Widows Pique

|

The Wall Street Journal's Dorothy Rabinowitz has made her name (and snagged a Pulitzer) by writing tough, contrarian pieces for arguably the most influential editorial page in the country. Today, she's got a characteristically sharp piece on "the 9/11 Widows," the group of highly public "Jersey girls" who were the subject of Gail Sheehy's recent book and any number of television appearances. (Go here for a flattering and fun NY Observer profile of Rabinowitz.)

Give Rabinowitz credit for busting on some of the widows' claims:

The best known and most quoted pronouncement of all had come in the form of a question put by the leader of the Jersey Girls. "We simply wanted to know," [Kristin] Breitweiser said, by way of explaining the group's position, "why our husbands were killed. Why they went to work one day and didn't come back."

The answer, seared into the nation's heart, is that, like some 3,000 others who perished that day, those husbands didn't come home because a cadre of Islamist fanatics wanted to kill as many of the hated American infidels in their tall towers and places of government as they could, and they did so. Clearly, this must be a truth also known to those widows who asked the question—though in no way one would notice.

Who, listening to them, would not be struck by the fact that all their fury and accusation is aimed not at the killers who snuffed out their husbands' and so many other lives, but at the American president, his administration, and an ever wider assortment of targets including the Air Force, the Port Authority, the City of New York? In the public pronouncements of the Jersey Girls we find, indeed, hardly a jot of accusatory rage at the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. We have, on the other hand, more than a few declarations like that of Ms. Breitweiser, announcing that "President Bush and his workers . . . were the individuals that failed my husband and the 3,000 people that day."…

Out of their loss and tragedy the widows had forged new lives as investigators of 9/11, analysts of what might have been had every agency of government done as it should. No one would begrudge them this solace.

Nor can anyone miss, by now, the darker side of this spectacle of the widows, awash in their sense of victims' entitlement, as they press ahead with ever more strident claims about the way the government failed them…..

Yesterday's session of the 9/11 Commission brought an appearance by Attorney General John Ashcroft—a reminder, among other things, of various intriguing questions posed by some of [widow Kristin] Breitweiser's analyses (delivered in her testimony before the 2002 congressional committee) of the ways the Sept. 11 attack might have been foiled. If the Federal Aviation Administration had properly alerted passengers to the dangers they faced, she asked, how many victims might have thought twice before boarding an aircraft? And "how many victims would have taken notice of these Middle Eastern men while they were boarding their plane? Could these men have been stopped?"

A good question. One can only imagine how a broadcast of the warning, "Watch out for Middle Eastern men in line near you, as you board your flight," would have gone down in those quarters of the culture daily worried to death about the alleged threat to civil rights posed by profiling and similar steps designed to weed out terrorists. Consider, a veteran political aide mordantly asks, what the response would have been if John Ashcroft had issued a statement calling for such a precaution, prior to Sept. 11.

And yet I find Rabinowitz's column ultimately extremely unsatisfying, precisely because it fails to grapple with the strangest dynamic at work in the government's response to 9/11. There was clearly a systemic breakdown in terms of keeping American lives safe, and yet nobody in any sort of leadership role–nobody who was setting policy, enforcing policy, or overseeing policy–has gotten canned or really been brought to task for being wrong. Everyone in the Bush and Clinton administrations has been so busy covering their asses that you'd never know that something could have gone wrong, let alone did.

None of this is to shift responsibility for 9/11 away from the terrorists who did the killing. But the sense that there was nothing that could have been done is being trotted out with disturbing frequency. The Clinton crowd (i.e., administration officials and partisans) says they (finally!) had a plan in place but didn't get a chance to enact it. The Bush crowd says they never got a plan and/or were grappling with years of neglect. These same people who failed to protect us now tell us they've got it figured out, more or less.

Given the evasion of responsibility at the uppermost levels, I can forgive the carping of the 9/11 widows.

Advertisement

NEXT: Screening Room

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I wonder if these are the same Jersey families who wanted to honor their loved ones with a dead gaping hole in the middle of someone else’s city?

    Ha! Bet you didn’t see that coming!

  2. “One can only imagine how a broadcast of the warning, “Watch out for Middle Eastern men in line near you, as you board your flight,” would have gone down in those quarters of the culture daily worried to death about the alleged threat to civil rights posed by profiling and similar steps designed to weed out terrorists.”

    One can also imagine how it would have gone down in the airport lines.

  3. If everyone else can use their dead husbands for political purposes, why not the widows?

  4. “Given the evasion of responsibility at the uppermost levels, I can forgive the carping of the 9/11 widows.”

    I can’t. Reality sucks sometimes. Deal with it.

  5. Kristin Breitweiser is kinda hot, in a grieving widow sort of way. I say keep her on TV!

  6. “We simply wanted to know…why our husbands were killed. Why they went to work one day and didn’t come back.”

    That’s fine sentiment for a child. When adults use it, regardless of the tragedy, it comes across as idiotic.
    “…awash in their sense of victims’ entitlement” indeed.

  7. Didn’t Team Bush call Ted Rall a cad for saying unkind things about the widows ? Apparently it was OK in that instance to disqualify Rall as a Pundit because of his statements against the bereaved. I say we court-martial Dorothy who is an ugly bitch even under TV lights ! COme to think of it, that probably accounts for her anger against the “jersey girls” …

  8. This reminds me of the Million Moms, and the folks who sued Id games for making children violent.

    Nick’s comments aren’t much better, though. What does ‘taking responsibility’ mean? In the face of a concerted effort to enact the same plan over the last 30 years, the terrorists would have had success in any admistration you can think of, because we didn’t have the paradigm shift needed to identify this level of harm at the hands of people who weren’t wearing military uniforms. It is not a Dem or Repub problem, it was national hubris.

    I gather that there is a need out there to see someone’s head roll. In some cases, this is being thrown around as an excuse to throw dung at Bush, but in other cases the need to see someone hang is more esoteric. Who should have been beheaded when the OK bombing happened? Why didn’t we fire the whole Navy after Pearl Harbor? Surely school officials are responsible for the safety of students, so the administration at Columbine should have all been canned, right?

    As someone noted above, sometimes life is crappy. Sometimes a bold act of violence surprises everyone. The measure of leadership is in recovering, unless you are really prepared to say that they can do whatever they need to ensure your safety with 100% efficacy.

  9. There was clearly a systemic breakdown in terms of keeping American lives safe

    Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, I can’t believe I’m seeing a so-called “libertarian” magazine say that. Since when do libertarians expect the government to keep us all safe — or even believe that that is possible?

    Our system is designed to be open; being open means being vulnerable. Exploitation of that openness, and that vulnerability, is does not represent a failure of the system; it represents a cost of having a system like that.

    the sense that there was nothing that could have been done is being trotted out with disturbing frequency.

    It’s being trotted out because it’s true. We are a democratic society; as a society, we did not want to live under the kind of government that could have made 9/11 substantially less likely, and therefore our leadership reflected that fact.

    On September 10th, 2001, I wasn’t sitting around thinking “damnit, Clinton and Bush need to push for broader government law enforcement powers, and launch more foreign military actions” — and neither was Reason magazine, and neither were you. I was concerned that the government had too many powers, and was engaged in too many military actions.

    And so was Reason magazine; and so, I suspect, were you.

  10. Didn’t Team Bush call Ted Rall a cad for saying unkind things about the widows?

    Ted Rall claimed that the 9/11 widows, collectively, cared more about the money they were getting than about their dead loved ones.

    Dorothy Rabinowitz claimed that a tiny minority of 9/11 widows are deeply misguided in their choice of who to blame for the attacks.

    Only a moral idiot would equate the two.

  11. I’ve got to agree with Dan, here. Some of you may have heard this before, but when I first learned of the events on 9/11, the first thing I said was, “that’s the price you pay for living in a free society.” And I thought that the government may very well use the incident to increase their power. I was right on both counts, in my opinion. There is not much else that any government could have done to stop the attacks, unless they were somehow able to infiltrate al-quaida…and even that might not have worked if al-quaida really is a bunch of semi-independent cells.

  12. lowdog,
    Before you run too far with your axiom that terrorism must be endured by free societies, you may want to look at the list of the world’s freest societies and ask how many are suffering from terrorism.

    The US is suffering from terrorism to the extent it is not free. It needs to be freer in this way: cut taxes that pay for foreign aid, foreign embassies, foreign policy, US troops in foreign lands, then stop all the foregoing.
    The US is suffering from terrorism because it uses citizens’ tax money expressly for the purpose of pissing off foreigners.

  13. Dan is bang on with his post. Little by little our governments will become, more and more, the backwater dictatorships that we tend to sneer at from the comfort of our La-Z-boys. That is, if we let them . . .

  14. So much for defense being one of the few appropriate responsibilities of government.

    I knew that was a just a line you people trotted out to win arguments about Social Security.

  15. Before you run too far with your axiom that terrorism must be endured by free societies, you may want to look at the list of the world’s freest societies and ask how many are suffering from terrorism

    All of them.

  16. “I knew that was a just a line you people trotted out to win arguments about Social Security.”

    Below the belt, joe. It isn’t fair to equate “us people” with Bush sycophants like Dan.

  17. So much for defense being one of the few appropriate responsibilities of government.

    Defense *is* one of the legitimate responsibilities of government, little brain. It’s just that, as with most other things, you’ve extremely confused about what “defense” means.

    You think “defense” means something along the lines of “the friendly big-daddy state does whatever is necessary to make sure that everyone is always completely safe”. Libertarians, who on average have sneezed more brain cells than you’ve ever used to think about politics, think of “defense” as “maintaining an army to deal with military threats”. The former carries with it a presumption that the friendly big-daddy state will keep you safe in your little padded cell; the latter simply acknowledges that it is necessary to maintain an army.

  18. Dan,

    I’ll admit I don’t keep that close an eye on Latvia and New Zealand and Hong Kong, etc. but I don’t recall them having much hubbub beyond nutcase unabomber incidents.

  19. Hate to join in the Dan lovefest, but I agree 100%. I repeated what, I’m guessing was said by Dan, an earlier poster in another thread, “I wouldn’t want to live in a society that would’ve stopped 9-11” to my dad and a few friends. We couldn’t have stopped it and if we did, we wouldn’t have believed what we stopped. I remember on 9-11, when I saw the buildings fall before my eyes and the extent of what happened, saying, “If I saw this in an action movie, I would’ve thought the whole thing was bullshit.” If this was stopped and we were told this was stopped, we would’ve called the administration nuts. Terrorism is a problem free societies have to deal with occasionally.

  20. It isn’t fair to equate “us people” with Bush sycophants like Dan

    Main Entry: sy?co?phant
    Function: noun
    : one who fails to unthinkingly condemn every action taken by George Bush

    I have repeatedly criticized Bush’s policies on gay marriage, adult entertainment, and censorship, his protectionist trade policies, and his diarrhea-of-the-wallet; didn’t vote for him, nor have I ever voted for any Republican. The fact that you feel this qualifies me as a “Bush sycophant” speaks volumes for what fruitloops people like you are. 🙂

  21. Ruthless, I see your point, but until 9/11, it was very easy to fly on a plane with very little hassle. I had gotten on to a plane pre-9/11 (and only about 6 years ago) without any id at all. I doubt I could pull that today. That’s the kind of freedom I’m talking about. But I totally agree that in many ways our government brings this hate upon us. But we’re not the only ones, either.

    And I still say that our country is pretty damn free, no matter how concerned I am that it will not always be so or even that it probably isn’t as free as it has been or can be again.

  22. I’ll admit I don’t keep that close an eye on Latvia and New Zealand and Hong Kong, etc.

    I’ll say. For starters, you failed to notice that Hong Kong is ruled by the People’s Republic of China. 🙂

  23. Pre 9/11 the only country that performed the kind of security checks necessary to prevent the towers from being destroyed was Israel. It has been many years since even an attempt has been made. This is the kind of investment that the western governments should be making in security.

  24. My previous post should have been more specific. I was referring to hijackings. Sorry

  25. Mo –
    “Terrorism is a problem free societies have to deal with occasionally.”

    That’s correct. But unfree societies have problems aplenty with terrorism too, probably more so. Saudi Arabia, Algeria, etc the list goes on & on. Just having big brother watch people 24/7, Dans thoughtful one size fits all solution, does not gaurantee that someone won’t blow something up somewhere. Where does this notion that totalitarian societies are better at crime prevention come from anyway ? I’m guessing it only seems that way because anything as newsworthy as a terror attack goes into the media m/c here but would probably be suppressed in USSRstan because it makes that state look weak etc. By most accounts, China has a fair to major (depending on the source) terrorism problem in its muslim majority provinces & that country isn’t know for its terrific civil liberties record. Doesn’t Egypt have a terrorism problem ? I don’t see how our being free automatically absolves the administration on any count. But try explaining that to Dubya Worshipper Dan ?

    Now can we get back to widow-bashing and who’s allowed to bash “only a tiny minority” of them ?
    Boy, i can’t believe i read that in this context. It’s usually followed by “of the muslim population” when used by guys like Dan !

  26. What do you think the army is for, Dan – collector’s items? Rifle drills?

    Dan’s definition of defense includes overrunning countries on the other side of the globe to fix them, but excludes stopping terror attacks against American citizens on American soil.

  27. If you equate fighting terror with fighting immigration

    And where did you get “equate” from? Saying that INS ineptitude gave the greatest breadth of freedom to a.Q. operations in no way implies that advancing this “war on terror” == closing our borders. It means that part of the reason 9/11 occurred is that INS wasn’t enforcing already existing policies. I don’t like him, but Easterbrook was absolutely correct in one regard, that on 09/10/2001 had the FBI and CIA actually rounded up the 19 hijackers – who may or may not have represented the entire contingency anyway – the ACLU, AADL, and Hit & Run would be up in arms over the civil rights implications of arresting 19 Arab men who hadn’t done anything yet. Then on 09/12/2001 had the attack been carried out with a score of second-tier hijackers, the FBI and CIA would be getting blasted for not being thorough enough.

    All of that aside, the only agency at the time that had all of the hijackers within its purview was the INS. Simply disrupting the circle could have generated sufficient noise to allow the FBI and CIA to gather additional evidence – that crazy phenomenon of fact-finding we exalt on a daily basis yet in this instance like to pretend wouldn’t have been necessary to satisfy us – and actually go after them without worrying so much about the “civil rights” angle.

  28. I see. I misuderstood what you were saying.

  29. rst wrote –
    “Foreign nationals are given free and unfettered right of passage throughout the nation, free even from worrying about visa expiration.’

    This is going to come as news to foriegn nationals, permanent residents & any other category of immigrant. Not “worrying about visa expiration” will ASSUREDLY 100 % lead to severe consequences for those who plan on leading regular, productive lives – deportation, marked ineligible to visit the US for 10 years etc. Terrorists who plan to blow themselves up are unlikely to be worried by any consequences whatsoever.
    “liberal immigration policies” – good one. I take it you are not an immigrant & have no day-to-day experience with the INS/DHS, rst ?

  30. Dorothy Rabinowitz is simply a right-wing hack, period. She gained fame for (properly IMO) challenging claims about sexual abuse of children but showed utter credulity about Juanita Broddrick’s alegations against Clinton (never mind that she attended a fund-raiser for her alleged rapist three weeks after the “rape”!)…

    (Please don’t lecture me about how bad Clinton was. I think the guy was scum, but if Ms. Broddrick had made that allegation against him in a criminal complaint, she would have been laughed out of court even if the statute of limitations hadn’t passed. She should have been laughed out of the court of public opinion in the same way.)

  31. Not “worrying about visa expiration” will ASSUREDLY 100 % lead to severe consequences for those who plan on leading regular, productive lives – deportation, marked ineligible to visit the US for 10 years etc.

    As they should be. But this “will ASSUREDLY 100 % lead to…” notion of yours didn’t quite pan out for the hijackers, who by the measures of our treasured privacy and assumed innocence led “normal” lives in-country.

    And you’re right, it was good…I presume being an expert on immigration law you know about 214(b). On the basis of laws in existence at the point of application, the State department should not have issued visas to the hijackers at all. But they did anyway. What’s even better? The application forms were woefully incomplete. Now you would have us believe that there were a series of serious human errors committed and overlooked in processing 15 incomplete and inconsistent visa applications, and in addition that 214(b) was completely overlooked for all of them, and that these 15 unfortunate errors all happened to coincide with the 9/11 terrorists? Or were these not considered errors at all until after the WTC came down? The practical enforcement of the process defined by the code failed by a considerable margin and with incredible frequency to meet the demands laid out by that code. That is either due to liberal interpretation of the code, or gross, gross incompetence. So gross it borders on the statistically improbable.

    This story provides links to some of the visa applications in question. Here’s the text of the law broken at least 15 times: “Every alien [other than several narrowly exempted subcategories] shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for a visa, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant [visa].”

    Read ’em and weep at

    http://www.nationalreview.com/mowbray/mowbray100902.asp

    Read them, then go ahead and tell me that after 9/11/2001, any of those visa applications would have been accepted.

  32. Oh hell, on the basis of the instructions on the forms they filled out, they shouldn’t have gotten visas.

    And by the way, an Iranian couple in my hometown of Buffalo, NY have been living in my parent’s neighborhood and running a corner store for more than 15 years. On a six-month visa. That only one of them had.

    They were threatened with deportation by INS a few months after 9/11, but then backed down. They’re still there. I don’t mind, I like them. But it is indicative of a liberal policy that continued even after 9/11.

    So I guess it’s “assuredly 99.9%” or something like that.

  33. See if you can spot the purpose of an army, which I cleverly concealed in this phrase in the post you’re responding to:

    “maintaining an army to deal with military threats”

    Now, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this — I suspect you aren’t, since you seem unaware of anything except how to piss and moan — but the US Military is, Constitutionally, not normally supposed to act as a police force. Ergo the failure of the US Military to screen Moslems getting on American airliners isn’t a failure of their mission.

  34. “That is either due to liberal interpretation of the code, or gross, gross incompetence. So gross it borders on the statistically improbable.”

    Nothing improbable about any of this, nor is NR breaking anything new to a “foreigner” – all those clowns waltzed in because of our cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia & the State Department’s policy of fasttracking visa applications from Saudi nationals. Which policy is hopefully expired d-e-a-d. The other 9-11 terrorists came in thru’ the EU. You are not going to read this in National Review but the US does not have uniform visa review and grant rules for all nationalities. Scrutiny is much laxer for, ahem, “swedes” & favoured nations than it is for, cough, “non-swedes”, often with good reason. For instance it is considerably easier to get a visa from the EU, UK, Australia, Singapore etc with, well, secret intent to overstay than from anyplace the tired and poor subsist. You dont need a visa for a short term visit to the US from some of these places. Recently the Australians were outraged because the US was considering introducing short-term visas. Applicants from everywhere else undergo much stricter scrutiny, consulates have the discretion to reject at will & do. An apllicant from ,say, China or India or the Philippines with the same paperwork would almost certainly not even have go past the pre-consular screening pre 9-11 & yes, 214(b) is enforced VERY seriously. Of course there is always some visa fraud. NR, being anti-immigrant, paints the whole thing with a broad brush to make it look like it is an easy thing to fake it into the US but that doesn’t make it so. Now how the hell did I find myself defending the INS/State Department/DHS ?
    As for you Iranian friends – for every such story i can site a horror story where someone got deported on a technicality. Besides how do you know they’ll make it, their case could be in review ? These things take time, which you could argue favours illegals but doesnt help anyone who is playing by the rules.
    Finally, travelling to the US on “fake” documents, & biding one’s time while planing to kill numers of innocent people does not qualify as leading a “normal” life.
    Liberal policy, my donkey.

  35. The “American Way” is to take your shit to court when you’ve been wronged. You find out all the facts and get compensated, or not, for the wrong you endured.

    In the case of 911, the gummint bailed out the airlines and bought off almost all of the families in return for indemnification, leaving nobody but the holdouts and malcontents to ask the hard questions. If it weren’t for the Jersey Girls we would have gotten a papered over version of George Bush’s talking points as the official history of the events leading up to 911.

    I salute the malcontents.

  36. Stopping invaders from putting our cities to the torch sounds about as traditional a military responsibility as I’ve ever heard

    Yeah, joe — I’m sure that, had the Air Force responded to the hijacking of four passenger airliners by shooting all of them down, you’d have applauded. Lying sack of shit.

  37. I don’t see anything wrong with the four grieving anti-Bush widows setting national defense and law enforcement policy. Everybody knows that grief makes you an expert.

    In fact, I’m such a strong believer in that theory, that I’ve applied for the jobs of IRS Commissioner, college math professor, and sex columnist for the Village Voice. The grief I’ve had over the years from paying taxes, flunking calculus and numerous ex-girlfriends surely makes me one of the world’s foremost experts in these topics…

  38. Well, OK, but only because you admit to flunking calculus.

    “Ted rall insulted all of them very soon after the attacks, while dorothy rabinowitx is going after a defined group of politically active widows” etc.
    So Rall’s cartoon can’t be construed as attacking only greedy, media-hungry widows ie a “tiny minority” ?
    Actually IMHO it probably can’t, i remember being annoyed by the cartoon back when. Regardless, Dorothy R’s real problem with the “Jersey girl’s” political activism is that it is the wrong kind of. She’s the sort to shamelessly invoke the widow’s bereavement as a shield against their critics if a tiny minority of them were to urge the profiling of all “non-swede’s” in airports.

  39. Dan still doesn’t think the events of September 11 count as a military threat.

  40. well, not in the traditional sense, i wouldn’t call it a military threat either. what were they going to do? shoot the plane down over midtown?

    actually, maybe not a terrible idea. get rid of times square and rebuild as something less painful to the senses.

  41. Stopping invaders from putting our cities to the torch sounds about as traditional a military responsibility as I’ve ever heard.

  42. were they actually invaders rather than a small group of hijackers.

  43. They were both. So?

  44. The blame for allowing 9/11 to happen lays in the laps of the people. We allowed our government’s authority to examine the behavior of foreign agents to be severely circumscribed, largely to avoid exposing the almost overt communist backing of most liberal politicians and activists in recent years.

  45. “Your” government will ALWAYS fail you.

  46. has gotten canned or really been brought to task for being wrong.

    Why isn’t there a police officer fired everytime a person is the victim of a violent crime?

  47. rst, you are correc that not every failure to prevent a shooting is proof of police negligence.

    But some are. If someone calls 9-1-1 to report an intruder and the dispatcher hangs up, she’s going to get canned.

  48. Joe said:
    “Stopping invaders from putting our cities to the torch sounds about as traditional a military responsibility as I’ve ever heard.”

    Holy Cow! Joe’s been converted by Lonewhacko!

  49. But some are. If someone calls…

    Who called in 9/11? You’ve read the PDB…not what any rational person would consider a call. You and I both know that was not the first time a notice like that in re: al Qaeda appeared on a PDB, nor was Bush the first American president to read such a notice. 9/11 wasn’t even the first attack on the WTC. al Qaeda escaped Clinton’s grasp (and the missile up the camel’s ass) as efficiently as it has thus far escaped Bush’s – yet somehow American people are supposed to believe that we can lay blame for some action or inaction squarely on Bush. Like school vouchers, the war on drugs, and CFR, it’s a notion designed for consumption by the Stupid American Voter.

    People need to stop thinking about pre-9/11 days with their post-9/11 minds. We lived through a paradigm shift in American and global politics. Your little minds shifted, too.

  50. I think primarily it is our long-standing liberal immigration policies which gave the greatest breadth of freedom to a.Q. operations within U.S. borders. Foreign nationals are given free and unfettered right of passage throughout the nation, free even from worrying about visa expiration. Do we still want their tired and poor? I’m not so sure we do.

  51. I’d say the info that was available to the administration was somewhat short of a 9-1-1 call, but not by much. Though you are correct that systemic problems probably played a greater role than individual and ideological ones.

    Two of the hijackers were on a terrorist watch list. They had Mousaoui’s computer in custody. FBI agents had sent up red flags about yound Arab men acting strangely at flight schools. The idea that a liberal immigration policy leaves us helpless is untrue.

  52. But what did they all have in common?

  53. They were male. They were Muslim. They had darker skin than you. Should we base our antiterror policies around those factors as well?

    If you equate fighting terror with fighting immigration, 99.99% of your effort is going to be wasted.

  54. as always theres a lot of flavour to “libertarians”

    I expect the government to take the same precautions with the country that I do with my property: no one who has evil intent gets in, and if they camouflage it significantly to get in, for damn sure they don’t get out

    don’t go claiming that all libertarians don’t want the government to protect them from foreign enemies

    some idiots don’t, just like some idiots have stated in prior threads that jimmy carter did too much for the embassy hostages and just should have washed his hands and said thats the thing with going outside the country.

    since when did you have to be a pacifist to be a libertarian?

    as for “the widows” its a group of 4 women from jersey who are claiming to completely represent all who died at WTC. Right

    Ted rall insulted all of them very soon after the attacks, while dorothy rabinowitx is going after a defined group of politically active widows who appear to be using this for a narrow political cause and trying to imply that they have more support than they do (and the media is complicit because it suits their storyline) when “the widows” = 4 people, you need to smack them around a bit… there are definitely at least 4 family members (say of the firefighters) who dont agree with these 4..

  55. They were male. They were Muslim. They had darker skin than you.

    Irrelevant, joe. They were all foreigners.

  56. rst, you do realize that your proposal is for the government to spend lots of time, effort, and thought chasing after people like the storeowners in your neighborhood, right?

    Not exactly – there’s more to it. I think that significantly more attention should be paid to red-flagged applicants in particular, regardless of the final disposition of their application, and that any young single applicant, male or female; Christian, Muslim, Jew, or Buddhist; Chinese, Brit, or Saudi, should be automatically red-flagged. As to the practical implications for my friends the corner grocers, I think they would be among the last to be swept up.

    Which policy is hopefully expired d-e-a-d.

    That policy being a brainchild of the since fired and very liberal Mary Ryan. Assurances were given that each of these applications still went through the traditional visa process, but that this would ease the burden of the overall process on the applicant by providing travelers a means to submit visa applications from travel agencies. How nice of State.

    So apparently, the “traditional” process meant that data such as nationality of the applicant, proof of financial solvency, a valid address, or an actual occupation were not required. And except for 2 cases (who were approved entry anyway), those omissions didn’t necessitate an interview, either. I wish filing taxes worked like visa applications. I could have written whatever I liked, with no worries about an audit.

    yes, 214(b) is enforced VERY seriously…Of course there is always some visa fraud.

    Yes, so seriously that it was completely ignored for 15 people of the age and marital status which 214(b) was written to trap. *Some* visa fraud? The single common consequence of these 15 failures alone and (if you are to be believed) your contention that it is not a statistical anomaly indicate that it is common for State to fail to observe existing law and process.

    NR didn’t have to paint. You didn’t even have to read the article, I thought it was a bit reactionary myself. You hold that this was neither a statistical anomaly nor liberal policy, leaving only gross incompetence. Maybe all those journalists looking to see if Bush still regrets trading Sammy Sosa more than not putting on his superhero cape and stopping 9/11 might look for an angle with more factual, practical basis and potential for actionable solutions. If only it had a more politically sexy angle, I’m sure the news media would be on it like flies on shit.

  57. p.s. as to fraud – I would like to see one person actually defend those documents as something that would have fooled a reasonable person charged with applying immigration law to an applicant or application. I know that we need to dumb down our expectations a bit to accomodate your average state department cube jockey, but writing it off to fraud as though the conscientious official wouldn’t have known the difference is ridiculous. Somebody should have at least told them that “Wasantwn” was full up on “Teaters” and that “South City” is not an address.

  58. I probably would have been terrified, and felt terribly about the people on the planes, and what the pilots who had to pull the trigger would have been going through. But once the first plane hit the tower, the choice became between bad and worse.

    But applaud? When something like that happens? I’ll leave that for Right wing ubermen like you, Dan. You seem to get off on blowing shit up.

    rst, you do realize that your proposal is for the government to spend lots of time, effort, and thought chasing after people like the storeowners in your neighborhood, right?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.