In her Nov. 27 letter, Betty Stroock excoriated Congressman Zinke “for voting to prevent Syrian and Iraqi refugees from gaining asylum here in the United States.” She went on to outline how any such refugees permitted in would be “rigorously scrutinized and vetted.” (It’s surprising she didn’t also write “Don’t worry. Be happy.”)
Provoked by Stroock’s broad and vague assurances, what actually come to mind are the longstanding, prominent failures of federal security and immigration agencies. There was the massive fraud in the original 1986 amnesty of illegal aliens. There was the unhindered presence in the U.S. of the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993. There was the breakdown of routine immigration protocols that allowed the 9/11 hijackers to commit their savage enormity. There was the influx of refugee “families” from Africa that DNA testing subsequently revealed weren’t families at all. There were the Boston Marathon’s fabulous bomb brothers, supposed “refugees” from Chechnya. And there’s the ongoing failure of the TSA to find 95 percent of contraband in carry-on luggage.
There are less publicized cases, too. For example, in 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported “[T]he FBI learned that an Iraqi man in Kentucky had participated in roadside bomb attacks in Iraq before he was granted U.S. political asylum in 2009. He and another Iraqi refugee were arrested in an FBI sting in May on charges of trying to send explosives and missiles to Iraq for use against Americans.”
So it was a welcome acknowledgement of fallibility when the FBI testified, again, before Congress in October that screening supposed “refugees” from Syria is a fantasy.
Stroock slammed Congressman Zinke’s “ignorance.” But surely nobody could be so heedless as to write a letter like Stroock’s unless they knew nothing about the subject.