U.S. Borders Present ‘Significant’ Terrorist Pipelines + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Tue 12/08/2015 by

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U.S. Borders Present ‘Significant’ Terrorist Pipelines

The Obama administration’s lax border security and unquestioning acceptance of everyone who wishes to enter the U.S. is no longer just a question of immigration policy. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) told an audience at the National Defense University Monday that the Islamic State has tried to use the refugee program to enter America. “I can reveal today that the United States government has information to indicate that individuals tied to terrorist groups in Syria have already attempted to gain access to our country through the U.S. refugee program,” McCaul said.

Last week, a report from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee found that violent jihadists could easily cross the borders with Canada and Mexico. There are reports of an Islamic State training camp in Mexico, and the Canadian government’s policies toward Syrian immigrants could provide a pathway for Islamic State militants to simply travel south and hop across the U.S.-Canadian border. “Security observers have argued that Canada represents a substantial vulnerability, because it provides immigrant visas to individuals who pose a significant threat.” the Senate’s report read. “Witnesses testified before the committee that if someone gets into Canada, they will most likely be able to enter the U.S.”

This is not an unfounded fear. Judicial Watch reported a group of five men were arrested along the U.S.-Mexico border at the beginning of December. They were of Middle Eastern decent, and Border Patrol agents discovered “stainless steel cylinders in backpacks,” Judicial Watch said. McCaul suggested refugees — by definition people who want to return to their homes — should shelter under a no-fly zone in Syria enforced by the countries battling the Islamic State. But that would require a strategy from the Obama administration. But instead, the director of the Department of Homeland Security held a press conference Monday with the ADAMS Center, an Islamic group that has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Obama keeps sending all the wrong messages.

Trumping Immigration Again

We’ve warned of Barack Obama’s jihadi pipeline and the Syrian refugee Trojan horse, and everyone saw the carnage wrought by two fanatical Muslims in San Bernardino. But Donald Trump just took the debate to the next level in calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Whatever the latter part of that means. Less than a full day after Obama’s pathetic national address on his plan to keep doing all the things that allowed the Islamic State to flourish in the first place, Trump’s was a calculated but cynical media play designed to gain attention and set the negotiating line as far in his direction as possible (“Art of the Deal,” anyone?). Perhaps it was because Ted Cruz has now taken the lead in Iowa and Trump needed a boost. In any case, his declaration had the intended effect: Every media outlet went after every Republican they could find to see who would denounce the party’s presidential frontrunner. And just about all of them obliged. How could they not?

So instead of unifying the nation — or even just the Republican Party — Trump’s comments have created more infighting. That isn’t to say there’s not some good reason for that, given the sense of many Americans that no one in Washington is doing anything remotely close to what’s best for the country, all while bowing to the demands of political correctness. Unfortunately, the worst part is that Trump has now erected the very straw man Obama looked so foolish fighting on Sunday night. In doing so, Trump makes Obama look more reasonable by comparison.

SCOTUS Declines ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban Case

Second Amendment rights continue to face legal challenges. The latest setback comes from the Supreme Court, which rejected a challenge to a ban on so-called “assault weapons.” Highland Park, Illinois, enacted a ban in 2013 based on the following criteria, as reported by The Hill: “any semi‐automatic gun that can accept a large‐capacity magazine and has one of five other features: a pistol grip without a stock; a folding, telescoping, or thumbhole stock; a grip for the non‐trigger hand; a barrel shroud; or a muzzle brake or compensator. Some weapons, such as the AR‐15 and AK‐47, are prohibited by name.” The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ban against a challenge from Arie Friedman and the Illinois State Rifle Association. And on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

In an unusual step, Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas voiced opposition to the Court’s move. Thomas wrote, “The Court’s refusal to review a decision that flouts two of our Second Amendment precedents stands in marked contrast to the Court’s willingness to summarily reverse courts that disregard our other constitutional decisions.” To do so, he argued, gives blessing to a lower court decision that “eviscerates many of the protections recognized in Heller and McDonald.” For example, weapons in “common use” was key to the Court’s previous gun rulings, and it’s hard to argue that semiautomatic rifles don’t fit that description, even if they do have extra-scary features like pistol grips and folding stocks that have no effect on functionality.

“If a broad ban on firearms can be upheld based on conjecture that the public might feel safer (while being no safer at all), then the Second Amendment guarantees nothing,” Thomas wrote. He concluded that the Seventh Circuit is guilty of “relegating the Second Amendment to a second-class right,” and SCOTUS did nothing to stand for Rule of Law.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Redefining the ‘War on Women’

By Charles Paige

Female Marines in GCEITF

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has announced that women will soon be permitted to take any position in the U.S. military, including combat roles. Until now, more than 200,000 jobs were limited to men. “This means that as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before,” Carter said. “They’ll be able to drive tanks, give orders, lead infantry soldiers into combat.”

The change applies to all service branches. Carter concluded, “There will be no exceptions.”

The New York Times’ opening line got it right, terming the announcement a “historic transformation of the American military.” Unfortunately, much like the Obama administration’s transformation of the health care system, the change is unlikely to be for the better.

The arguments presented in defense of the announcement are telling. Virtually all of the points had to do with how the decision will make the military more “fair” and will empower and provide new opportunities for women to reach their potential. Yet as the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces warned when it published its final report in 1992, “Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desires or interests of an individual, or group of individuals, is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong.”

We’ll see if women feel empowered if the U.S. government institutes another draft.

There was little mention of how the decision will help the military accomplish its primary task — fighting and winning wars — most likely because there is no evidence to suggest it will. In fact, the most objective study conducted (by the Marine Corps) was ignored precisely because it didn’t fit the administration’s preferred narrative or outcome. Cutting off discussion about the Marine Corps findings, Carter emphasized, “We are a joint force and I have made a decision that will apply to the whole force.” One-size-fits-all political correctness.

Former Marine Tom Neven wrote, “Another problem with the new policy is the poisonous effect it is already having on troop morale. Young soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are not stupid. They hear their superiors mouthing words about maintaining standards and seeking input from all concerned, but then see the preordained results. Surveys were ignored and test results rejected. Notwithstanding assurances to the contrary, they see standards being changed.”

While the concept of the lowest common denominator may be useful in some settings, national defense isn’t one of them. Being fair may give some on the Left a warm fuzzy, but it will only embolden those who wish to do us harm and increase the likelihood of that warm feeling being followed by the hot flash of explosions and incoming rifle fire.

Unfortunately, even a new commander in chief and defense secretary are unlikely to reverse the new policy. Toothpaste doesn’t go back in the tube.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, strongly opposed the policy change and declined to appear with Carter for the press conference, but he put it bluntly: “Moving forward, my focus is to lead the full integration of women in a manner that maintains our joint warfighting capability, ensures the health and welfare of our people, and optimizes how we leverage talent across the Joint Force.”

The focus now must be on holding the Pentagon to Carter’s promise that “there must be no quotas or perception thereof,” as well as other leaders’ assurances that standards won’t be lowered. To the latter point, however, it’s only a matter of time before standards are lowered. In the words of former Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey, “If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the [defense secretary], ‘Why is it that high?’”

Uniformed leaders will undoubtedly carry out their orders, but they should also rigorously document, analyze and present the impact those orders have on combat formation cohesion and effectiveness.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Thomas Sowell: “When the President of the United States asks the television networks to set aside time for him to broadcast a speech from the Oval Office, we can usually expect that he has something new to say. But President Obama’s speech Sunday night was just a rehash of what he has been saying all along, trying to justify policies that have repeatedly turned out disastrously for America and our allies. This was not a speech about how the Obama administration is going to do anything differently in the future. It was a speech about how Obama’s policies were right all along. Obama is one of those people who are often wrong but never in doubt. … Obama may think of himself as a citizen of the world, but he was elected President of the United States, not head of a world government, and that does not authorize him to gamble the lives of Americans for the benefit of people in other countries. … When Obama spoke of the danger of our being ‘drawn once more into a long and costly ground war in Iraq or Syria,’ that was yet another fantasy, that wars are optional. When terrorists are at war with us, we cannot simply declare that war to be over, whenever it is politically convenient, as Obama did when he withdrew American troops from Iraq, against the advice of his own generals. That is what led to the rise of ISIS. Our only real choice is between destroying ISIS over there or waiting for them to come over here and start killing Americans. As in other cases, Obama has made a choice that reflects politics and rhetoric, rather than reality.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Spiritual movements are revolts of thought against inertia, of the few against the many; of those who because they are strong in spirit are strongest alone against those who can express themselves only in the mass and the mob, and who are significant only because they are numerous.” —Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

Upright: “The president reiterated a constant theme of his administration [in Sunday’s speech], saying that we should not give in to fear. He misses the point. We are not afraid of radical Islam. We are afraid of the continued weak response to it.” —Gary Bauer

Non Compos Mentis: “The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence. My message to not just the Muslim community but to the entire American community is: we cannot give in to the fear that these backlashes are really based on.” —Attorney General Loretta Lynch

The BIG Lie: “That’s the message of the child whose birth families like mine celebrate on Christmas — a prince born in a stable who taught us that we should love our neighbors as ourselves; and that we are our brothers’ keeper and our sisters’ keepers; that we should feed the hungry, visit the sick, welcome the stranger. These are the lessons of Jesus Christ. But they’re also the bedrock values of all faiths.” —Barack Obama (Islamic jihadis don’t seem to view that as a bedrock value.)

Dezinformatsia: “It is very difficult to find much space between the coming Christian caliphate, which reveres the Second Amendment as a holy text, and the one set up … in Syria and Iraq — except the location of the final battle. … [B]oth groups want to implement the laws of their gods and look forward to the end times when their gods will beat up everyone else’s gods.” —Susan Grigsby in the Daily Kos

Braying Jenny: “You have such a push to buy in gun magazines, in open stores, guns on display everywhere. It’s a society that has kind of bought into the Kool-Aid that the more guns there are, the better protected you are.” —Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Late-night humor: “Russia is planning to build a base on the moon where astronauts will live permanently. When asked if they really wanted to spend the rest of their lives in a barren, lifeless landscape, the Russians said, ‘No, that’s why we want to go to the moon.’” —Jimmy Fallon

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
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