involved with terrorism and had ties to either the 9/11 group or terror cells that committed prior acts who were indulged by our government, in some cases even after 9/11. Perhaps the best-known example is Anwar al-Awlaki.

Two weeks after 9/11, according to FBI documents released in 2013, our government knew that al-Awlaki bought airline tickets for Mohammed Atta and two of the other hijackers. The flights were in the summer of 2001 and are thought to have been dry runs for the terror attacks. Yet, as Fox News reported in 2010, al-Awlaki was hosted by the military at the Pentagon several months after his disciples flew planes into it for the purpose of “outreach to the Muslim community”! Documents secured by Judicial Watch further confirmed that al-Awlaki was in the crosshairs of law enforcement several other times between 2002 and 2007 but was mysteriously released each time. He is suspected of directing the underwear bomber on Christmas 2009 and was in contact with Nidal Hassan, who murdered 13 people at Fort Hood a month before that. He was eventually killed in a drone strike in Yemen two years later.

Poole details nine other prominent Islamists in America who were treated as partners by our government and military, even though they were hooked up with the very cells responsible for the worst terrorist attacks. One such figure was Ali Mohamed, al Qaeda’s security chief, who was allowed to infiltrate our special forces, training soldiers in Arabic culture at Fort Bragg after being expelled from Egypt in the 1980s. While he was working with one of the most important parts of our military, according to Poole, “he was schooling U.S.-based Islamic militants in weapons, explosives and martial arts, including the cell responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.” He also helped transport bin Laden from Afghanistan to Sudan, trained the Somali forces who attacked our soldiers in “Black Hawk Down,” helped arrange the cell responsible for the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, and arranged a U.S. fundraising tour for Ayman al-Zawahiri, the man who took over al Qaeda’s leadership after the death of bin Laden.

Another example cited by Poole is Sheikh Kifah Mustapha. He was personally named an unindicted coconspirator and fundraiser for Hamas in the Holy Land Foundation case. A year later, he was given a tour of O’Hare airport as a member of the FBI’s “Citizens Academy.”

How in the world did a man who should have been indicted on terror charges but is free to engage in treason to this day obtain a security clearance?

Earlier in 2010, Mustapha’s behavior was repugnant enough that the Illinois state police fired him as a chaplain. When Mustapha filed a lawsuit, with the help of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated CAIR, even the Democrat attorney general was appalled by him. Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a motion in federal court in 2013 noting that Mustapha “aided and abetted, or at least cheered for, terrorism” after he was caught on a video chanting “terrorist lyrics.”

In October 2010, Eli Lake reported in the Washington Times that then-director of the FBI Robert Mueller was asked about the inclusion of the Hamas cleric in the FBI’s training program, and he refused to answer the question, even as he admitted there are widespread terror links in the sphere of outreach groups the Bureau patronizes.

Indeed, the war on terror is primarily not overseas. It is on our own shores. We need not solve the vexing problems of tribal warfare in Afghanistan to secure our homeland. We need to simply open our eyes and not commit suicide. There’s a reason why our enemies rely on us “sabotaging its miserable house by their hands.” They rely on our own self-destruction for their success. (For more from the author of “The Primary Threat Now Is Civilization Jihad, and It’s on Our Own Shores” please click HERE)

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How Trump Can Take the Supreme Court Border Victory to the Next Level

In a better world, we’d all suffer from heartburn reading the headline, “Supreme Court allows Trump asylum restrictions to take effect.” We don’t need a Supreme Court to “allow” us to have a sovereign nation or to “allow” a president to use his authority to deny entry to any foreign national. However, in our prevailing political system, I’ll take “allowing” over disallowing any day of the week. Now the Trump administration has an opportunity to go on offense and kick these district judges while they’re down and drive a stake through the heart of the border crisis, ending it once and for all.

Late yesterday, the Supreme Court reversed the partial injunction of the Ninth Circuit and the nationwide injunction by California Judge Jon Tigar against the administration’s policy of rejecting asylum requests of those who could have claimed asylum in another country. Only two justices – Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg – went on record as dissenting from the unsigned SCOTUS decision to reverse the unprecedented lower-court power-grab, at least pending the disposition of the case on the merits.

Now is the time for the administration to strike while the iron is hot and put an end to this entire concept of carefully selected district judges in California controlling international relations and border policies. Rather than tepidly ease into the border policies pending the outcome of the case on the merits, the administration should begin immediately rejecting every non-Mexican asylum applicant at the border. No half-measures and no more deference to the same judges who have been repudiated over and over again.

Trump should call on Sen. McConnell to bring to the floor the bill introduced yesterday by Sen. Tom Cotton, which officially clarifies existing constitutional law that judges cannot issue rulings outside the cases of legitimate plaintiffs and that district judges cannot apply rulings outside their geographical jurisdictions. He should also have a conservative member of the House introduce articles of impeachment against Jon Tigar, who has now blatantly violated the core of judicial power by giving standing to third-party organizations to sue as aggrieved parties just so he can veto border policies.

There is never any pressure within the left-wing legal profession against those judges who rule more progressively than Supreme Court precedent, but only against those who rule more conservatively. This is why Clarence Thomas warned in the original “travel ban” case that absent a categorical repudiation from the Supreme Court, the left-wing groups would continue going back to the same district judges and get the same favorable rulings.

The more the administration delegitimizes the entire concept of universal injunctions and illegal judicial tampering in the process of admission of aliens, the more it will create pressure against these judges stepping out of line.

Then there is the situation at the border itself. We can’t continue going pursuing border policy tethered to the whims of any district judge. This has real-life consequences at our border for the agents on the line, because the policies keep changing every day. Judges have an important role mediating domestic disputes among legitimate parties, but they cannot take the role of a commander-in-chief in securing an international border.

To that end, the administration should begin rejecting all Central American asylum applicants rather than using the half-measure of the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP), otherwise known as the “return to Mexico policy.” Rather than rejecting them outright, the administration gives them a notice to appear in court while they wait in Mexico near our border for several months. While it certainly has resulted in many Central Americans returning home and was better than full catch-and-release, it is still a half-baked measure that should no longer be needed.

Todd Bensman, National Security Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, reported a few weeks ago from his conversations with illegal immigrants waiting in Mexico that Central American migrants in the pipeline are already much reduced and further, that those who have been given an MPP document are trying to sneak over the border anyway.

Bensman was on my podcast several weeks ago and related how several of the migrants he met in Mexico who had received MPP documents told him that they were planning to cross the river illegally.

One border agent in the Rio Grande Valley told me he caught a woman from Honduras running away from agents over the weekend. She had a son with her. Until a few weeks ago, this was unheard of. With catch-and-release in full swing, they wanted to get “caught” by an agent if they had a kid with them. Why are they now running?

“Well, after questioning her, we found out that we apprehended her and her son on August 10th almost in the same area,” said the line agent patrolling the RGV, who must remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak to the media. “She was part of the MPP program. We gave her a court date in December and sent her back to Mexico. She didn’t want to wait, so she paid the cartel $22,000 for having to cross her twice. Unfortunately, this story is now becoming the norm. Every day we are catching family units running from us because they too do not want to wait. Just a few days ago we had a big bailout from a high-speed FTY [failure to yield], and the majority of the illegals in the vehicle were family units in the MPP program. They face no consequences from trying to come over again.”

Thus, we are allowing an entire group of illegal aliens from Central America to remain on our doorstep in very desperate straits in this half-status. Right now, Mexico is deporting many Central Americans, but they won’t deport those who have an MPP document. MPP is rapidly reaching the tipping point of undermining our more categorical policies as well as Mexico’s enforcement. This is why it’s time to just categorically reject all of these asylum applications and not issue MPPs, because they all could have and should have applied for asylum in Mexico. That would end almost the entire flow, and the rest would be subject to deportation by the Mexican authorities.

At the very least, CBP must put teeth in the MPP for those who violate the agreement. I asked a CBP press officer if those MPP recipients who are caught coming over the river again lose their opportunity to apply for asylum. The spokesman replied, “Their paperwork is updated with the illegal entry and they are returned to Mexico to await their hearing date.” Which likely means that a judge might possibly take this infraction into account, but they do not categorically lose their chance to apply. If CBP updated this policy to deny asylum to those who violate their waiting period in Mexico under MPP, it would deter them and likely encourage all of them to return home.

Trump sits at the crossroads of the issues of judicial supremacy and the border crisis. Momentum is on his side, but history has shown that the best way to kill a policy problem is when it has been weakened, lest it become strong again. (For more from the author of “How Trump Can Take the Supreme Court Border Victory to the Next Level” please click HERE)

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Have We Learned Anything About Our Immigration System 18 Years After 9/11?

On December 7, 1941, on a day that will live in infamy, the Japanese military attacked our naval base in Hawaii, killing 2,335 people. We responded with clarity of mission by declaring war on Japan and defeating it militarily, with a no-holds-barred approach and not a scintilla of political correctness.

On September 11, 2001, a ragtag terrorist organization attacked us through our immigration system, killing nearly 3,000 Americans. We simply let in people we should not have admitted and allowed them to work with networks within this country of other people who should not have been let in. We responded by making the problem worse and increasing migration from those countries without any system to vet incoming immigrants.

Our government’s response to what should have been treated primarily as an immigration and national security problem was to sacrifice thousands of lives and trillions of dollars nation-building on behalf of various tribes fighting each other in the Middle East, empowering Iran, and clamping down on civil liberties at airports – all the while ignoring our visa system and doubling immigration from the Middle East. One could not possibly conjure up a more backward, more counter-intuitive array of policies than the way we have prosecuted the war on terror for the past 18 years.

Responding to an immigration problem by doubling down on unvetted mass migration from the Middle East

The recent arrest of Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani brings out this point. Alani is a mechanic for American Airlines who is accused of putting foam glue inside part of a commercial plane’s navigation system last month. We now basically make Americans strip naked and be humiliated at airports, while we bring in people like this from overseas and even have them work on the very planes our TSA procedures are meant to keep safe! According to Breitbart’s John Binder, “Alani first arrived in the U.S. from Iraq sometime in the mid-1980s. Alani came to the country as the spouse of an American citizen and eventually was able to become a naturalized American citizen himself in 1992.” How was he vetted? What did we know about him before he came to the U.S.? Later citizenship is no guarantee.

Last Thursday, an alleged sniper for ISIS was indicted on conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS. How did Ruslan Maratovich Asainov get here from his native Kazakhstan? According to John Binder, he arrived in 1999 on the diversity visa lottery. And he too became an American citizen. There is nothing more dangerous than a random visa lottery to bring in people from volatile parts of the world with limited vetting and no ties to this country. Yet we refused to get rid of the lottery after 9/11.

On December 11, 2017, when Republicans controlled all three branches of government, Akayed Ulla, a Bangladeshi national who came here through the diversity visa lottery, attempted to blow himself up at a New York City subway, a nightmare terror scenario. Six weeks earlier, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, an Uzbeki national who came on a diversity visa in 2010, ran down eight people with a truck in the deadliest terror attack in New York City since 9/11. There was pressure to get rid of the diversity lottery back then, but Republicans declined to advance such a bill even at the committee level.

There are endless enclaves and clustering of large communities of unassimilable migrants from countries with strong ties to terror right in New York City, the target of the 9/11 attacks. Every week, we see more stories of those arrested on terror charges. On August 29, Awais Chudhary was arrested for plotting an ISIS terror attack in Queens. He came from Pakistan some time after 9/11.

The same applies to the Somali community in Minneapolis, where dozens have been charged for terrorism-related activity. In 2015, U.S. attorney Andrew Lugar warned that there is “a terror-recruiting problem in Minnesota” among the Somali youth and that it does not stem from overseas but “may be their best friend right here in town.” Similarly, in November 2016, Michael Davis, a federal judge in Minnesota appointed by Bill Clinton, warned, “This community needs to understand there is a jihadist cell in this community. Its tentacles spread out.”

No amount of TSA “security” for passengers can stop the suicide of a nation bringing in Sharia-adherent Islamists in large numbers on visas to this country without any way to vet them or deal with the Muslim Brotherhood subversion in their communities on our soil.

We have grown our immigration from Iraq exponentially since 9/11. We’ve brought in roughly 188,000 since 2009, largely because of a war that was sold to us as “fighting them there so they won’t come here.” What has our government done to better vet these people? Iraqi refugees are caught all the time by the FBI on terrorism charges.

We have clearly not learned our lesson, or we are just willing to allow the false gods of mass migration to overshadow safety concerns. We have issued roughly 2.2 million green cards to nationals of predominantly Muslim countries from 2001 through the first quarter of 2018, a level we’ve never seen in our nation’s history. We’ve brought in more just in a five-year period than the entire Muslim population of Belgium, which has become saturated with radical Islamic elements.

Then there are the non-immigrant visas. Consider how astounding this is: Congress passed an exit-entry visa tracking system in 1996. Its implementation was recommended by the 9/11 Commission. We still have not implemented such a verification system. Two of the hijackers, Satam al Suqami and Nawaf al Hazmi, overstayed their visas. Visa overstay remains the biggest gaping hole in our security. Roughly 667,000 people overstayed their visas in 2016 alone, and many still remain in the country.

Furthermore, instead of making visa applications from terror-prone countries a red flag, we now admit over 155,000 foreign students from the Middle East. One of the 9/11 hijackers who piloted the plane that flew into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour, came here on a student visa from Saudi Arabia. We have responded to the threat by increasing the number of foreign students from Saudi Arabia from a few thousand a year to over 70,000. In 2014, ABC news discovered that 58,000 foreign nationals had overstayed their student visas in particular, of which 6,000 represented a “heightened concern.”

Remember, the internet was still quite primitive around the time of 9/11. Now it is the prime recruiting tool of terrorism, making it even harder for mass numbers of Middle Eastern immigrants to assimilate than before. In 2018, the DHS and DOJ put out a joint report that found that at least 402, or 73 percent, of the 549 individuals convicted of international terrorism-related charges from September 11, 2001, through 2016 were verified as foreign-born, almost all of them from the Middle East or North Africa. The origin of many of the remaining ones were unknown. The first line of defense on terrorism is immigration policy, not war in Afghanistan.

The nexus of immigration, drugs, organized crime, and terror finance missed by the government

What’s worse than bringing in millions of migrants from the Middle East without proper vetting and then sending our troops overseas to fight aimless nation-building missions? Bringing in those people to engage in criminal activity in our own country to fund the terror operations overseas!

Last year, Derek Maltz, who headed the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Special Operations Division in the years after 9/11, told me on my podcast that “increasingly, terrorists from Middle Eastern families are using organized crime through drugs and contraband on our own soil and the government agencies are not doing enough to combat it.” He spoke about the frequency of notorious terror families being allowed into this country, “particularly Yemeni-owned bodegas, gas stations and convenience stores operating all over the U.S. engaging in drugs, cigarette trafficking, and EBT fraud while sending money back to Yemen.” There are similar concerns of day-care fraud funding terror within the Somali community in Minneapolis.

In an interview with CR yesterday, Derek pointed to the absurdity of the son and family of the mastermind of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa living in this country and engaging in criminal activity. Abdullah el Hage was arrested in 2016 on drug charges. He is the son of Wadih el Hage, a close associate of Bin Laden who helped mastermind the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa. Abdullah’s mother was featured on the cover of Newsweek a few months after 9/11 in a story titled “Married to Al Qaeda.” They were allowed to raise an entire family in Texas.

Derek offered a brief presentation of this case a few weeks ago on Twitter:

“With the 18th anniversary of 9/11 coming up, it’s quite alarming how the government agencies are heading in a horrible direction in regards to terror and crime investigations,” he said.

“Why isn’t the DOJ directing the resources to work cohesively on the complex transnational crime and terrorism issues? Why haven’t they adjusted the strategies knowing that ‘terrorists are increasingly turn to criminal networks for their funding’?”

Derek has warned about the endless problems from the Yemeni-owned bodegas selling drugs that are often laced with rat poison, with the proceeds funding terror overseas. “People have immigrated into this great country in masses since 9/11. Unfortunately, many have nefarious motives and are making huge money from criminal activity, which is being sent back to Yemen and other countries to support radical terrorists.”

Let’s focus on our domestic security and save our military for true military threats

Moral of the story? We don’t need to spend hundreds of billions in the Middle East and risk lives refereeing Islamic civil wars. We merely need to stop admitting Sharia-adherent immigrants, at least in large numbers, and focus like a laser beam on the money trail and Muslim Brotherhood networks already in this country. It all gets back to money.

It’s hard to fight terrorism with a conventional military, especially when we let the problems into our own country. This is why a relentless war on terror financing should be the top priority of counterterrorism. Hezbollah, al Qaeda, al-Shabaab, or any other network cannot function without funding.

The lesson of 9/11 should have been all about immigration and homeland security while saving our military for appropriate missions, forming the right alliances, and maximizing soft power and the tools of statecraft to cut off the money trail funding terror from Iran, Turkey, and Qatar.

Then, of course, there is our border. Despite the numbers finally dropping at the southern border, there are still many “gotaways,” gang members, criminals, and yes, potential terrorists who come over undetected. We have refused to treat our border and the cartels as a military issue and use military tactics to secure the border. It remains every bit as vulnerable to bad people entering as it did 18 years ago. Imagine if a fraction of the resources we used in the sands of Afghanistan had been used at our border.

The results of our backward policies are particularly painful for someone like Derek Maltz. Knowing what he knows about the number of criminal aliens from the Middle East killing us with drugs on our own soil while funding terror overseas, he lost a brother fighting in Afghanistan … so we can bring in more people from there?

The war on terror starts and ends with our own homeland and a prudent and clear foreign policy. Preventing the admission of new individuals who might subscribe to a jihadist ideology and busting up the existing terrorist networks in our country are the front lines in this war. Thank God, until now, a mass attack has been prevented. Given that we have stepped up immigration since 9/11, could there ever be an attack deadly enough to make it fashionable among the political elites to stop importing danger? We don’t ever want to find out. (For more from the author of “Have We Learned Anything About Our Immigration System 18 Years After 9/11?” please click HERE)

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Chicago: A Hellhole for Parole, Free Bail, and Jailbreak for Violent Gun Felons

Why aren’t Republicans pounding the lectern with righteous indignation about violent gun felons being let off easy by the judicial system the same way Democrats engage in cerebral gyrations over guns? Democrats have sob stories for their gun control agenda. Republicans need to look no farther than Chicago as the poster child for criminal control.

On June 23, 2017, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson stood beside then-Gov. Bruce Rauner and celebrated the passage of a bill stiffening sentences on gun felons. “1,400 individuals, who are repeat gun offenders, just imagine if we took 50 percent of them off the street where our gun violence would go in the city of Chicago,” declared Johnson at the signing ceremony. “Gun offenders get slaps on the wrist in this city — and it has to stop. I need our judicial partners and our state legislators to help me close this gap.”

Well, thanks to the goal among both parties to reduce the prison population at all costs, things have only gotten worse over the past two years. You see, while politicians tell the public they want to keep people safe, Gov. Rauner also made it his goal to cut the prison population by 25 percent.

According to CWB Chicago, a local crime watchdog, a Cook County judge granted a repeat violent gun felon a special deal on bail that allowed him to walk straight out of the courthouse without posting a dime of bond. Joaquin Urcino is a career criminal with a record dating back to 1991 for everything from homicide and drugs to stolen vehicles, aggravated battery with a firearm, and assault. On July 12, police arrested Urcino, a Two Six gang member, for firing four shots out of his apartment window. He was charged with felony use of a firearm by a felon while on parole, felony reckless discharge of a firearm, and felony possession of a controlled substance.

One would expect someone like this, who served (brief) time for homicide and for shooting another person, to be locked up without bail when caught illegally possessing and discharging a firearm, right? This is especially true given that he was out on parole at the time of his arrest and such an egregious violation should have triggered an automatic re-incarceration. Well, on August 22, Judge Carol Howard let him walk on $100,000 bail, but rather than making him give the customary $10,000 deposit, she let him go for free.

This is all the result of the aggressive and obsessive bipartisan push to let people out without bond and replace incarceration with probation, then avoid enforcing violations of probations so as not to increase the prison population. The goal is 100 percent focused on reducing the prison population without reducing crime with a stronger deterrent, all the while lying to the public that these are just first-time, low-level offenders.

According to data from the Illinois Department of Corrections, the prison population has declined by almost 20 percent since 2013. The Crime Report chronicles how some counties began working with judges to consider jail capacity as a factor in determining whether to give jail time or probation to a new offender. Judges would then allow the criminal offenders to develop a “pretrial” record by their behavior while out with little or no bond to determine their ultimate sentencing at the end of the trial. For example, in McLean County in 2011, “42 percent went to prison and 57 percent were put on probation.” By 2016, “29 percent of convicted felons were sent to prison and 70 percent went on probation.”

That is the power of jailbreak. Now the effects are reverberating across the state. The number of murders statewide jumped 54 percent from 2014 to 2016, while the number of aggravated assaults climbed 16.7 percent.

Last week, the Chicago Tribune reported on a missing woman who police believe was murdered by someone who is out on parole and remains a fugitive. Several years ago, the suspect “was convicted of hitting his girlfriend with a pipe and hammer, pouring a caustic substance on her and setting her on fire.” In addition, he had a domestic battery conviction in 2011 and “felony convictions for armed robbery, aggravated battery and burglary” in the preceding decade. One would expect someone like that to be put away for life, but he was placed on parole in November 2018, barely serving any time.

This past weekend, another eight people were killed and over 40 wounded in Chicago in shootings. While we don’t yet know definitively who committed these crimes, in June, Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for the Chicago police, gave a description of the perpetrators in a similar shooting spree:

As you can see, many of them had previous convictions, including gun felonies, yet were let out on the streets again. It often takes years to get a court date while these people remain free. This is why the jail population is plummeting in addition to the prison population. Many offenders don’t even have to post bail.

Even when they are finally sentenced, many of them get off with parole. Given that they know the system is reluctant to put them back in prison, there is no deterrent against re-offending. Moreover, as Chicago Tribune editorial board member John Kass recently noted, the monitoring system for those on parole is weak because “there are only 100 deputies monitoring the system to watch over more than 2,000 alleged criminals, many of them violent.” Proponents of the jailbreak agenda want to have it both ways – reduce the prison population but then spend no additional funds on building a post-incarceration security apparatus because they want to talk about saving money.

Sadly, even phony conservative groups, along with liberal ones, are pushing for even more “bail reform” in their effort to avoid incarceration at all costs. These groups refuse to be honest that what was sold to the public as a movement to loosen laws on “first-time, low-level” offenders has been used as a vehicle for releasing the worst repeat violent offenders.

What Eddie Johnson said about Chicago is true of almost every city. It’s a relatively small number of people committing most of the murder and robbery in any given area. Liberals claim an urgent need to “do something” about gun violence just to save one life. Well, actually enforcing our laws against violent gun felons and ending all of the liberal “criminal justice reform” loopholes would save thousands of lives every year. How any national discussion over gun violence can ignore the 800-pound gorilla of repeat gun offenders being let out on the streets is a testament to the dishonest foundation of this entire debate. (For more from the author of “Chicago: A Hellhole for Parole, Free Bail, and Jailbreak for Violent Gun Felons” please click HERE)

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