Friday, July 31, 2009

Homeland Insecurity

"Today, I am proud to make two key personnel announcements for the U. S. Department of Homeland Security. President Obama is nominating David Heyman as Assistant Secretary of Policy and I am appointing Arif Alikhan as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development." With those words, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano put American national security at further risk.

President Obama and his immediate subordinates are continuing a slow descent into accommodationism and false confidence. Starting with a Secretary of Homeland Security who believes in easy immigration and easier citizenship, particularly for illegals, the various departments charged with protecting Americans from foreign and domestic terrorism are being peopled with hacks, one-worlders, appeasers, and worst of all, appointees of dubious loyalty to America.

David Heyman is more of the same in that he appears on the surface to be a well-organized and logical hands-on executive. He has lengthy experience in real-world implementation of security schemes, and is knowledgeable in the area of utilizing local and area-wide citizens in major emergencies rather than relying on state or federal agencies to do the work quickly and efficiently. He was even quite critical of FEMA's handling of the Katrina disaster, and had high praise for the authorities across the state border from Louisiana for their quick and localized action using local citizens and resources.

So far, so good. But Heyman is not being appointed as an administrator of the nuts and bolts of putting citizen groups together to act locally in a crisis. He has been appointed to work in the policy division--quite a different thing. All the planning in the world does no good if you're planning for the wrong disaster. Heyman is a professor with a very academic view of world affairs. His view of the Middle East is more the Chamberlain than the Churchill type. More Carter than Reagan. It's hard to plan an emergency rapid reaction when you are concentrating on planning how to convince the enemy not to attack in the first place. And Heyman is one who believes in international cooperation to resolve all national problems, area-wide negotiation, and denial of any ill will toward us from the Arab/Muslim world.

Planning for tornadoes and hurricanes is all well and good, unless you're in California and the "enemy" is earthquake or fire. Heyman bases his policy on the traditional concepts of national governments conducting clearly-defined wars. None of his policy papers indicate that he is willing to recognize the reality of present day non-governmental terrorism, religious fantacism as a factor in creating terror, and asymmetrical warfare. Nevertheless, as inadequate as Heyman's worldview may be, he is not disloyal, and does seem to believe in America's right to survive and protect itself. He just can't see the real threat in front of his face.

The second appointment of the day is considerably more troubling. Arif Alikhan is a devout Sunni Muslim. Let's make no mistake, there are no valid religious tests for holding office in America, nor should there be. But that doesn't mean we should close our eyes to what appointees say, what they believe in regard to religion and the state, and which social and political organizations they support.

Here's Napolitano's introduction to Mr. Alikhan: "Arif comes from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigoso's office, where he served as Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety. As a key adviser to the Mayor, he has led the City's efforts to develop homeland security, emergency management and law enforcement initiatives, including operational oversight of Los Angeles Police, Fire, and Emergency Management departments. Pretty impressive, huh?

However, Napolitano neglected a few facts about him. Alikhan was instrumental in completely disbanding the Police Department's personnel and trashing plans for monitoring suspected Muslim terrorists in the Los Angeles area. Alikhan is an associate of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). The group was founded in 1988 as an outgrowth of several other radical Muslim groups. It attempts to be the civilized face of more militiant activism. It describes itself as "a public service agency working for the civil rights of American Muslims, for the integration of Islam into American pluralism, and for a positive, constructive relationship between American Muslims and their representatives."

It sounds innocent enough, until you know the rest of it. Its senior adviser is Maher Hathout, who has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and who espouses Saudi-style Wahhabism. Despite its professed desire to work closely with other religious communities, in 2000 the Council severed its ties with the Jewish community as a result of the second Intifada and issued harsh, one-sided condemnations of Israel for its response to the Palestinian violence. It was active in attempts to repeal the Patriot Act, working hand-in-hand with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the American Muslim Council and the American Muslim Alliance. The organizations espouse the belief that the Patriot Act was designed solely as an assault on the civil rights of Muslims. And MPAC opposed vehemently the invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the search for Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda leaders.

The Council claims that extremists in Islam are no more numerous in total or per capita than in any other faith. It holds Israel solely responsible for the "pattern of violence" in the Middle East, and declares Hezbollah to be a group of freedom fighters pursuing a liberation movement. Although Alikhan has not publicly espoused these positions since moving into government service, still he has not disavowed them or those who promote them. And we are to expect that a man such as this will influence administration policy in a logical manner, recognizing his duty to protect American national security above all else.

It's not just in the homeland security area that Obama's appointments have been dangerous to American security. The two above are part of a series of frighteningly naive appointments that the Obama administration has pushed. The President's appointments mentioned below (only a partial list) include only one other Muslim, lest anyone think this is an anti-Muslim column. It also demonstrates that one need not be Muslim to be wilfully blind to Islamic fanaticism. By their deeds shall ye know them.

How about Kareem Shora, appointed by Napolitano to the Homeland Security Advisory Council? He is the Executive Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Damascus-born Shora is a known associate of anti-Israel professor Rashid Khalili (who is in turn a friend of one Barack Obama), both of whom have praised jihadists as heroes and fight any reference to Hamas as a terrorist group. The President of ADC, Hamzi Moghrabi, stated: "I will not call Hamas a terrorist organization. I mean I know many people in Hamas. They are very respectable. I don't believe that Hamas as an organization is a violent organization." He also said: "I find it shocking that one would include Hezbollah in an inventory of Middle East terrorist groups." Hezbollah is second only to al Qaeda in the number of Americans it has killed in terrorist attacks.

ADC has also actively opposed all anti-terrorism measures such as watch lists, background check delays for visas and comprehensive screening of Middle East countries or specific individuals labeled as possible national security threats. ADC openly celebrated the release of Hezbollah prisoners in Israel in 2004, praising them as "heroes." I guess we know what kind of advice Shora will be giving Secretary Napolitano.

Adviser General Merrill McPeak says American Jewish voters prevent the U. S. from a constructive role in bringing about peace in the Middle East. Robert Malley has urged an imposed settlement on Israel which requires Israel to negotiate with Hamas. NSC adviser Samantha Power advocates imposition of terms on Israel by the U. S. unilaterally. George Mitchell, who in 2000 called for more concessions from Israel before he would demand that Palestinians fulfill their already existing, unfulfilled Oslo obligations. Daniel Kurtzer directly blames Israel for the failure of the 2000 Camp David accords.

And then there's the amazingly devious and chameleon-like Dennis Ross, who is a vocal supporter of Israel and friend of Rahm Emmanuel. Ross even held the Palestinian Authority largely responsible for the 2000 failure that other administration officials blame on Israel. He thereafter repeated his position that Israel could not negotiate with terrorist organizations. Right up untl he became an Obama insider. He now says that he was right all along, but what is different now is that Yasser Arafat was unable to make peace, but his current successor Mahmoud Abbas can. Well, the Bush administration failed at that little gem, so why not let the Obama administration do the same thing? The only difference in approach is that Bush gave the Palestinian Authority $600 million, while so far Obama has given the P.A. $900 million. As we all know, the only reason a peace plan fails is lack of funding. Ross is now Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Central Region (including Palestine, Israel and much of Syria and Lebanon).

Whether it's protection of American troops and personnel in the Middle East, or American citizens at home, Obama has shown a strong predilection for continuing the use of weak old-timers in office, or bringing them back for the sake of appearances. But at least they put up a show of believing that Israel deserves to exist, and Americans at home and abroad deserve to live. His new people who are expected to lead the charge tend to be very weak on American homeland defense and foreign intervention, and some are openly hostile. Those who came in as strong advocates for American national security quickly convert. A fish rots from the head down.

With people like this in charge, Secretary Napolitano is going to need much more than a simple metal detector to protect her and the rest of us from terrorist attacks.

16 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

Maybe Napolitano believes in keeping our enemies close. . . very close.

Writer X said...

Napolitano was a weak AZ governor and now she gets to be a weak Homeland Security Secretary. She wasn't appointed to this position because she was smart, and certainly not because she's tough or cares deeply for her country (or knows how). She is good a following orders--a perfect Obama appointee. Given her performance in Arizona (which she left in financial shambles), I'm sure she'll leave Homeland Security in the same state--weakened, useless, a money pit. People should be very afraid.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: He probably has them over for beer on the White House lawn. Only without the photographers present.

WriterX: Homeland Security couldn't have been a much worse secretariat to place a weak person in. Obama and Napolitano are both blind the the dangers of porous borders. They both live in the purple-prose world of huddled masses yearning to breathe free and are oblivious to the angry hordes yearning to break in. Leaving a state in shambles is one thing, leaving a nation in ashes quite another. While our internal security is in need of major surgery, Obama and Napolitano are putting band-aids on a cancer.

DCAlleyKat said...

LawHawk-> While our internal security is in need of major surgery, Obama and Napolitano are putting band-aids on a cancer.

So well stated I have nothing more to add from the brain level. Emotionally however, I fluctuate between anger, and fear. Anger at the collective citizens apparant inability to halt this process, and fear that by the time we can it will be too late. Most days I am strong and have an endurance level that is tolerable, other days (like today) the absolute massive scale and speed of the corruption overwhelms me. Am I normal? Is anything normal anymore?

Joel Farnham said...

And I thought she was just being ridiculous with putting people who backed Ron Paul etc on the last "terrorist watch".

She really does believe that nonsense of "we just don't understand them". We are dealing with a "true" believer.

LawHawkSF said...

DCAlleyKat: I'm probably being a little selfish. I fear for all of America when our security people are asleep or uninterested in their job. But I live in a city which pretty much sums up about everything that the jihadi warriors despise. I avoid the Golden Gate Bridge and the TransAmerica Pyramid as much as possible since they are almost as recognizable as symbols of our city as the World Trade Center Towers were to New York. I didn't do that during the Bush administration, not because I was convinced they were going to be sure to stop an attack, but because I at least believed they were trying. Can't say the same now.

Joel Farnham: We are in deep danger when those charged with our security are busy wasting resources on political enemies while ignoring real ones.

Tennessee Jed said...

Jack Bauer would be appalled

DCAlleyKat said...

Jack Bauer would be appalled...

Zoey would be on fire!!

DCAlleyKat said...

LawHawk: I avoid the Golden Gate Bridge and the TransAmerica Pyramid as much as possible since they are almost as recognizable as symbols of our city as the World Trade Center Towers were to New York. I didn't do that during the Bush administration, not because I was convinced they were going to be sure to stop an attack, but because I at least believed they were trying. Can't say the same now.

I fear for all of America also. We are neighbors of a sort LawHawk! I am in northern California, in the valley between Sac and Redding. Due to my Lupus I sometimes venture to the Stanford area.

LawHawkSF said...

Tennessee: Where is Jack when we need him? We definitely need a secret agency to guard us from the guardians.

LawHawkSF said...

DCAlleyKat: At least you live a few miles from ground zero. I have a bullseye on my roof (which I didn't put there). And it has some funny writing under it that looks like someone tossed spaghetti. I wonder what it says. I have visited a couple of times at Stanford Law, and had a couple of clients in the Stanford Center.

Skinners 2 Cents said...

Personally I think the Department of Homeland Security was a major mistake to begin with. We already have a multitude of government law enforcement agencies for just about every type of crime known to man. We also have many government agencies that keep an eye on our enemies and allies abroad.

Our actual homeland security force has been around since just after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

So what was the purpose of creating a whole new expensive government organization, when everything we need to protect ourselves is already in place.

Instead of untying the hands of those we want to protect us we added another set of DHS flex cuffs to solve the problem.

So in true bureaucratic style we never solved the problem of different agencies not communicating, instead we added another money consuming bureaucracy that will also be fighting for more funding. It's that same infighting for money that keeps all these federal agencies from working together.

I would be outraged at some of these appointments but when the first lady said she had "never been proud of this country," I knew we would be getting government do-gooders that felt the exact same way. America is bad. Thank God all the America haters are here to change that for us.

LawHawkSF said...

Skinners2Cents: Occam's Razor: In a multitude of possible answers, the simplest is most likely the correct one. Allen Dulles orginally proposed exactly that, but J. Edgar Hoover feared someone intruding on his territory, so we got the artificial divisions and inter-agency rivalries that give today's blame-America-first types their opportunity to throw monkey wrenches into the security machinery. With all these "czars" we have now, we could actually have gotten one who would oversee both foreign and domestic intelligence, and decide when the two should share information about a common enemy. For the good of the nation rather than the good of the agencies. What was originally proposed as one superagency has now become three incompetent agencies.

Skinners 2 Cents said...

DC Alley Kat "other days (like today) the absolute massive scale and speed of the corruption overwhelms me. Am I normal?"

I was feeling the exact same way while reading this article.

I would cringe at Bush's Shakespearean-lite word creation, but I would end up laughing about it. When Bush abandoned his capitalist principles I was angry and dumbfounded but I still felt "safe" while feeling that way.

Most of the incredibly bad policies both foreign and domestic have me angered to no ends and what's worse is I don't feel "safe" while being angry.

We already have the speech police in full force. The thought police have been around for some time. We now officially have state sponsored media. We've pushed and stretched the Constitution as far as we can. Obama has supported the breaking of Constitutional guarantees in foreign countries. The last step which we are witnessing is an out front, for everyone to see breaking of our Constitution. If we all watch and let it happen then it's ok, they have pushed all in.

That gamble makes me nervous especially while we are at war.

All I can do is hope Obama's Big Smile Shield Defense plan can reflect the suns rays bright enough to destroy incoming missiles or anything or anyone that means us harm.

He's friendly towards our enemies and hostile to our allies. I know our brave Marines are busy taking it to our foreign enemies but could you send some Marines to help us with some domestic enemy.

StanH said...

Damn Lawhawk that’s an alarming article, these yum-yuks are gonna get somebody hurt. When you speak of Arif Alikhan, it reminds me of our Barry and his twenty year association with Rev. Wright …if we examine any of these relationships you are instantly accused of the dread, guilt by association, rush to judgment, racial profiling, etc., …YUK! “So what he hung out with the radical Muslim groups, what exactly does that prove?” I have to say again, that was one of the more infuriating things I’ve read in a while, but in search of a positive, at least these creeps are fully exposed for the blind egalitarian’s that they are. It’s much easier to defeat an enemy that no longer is able to hide cloaked as a “moderate.”

LawHawkSF said...

Skinners2Cents: I love the "Obama Smile Shield." At the rate he's tearing down our security apparatus, that may be all we have left. It isn't enough.

StanH: My visions of those blue-haired Swedish grandmothers being strip-searched by "color-blind" screeners while the black-bearded long-robed guys behind them are screaming to Allah about being delayed are becoming nightly recurring nightmares.

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