Keeping the homeland safe 0

This information comes from Dr Terry  Kelhawk at PoliticalMavens. A Palestinian passed through Paris on his way from the Middle East – we are not told where to – and this is what happened:

The Arab Muslim screeners [in Paris] found out he was Palestinian, and while the other passengers were being heavily scrutinized, he got the “hail fellow well met” treatment. Smiles and sympathy replaced not only his walking through the metal detector, but exempted his backpack from the indignity of x-ray as well. Good thing he was not in the mood to blow up a plane that day.

That needs to considered along with this report by CNS News (worth reading in full):

Four months after the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit and nine years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, only 14 of the 57 U.S. consulates identified as being at “high risk” for potentially providing visas to terrorists have been furnished with units of the Department of Homeland Security’s Visa Security Program (VSP).

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, is planning to freeze the program’s budget for fiscal 2011.

The VSP, established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, puts Department of Homeland Security officials in the field at U.S. consulates to vet the backgrounds of people applying for U.S. visas. …

While administration officials have said publicly that five additional VSP units should be in place at high risk consulates by the end of 2011, President Barack Obama’s fiscal Year 2011 budget for DHS–submitted almost two months after the Christmas Day bombing attempt—does not increase funding for the program from its fiscal 2010 level.

According to a March 8 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, a lack of funding could hamper expansion of the Visa Security Program to the many high-risk consulates that still do not have a unit. …

President Obama’s proposed freeze on VSP funding and the administration’s slow pace in putting new VSP units in high risk consulates is unacceptable to some congressional Republicans, who have introduced legislation to address these issues.

The Secure Visas Act (HR 4758), introduced in March by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), would allocate $60 million to the program for fiscal 2010 and another $60 million for fiscal 2011 for placing VSP units in the 15 “highest risk” consulates beyond the 14 that already have units in place. That bill would approximately double the funding the Obama administration has allocated for the program in fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011.

“The visa security process is our first line of defense against terrorists and others who wish to do us harm,” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the lead sponsor of the Secure Visas Act, told CNSNews.com. “But under President Obama, new Visa Security Units ground to a halt.” …

At the current rate of VSP placement — about five consulates every two years — it would take until 2021 for 75 percent of high-risk consulates to have the program in place. …

“If the Obama administration will not exercise its authority to develop new VSUs (Visa Security Units) at the highest risk posts identified by its own Department of Homeland Security, Congress must step in,” said Smith. …

Smith and Secure Visas Act co-sponsor Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) noted that it took 12 months for the DHS to start the process for putting a VSP unit in Yemen, the country where Christmas Day bombing suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was radicalized.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano waited 12 months before even sending a request to the State Department to open a unit in Yemen,” the senators wrote. …