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Calling All Counterterrorism Professionals, Part 2

Sunday, May 27, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

In yesterday’s post I requested reactions from counterintelligence professionals to the prospect of giving conditional status under Section 601(h) to all illegal immigrants in the country, regardless of whether or not their country was home to extensive jihadist networks. I received a number of interesting responses, but only one from an experienced official –Michael Cutler, posted below– which makes for bracing reading.

The second arrived this morning, relayed by friend. It is from his uncle, recently retired after a 25 year career in naval intelligence. Because I know the friend, I am completely confident that our correspondent knows his stuff and is who he says he is. I have edited it to almost family-friendly form, but left enough %$#&s to convey his forcefulness.

Before reading that please absorb Todd Bensman’s latest article, from this morning’s San Antonio Express News, “Out of Iraq, a flight of Chaldeans.” Bensman’s focus today is ont he plight of Iraq’s Christians, 600,000 of whom have fled the Islamists of their home country, many into America. The article again details just how porous our borders are, and though Bensman’s writing elicits great sympathy for the refugees, it also underscores just how easy it has been for Middle Eastern people to enter the country through the past few years. Even if the ration is 1,000 refugees to 1 jihadist, the number of terrorists or terrorist sympathizers int he country illegally is not small, and the idea of giving them legal status strikes me as insane. (See also Mark Steyn’s jolt of clarity from theis AM, “So Much News, So Little Sense.”)

Secretary Chertoff argued to me that the regularization process will smoke out the bad guys from the shadows of those living in the shadows. Our correspondent doesn’t agree:

Before I start to answer your question, let me say hello to you and your lovely wife. Congrats to ___for graduating. Impressive that she got her BA, and a double major no less. You should be so proud. She will make an excellent lawyer, don’t you worry about law school. The two of you make a perfect team, and I’m looking forward to seeing you guys soon.
As to your inquiry, man you know how to lay those out there. In all the times we’ve corresponded, you never cease to come up with doozys. I’m glad to know my nephew has been utilizing that critical thinking I so ingrained into you. You would have made a fine intel officer.
Your colleague Hugh is more than right. Hell, he ought to be the secretary of Homeland Security. Look Michael Chertoff is a good guy, but he’s a bureaucratic ass-hat. He’s in this for his job, and not the security of the nation. Like every guy in his position, he doesn’t quite get the depths of what it takes to really protect a nation.
Example? Hugh wrote:
Secretary Chertoff told me I was wrong. He argued that providing probationary status to every illegal who turns in their paperwork would be useful in the effort to find the terrorists hidden in our own country. If I understand him correctly, he believes that the covert terrorists ill be afraid to turn in the paperwork and will thus be left much more exposed as everyone else will have their probationary documents.
This is a false assumption, and a dangerous one, at that. You and I both know that those trying to attack us either A) have solid documentation, or B) have been living long enough in the shadows that they’re not going to risk exposure, and will slip through the net. Look, these people aren’t idiots. They’ve been doing this long enough to know that certain scrutiny is going to get them caught, and that’s just not good for them. The ones who have the passports and other documents will be willing to make the risk because thus far, those documents have protected them.
Look, if you’re a jihadi toilet bug, you’re going to try and change yourself, right? That means if your name is “Abdul,” you’re going to change it to something else. “Abdul ____” will become “Mohammed ____” or some such. Chertoff’s idea that we’ll catch them one way or another is bull___. If Abdul becomes Mohammed, how are we supposed to catch him on any sort of background check? there won’t be a record of him even existing. We’ll be looking for anyone with a criminal past, or a terrorist past, right? How the hell are we supposed to find him if he’s changed his identity? We’ve seen this before. I’ve seen so many identities that have “AKAs” attached that I think I’m reading a *&%$ eye chart.
If Secretary Chertoff were serious about security, then he’d demand the same sort of idea that your friend Hugh is. You flag those from those countries for extra scrutiny. That means being very non-PC, and making a policy of checking anyone from: China, North Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the UAE, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Niger, Somalia, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Angola, Liberia, and the Congo. You check them so intensely that they think Uncle Sugar is in their everyday lives, and every %$#&* waking moment of it until we know for sure they’re not going to blow anyone up, or go otherwise nutty on us.
I guess Chertoff forgot that the Fort Dix guys, for the most part, were here illegally, or that the Sept. 11th *&%## were, too. We let those guys run free without so much as an eyelash batted. And when they were caught for the odd misdemeanor, the cops let them go. There wasn’t a “Do not pass go, do not collect $200” sort of thinking there with someone here illegally. Aw hell no, we just patted them on the back, said welcome to America, and sent them on their merry way. Nevermind that Atta was here from a terrorist-loving nation. Nevermind that the Dix &%$#@ were planning on killing my fellow brothers in arms. Go for it. Seize the American dream that you &^%$# hate so much.
You want solid reform, here’s how you do it. First, if you’re going to let these &^%$# in, you give them a background check they won’t forget. You crawl up their &&%$ so much they’ll want to leave. Each day, every day you monitor them. This way even if you get a phony name, you got a better chance of nailing them. It’s either that or you end all emigration from those nations I listed above. And believe me, that list is by no means complete. Secondly, you create a computer system that will connect to ALL national computer databases to track these guys, and if the nation in question says “no,” then emigration from that country ends immediately. If they claim they don’t have a database, emigration ends until they do. Those that do come here are still subject to scrutiny that would make any American citizen squeamish. That’s OK though because they’re not citizens. They don’t like it? Screw them. Move to Britain then. Lastly, if they come from one of those suicide-loving countries, you follow them like the plague until such a time that they become a citizen and are subject to the laws and protections of the nation. And personally ______, that won’t happen. These %$#@& never want that. They just want to hurt us worse than the last guy.
It’s a simple world for them, and it should be for us, too. Those guys want us dead and buried; forgotten as ashes under their caliphate. Unfortunately for them, we’re not rolling over just yet. Of course if the monkeys in Congress get their way, we will. Those *&^%$ are just going to make it easier for these *&^%$ to get around the scrutiny they’re due. We in a &^^%$ war. Your a student of history, _____; how many times did we allow ourselves to be this open to our enemies? That’s right. We didn’t. We took the necessary steps to protect ourselves. So why the hell is this time any different? I’ll tell you why. Because the asses in Congress don’t care. They’re insulated there. They don’t have to deal with the consequences. Sometimes I wonder if Flight 93 had hit the Capitol if they’d be thinking differently. I know it’s wrong, but some *&^%$# [in the Congress] seem to need a good slap in the face to be a reminder. If we gave Congress the reminder they needed daily, we’d be Israel, and we can’t afford that.
No, these guys don’t get it. They either haven’t seen the intel, or they don’t care. Either way, it screws the nation. They’re incompetent or uncaring. I know that’s a bitch of a statement, but you know it as well as I do. You guys are seeing it daily. Sure some are better than others, but when the cancer is so widespread, it doesn’t matter. Right now, it’s better to cut the whole &^%$# thing out and start anew, but that ain’t happening and we know it. The immigration bull is a &^%$# and a half, and it’s written by RE**& that have no clue what this war is about, or what it takes to secure this nation. They’re more concerned with not offending anyone rather than making sure no American is killed. And that, ____, is the real *&^$# tragedy. They’re too damned stupid to realize that they’re opening the door to get hit again. And in this day and age, tghe next strike could be a mushroom cloud in Manhattan, Washington, or even Topeka. Worse yet, it could be an EMP device that sends us back to the Stone Age, making us even more vulnerable, or a biological weapon that could decimate the population. The political monkeys in DC don’t get it, and they don’t care because they don’t have to deal with it like we would.
You tell your friend Hugh to keep on their asses. If this bill goes through, this nation’s *&^%$#. They’ve got no plan, no security measures, and no way to do in depth checks to prevent these jihadi *&^%$ from coming here and hitting us again. Make Congress understand it.
UPDATE: Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive –like our correspondent above an experienced intelligence professional– posts on the subject, and suggests he disagrees with me, but doesn’t really join the issue about sleepers so much as note, correctly in my view, some major errors in post 9/11 security policy and the need for immigration reform.  To make my position clear, I agree with regularization for the vast majority of economic immigrants who came here illegally from Mexico and Central American countries.  I am opposed to the same treatment for illegal immigrants from most other countries absent extensive background checks without any probationry status that would confer legitimacy of any sort on those populations prior to the completion of those checks and with a declared  policy in the new law stating that absent a positive finding of security reliability, the illegal immigrant would be returned to his or her own homeland in most cases, or at best allowed to remain without freedom of movement or guarantee of continued welcome for any period of time.
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