Tag Archives: extreme vetting

How about ‘extreme vetting’ of judicial nominees?

Donald John Trump wants to employ “extreme vetting” of immigrants seeking entry into the United States of America.

Fine, but how about vetting nominees to the federal bench, Mr. President? I mean, at least a cursory vetting might enable the president to nominate men and women who know certain basics about the law.

Matthew Peterson sat before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee this week and managed to utterly fluff simple questions about how he would apply certain legal tenets. He has been nominated to a spot on the U.S. Circuit Court in the District of Columbia.

He, um, didn’t do well at his hearing.

Check it out here.

Peterson has never tried a case. Senators asked him about his criminal law trial experience. None. His civil trial experience. None.

The video of Peterson stumbling and bumbling his way through the excruciating committee interview has gone viral, which is a rarity in itself, given that judicial nominee hearings usually aren’t the stuff of social media tittering.

The president has boasted of his administration running like a “fine-tuned machine.” Mr. President, a fine-tuned machine wouldn’t present judicial candidates who cannot answer basic questions from the men and women who must approve these nominations.

How do we stop these ‘lone wolves’?

The immigrant from Uzbekistan who drove a rented truck into the New York City crowd this week illustrates the extreme difficulty in fighting this war on international terrorism.

How does the United States prevent a lone wolf who enters this country legally — even if he’s been through “extreme vetting” — from committing the act of terror we saw in New York?

Donald Trump says the nation is going to end the visa lottery program that enabled the suspect to enter the country in 2010. Of course, as is the president’s tendency, he has politicized the issue by blaming Democrats for their so-called lax immigration policy; he ignores the fact that the law under question was signed by Republican President George H.W. Bush.

My point on this matter is that lone wolf attacks are going to occur despite our best and most diligent efforts to root out evil doers before they commit their terrible act.

I say this also as someone who supports the president’s desire to implement an “extreme vetting” policy for those seeking to come to this country.

But let us not forget, too, that homegrown Americans are capable of committing infamous and dastardly acts. The Las Vegas massacre this summer; the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995; the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre; the Charleston, S.C., church slaughter? All of those evil men were native-born, corn-fed Americans; they only represent a fraction of the carnage committed by American-born terrorists.

The Uzbek suspect came here under an existing policy. There reportedly was no sign that he harbored pro-Islamic State sympathies. He became radicalized while living among Americans.

Then he took out his rage. This is why the war against international terrorism is so damn difficult to wage.

Good job, Border Patrol

DEL RIO, Texas — The U.S. Border Patrol is on the job.

We are glad to report that they stopped our vehicle as we made our way home.

The first stop occurred on U.S. Highway 83 just north of Laredo. We pulled up to the station, were greeted by an officer. He asked, “Are you citizens?” Yes, we said. “Him, too?” the officer asked with a broad smile, referring to Toby the Puppy. Oh, yes. “Thank you for y our service,” he told me, noticing my Army ballcap. I should have thanked him for his service as a Border Patrol officer. The young man has a tough job.

We proceeded on our way.

We turned west at Carrizo Springs on U.S. 277, then headed north out of Del Rio.

That’s when we got to the second stop. We pulled over.

The officer approached our rig. “How you doing? Do you have a long ride home?” he asked. Yes. I told him we were en route to Amarillo. He told us to travel safely. Off we went.

The fellow in the vehicle ahead of us wasn’t quite so fortunate. The officers pulled him over. We didn’t stay long enough to see what they were asking him, although — and please forgive the profiling here — he did look to be of Hispanic descent.

My wife and I have some experience going through what the president would call “extreme vetting.” It occurred at David Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. You haven’t lived until you’ve been given the third, fourth and fifth degree from an Israeli airport security agent. They give all outbound passengers a thorough going-over as they ask you the same set of questions many times … looking to get a rise out of you, looking for signs of irritation, seeking a possible flaw in the answers you give.

OK, we didn’t get that kind of treatment as we coursed our way from the Rio Grande Valley.

We also are acutely aware of the extra attention being paid along our southern border, particularly since the election of the president. In truth, though, our nation’s border cops have been doing a difficult job for as long as we’ve shared lengthy borders — on both sides of this massive nation.

We have been given a brief glimpse of the job they do and the alert level they must maintain. I know they don’t catch all of those who seek to sneak into the country illegally. But we’ve got about 5,000 miles of border — north and south — to protect.

Thank you, folks, for your service.