The More Things Change…
For those following the bouncing ball of current events, Benghazi, State Department whistleblowers, the IRS versus conservative groups, and the DOJ seizure of Associated Press phone records dominate the current news cycle.
The process is always the same. A policy failure followed by a cover up, followed by carefully worded press releases, followed by public indignation, followed by Congressional inquiries, followed by whistleblowers throwing caution (and their careers to the wind), followed by denial, followed by no consequences for the parties involved.
Given enough time and America’s short attention span, the public’s outrage will subside and the latest debacle will join the ranks of others that have gone before it, swallowed up by the forgetfulness of the age.
Anyone still following the developments in the Operation Fast and Furious investigation? In case you missed it, according to a October 2012 report from the Congressional Committee on Government Oversight and Reform:
… U.S. Department of Justice’s management failures, specifically finding fault with five senior Justice Department officials for failing to identify red flags indicating reckless tactics.
“The report discloses widespread management failures within the hierarchy of the Justice Department,” that has yet to evaluate these management issues and implement structural changes to prevent another disaster like Operation Fast and Furious from occurring. Furthermore, the Justice Department has taken limited action against these negligent managers.”
We might be expected to hail this as a worthy outcome in a case where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and an estimated 300 Mexican citizens were murdered by weapons smuggled into Mexico as part of a botched ATF gunrunning operation.
We might hardly consider that something to crow about but President Obama didn’t waste any opportunity to make political hay when as reported in May 3 edition of the Washington Times,
In a wide-ranging speech to students in Mexico City, Obama pledged to help reduce gun violence there and to enact immigration reform that includes a pathway to U.S. citizenship for illegal immigrants.
“Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States,” Mr. Obama said. “I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms. And as president, I swore an oath to uphold that right, and I always will.” He didn’t mention Fast and Furious but instead portrayed his push for stricter gun laws in Congress as a potential benefit for Mexicans.
Unless you were watching closely, you probably didn’t even see him reaching into his pocket and pulling out that shiny little something that he began to swing hypnotically…
But thankfully, pesky little things like the Constitution and court decisions arising from state lawsuits to compel the enforcement of federal laws jar us awake like someone snapping their fingers to temporarily break us out of our stupor.
Remember the much heralded and Obama promised Dream Act that failed to muster Congressional support? Under most DREAM Act proposals, amnesty would be given to individuals up to the age of 30.
Supporters insist that illegal immigrants can’t go college without the DREAM Act. But the truth is that illegal immigrants can already go to college in most states. It has also been reported that “most versions of the DREAM Act actually don’t even force illegal immigrants to comply with all the requirements in the bill, such as going to college or joining the military.”
The More They Stay the Same
Obama courted the Latino voting block in the run up to the 2012 election by promising that illegal aliens would not be deported if they would have otherwise qualified for amnesty under the DREAM Act that never passed Congress. Eliminating the enforcement of the rule of law would be de facto amnesty with or without Congress.
In a court challenge filed by federal immigration agents seeking to block President Barack Obama’s deferred-deportation initiative, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, Dallas, said that while the agents’ case will probably succeed, he added that he would put off his own decision on whether to grant the request for a preliminary injunction by 10 U.S. Immigration and Customs agents. It is expected that both sides will file additional arguments no later than May 6.
In the meantime, the court’s verdict: Neither Obama and/or DHS can choose not to deport people if federal law says deportation is required. “The court finds that DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings” when the requirements for deportation under a federal statute are met, O’Connor said in his 38-page decision.
The case was filed by attorney Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, on behalf of the lead plaintiff Christopher L. Crane, president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, a 7,600- member federal immigration agents’ union.
“Officers are applying the directive to people detained in jails, not kids in school,” Crane testified at an April 8 hearing. “It is now the story in the jails for aliens to use to avoid arrest and deportation.”
In a Congressional hearing involving DHS Secretary Napolitano, Senator Jeff Sessions, (R- AL) remarked that he’s never heard of a union suing an agency because the agency refuses to let them do their job under the law. According to reports, Napolitano’s reply was essentially: I make the law.
“There are tensions with union leadership, unfortunately, but here’s what I expect as a former federal prosecutor and attorney general, and that is that law enforcement agents will enforce the law in accord with the guidance they’re given from their superiors,” Napolitano said. “That’s what we ask of ICE, that’s what we ask of Border Patrol, that’s what we ask throughout the Department and I believe that would be consistent with all law enforcement. Agents don’t set the enforcement priorities. Those are set by their superiors and they are asked then to obey that guidance in accord with the law.”
With the movement afoot to eliminate any real implementation of border security as a prerequisite to the renewed push for immigration reform proposed by the gang of eight, neither Napolitano (who now claims to make the law), the executive branch that refuses to enforce the law, or Congress that continues to press forward to pass an unpopular law are paying any attention to the ramifications that its passage will have on average Americans.
Make no mistake. The present gang of eight immigration reform proposal, regardless of the component of authentic border security, is nothing but amnesty. Confident that America will do nothing about it, this new wave of illegal aliens will effect a shift in this nation’s cultural makeup that might already be too late to stop.
Besides, everyone’s distracted. Our attention has been drawn away by other new and evolving attacks on a way of life that has benefited from God given liberties that one by one might be taken away with nary a whisper.
Don’t look now but the guy on stage has pulled that shiny thing out of his pocket again and is swinging back and forth in front of our faces. You might feel like you can’t take your eyes off it but you have to.
Someone has to…
Brett Braaten is the author of Homeland Insecurity: Failed Politics, Policies, and a Nation at Risk. His book brings his no nonsense, insider’s account of the current state of national security to help you decide whether you, your family, and your country are truly safe. Brett’s career as a writer and speaker is informed by 30 years of experience as a federal agent with U.S. Customs and the Department of Homeland Security. Brett Braaten draws back the curtain on the vast federal law enforcement bureaucracy to give a rare glimpse of behind the scenes agency responses to politics and policies that impact national security, sovereignty and the economy. “As a former special agent with both the U.S. Customs Service and later Immigration and Customs Enforcement, I enjoyed a great career. In retrospect, it was job satisfaction that most of us spent time looking for as we did our jobs in a system that fostered more obstacles than solutions.” Contact Brett at firstname.lastname@example.org .Visit his website, at www.homeland-insecurity.com for his thoughts and analysis of current issues affecting national security and the well-being of American families.