President Obama’s Executive Orders Raise Terrorism Risk
In the wake of the horrific shootings in Paris last week at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists, the United States is on heightened alert for terrorist activity on our shores. While much has been written about identifying and smoking out the potential terrorists who are already among us, more effort has to go into blocking their entry. If anyone is guilty of leaving the barn door open, it is President Barack Obama, who has tested the Constitution with his dangerous abuse of the executive order particularly with regard to illegal immigrant amnesty and Guantanamo prisoner release.
President Obama in November 2014 over-reached the authority of the Executive branch and fulfilled his threat to use “his pen and his phone” to issue amnesty to 4.5 million illegal immigrants. Of course, this sweeping action was taken to secure a Democratic voting block. In addition, to the negative ramifications of this action on the US economy, this move sent a dangerous message to the world. President Obama essentially told the world that if you manage to get into the US illegally, we aren’t sending you back. When we combine Obama’s amnesty action with the US’s lack of border security, we are essentially extending a welcome mat to would be terrorists, who will use our social and economic resources with the ultimate goal of turning against us. Congress is of course fighting back. This week the House of Representatives passed a $40 billion bill to maintain funding for the Department of Homeland Security through 2015. Attached to the bill were several amendments that would undo the President’s executive action which would authorize work permits and federal benefits to over 5 million illegal immigrants. The bill has now gone to the Senate where it needs at least 6 Democratic votes for passage. Despite Democratic name calling that Republicans want to defund the Homeland Security Department while we are under heightened terrorism alert, the Republicans have found a way to simultaneously maintain funding to protect our “homeland” against terrorism, but also to fill the gaping holes in Obama’s proposed immigration policy which put our national security and economy at risk.
President Obama is also abusing the “executive order” with his deliberate and continuous release of Gitmo prisoners and putting our security further at risk. Five Yemeni prisoners who have been in prison for twelve years were just released this week with four going to Oman and one to Estonia. Oman borders Yemen, which was the training ground for many Islamic terrorists include Said and Cherif Kouachi, the key perpetrators of last week’s deadly attack upon the Paris-based satirical publication Charlie Hebdo which killed thirteen people. Since Congress has prohibited Obama from closing Gitmo, he has been using his “pen” to systematically empty Gitmo. The President has authorized the release or transfer of 39 suspected terrorists over the last eighteen months. In fact, of the 779 people sent to Guantanamo since the prison opened on January 11, 2002, only 127 remain. Besides the 9 that died in custody, the rest have been repatriated, transferred or freed. 59 of the 127 prisoners still at Gitmo have been cleared for release. The recidivism for these prisoners is estimated to be about 30% with 17% confirmed as returning to terrorism and close to 13% suspected of doing so. The White House disputes these numbers and claims that only 6% of former Gitmo detainees return to terrorist activities. But isn’t 6% enough to warrant cause for concern particularly in wake of last week’s deadly attacks at both Charlie Hebdo and the Paris Jewish supermarket Hyper Cacher? While the host countries who receive former Gitmo detainees endeavor to mitigate the risks associated with receiving them such as not issuing passports to the former detainees or forcing them into rehabilitation programs, there is no consistent pattern of safeguarding. Of course, the release of these five detainees comes on the heels of pending Republican legislation to limit Obama’s ability to “empty” Gitmo. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) has championed legislation which would prohibit transfers to Yemen for two years, stop the transfer of high or medium-risk terror suspects for the same period and repeal the current low which has allowed the administration to transfer prisoners to foreign countries. Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Arizona), Intelligence Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R- North Carolina) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) also back the bill. We need this legislation because once again President Barack Obama does not perceive these prisoners to pose a threat to our nation’s security. And he has this perception because he refuses to speak the words “radical Islamic terrorism” and consequently, he puts our country’s security at risk over and over again.
And now we turn to Cuba. President Obama is releasing new regulations for relations with Cuba which will permit U.S. financial institutions to open correspondent accounts at Cuban financial institutions, authorize other financial transactions with Cuban national located outside Cuba and facilitate other activities in trade and telecommunications. The proposed rules also permit exports which spur economic activity, improve living conditions and foster a civil society. Travel will not be permitted for purely recreational purposes. But it will be allowed for family visits, business and trade activity, journalism, educational and religious purposes. U.S. travelers to Cuba will be able to use their credit and debit cards while in country. While the White House is saying that 50 years of isolation from Cuba has served no fruitful purpose and that our countries would benefit from opening the relationship; President Obama is once again stepping into dangerous territory. Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida of Cuban descent and Senator Dan Coates, a Republican from Indiana have sent a request to Treasury Secretary Jack Liu for more information. Senators Rubio and Coates have posed a number of questions as to what legal authority President Obama has to permit nonacademic travel beyond the limits set in 2000. The senators have further questioned whether President Obama has the legal authority to allow US investment in Cuban telecommunications. Given the weak responses which the senators claim to have received from the Treasury Secretary, they have raised the larger question as to whether the Department of Treasury was informed. So there you have it, once again President Obama is going it alone, sidestepping laws and making policies which could put our economic and national security at risk.
When is President Obama going to wake up and realize that his isolationist policies don’t work and that he cannot ignore laws to suit his own agenda? Haven’t we had enough threats to our national security? When is President Obama going to stop playing Russian roulette with the security of America and the American people? Is Barack Obama part of America’s 5th Column and committing treason? It’s time for Congress to act and fight back by regulating and controlling our rogue president!
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