Anatomy of a Train Wreck

Nancy Pelosi: Anatomy of a Trainwreck
By Joseph Klein
FrontPageMagazine.com | October 9, 2006

The Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi told the Washington Post last month that this year’s midterm congressional campaign “shouldn’t be about national security.” Thanks to an obliging mainstream press that continues to make the Foley cybersex page scandal the lead story day after day, she and her fellow leftists are escaping accountability for doing everything in their power to tilt our legal system in favor of terrorists’ rights while undermining our military and intelligence services.

One of Pelosi’s most shocking votes was against consideration of appropriations for intelligence and intelligence-related activities in fiscal year 2007 since there was no funding for something called a “Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.” Declaring that the NSA warrantless electronic surveillance program is illegal (which is an issue still on appeal before the courts), Pelosi also voted against a compromise that would have required judicial oversight but still provided the President with some additional flexibility during wartime. She even voted against the bill sponsored by our current Speaker Denny Hastert adopting the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission! In Pelosi’s world – which will turn into nightmarish reality if she becomes the next Speaker of the House – the privacy rights of terrorist suspects and their friends under surveillance would trump our right to be protected against the execution of their murderous plans.

Pelosi believes that we should deal with the terrorists as a law enforcement matter – with all the trappings of rights for suspected terrorists that defendants in criminal trials are entitled to under our Constitution. Thus, she has called for the immediate closing of Guantanamo, declaring, “I think that we need a fresh start…a clean slate for America in the Muslim world.” No matter how she tries to explain it, the net effect of her “clean slate” approach would be to let the detainees go free, crouch into a defensive position and allow our country to become a sitting duck for a fresh attack on our soil.

 Pelosi voted against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. She also vigorously opposed Congress’ establishment of procedures to govern custody and interrogation of detainees and the military tribunals to try them – although the procedures are entirely within the framework of the Supreme Court’s recent decision vesting Congress with such authority and are within the provision of the Constitution itself permitting Congress to suspend habeas corpus rights “when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Al Qaeda’s attack against our nation’s capital and financial center, killing 3000 innocent people, should qualify as an invasion of our homeland under any common sense definition, but apparently that is not so for the most ardent protectors of terrorists’ civil liberties like Pelosi. It is no surprise, then, that Pelosi was given a 100 percent rating for supporting the interests of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in 2005. While CAIR has undertaken some beneficial educational projects and has issued bromides against extremist acts of violence, there have been credible reports of CAIR’s post-9/11 ties to terrorist groups, including funding of terrorist front groups. Moreover, a number of CAIR officials have been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, offenses related to the support of Islamist terrorism. Pelosi’s full-fledged support of terrorist suspects’ civil liberties comports very nicely with CAIR’s needs at the moment.  

In keeping with her radical civil liberties philosophy, Pelosi voted against the REAL ID Act of 2005, which was aimed at stiffening federal laws to protect against terrorists’ entry to the country and their abuse of the state driver’s license process to obtain false identification. She also led the Democratic opposition and voted against the Secure Fence Act of 2006, signed into law by President Bush, to establish operational control over the international land and maritime borders of the United States, including the building of a 700 mile long fence along the U.S.-Mexican border. Her alternative has been to push acceptance of a dubious ID card issued by the Mexican consulates for aliens crossing over our border called the “matricula consular.” The problem with those cards is that they provide the perfect cover for terrorists and common criminals alike seeking to enter our country and to set up phony identities under which they can get drivers’ licenses, open bank accounts, apply for jobs and social services, etc. That is because Mexico is not authenticating the documents used to obtain the matricula cards against any computerized databases and therefore not verifying the applicant’s real identity, according to a background paper published by the non-partisan Center for Immigration Studies.

Ignoring the lessons of how the 9/11 hijackers used various IDs to facilitate their operations, Nancy Pelosi proudly announced on January 3, 2003 her pet pilot program allowing individuals carrying the questionable matricula cards to access the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Courthouse in San Francisco.

According to the testimony of an assistant director of the FBI’s Office of Intelligence before a House immigration panel just six months later:

            Federal officials have discovered individuals from many different countries in possession of the matricula consular card…At least one individual of Middle Eastern descent has also been arrested in possession of the matricula consular card. The ability of foreign nationals to use the matricula consular to create a well-documented, but fictitious, identity in the United States provides an opportunity for terrorists to move freely within the United States without triggering name-based watch lists that are disseminated to local police officers. It allows them to board planes without revealing their true identity. (Emphasis added.)

 In spite of such evidence detailing how these cards are being abused and placing the security of the American people at risk, Pelosi has continued to promote them. She actually issued a press release on September 14, 2004 – right around the third anniversary of 9/11 – in which she bragged about how the Democrats under her leadership “defeated Republican attempts to restrict the Matrícula Consular identification card.”  

While we are on the topic of Pelosi’s lending a helping hand to illegal aliens who may turn out to be terrorists, Pelosi is evidently confused on the proper role of law enforcement. In 2003, she accused immigration officers of conducting “terrorizing raids” on a Wal-Mart retail chain, which led to the arrest of over 300 illegal aliens. A spokesperson for Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, sought to educate the San Francisco lawmaker about what it means to enforce the law: “Our job as an enforcement agency is to enforce the law, whether that’s immigration, homeland security or customs. That’s what we’re tasked to do.”

Pelosi has also supported outright amnesty for illegal workers, including granting citizenship status to 500,000 illegal workers in the agriculture industry. Indeed, Nancy Pelosi has a special affection for illegal aliens, no doubt thinking how liberalized entry for poor migrant workers could help in staffing the non-union vineyards that Pelosi and her multi-millionaire husband own in Napa Valley. Pelosi, the ardent advocate for labor causes, apparently has chosen not to hire members of the United Farm Workers to pick her vineyard grapes while at the same time she has chosen to sell those grapes to non-union wineries. She has an obvious conflict of interest every time that she votes on an immigration security bill because she and her husband personally benefit from the influx of cheap labor without whom “[N]ot one bottle of wine would get made here,” according to a farm worker advocate with Napa Valley Community Housing. [1] Is Pelosi looking out for her own financial interests, calculating how a law imposing strict penalties on employers of illegal aliens might affect her vineyard business instead of focusing on how porous borders will affect the security of everyday American citizens?

If Pelosi wants the current House leadership to disclose under oath what they knew about the Foley e-mails, how about she disclose under oath the details about each of her vineyard workers to determine whether she and her husband are using undocumented aliens illegally, what kind of background checks were conducted and what they are being paid. By the way, in the posh neighborhood of Pelosi’s multi-million dollar Napa County grape vineyards, illegal aliens are being permitted to use their Mexican matricula consular cards for identification purposes, helping to insulate their employers from charges of hiring “undocumented” workers and helping the aliens themselves to obtain local services at taxpayers’ expense. Did Pelosi abuse her public trust to help expand the use of these questionable cards for her private benefit?

Beyond giving free passes to terrorists and other aliens seeking to enter our country illegally and establish an identity here, Pelosi has consistently opposed a strong military. Her votes are too numerous to catalogue, but here is a sample. She voted NO on a measure to protect U.S. citizens, including our soldiers, from being arbitrarily arrested and brought before the unaccountable UN-sponsored International Criminal Court for a kangaroo trial. In recognition of that vote, and for others that included unconditional support for U.S. funding of the dysfunctional United Nations at the expense of our defense budget, she received a 2006 rating of A+ (with additional extra credit, no less) from the Citizens for Global Solutions, an ultra-left organization which advocates one-world government.

Pelosi voted NO on deploying a national missile defense system, even in the face of North Korean and Iranian development of long-range missile and nuclear capabilities. She voted NO on continuing military recruitment on college campuses, even though this would upgrade the quality and breadth of our military forces.

Pelosi opposed both the first Gulf War to remove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991 and the second war twelve years later to forcibly remove him from power altogether – even after Saddam Hussein’s continued defiance of a succession of UN Security Council resolutions on weapons of mass destruction and genocide against his own people. Despite her own warnings about Saddam Hussein’s dangerous WMD program while Clinton was President and her stated recognition that “the citizens of Iraq have suffered the most for Saddam Hussein’s activities”, she even voted NO on a bill affirming that the United States and the world have been made safer without Saddam Hussein’s regime in power and expressing gratitude for the valiant service of U.S. troops in liberating the Iraqi people.

 The upcoming midterm election presents a choice between two very different visions of how to protect our country. It is no wonder that Pelosi wants desperately to change the subject of this campaign to anything but national security. Coming from someone who scoffs at traditional moral values by voting against the Defense of Marriage Act and the ban on partial birth abortions, Pelosi’s sudden protestations of moral outrage over Foley’s salacious e-mails would be laughable – until her political strategy becomes clear. With her self-righteous posturing, she wants to distract people from asking whether they are willing to take a chance on a leftist clique that places terrorist rights before the security of our families and believes that using our military to take the fight to the terrorists abroad is a bad thing. “I don’t really consider ourselves at war,” Pelosi has said in describing her views on the struggle against global terrorism. With such a philosophy governing the House and creating more obstacles to defeating the Islamic-fascists, the risk of another catastrophic terrorist attack reaching us soon in our homes, at work, at school, while traveling or in our places of worship will increase exponentially – a debacle in the making that we simply cannot afford at this crucial time in our history.  

ENDNOTES:

1. San Francisco Chronicle article by Glen Martin entitled “Grapes of Wrath” (December 19, 2004).

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