Morning Reads for Wednesday November 18th, 2015

Isn’t this a regal portrait of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump?

ISIS, Paris, Refugees, and Stuff

Other News

Blasts from the Past

  • Written fourteen months ago, discussing what happened back in 1785, but in light of ISIS, still relevant.
  • Sunday will be the 52nd anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the start of the ’60s.  For those of us of a certain age, it left an indelible memory on our lives.  Two years ago, the AJC’s Jim Galloway penned this column about his memories of a turbulent time, and it’s well worth reading again.


  1. xdog says:

    Bobby Jindal became the last person in America to recognize that ‘this is not my time’ as he finally shut down his campaign for president.

    I never talked with anyone who supported Jindal or thought it was a good idea he was running. Given that there was only the tiniest of differences between his poll numbers and zero it’s possible there was not one person in the country who supported him.

  2. Teri says:

    With regards to Wingfield’s column, I was under the impression that the Syrian refugees entering the United States enter under circumstances that are not comparable to the European migration, and as the refugees who enter the US do so following intense scrutiny, they aren’t in a situation where – having been vetted by the State Department and various other agencies – they would have “lost their papers.”

    I’m not comfortable with the idea of a “separated, more controlled environment,” regardless of whatever anyone wants to call it, primarily because the conditions of our existing immigration detention camps, particularly where women and children are detained, are not something that needs any expansion or duplication.

    • Charlie says:

      Here’s the problem there. the “intense scrutiny” and “having been vetted by the State Department” are just words.

      There is no vetting process with Syria. There are no records. There is nothing to vet.

      These are words written by bureaucrats and repeated by politicians and press with absolutely no substance to back them up. They are designed as weapons to ridicule people that are asking very relevant questions as to how national security is protected by allowing these folks in. Once here, there is little or no follow up, and absolutely no additional controls in place to monitor these folks.

      I have great sympathy for anyone that is entitled to the “refugee” label. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t legitimate concerns that we are establishing a clear path to allow enemy combatants to come to our country through the front door.

      • Teri says:

        So the State Department doesn’t maintain records of all the forms, checklists, background checks, etc.? They don’t transfer any records to whatever NGO assists in the resettlement? I don’t disagree that there needs to be some kind of process for follow-up (Boston is a prime example of why this is critical) but to say that there are no records just doesn’t compute.

        • TheEiger says:

          What records are you referring to? If there aren’t records to transfer there aren’t records to vet.

          If anything the Boston bombers are the perfect example of why we should pause and not allow refugees in right now. The oldest brother traveled back and forth from the USA with an expired visa. Russia even warned us that he may be meeting with extremist. Our own state department let him slip through the cracks and kill people. Now we are going to “track” every one of the refugees we allow in? That just isn’t possible.

          We should be supporting the Jordanians and Turks who have taken in millions of these people. We should be sending teachers and doctors along with special forces to help protect them. The USA military is already prepared to handle these types of situation over there. Look at the Ebola outbreak in Africa. That was US military. They do more than drop bombs.

          I fear that ship has already sailed and nothing will change until we have new leadership at the top.

          • Teri says:

            “What records are you referring to? If there aren’t records to transfer there aren’t records to vet.”

            The records that are obtained and developed by the State Department and other agencies during the refugee application process – this account is from the Washington Post, but the process is described elsewhere (ranging from the NYT and the WashPo to the Economist and the WSJ):

            “Once refugees are referred by the UNHCR, the U.S. government takes over, conducting extensive background checks under security measures enacted after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Refugee specialists with the departments of State, Homeland Security and the National Terrorism Center collect their basic biographical information, and run their names, birthdates and fingerprints through databases, including the Defense Department. They also check background information the refugees provide to the UNHCR detailing where they came from and why they decided to flee. In a version of fraud detection, they double check the information with both classified and unclassified records, to see if it is consistent with what is known. So if a refugee claims his house was barrel bombed, for example, they see if Syrian forces used barrel bombs on that location in the same time frame. Then the government agents do face-to-face interviews with applicants at regional centers in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt. In some cases they travel to refugee camps to conduct lengthy interviews. The refugee specialists have all had 8 weeks of training on how to elicit testimony and test credibility. The final decision of whether a case is approved or rejected is made by the Department of Homeland Security.”

            So you’re saying that there are no records from this process?

            • TheEiger says:

              “The refugee specialists have all had 8 weeks of training on how to elicit testimony and test credibility.” 8 weeks of training isn’t enough. All of the biological information is easily faked. Again, we did all of this background checking on the Tsarnaev brothers with well trained state department personnel. They still killed Americans.

              “So you’re saying that there are no records from this process?” Sure there are forms that someone checked a box on. Accurate records? Probably not. Accurate records that are being followed up on? No way.

              Groups like IS use these refugee camps to recruit from. The best people to recruit are the ones with all the boxes checked from the “refugee specialists.” Do you honestly think that someone that is willing to blow themselves up to kill other people aren’t willing to fake a background check? Come on.

              • Teri says:

                I think the Tsarnaev example is a reason why you need follow-up. What would have come up in their initial background checks when they were kids?

                • TheEiger says:

                  Agree, we didn’t follow up. So we now expect this state department to follow up on 10,000 plus refugees once they are here. Not going to happen. Again, we should be helping the Jordanians, Turks and others in the Middle East who have already taken in millions of refugees.

            • Trey A. says:

              “I have great sympathy for anyone that is entitled to the “refugee” label. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t legitimate concerns that we are establishing a clear path to allow enemy combatants to come to our country through the front door.”

              Charlie. Come on. Really? Enemy combatants?

              This is not Greece. We do not have refugees pouring onto our shores. We’re talking 10,000 potential refugees to be resettled in the U.S. out of a population of more than 4 million refugees. That’s less than 0.25% of the total number of refugees. Meanwhile, Turkey has more than 2 million Syrian refugees inside its borders. Germany has 200,000. Sweden, a country with less people living in it than the state of Georgia, has taken in upwards of 80,000 Syrian refugees.

              When the Israelis started attacking targets in civilian areas in Lebanon during the July War (2006)–including the airport–we (the Bush Administration) sent Navy ships to Beirut to evacuate civilian refugees. Was there outrage back then that some of these refugees might be Hezbollah terrorists in disguise? After all, we weren’t just taking these folks in, we were doing so on our own warships, where these supposed “wolves-in-sheeps-clothing- terrorists” could have done some major damage–USS Cole type of stuff or worse.

              Of course there wasn’t an outrage back then. And no Lebanese refugee has launched some horrific terror attack on American soil. There wasn’t a presidential campaign going on back then either.

              • str8talk says:

                You probably don’t think any Mexican illegals are committing horrific crimes in the country, too. We have Islamic Radicals committing terrorist acts in this country, refugee label or not. But please continue to post your Islamic Apologist drivel.

                • Scott65 says:

                  We also have ultra right wing terrorists blowing up federal buildings in OK and for some local flavor setting off bombs in ATL during the Olympics and then again these are the same group blowing up abortion clinics and killing innocent people…so please continue your right wing apologist drivel

                  • Noway says:

                    Psssst…Scotty, you forgot to post your usual “the gov’t can print money, so we’ll never go broke” pablum somewhere in there. Surely you can make it relevant somehow!

            • gcp says:

              Homeland and NCIC are domestic databases that also draw info from Terrorist Watch List. The Terrorist Watch is info from US (civilian and military) investigators and from foreign governments.

              In Syria we don’t have a friendly government or any US personnel, thus there is no info. Even FBI Director questions whether we could adequately check anyone from Syria.

              Additionally for those that say refugees are mostly woman and kids it’s interesting to note one of the individuals in this mornings raid in Paris was a female suicide bomber.

      • Scott65 says:

        Did you actually look at the buzzfeed link Charlie? Are 5,6,7 yr old orphans plotting to kill us. I think not. I do think it incredibly callous and void of decency to let children sleep on the streets in the cold…any of you, what if that was your child sleeping on the cold streets because they had nowhere to go…thats their reality and we should help them and if that means bringing them here…by all means we should. I dont even recognize what this country has become…leaving children to die needlessly

        • Noway says:

          Let them all in, every child from every third world country, vetting of the parents be damned! Because (grad you hankies), it’s for the chillldddreeeennnnn….!” What an absolute moron.

    • saltycracker says:

      Death to America by mobs is just too vague…at least the mosques are expelling the extremists…..wait, never mind.

  3. TheEiger says:

    So no one is going to bring up the fact that the picture of Trump is a bunch of dongs? Don’t zoom in too close.

  4. Three Jack says:

    Sorry to see wimpy GOPers getting their way against Tisdale. Amazing that in this era of high tech, these old farts and their buds on the GJ actually indicted a woman who was physically assaulted by an off duty deputy. They should be apologizing and hoping her lawsuit for damages is not successful.

  5. Scott65 says:

    This is from the facebook post linked

    Many before me have already pointed to the dark days preceeding and during World War Two as an apt analogue. As the darkness of Nazism swept across Germany and then Europe, refugees (mostly Jewish) fled their homes in fear with many attempting to cross to the United States. Unfortunately, antisemites within our own government stoked nativist sentiments and created paranoia of “Nazi spies” slipping in amongst the refugees. America refused to allow all but a trickle of these refugees to enter our country and as a result tens, if not hundreds, of thousands died who need not have. It is a black mark on our history that we could have done more, and chose not to help because of our own cowardice.

    Now, my family has a first hand experience with this. My Grandfather spent hours upon hours trying to get approval to bring 2 cousins to this country. They ended up in the Treblinka concentration camp and thankfully survived it and with my Grandfathers perseverance (and some cash) he was able to get them to Chattanooga where they lived. They worked harder than anyone I knew when I was growing up (they had been here for 20+ years at that point). They made something for themselves and had 2 incredibly successful children who both are in very prestigious Law firms, but they still had the tattooed numbers on their forearms till the day they died. People back then said that Jews shouldnt come because they could be spies…it was wrong then, and its wrong now

  6. SallyForth says:

    And on another note, re-reading Galloway’s old column was worth the time, and my favorite quote from it is: “I’ve never been a fan of predestination — it eliminates the drama, and always seems to underestimate man’s ability to make a hash of things.”
    Good on you, Jim.

  7. Noway says:

    Seems 8 members of the Syrian Religion of Peace were caught trying to enter Texas illegally today. But let’s just let them in, right? I’d LOVE to hear what Zell Miller thinks about all of this crap!

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