Putting the successful takedown of Bin Laden in perspective- my commentary for Armstrong Williams’ website

Hi Gang:

This past Monday, May 2nd, I was invited to be a guest on the Armstrong Williams Radio Show to discuss the significance of the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound that resulted in his death and the seizing of computers and data storage devices.  
I have been on Armstrong’s excellent radio show a number of times before and always enjoy being a guest on his terrific program.
After my appearance on his program, I was contacted by Armstrong’s executive producer who invited me to prepare a detailed blog posting in which I could go into greater detail- she told me that the show’s audience had continued to call in to discuss some of the points I made on the air and that the program subsequently received e-mails from still more listeners who had been fired up by the conversation.  The offer to provide my perspectives to Armstrong’s audience by writing a posting for his blog was too good to pass up!
I have provided you with a copy of my commentary below.
I have made this point before and I will make it again- to smugglers and illegal aliens our borders are little more than speed bumps!  Just don’t ask the Secretary of DHS, the Department of Homeland Surrender- because she will continue to spew the ridiculous claim that our borders have never been more secure!
Our nation is bleeding red and green and the administration wants you to believe that all is right with the world!
If you believe Napolitano then I have a fence to sell you!

The securing of our nation’s borders and the effective enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws are, arguably, among the most important of all missions that are supposed to be carried out by our federal government.  

Nothing less than the security of our nation and safety of our citizens hang in the balance!
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

I

our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!


The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.  
I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler- 


Please check out my website:

http://rightsidewire.com/%E2%80%9Cthe-buck-stops-here%E2%80%9D

BY Michael Cutler

4, May 2011

The demise, this past Sunday, May 1st, of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of members of the United States Navy Seal commandos acting in conjunction with the CIA and other intelligence services, gave our nation and our citizens a much needed boost and struck at the heart of al-Qaeda, but in no way should this be seen as the event that marks the beginning of the end of the “War on Terror.” The death of Bin Laden does not mean that the “All Clear” has sounded- but we will get to that shortly.

Certainly our gallant commandos have every right to be as proud of their achievement as We the People are of them and their gallantry that resulted in the realization of this decade old objective. President Obama made the right call at the right time and deserves praise for his decision to pull the trigger on this incredible operation. Not only was the timing for the raid spot on, it was also, as it turned out, important that commandos brought about the death of the world’s most wanted villain and not a Stealth Bomber. Many reporters and pundits have talked about the use of commandos to make certain that Bin Laden was conclusively identified as the person who was killed during the conduct of the operation, but it is at least as important that computers and various hard drives and other data storage devices were retrieved intact to provide incalculable intelligence concerning al-Qaeda operatives, methods and possibly terrorist plans. Had a bomb been dropped on Bin Laden’s compound it is likely that this precious data would have been obliterated. It must be presumed that the data being analyzed will provide our intelligence services with a veritable treasure trove of critically important actionable information to help protect our nation and our citizens as well as our allies around the world. It may be impossible to determine, in real world terms, which did more harm to al-Qaeda and its horrific plans, the death of Bin Laden or the fact that our intelligence officials now have so much of their vital data. In any event, especially in this case, knowledge certainly is power and al-Qaeda’s loss is most definitely our gain!

President Harry Truman is famously remembered for his plaque that sat on his desk in the Oval Office that simply read, “The Buck Stops Here” There is no dispute that President Obama will get the credit for this important victory, as well he should. After all, if the mission had failed he would have undoubtedly been criticized in no uncertain terms. Think back to the ill-fated “Bay of Pigs” fiasco in Cuba that embarrassed JFK and lives on in history books today. Think back to the Carter administration and the failures of the Marines to rescue the hostages taken by Iran when our embassy in Tehran was overrun and the 53 American officials of that embassy were taken hostage. The helicopters that were to have been used for that rescue crashed in the desert when sand fouled the engines of those choppers leading to the loss of life among those valiant Marines.

I am compelled to make an observation, however. I have heard journalists and commentators describe President Obama’s decision to undertake the mission as being courageous. Certainly the President’s political future may have been placed at risk, but please do not forget that the real bravery was demonstrated by our selfless commandos whose flesh and blood lives and not only their futures but the futures of their families hung in the balance as they went in harm’s way on our behalf, this past Sunday. May they all continue to travel safely throughout their missions to safeguard our nation and our citizens!

Several additional issues must be considered. First of all, the information that ultimately resulted in Sunday’s successful operation was a long time coming. According to published and broadcast reports, the most critical of the information was developed during the interrogation of the prisoners at Guantanamo, a facility that President Obama said he wanted closed when he was candidate Obama. The interrogations were painstakingly difficult and had been going on for at least a half dozen years and slowly the pieces to the intelligence jigsaw puzzle were developed and put together to make Sunday’s success possible. Certainly President Bush and his administration must be given some of the credit for laying the groundwork that provided critical information that ultimately identified the location of the compound where Bin Laden was hiding in plain sight for perhaps a half decade.

Some folks are now quick to declare that President Obama’s reelection is now a “done deal” because of the successful operation carried out by our commandos. I could not disagree more.

A President cannot and should not be judged by one event no matter how significant the event is or if the event went well or badly. I compare the evaluation of a President and his administration to a student who brings home a report card. It is all well and good when a student scores a 100% on an important exam. Certainly the Bin Laden raid scored that almost unattainable 100%, however, just as a student’s average needs to take all of the test scores in all subjects into account- subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, History and Economics, the evaluation of the President and his administration also have many components that must be considered. Our nation’s unemployment rate, inflation, crime, educational standing in the world, trade balance and the national debt are among the most important challenges that continue to hobble this administration and our nation.

My usual area of concern- indeed, my area of expertise is that of Border Security and immigration. Immigration is an important factor in all of the challenges I noted above- and then some.

Where the enforcement of the immigration laws are concerned, however, the President is, in my view, heading in the wrong direction- and this is of at least as much importance as anything he could or should do.

Simply stated, a nation cannot win a “War on Terror” a “War on Drugs” and a “War on Crime” without securing its borders and creating an immigration system that has real integrity. Today our borders are little more than “speed bumps” to huge numbers of illegal aliens and the smugglers who assist them in running our nation’s borders. While most illegal aliens are not involved in serious criminal activities, there are many aliens who are engaged in various criminal activities including members of transnational gangs and criminal organizations from the four corners of the globe. Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Homeland Security often claims that the borders are more secure today than they have been in many years but she also has often noted that more than 230 cities throughout the United States are infested by members of the extremely violent Mexican drug cartels- cartels that have killed well over 30,000 citizens of Mexico in the last four years that Mexican President Felipe Calderon has been the President of Mexico. If our borders are so secure, how did all of those criminals and their deadly cargo of narcotics enter the United States?

If our borders are so secure, how have members of MS-13 and other transnational gangs from so many countries around the world entered the United States?

Across the world embassies and consulates of the United States are ramping up security in anticipation that al-Qaeda my attempt to take reprisals against the United States and/or citizens of the United States because of the operation that resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden. Major cities around our country are also ramping up security measures out of a concern that the terrorists may strike within our borders. We have been told that we need to be vigilant. I could not agree more. However, what does being vigilant really mean?

When people live in high crime neighborhoods they tend to install strong locks on their doors and windows. They tend to install enhanced lighting and burglar alarms. They make certain to keep their doors locked. Indeed, most homes come equipped with front doors that have peepholes and door bells so that a stranger seeking to enter someone’s  home they have to ring the bell and the homeowner is provided with the opportunity of looking through the peephole to decide whether or not to admit that stranger into his home. That is what secure borders are supposed to provide for a nation. The idea is not to prevent anyone from entering but to provide our CBP (Customs and Border Protection) with the opportunity to check out the aliens seeking to enter the United States and make certain that all reasonable efforts are made to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence would be harmful to us and that a record is made of the entry of these foreign nationals.

It has been estimated that some 40% of the illegal aliens who are currently present in the United States did not run our nation’s borders but were admitted through the inspections process and then, in one way or another, violated the terms of their admission into the United States. The estimates of this number of so-called visa violators range from a low of 4.5 million to as many as 10 million- no one knows with certainty. This is why I have come to say that any state that has a seaport or an international airport is a border state.

What is known is that according to a recent government report, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has fewer than 300 special agents seeking to locate, apprehend and seek the removal (deportation) of those millions of visa violators! You should also know that a number of the 9/11 terrorists were visa violators and had they been arrested and removed from our country the attacks of 9/11 likely would never have been carried out.

Meanwhile, when cities proclaim that they are “Sanctuary Cities” the Obama administration takes no action against them but when the beleaguered state of Arizona attempted to deal with the failures of the federal government to secure the increasingly violent border and enforce the immigration laws from within the United States by enacting its own immigration law that parallels the federal immigration law, the United States Department of Justice sued the governor of that state in an effort to block the implementation of that law! Arizona and its political leaders have been placed in an untenable situation- the city of Phoenix, Arizona now suffers an average of one home invasion and/or kidnapping every single day by individuals who are tied to the drug trade and many are illegal aliens. When Arizona seeks to protect its residents from this outrageous violence that results from the failures of the federal government, they get hammered by that same federal government that is guilty of nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance. Incidentally these crimes that are carried out by these drug traffickers and other alien gang members illustrates an issue that is important to bear in mind- often the most likely victims of violence committed by these transnational criminals are the members of the immigrant communities in which immigrants from the same regions as the criminals who operate in those neighborhoods live in. This is the case in every immigrant community throughout our country whether the immigrants came from Mexico or El Salvador, Russia or China, Jamaica or Greece, Italy or Israel.

Additionally, if we are really serious about winning the “War on Drugs” why is it that it seems that a third of the commercials on television are about prescription drugs while the next one third of commercials are sponsored by law firms offering to sue the drug companies that sell those drugs? Why are there commercials against cigarette smoking and that currently efforts are underway to help people “eat healthy” but there are almost no commercials warning the public at large and kids and teenagers, in particular, about the perils of the use of narcotics and other dangerous drugs?

When I was a kid if an actor or sports figure was accused of alcoholism or especially drug addiction, their careers would be over. Today drug use is almost an inside joke in films and television programs and it seems that no one is ostracized for using narcotics. Is this the way to win this mythical “War on Drugs?”

Yet the administration is curiously silent about this epidemic of drug use- even though it is believed that the great majority of crimes are directly or indirectly linked to drug use.

The proceeds of the drug trade enriches the coffers of pernicious and extremely violent drug cartels and also funds terrorism to the tune of tens of billions of dollars every year.

It seems there is greater concern about youngsters eating food that has too many calories or too much salt than youngsters who are getting hooked on narcotics! Certainly obesity is a problem but what can destroy a child’s life more quickly and with greater certainty- a few extra pounds of fat around his (her) waistline or an addiction to illicit drug?

When the President and other Politicians say that they want to place illegal aliens on a “pathway to United States citizenship” they encourage still more illegal aliens to violate our nation’s borders and our nation’s immigration laws. It is extremely important to note that the immigration laws are blind as to race, religion and ethnicity. The purpose of our immigration laws is to prevent the entry of aliens into our country whose presence would be harmful or indeed dangerous to our nation and our citizens- and, indeed, all who live in the United States. Just consider the various categories of aliens who are deemed excludible from our country under Title 8, United States Code, Section 212. Among these categories are aliens who suffer from dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who suffer from severe mental illness and are prone to violence, aliens who are convicted felons, have committed war crimes or human rights violations, aliens who traffic in humans and aliens who smuggle narcotics, aliens who are engaged in espionage or in terrorism. The list goes on, but you can see how important these laws are.

Here is a link to that section of law so you can see for yourself the entire list of the grounds under which an alien would be excludible from the United States:

http://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-29/0-0-0-1956.html

Meanwhile, foreign workers- displace American workers and are responsible for sending more than 100 billion dollars per year out of the United States. This is money that is not earned by Americans or lawful immigrants and money that is not spent or invested in America.

The administration and, indeed, all politicians talk about the huge need to create new jobs but if Americans don’t get to do those jobs, how will this help the economy of the United States and how will it help Americans hold onto their thin slice of the “American Dream” at a time when it is estimated that one in five American families now live below the poverty line?

These issues are not new and they are not solely attributable to the Obama administration or even to the Democratic Party. Both parties bear responsibility for the immigration crisis confronting our nation today.

For decades special interest groups and individuals and corporations with deep pockets make certain that every time that there is an election we get the best government that money can buy! While civil servants are prohibited from accepting a cup of coffee when they are acting in their official capacities, politicians are constantly finding new ways to engage in fund raising and then boast about it! Could you imagine what would happen to a federal agent or police officer who would boast about being an effective “fund raiser?” He (she) would be arrested and arraigned so quickly it would leave their head spinning!

No matter who occupies the Oval Office I want the President of the United States to be incredibly successful no matter what his political affiliation. The future of our nation and the future of our citizens are inextricably intertwined with the future of our leaders. If they are successful then we will all benefit.

For generations of Americans the key to success was a solid education. Indeed, my own parents hammered the need for a college education into my head ever since I was 5 years old. My mother managed to legally immigrate to the United States before the onslaught of the Second World War and the Holocaust which took 13 million lives- more than 6 million of which were Jews. My grandmother for whom I was named was, in fact, killed during the Holocaust. My mom was in her mid teens when she came to America and lived in a rooming house and worked for $3.00 per week back then- and only had the equivalent of a fourth grade education. But she made certain to instill in me a love of knowledge and education.

Today, however, the importance of an education is being reduced because corporations would rather hire foreign workers who will work for lower wages than their American counterparts. Many corporation are now multinational companies. They don’t have a vested interest in America’s success. Rather than say a “Pledge of Allegiance” to our country- they say a pledge of allegiance to the bottom line- indeed, for them, the bottom line is the bottom line and they are willing to make significant campaign contributions to any politician or candidate who can deliver what they want- open borders!

We have all heard the statements from politicians from both sides of the aisle- “Aliens do the work that American’s won’t do!” Of course what they conveniently leave out is the fact that aliens- especially illegal aliens will work for substandard wages under substandard conditions. Rather than having America serve as a role model for Mexico, today it would certainly appear that Mexico is America’s role model!

If you wonder why I use a term that is often deemed to be politically incorrect- “Alien” I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with that term. It is a legal term that according to the Immigration and Nationality Act defines an alien simply as being any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States. There is no insult in that term- only clarity. Advocates for open border certainly don’t want clarity when they know that with clarity they cannot win the debate!

Our nation faces many challenges- hence these are the challenges that President Obama must confront. Many of these challenges can be cut down to manageable size if our nation’s borders were made secure and if our immigration system had real integrity. Comprehensive Immigration Reform will destroy any chance for any integrity within this system. This is why I have come to refer to Comprehensive Immigration Reform by a different and more descriptive term- I call it the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act. If the only thing worse than no security is false security- then providing official identity documents to aliens who are undocumented- that is to say, they have no official, reliable documentation to attest to their true identities, this means that under this insane program, our bureaucrats would wind up giving unknown millions of illegal aliens whose true names, nationalities, backgrounds, potential affiliation with criminal and/or terrorist organizations official identity documents that would enable them to immediately apply for and receive driver’s licenses, Social Security Cards, bank accounts and credit cards and library cards all under potentially false names- the same way that the terrorists who attacked our nation on September 11, 2001 did- in order to embed themselves or “hide in plain sight.”

When we prepare to board airliners we are subject to ever increasing scrutiny by the TSA. We must remove our shoes because a British citizen by the name of Richard Reid, the so-called “Shoe Bomber” nearly brought down an airliner on December 22, 2001, by detonating explosives that he concealed in his shoes. Our government learned that explosives can be hidden in shoes and reacted to this threat swiftly and decisively. What you may not know is that Mr. Reid was not required to obtain a visa before seeking to apply to enter the United States under a program known as the Visa Waiver Program. Therefore he was able to board the airliner in Paris, France he intended to destroy in flight as it flew high over the Atlantic Ocean as it winged its way to the United States.

The Visa Waiver Program is intended to facilitate and encourage commerce and tourism by making it easy for foreign travelers to come to the United States where they will presumably spend money on hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and other such venues. However, it exposes our nation to increased risks where terrorism and transnational criminals are concerned. Yet while our nation has changed screening procedures to try to keep explosives off of airliners, the Visa Waiver Program not only continues on but was expanded by President George W. Bush even after the attacks of September 11, 2001 and was subsequently expanded further still, by President Obama even as the citizens of this nation face the continual erosion of their expectations of privacy and freedom guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment. Today the citizens of 36 countries can board airliners and seek admission into the United States without first applying for and securing a visa. Richard Reid was not the only terrorist to enter our country under the auspices of the Visa Waiver Program.

I do quite a bit of traveling by plane and I am willing to submit to these searches if it makes us safer, however I am flummoxed by the fact that commerce and greed clearly trumps national security even as our nation approaches the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and approaches the 19 anniversary of the terrorist  attacks of 1993 when a citizen of Pakistan by the name of Amil Kansi who had committed fraud on his application for political asylum was granted asylum and then stood outside CIA Headquarters on a morning of January 1993 with an AK-47 assault rifle and opened fire upon vehicles being driven into that complex of buildings by arriving CIA officials. He killed two CIA officers and wounded three others. Just one month later, on February 26, 1993 the World Trade Center was nearly destroyed by a bomb planted in a van that was parked in a subterranean garage located beneath that iconic jewel of the lower Manhattan skyline by terrorists who had gamed the visa process and immigration benefits program to enter our country and embed themselves in our country. While the buildings did not fall that day, 6 innocent victims were killed, hundreds of  people were injured and an estimated one half billion dollars in damages were inflicted on that complex of buildings more than 8 years before the attacks of 9/11 that reduced those towers and surrounding buildings to rubble and obliterated the lives of more than 3,000 innocent victims and sickened thousands more who were exposed to the toxins they inhaled when the buildings collapsed.

On September 1, 2006 I was called to testify before a field hearing conducted by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives at Dubuque, Iowa on the topic,

“IS THE REID-KENNEDY BILL A REPEAT OF THE FAILED AMNESTY OF 1986?”

Here is a link to that a transcript of that hearing:

http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/judiciary/hju29745.000/hju29745_0.htm


Here is a relevant excerpt from my prepared testimony:

“A notable example of such a terrorist can be found in a review of the facts concerning Mahmud Abouhalima, a citizen of Egypt who entered the United States on a tourist visa, overstayed his authorized period of admission and then applied for amnesty under the agricultural worker provisions of IRCA. He succeeded in obtaining resident alien status  through this process. During the 5 year period he drove a cab and had his license suspended numerous times for various violations of law and he ultimately demonstrated his appreciation for our Nation’s generosity by participating in the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 that left six people dead, hundreds of people injured and an estimated one-half billion dollars in damages inflicted on that iconic, ill-fated complex. America had opened his doors to him so that he might participate in the American dream and he turned that dream into our worst nightmare. The other terrorists who attacked our Nation on subsequent attacks, including the attacks of September 11, 2001, similarly exploited our generosity, seeing in our nation’s kindness, weakness, gaming the immigration system to enter our country and then hide in plain sight among us.”

Recently the President stated that aliens who run our nation’s borders and evade the inspections process are comparable to the descendants of slaves and lawful immigrants whose ancestors entered our country legally through Ellis Island! With those words President Obama made a mockery of the process by which so many lawful immigrants and  their descendants from the four corners of the globe legally immigrated to the United States over the past two centuries to help build the most incredible nation this planet has ever known.

The demise of Bin Laden is an important milestone but America has so many challenges and the way to meet those challenges is to not only secure our nation’s borders but create an immigration system that has real integrity that not only protects our nation and our citizens, but honors those who have played by the rules and abided by our laws.

I am certainly not “anti-immigrant” I am the son of an immigrant. As a New Yorker I live in a city that is arguably the most diverse in our entire nation if not the entire world and I love living in the “Big Apple.”

The point is that the difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and burglar!

As I have noted when I have testified before Congressional hearings and at other venues: “A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!”

Michael Cutler

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.