OPERATION LIBERTY SHIELD: Geesh, could they come up with dumber names for these programs? It doesn't even have a cool logo like TIA. Anyway, what does Operation Liberty Shield mean to you? More of everything! According to the press release, we'll get:

  • More Sea Marshals
  • Security measures that are proactive, sustainable, and focused, based on intelligence information
  • AMTRAK will implement security measures consistent with private rail companies
  • Tracking Suspects - The FBI will continue to closely monitor individuals suspected of links to terrorism.
    Et Cetera. Just like your average threat level day, but more so. I would have liked to see national guard troops at the borders, or an announcement that the 2nd Amendment would suddenly be respected, but whatever. I don't mean to sound bitter, but the whole Homeland Security thing seems like it was devised to appease the soccer-mom masses, rather than to actually accomplish anything.

    From Senator Diane Feinstein's webpage:

    ... in the last fiscal year, 23 million people arrived in the U.S. from 29 different countries under the so-called "visa waiver program" with no visas and little scrutiny. More than 7 million tourists, business visitors, foreign students, and temporary workers arrived last year as non-immigrants, yet the INS does not have a reliable tracking system to determine how many of these visitors left the country after their visas expired.

    Among the 7.1 million non-immigrants, 500,000 foreign nationals entered on foreign student visas alone. The foreign student visa system is one of the most under-regulated visa categories, subject to bribes and other problems that leave it wide open to abuse by terrorists and other criminals. In fact, in the early 1990s, five officials at four California colleges were convicted of taking bribes, providing counterfeit education documents and fraudulently applying for more than 100 foreign student visas. …

    Mohamed Atta, the suspected ringleader of the attack, was admitted back into the country through the Miami airport on January 10, even though his visa had reportedly expired. ... Suspected hijacker Ahmed Alghamdi remained at large in the United States after his student visa had expired. Another hijacker, Hani Hanjour, was here on a student visa that the INS still cannot determine was valid as of September 11.

    I'm not a fan of Feinstein, but this bill was a good idea; Bush signed it in May of 2002. This makes me feel safer than all the alerts.

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