I’m not in law enforcement. I’m not a government agent or a secret spy, but I would have sense enough to check the Facebook postings of someone applying to come into this country from the Middle East. Homeland Security did not. Had they, they would’ve found jihadist and martyrdom rantings from one Tashfeen Malik who went on to kill 14 people in a San Bernardino terrorist attack.
It’s not that Homeland Security was lazy. The problem was they were prohibited by the Obama administration from checking the social media of visa applicants. Why? Lord only knows. This same administration has repeatedly defended the collection of phone records on American citizens. They thought it was somehow a violation of foreigners’ civil liberties to look at their social media postings.
Let’s get something straight. Looking at something that’s public is not a violation of anyone’s rights. No one has a reasonable expectation that their Facebook postings are private, even if they post them privately. Anyone who has access to a Facebook posting can copy it and repost it as they please. Our local police actually monitor Facebook and Twitter for tips where teens are having parties and drinking alcohol. If you’re posting on Facebook or Twitter you may as well be posting on a billboard. In fact, more people probably see your posting than would see it on a billboard.
The question is why in the world would this administration prohibit basic police work? No explanation has been given by Homeland Security or the State Department other than it was official policy not to check social media until the fall of last year, and only then in three “pilot programs.” They gave no indication how widespread those pilot programs are.
With 10 million nonimmigrant visas last year, including 40,000 K-1 fiance visas like Malik got, it’s doubtful that more than just a drop in the bucket are being screened via social media. Some say it’s an impossible task to check that many people. Then, perhaps, we’re left with no alternative but to go with Trump’s plan to ban all Muslims until further notice.
That notion rubs many people the wrong way. Instead, they propose that we do it by country so that we’re not singling out one religion, but let’s be honest here. What countries would you single out? Mostly Muslim countries, of course. So you’re not really wanting any different result than Trump. You just want to be more diplomatic about it. That’s a disingenuous gesture. It’s also a dangerous one.
By just banning certain countries you run the risk of allowing dangerous radicalized Muslims into the country from places like the UK and France. Let’s lay everything on the line. We’re trying to stop terrorists from coming into the country and our problem is we can’t tell the good Muslims from the bad. If that’s the case, let’s not play games. By now, you probably know from news reports of a 1952 immigration law that gives the president the authority to ban any “class” of people from entering the country at his discretion.
As a people, we fear being labeled bigots. I get that. However, we don’t need to let the guilt the left lays on us be our guide. We need to let common sense rule the day. I’ve been saying this since 9/11. Somebody poo-pooed in the pool and everybody has to get out until we clean it up and figure out how to keep it from happening again.
In order to keep the pool clean, one thing’s for certain. We’re gonna have to profile.
Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.