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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Department of Homeland Security’

Analysis: Trump’s Anti-Terror Plan Calls for Tough Immigrant Vetting, International Coalition Against ISIS [video]

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday gave a foreign policy speech in Youngstown, Ohio, outlining his plan to fight terrorism. Addressing the large crowd (as usual), Trump opened, “Today we begin a conversation about how to Make America Safe Again. In the 20th Century, the United States defeated Fascism, Nazism, and Communism. Now, a different threat challenges our world: Radical Islamic Terrorism.”

The candidate cited a very long list of terrorist attacks against individual Western targets (Paris, Brussels, Orlando), as well as a more generalized but no less forceful depiction of attacks on Muslims: “Overseas, ISIS has carried out one unthinkable atrocity after another. … We cannot let this evil continue.”

Trump promised, “We will defeat Radical Islamic Terrorism, just as we have defeated every threat we have faced in every age before.” He then threw a jab at both president Obama and Democratic presidential Candidate Clinton, saying, “Anyone who cannot name our enemy, is not fit to lead this country.”

This led to a Trump analysis of how President Obama and his Secretary of State Clinton are to blame for the current alarming state of events. He blamed them for policies that led to the creation of ISIS, saying, “It all began in 2009 with what has become known as President Obama’s global ‘Apology Tour.’”

Remarkably, Trump omitted eight whole years in which the US was attacked by a different group of Islamic radicals, and the fact that then President GW Bush retaliated by invading a country that had nothing to do with that attack, inflicting chaos on Iraq and taking out the one fierce regional enemy of Iran, Saddam Hussein. According to Trump, none of those eight bloody years of a Bush war had anything to do with the creation of ISIS (which took place in 2004) — it all began with “a series of speeches,” in which “President Obama described America as ‘arrogant,’ ‘dismissive,’ ‘derisive,’ and a ‘colonial power.'”

“Perhaps no speech was more misguided than President Obama’s speech to the Muslim World delivered in Cairo, Egypt, in 2009,” Trump said Monday night. Of course, the Obama Al Azhar University speech did launch a bizarre foreign policy that punished America’s friends and rewarded its enemies. Even if one were not pro-Israel, one would have to wonder what drove that disastrous foreign policy. But the Obama speech did not instigate the catastrophic failure of US policy in the Middle East, it only picked up Obama’s predecessor’s very bad situation and made it worse.

Trump believes that “the failure to establish a new Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq, and the election-driven timetable for withdrawal, surrendered our gains in that country and led directly to the rise of ISIS.” But in eight miserable years, having spent trillions of borrowed dollars our grandchildren and their grandchildren after them will continue to pay for, there were no US gains in Iraq — which is why when Obama honored the Bush agreement with the Iraqi government and withdrew some of the US forces, the whole thing came tumbling down.

Trump blames Hillary Clinton for destabilizing Libya, a claim supported by many, including President Obama and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He also added a jab at the Clintons, saying, “Yet, as she threw the Middle East into violent turmoil, things turned out well for her. The Clintons made almost $60 million in gross income while she was Secretary of State.” It’s factually true, but the implied moral outrage is hard to accept with a straight face, seeing as it came from a man who prided himself on turning homeowners’ misery into a hefty profit for himself during the housing crisis of 2008.

After much more of the candidate’s unique view on US foreign policy and the causes for rise of terrorism, Trump finally cut to the chase.

“If I become President, the era of nation-building will be ended,” he said. “Our new approach, which must be shared by both parties in America, by our allies overseas, and by our friends in the Middle East, must be to halt the spread of Radical Islam. … As President, I will call for an international conference focused on this goal. We will work side-by-side with our friends in the Middle East, including our greatest ally, Israel. We will partner with King Abdullah of Jordan, and President [Al] Sisi of Egypt, and all others who recognize this ideology of death that must be extinguished.”

Trump added to the list of his envisioned coalition partners the NATO countries, explaining that although he “had previously said that NATO was obsolete because it failed to deal adequately with terrorism; since my comments they have changed their policy and now have a new division focused on terror threats.”

He also wants Russia to participate, clearly despite its dubious new alliance with both Iran and Turkey that threatens the very presence of US troops in that part of the region.

On this point, the Trump vision looks an awful lot like the current Administration’s policy on fighting ISIS: “My Administration will aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, international cooperation to cutoff their funding, expanded intelligence sharing, and cyberwarfare to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting. We cannot allow the Internet to be used as a recruiting tool, and for other purposes, by our enemy – we must shut down their access to this form of communication, and we must do so immediately.”

So far so good, but then Trump suggested “we must use ideological warfare as well. Just as we won the Cold War, in part, by exposing the evils of communism and the virtues of free markets, so too must we take on the ideology of Radical Islam.”

Trump then depicted his opponent as contributing to the repression of Muslim gays and women, promising his “Administration will speak out against the oppression of women, gays and people of different faith. Our Administration will be a friend to all moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East, and will amplify their voices.”

At which point one must ask if the candidate is relying on expert advise on the Middle East. Because while he is absolutely right in condemning the cruelty and repression that have been the reality in Muslim countries from Pakistan to Morocco, his idea of promoting an American foreign policy of “speaking out against the horrible practice of honor killings” and against the myriad other acts of unimaginable violence against women, his ideas that to defeat Islamic terrorism, the US must “speak out forcefully against a hateful ideology that provides the breeding ground for violence and terrorism to grow” is shockingly sophomoric. Surely Trump knows that these attempts are a recipe for a far worse disaster than the one brought on by the Obama Al Azhar speech.

At this point, Trump turned to an area with which he is more familiar, the need for a new immigration policy. “A Trump Administration will establish a clear principle that will govern all decisions pertaining to immigration: we should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people,” the candidate declared, adding that “the time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today.”

“In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law,” Trump said, explaining that “those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country – and to embrace a tolerant American society – should be issued visas.”

Easier said than done, of course, because it’s naturally difficult to discern what lurks inside the mind of any person, immigrants included. Trump’s solution is, to “temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism.”

“As soon as I take office, I will ask the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to identify a list of regions where adequate screening cannot take place. We will stop processing visas from those areas until such time as it is deemed safe to resume based on new circumstances or new procedures.” It should be interesting to gauge the response of, say, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, to the news that no more cash-laden Arab oil sheiks would be allowed to visit Vegas under a Trump Administration.

“Finally, we will need to restore common sense to our security procedures,” Trump declared, listing several notorious murders committed by Muslims on US soil, noting that in each case there had been warning signs that were overlooked by the authorities.

“These warning signs were ignored because political correctness has replaced common sense in our society,” Trump stated flatly, adding, “That is why one of my first acts as President will be to establish a Commission on Radical Islam. … The goal of the commission will be to identify and explain to the American public the core convictions and beliefs of Radical Islam, to identify the warning signs of radicalization, and to expose the networks in our society that support radicalization.”

“This commission will be used to develop new protocols for local police officers, federal investigators, and immigration screeners,” Trump said, essentially suggesting legitimizing the police profiling that has been so vilified in the media and by many politicians. He also promised to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open (although Obama has just released fifteen of its inmates). He wants additional staff to Intelligence agencies and will keep drone strikes against terrorist leaders as part of his options. He also wants military trials for foreign enemy combatants.

In conclusion, there was absolutely no new policy idea in the Trump speech on foreign policy Monday night, but there was an implied, if mostly unspoken promise, to encourage all levels of law enforcement to be less restrained in pursuing their targets. In fact, across the board, what Trump was offering Monday night were not so much new ideas as the promise of taking existing ideas to a new level of dedication in their execution. It could mean a wider loss of individual civil rights, and serious economic hardship for US industries that cater to any aspect of immigration, and it could also end up with the alienation of both European and Mid-Eastern countries who would not take kindly to Trump’s promised level of fierceness, and would retaliate.

It should be noted in that context, that after having spoken bluntly about extreme security measures that could harm specific ethnic and religious groups, Trump attempted to soften his own tone with a final paragraph that promised: “As your President … I will fight to ensure that every American is treated equally, protected equally, and honored equally. We will reject bigotry and oppression in all its forms, and seek a new future built on our common culture and values as one American people. — Only this way, will we make America Great Again and Safe Again – For Everyone.”

Like him or hate him, Donald Trump remains the champion of cognitive dissonance.

 

JNi.Media

CAIR Says Trump’s ‘Hibi-Jabis’ Comment Endangers Muslim Women [video]

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization which has been shilling for some of the worst anti-women regimes on the planet, believes the real danger to Muslim women in the US is presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. This is because of Trump’s “apparent support for an Islamophobic town hall question which will endanger American Muslim women.”

During a question-and-answer session Thursday at a town hall event in Manchester, NH, an audience member asked candidate Trump, “Why aren’t we putting our military retirees on that border or in TSA? Get rid of all these hibi-jabis they wear at TSA?”

The questioner was referring to the “hijab,” the Islamic head scarf worn by Muslim women, as part of their task to conceal themselves entirely from male eyes, because males cannot be blamed if they are overcome by their desire and end up raping said women. In fact, under Islamic law, the raped woman is more often than not the party to be punished.

Trump appeared to support the questioner’s anti-Muslim views when he responded, “I understand. . . You know, and we are looking at that. . . And we are looking at that. We’re looking at a lot of things.”

“By appearing to endorse the bigoted views of one of his supporters, Donald Trump is placing all American Muslim women who wear Islamic attire in danger,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “American Muslims, and particularly Muslim women, are facing an unprecedented spike in discrimination and hate attacks, due in no small part to Donald Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric and policy proposals.”

McCaw added that the proposed removal of Muslim TSA staffers devalues the crucial work they do on a daily basis to protect the nation.

Not crucial enough, apparently, as was evident last month when the acting head of the Transportation Security Administration was reassigned after an internal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security had found security failures at dozens of the nation’s busiest airports. The breaches allowed undercover investigators to smuggle weapons, fake explosives and other contraband through 95% of TSA checkpoints.

Earlier this year, CAIR said Donald Trump’s continued his use of “a debunked myth” about US General John Pershing executing Muslim prisoners in the Philippines using bullets dipped in pig’s blood was endangering ordinary American Muslims who were already facing a surge in hate.

But is it a myth?

In 1941, TIME Magazine ran a letter to the editor from a soldier named J. R. McKey who had served with Pershing in the Philippines decades before. In the letter, McKey describes using pigs in burials to deter Muslim insurgent activities, but does not ascribe the act to Pershing.

McKey wrote, “US soldiers … had a pretty good cure for juramentado [Moro swordsmen] activities. Knowing the horror of the Mohammedan for any contact with swine, and particularly with its blood, these American roughnecks, when they had killed a juramentado, held for him a very public funeral. The body of the defunct bad man having been deposited in the grave, a pig was brought, stuck, its blood sprinkled freely over the D B M, the dead pig thrown in with him, and the burial completed.”

Some reports do say that Pershing was engaged in burying Muslims with pigs or throwing pig’s blood on them. According to the History News Network, a Chicago Daily Tribune article from 1927 describes Pershing sprinkling prisoners with pig’s blood, then setting them free to warn others of being doused with the blood. “Those drops of porcine gore proved more powerful than bullets,” the article wrote.

Christopher Capozzola, a history professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also cited an incident in which Pershing brought a pig’s head to a ceasefire negotiation with a Muslim leader.

CAIR has previously stated that Trump’s pig’s blood claim and other instances of his “Islamophobic rhetoric,” including his calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, his false claim that “Islam hates us,” his refusal to rule out special IDs for American Muslims, and his willingness to consider closing down American mosques place millions of innocent, law-abiding citizens in the American Muslim community at risk.

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide since the Paris terror attacks, the San Bernardino shootings and Trump’s call for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States.

It is possible however that the former two may be at least as important as the latter reason for hate against Muslims…

JNi.Media

Jewish Groups’ Security Adviser to Lead US Foreign Fighter Task Force

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Paul Goldenberg, a senior security official for national Jewish umbrella groups has been named to help lead a U.S. Department of Homeland Security task force on foreign fighters.

Jeh Jonson, the Homeland Security secretary, named Goldenberg, who heads the Secure Community Network, to co-chair the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Foreign Fighter Task Force.

The task force was announced Tuesday in the Federal Register and SCN, an initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, announced Goldenberg’s leadership role on Thursday.

“Foreign fighters, as seen so prevalently fighting alongside the Islamic State, present an unparalleled security challenge for the U.S and one that intelligence, counterterrorism officials, law enforcement and communities may be dealing with for years to come,” Goldenberg said in the SCN release.

The task force will address strategies to keep Americans from joining foreign militant groups, assess border, immigration and transportation security policies, and recommend strategies to keep fighters returned from abroad from carrying out violence in their communities.

Goldenberg, who also serves on the DHS’ Faith-Based Advisory and Communications Committee, has a background in law enforcement, at one time heading the bias crimes office for the New Jersey attorney general.

 

JTA

Israel Slams Claim of Spying on U.S.

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman slammed a report by U.S.-based Newsweek magazine claiming Israel has been “spying” on America.

The foreign minister told listeners on Israel’s Voice of Israel government radio Wednesday morning, “First of all, these are malicious accusations. . . I would not agree to any spying on the United States, not in any form, directly or indirectly.”

Israeli Embassy spokesperson Aaron Sagui also flatly denied the charges, telling Newsweek, “Israel doesn’t conduct espionage operations in the United States, period. We condemn the fact that such outrageous, false allegations are being directed against Israel.”

The report, published Tuesday by Newsweek, quoted anonymous senior intelligence officials in the United States, and Congressional staffers.

Written by journalist Jeff Stein, the report began with the question, “Whatever happened to honor among thieves? When the National Security Agency was caught eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone, it was considered a rude way to treat a friend. Now U.S. intelligence officials are saying – albeit very quietly, behind closed doors on Capitol Hill – that our Israeli “friends” have gone too far with their spying operations here.”

Stein wrote the espionage had allegedly been revealed in recent visa waiver briefings, saying the spying came under cover of trade missions and joint defense technology contracts. The alleged primary target: “America’s industrial and technical secrets,” according to his report.

Last month a senior House aide also noted the U.S. intelligence community is concerned that adding Israel to the visa waiver program would make it easier for Israeli spies to enter the country, the CQ Roll Call news site reported.

Counter intelligence agents, wrote Stein, had called Israel’s “espionage activities in America… unrivaled and unseemly,” and said they went “far beyond activities by other close allies, such as Germany, France, the U.K. and Japan.” Unnamed Congressional staffers referred to testimony at the briefings as “very sobering … alarming … even terrifying … damaging.”

Of course, wrote Stein, the United States spies on Israel as well. He quoted a former top CIA operative who told him that Israel was “the last place you wanted to go on vacation” because of ‘heavy-handed Israeli surveillance.’

Israel’s foreign minister, however, said Wednesday morning that he heard no complaints about “spying” during a meeting with members of Congress on a visit to the United States last month. Mr. Liberman told listeners he believes the charges are the work of saboteurs trying to scotch relations between the two countries.

The U.S. visa waiver program enables travelers to the United States to enter the country without first having to obtain a visa. According to a statement by the Department of Homeland Security quoted by Newsweek, requirements for entry to the program include “enhanced law enforcement and security-related data sharing with the United States, timely reporting of lost and stolen passports, and the maintenance of high counter-terrorism, law enforcement, border control, aviation and document security standards.”

Israelis face a high rate of visa refusal by the U.S. due to the problem of young people entering the country and then staying past the expiration date of tourist visas in order to work illegally.

Another obstacle to Israel’s acceptance to the program is the U.S. government’s perception of alleged discrimination against Arab Americans in Israeli security protocols.

Hana Levi Julian

Abu-Dhabi Based Airline Removes Israel from Flight Map

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

An airline owned by the United Arab Emirates that is a partner with American Airlines has removed Israel from its flight map and refuses to transport Israelis.

Etihad Airways’ travel-route map shows all countries in the Middle East with the exception of Israel and her major cities, the New York Post reported Monday. The airline also refuses to allow Israeli passengers, who are not allowed into the UAE, to fly with the airline. The two countries do not have diplomatic relations.

The airline, the only one providing direct service between the United States and Abu Dhabi, receives $425,000 annually from the Department of Homeland Security, the New York Post reported on Monday. The money pays for a facility which allows Abu Dhabi citizens traveling to the United States to clear customs more quickly.

The airline also has obtained six loan guarantees worth some $1.3 billion since 2009 from the Export-Import Bank, a U.S. federal agency, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

A low-cost British airline, BMI, was found in 2009 to be using an in-flight map that did not include Israel for its flights destined for Arab countries.

JTA

Congress Budgets $13 Million for Nonprofits Security

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Congress budgeted $13 million for a nonprofit security assistance program that mostly aids Jewish institutions.

The money was allocated in the $1.1 trillion budget passed this week by both houses of Congress.

The program, which has existed since the mid-2000s, has so far disbursed $138 million through the Department of Homeland Security, not counting the $13 million in new funding. Of that amount, $110 million has gone to Jewish institutions seeking funding for add-ons like barriers and security cameras.

The Jewish Federations of North America, the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America have led advocacy efforts for the funding.

“Since September 11, nonprofits generally, and Jewish communal institutions specifically, have been the victim of an alarming number of threats and attacks,” William Daroff, the JFNA’s Washington director, said in a statement. “Until nonprofit institutions are secure from such threats, The Jewish Federations will continue to strongly support the Nonprofit Security Grant Program.”

In a separate statement, the Orthodox Union praised lawmakers who champion the funding, chief among them Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.).

The Reform movement generally abjures the funding because of concerns about church-state separation.

The $1.1 trillion spending bill passed this week breaks a years-long budget impasse between the Republican-majority U.S. House of Representatives and the Democratic-majority Senate. It also includes $3.1 billion in assistance for Israel.

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/congress-budgets-13-million-for-nonprofits-security/2014/01/18/

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