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Admitting Terror - INS had Atta in Custody, let him go
Miami New Times ^ | October 18, 2001 | Bob Norman

Posted on 10/19/2001 12:38:28 PM PDT by testforecho

Admitting Terror
The immigration service's own describe how America failed to protect its borders from the September 11 terrorists
By Bob Norman

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) had terror ringleader Mohamed Atta in its grasp before the September 11 attacks. Then the agency, which stands at the domestic frontline in the war on terrorism, let him go.

The 34-year-old Egyptian arrived at Miami International Airport earlier this year on a flight from Spain. His intention, he told immigration inspectors, was to learn to fly planes. Because he planned to go to school, the tourist visa he had used on a previous visit was invalid; the law required that he obtain a student visa from a U.S. consulate before entering the country. Following INS procedure, an inspector stopped Atta at the immigration line and sent him to "hard secondary," a room where intense investigations of suspected illegal aliens are supposed to take place.

Had INS management strictly enforced federal law, it would have deported Atta. Instead officers decided to waive the requirement that he have a proper visa. Further, the agency didn't even make Atta fill out necessary forms or pay a $170 fine, as required under law.

With dreams of carnage and outrageous body counts, Atta was simply loosed on America.

This is the story that two well-placed INS sources, who asked not to be named, told New Times. Federal officials, however, aren't talking about Atta's entry into the United States while the investigation of the September 11 terror attacks continues.

The incident, though, is a stunning example of how the INS failed in its mission to protect the country's borders from terrorists. Instead of strictly enforcing laws, it has disregarded them. The reason for these failures: The immigration service, for much of the past decade, has emphasized customer service and facilitation of air travel over enforcement, numerous former and current INS inspectors allege. And they say national security has been compromised in the process.

Atta, they complain, was treated as a customer rather than an illegal traveler -- and the customer is always right.


Atta's story is only part of a list of glaring immigration-service failures that preceded the attacks. Another example: Suspected suicide bomber Khalid Almihdhar was allowed to enter the United States even though he improperly provided an incomplete address on an I-94 form, which federal authorities use to track aliens once they have entered the country. Almihdhar's omission helped him elude FBI agents before the September 11 bombings occurred.

Furthermore both Atta and his frequent companion, Marwan Al-Shehhi, who was also involved in the Twin Towers' destruction, had overstayed previous visits but were allowed back into the country anyway, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

The incidents might seem to be unfortunate mistakes or puzzling oversights. But they weren't. The neglect was intentional, say many INS insiders. Immigration officers were ordered not to enforce laws regarding overstay cases and I-94 forms, official INS documents show. For instance assistant INS port director Henry Aponte, who is stationed at MIA, issued a succinct directive to inspectors via the federal e-mail system about overstays, which are coded as 7A's, on March 14, 1999. "Please stay away from 7A cases!!!!" Aponte wrote. "Case closed!!"

Former and current INS inspectors say orders like Aponte's are routine. While it might seem confounding that INS regularly fails to enforce laws designed to catch illegal aliens, New Times has determined that such failures are rampant. Reacting to constant pressure from the airline industry to speed up the inspection process, the immigration service emphasizes the movement of visitors into the country rather than the capture of illegal aliens. The result, argues INS inspector William King, is that the agency largely serves as a tool of the airline industry. "People come into this business expecting to enforce immigration laws and protect our borders," explains King, a union leader in Orlando who represents all of Florida's immigration employees. "Then they find out they are in customer service and nobody seems to care about enforcement. Things must change."

The INS faces additional problems as the new war continues:

• Immigration inspections are rushed affairs in which INS supervisors routinely demand that inspectors spend one minute or less per visitor. Inspectors complain that such time limits make effectively doing their job an impossible task.

• INS management has largely stripped inspectors of their lawful power to decide who should be turned away at the border, even when questionable visitors are identified.

• The INS has failed to follow a congressional mandate to monitor the departure of U.S. visitors.

• Highly questionable programs that allow visitors into the country with little scrutiny have been instituted.

• The INS has neglected to maintain properly a crucial tool to fight terrorism: computer databases with names of suspected terrorists gathered from the CIA and FBI.

The airline industry is unapologetic about the fact that it has long used its powerful and wealthy Washington, D.C., lobby to push Congress and the INS to speed up inspections. "For many years the INS has been fraught with mismanagement," says Michael Wascom, a spokesman for the airlines' chief lobby, the Air Transport Association. "I mean, it is ugly, so we have absolutely applied pressure for them to hurry it up."

Until the agency is freed from the airlines' grasp, the inspectors say, American security will continue to be compromised, and more men like Atta will freely enter the United States.

INS officials, meanwhile, are quiet on the issue. The agency's spokespeople said none would agree to be interviewed for this article. Aponte didn't return phone messages for comment. INS Washington spokeswoman Kimberly Weissman declined to comment on specific New Times findings but offered a general observation. "It's difficult," she says. "You must be sensitive to the delicate balance of enforcement with the interests of commerce and trade, facilitating travelers, and tourism. You are trying to deal with both sides."

It took the calamitous suicide bombings in New York City and Washington to shift the balance back in favor of enforcement. "Obviously," says Weissman, "since September 11 the emphasis has been put on security by everyone concerned."


The responsibility for fighting terrorism is far from a new concept at the INS. As Walter Cadman, the INS counterterrorism coordinator, told a U.S. Senate judiciary committee in 1998: "INS is invaluable to the government's efforts against international terrorism and foreign terrorists who attempt to cross our borders."

The first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 only intensified those efforts, Cadman told the committee. Even prior to that attack, the INS issued each inspector a classified document called "The Red Book," a little paperback with tips and instructions on how to find counterfeit passports and visas often used by terrorists. The first page of the 1992 "Red Book," which was obtained by New Times from a confidential source, is headed: "The Threat is Real!"

"Since the early 1970s, numerous terrorist organizations have provided their operatives with a wide variety of spurious documents," the introduction to the book begins. "After showing their spurious passports and papers at border control, these terrorist operatives have proceeded to hijack airplanes, plant bombs, and carry out assassinations. These terrorists acts, however, can be stopped.... Terrorism is a plague that threatens all of us. It must be stopped. Use the RED BOOK!"

But inspectors complain that, despite the bold letters and exclamation points, their best efforts to stop terrorists and other illegal aliens are stymied by INS management. They contend that supervisors force them to rubber-stamp visitors at a dizzying pace. The work, as inspectors describe it, is stifling and uninspiring. Law enforcement is an afterthought, they say, and the only saving grace is a paycheck. The turnover rate is high, leaving the inspector corps chronically understaffed and harried. The majority of INS employees, says union leader King, are silent about these problems, fearful that speaking out would only lead to retaliation from higher-ups that could cost them their reputations and jobs.

Two inspectors who have broken the wall of silence are José Touron, a 50-year-old INS veteran, and Patrick Pizarro, who at age 28 has already become bitterly disillusioned with the service. Through them a sketch can be drawn of the dire problems at the INS.

On the morning of September 11, Pizarro was doing the same thing as most everyone else in America: watching events unfold on his television screen with what he describes as "horror and rage." He wasn't just angered by the suicidal perpetrators and the incredible scale of the damage they inflicted; he was also livid with the INS, where he'd been working for nearly four years. It was a general kind of anger; he didn't know then that several of the hijackers had entered the country through MIA, where he manned a booth and inspected visitors. "I just sat there and thought how the INS was responsible for letting those people in this country," Pizarro says, "how they just let everyone slip through."

Pizarro refused to go to work September 11 for his 1:00 p.m. shift. Instead he stayed home and wrote about his feelings, letting the anger and disappointment pour out. Three days later he sent an e-mail to INS port director Walter H. Lee and numerous other INS supervisors and inspectors. In it he blasted the agency and its terrible failures. The document is a powerful testament to the demoralization of INS troops and bodes poorly for the country's frontline in the new war.

"... I'm not by myself, believe me, when I say that I just feel like a body with a stamp, charged with making sure the passengers make it in and out as quick as possible," he wrote in the two-page dictum. "A stamp monkey. Everyone feels that way.... [D]isillusionment remains rampant. We let people in every day that we know we shouldn't.... I don't feel like a federal officer. I don't.

"Leadership doesn't make you feel like a stamp monkey, leadership makes you feel you can make a difference. Leadership doesn't make you feel that you need to stamp in as many people as possible in one hour, leadership makes you feel that you protect our country's borders by monitoring who we let in.

"I never want to work to just collect a paycheck, I want a career," he writes. "And I want to believe in what I do.... Because on a day like Tuesday [September 11], when the world turned upside down, I didn't [believe in what I do].

"My prayers and hopes are with you. This job will now be more important to this country than it's ever been before."

Pizarro resigned after the suicide bombings. He was going to quit in October to return to college anyway; the September 11 attacks just hastened his departure. "A lot of my co-workers were like, “Right on, you showed some balls,'" he says of the e-mail's response. "But I had balls just because I knew I was going to leave anyway. Everybody else there is afraid."

Not quite everybody. Touron, while deeply concerned about his future, says he isn't afraid of the INS. He's always taken his profession as an immigration inspector very seriously -- too seriously, in fact, for his supervisors' taste. He has been a thorn in management's side for years, helping to organize the local union chapter, American Federation of Government Employees 1458, and filing numerous grievances about the agency's lax and sometimes unlawful practices. He says his whistle-blowing doesn't stem from a hatred of the INS; he does it because he loves the job and deeply believes in the need to protect the country's borders.

Touron was patriotic before the recent attacks stirred the spirit of the populace and made waving the Red, White, and Blue fashionable again. A native of New York, his home office includes several paintings and figurines depicting his favorite symbol, the Statue of Liberty. He's proud of his late father, a Cuban immigrant who fought in World War II and served in the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor to the CIA. As a teenager Touron went to war in Vietnam, where he served a tour of duty on reconnaissance missions as a Marine. In 1975 he became a Miami police officer. The following year doctors diagnosed him with cancer and gave him six months to live. But he beat the disease and rejoined the police department in 1978.

After serving in numerous law-enforcement positions, he was assigned in 1986 to work the police detail at MIA, where he learned firsthand of terrorist threats to the United States. That same year, on June 27, INS agents at MIA arrested 21 Egyptian nationals suspected of being potential terrorists. Twelve of them escaped on foot, and some were heard to yell, "Death to Reagan!" as they ran. The incident was never made public, but Touron did not forget it.

In 1991 he joined the INS, and more tragedies soon hit him; Hurricane Andrew destroyed his apartment, and he was stricken with life-threatening heart disease brought on by previous chemotherapy treatments. He is alive today thanks to two pacemakers.

Touron, who is executive vice president of the local union and has represented several INS employees in disputes with management, says his travails have given him the strength to fight the immigration service. His complaints about incompetent managers and shoddy policies have led to various forms of management retaliation, ranging from assignment to menial jobs to bogus reprimands, he claims.

Management's most serious sanction against Touron came this past April 24. INS port director Lee charged him with insubordination, alleging that he refused a command to escort an unrestrained criminal deportee through a public area without backup or radio. Touron admits he didn't follow the order, but says he declined to do so because it violated INS security directives and posed a threat to him and the public. The INS is now taking steps to terminate Touron, while he appeals the charge. He still collects his paycheck, but he isn't allowed to go to work.

Touron acknowledges that making public his grievances in New Times could end any hope of saving his job, but the September 11 attacks compel him to do so. All his official complaints about the lack of immigration enforcement have been ignored. "Who in INS let these guys in? Where was the security? It wasn't there," he says with disgust.

Both Touron and Pizarro, along with union leader King, agree the INS's preoccupation with efficiency rather than enforcement has ruined the service. Frank Gonzalez, who resigned in 1999 after serving seven years as an INS inspector, echoes those sentiments. So does Fernande Bayda, an Egyptian immigrant who served as an INS officer and supervisor for more than eighteen years before retiring in 1999. Two other current inspectors, who feared retaliation if their names were used in this article, tell New Times they feel the same way. All say they believe the INS facilitated more than just air travel: The agency also facilitated the events of September 11.


In September 1994 then-INS commissioner Doris Meissner authored a pamphlet titled "Serving the Customers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service."

"We intend to improve the way we do business," Meissner wrote. "Customer service is a top priority."

It was distributed at airports and other ports of entry around the nation. At MIA, inspectors were given a flier titled "Attitudes to Remember." It includes helpful little reminders such as "Everyone has a good reason for what he/she has done," "Being flexible shows strength," "See others as you want to be seen," and "People are flawed, not evil."

Apparently management didn't have Atta in mind.

"Of course [INS workers] should all be courteous. That isn't the issue," Gonzalez says. "But the visitors aren't customers. The INS isn't selling anything, and they aren't buying. A lot of what they do isn't all that nice. I mean, imagine if we had to say, “Did you enjoy that cavity search, sir? Are you coming back soon?'"

To understand how Atta and his conspiratorial compatriots were repeatedly admitted into the U.S. by INS inspectors, a person must know how the process works at America's airports. When foreign visitors arrive, they are directed, passports and visas in hand, to a designated immigration room, where they await processing. The inspectors sit at booths and essentially guard what is officially termed a "constructed border" -- a yellow stripe in the carpet typically called "the thin yellow line." Before a visitor can cross, he or she must be approved by the inspector, who examines the visitor's travel documents, runs his or her name through the INS lookout computer, and interviews the traveler about his or her intentions in the United States. Touron and others say that each inspection should, at minimum, last an average of two minutes. All parts of the process take time -- a thorough examination of a passport "tells a story," as Touron puts it, and can take more than a minute. The documents include a traveler's birthplace, parents' names, citizenship, country of origin, and where he or she has traveled before. All of this information, of course, could help pinpoint potential terrorists.

Interviews are also critical in the process. Since all the terrorists who entered the United States were lying about their intentions, all could have been turned away: Sharp, unhurried inspectors would only have had to find inconsistencies in their respective stories to deport them. Under the law, such wide discretion falls to INS officers.

In Atta's case, for example, an inspector might have asked his destination, whom he knew in America, how much money he had, and how long he intended to stay. Had he or any of the other hijackers stumbled or given a conflicting story, the inspectors could have used their discretion under the law to refuse entry.

The problem, say inspectors, is that they don't get the time necessary to do their jobs. INS standards allow them only about 60 seconds per passenger on a good day. And when they try to turn away questionable travelers, their supervisors often overrule them. "It happens all the time," Touron says. "[The visitors] lie; they have problems with their passport. And a supervisor looks at them and says, “They look okay to me.' Stamp."

In addition to pressure from higher-ups, inspectors must also deal with airline representatives, who routinely demand that inspectors work faster. "They are interfering with police business and the security of the United States, and that is against the law," Touron complains. "But our supervisors always side with the airlines."

The airlines have every right to push for speed, lobbyist Michael Wascom insists. "Yes, the airlines have complained vociferously about the INS on Capitol Hill," he says. "They are so poorly managed -- and I want to make it clear I'm not saying it's the inspectors' fault. They have good people on those lines. But when they are slow, it's an inconvenience for passengers and crew members. It causes people to miss flights and for baggage to be misplaced. We are in the business of moving people, not to enforce the law. We have an expectation that the service will be performed efficiently and in a timely manner."

In response to this powerful lobby, Congress has passed laws demanding time limits and applied pressure on the highest levels of INS. "The airlines put extraordinary pressure to get their people in fast," Pizarro says. "People complain to the airlines, and the airlines complain to Congress, and Congress goes to INS. That's where the complaint gets channeled."

One of the resulting laws, which was put into effect during the last decade, mandates that the INS complete processing each U.S. visitor within 45 minutes of his or her leaving the plane. "Supervisors would stand over your shoulder with a watch in their hand, saying you needed to hurry up," former INS supervisor Bayda explains. "So we only had time to deal with people who were so obvious anybody could catch them. The sophisticated criminals, the counterfeiters, the smugglers, the terrorists -- [supervisors] didn't even want to know who they were. I think the World Trade Center attack is a direct result of the INS emphasis on facilitation."

Touron puts it this way: "INS is working for the airlines. We are working for corporate interests instead of national security. And this is upsetting to the entire rank and file."

Pizarro says the immigration service is run on fear -- of lawmakers, airlines, the media, and visitors. "Everybody is so scared of everything that law enforcement is forgotten about," Pizarro declares. "And it all turns into a contest to see who can let the most people in the country in an hour."

Enforcement measures have deteriorated across the board, the inspectors claim. In 1996, for instance, Congress mandated that the INS begin monitoring departures to determine how many aliens were illegally overstaying their visits and also to help catch criminals and terrorists. The INS and the airlines fought the measure, which was later repealed.

The disturbing problem of overstays, however, remains. A 1997 report by the Justice Department's inspector general's office described the problem of visitors remaining in the country after their visas expire as "disturbing and persistent." Nearly half of the country's illegal aliens (then an estimated five million) likely were overstays, according to the report.

Another safeguard, the Interagency Border Information System (a computer database that lists the names of known illegal residents, international criminals, and suspected terrorists), has been poorly maintained. During Congressional hearings throughout the 1990s, federal officials complained that agencies such as the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the FBI, and the CIA weren't sharing data on these groups. INS counterterrorism coordinator Walter Cadman admitted before Congress in 1998 that his agency needed to improve the "quality and timeliness" of data input. In July 1999 the Justice Department's inspector general found that the INS could not "ensure the integrity or reliability of the data used by its systems."

And an August 2000 General Accounting Office study found that little had been done to improve the computer system. "They simply need more people to input the information into the databases," Bayda complains.

New policies and programs, meanwhile, have made the borders even more porous. The Visa Waiver Pilot Program, instituted in 1988, allows visitors from 29 European countries to visit the United States for as long as three months without procuring a visa. Former Department of Justice inspector general Michael Bromwich announced to Congress on May 5, 1999, that the visa-waiver program poses "the greatest risk to national security and illegal immigration."

The following year, acting inspector general Robert L. Ashbaugh testified before a House committee: "We found evidence that... terrorists, criminals and alien-smugglers are abusing the VWPP to fraudulently enter the United States." Yet the program remains in place because it facilitates speedy travel through airports.

Another practice allowed returning U.S. citizens simply to hold out their passports while walking by immigration inspectors. It was recently abandoned because it was so susceptible to fraud. But again, it was fast.

In 1997 Touron sent a memorandum up the chain of command complaining that enforcement had been forgotten. "Facilitating does not mean throwing away the Oath of Office, which states: “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,'" he wrote. "Facilitating does not mean that an immigration inspector is to blanket stamp an admission without fulfilling his obligations to the law."

The disturbing result is that the INS has become a laughingstock among even moderately sophisticated terrorists, complains Gonzalez, who was a member of the INS Terrorism, Drugs, and Fraud team (TDF) at Miami International Airport. Gonzalez says that, despite the unit's name, the service never really took the terrorism threat seriously at the airport. "You have to understand that everything INS does is pretty half-ass," he explains. "Terrorism was only a very minute part of TDF."

Pizarro jokes bitterly that the only service INS provides at airports is to weed out the most ignorant illegal aliens. "It's like social Darwinism," he posits. "If you're not dumb, you have a good chance of getting into the country. In the case of a terrorist, if we don't find a blueprint or plans in his luggage, he's going to get in."


The case of Khalid Almihdhar shows just how bad the INS had become prior to the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

This past Independence Day, the immigration inspectors at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport were busy facilitating passengers when Almihdhar took his turn at the thin yellow line. Almihdhar had flown in from Saudi Arabia with a business visa in hand. Almihdhar's only business, though, was mass murder. He is suspected of hijacking the flight that slammed into the Pentagon.

But Almihdhar, who was known by the CIA as a terrorist and is suspected of having played a key role in the East African embassy and U.S.S. Cole bombings, apparently had no problem entering the country. Like all other visitors, Almihdhar had to fill out an I-94 form before he was allowed entry. That form, which is supposed to include the visitor's address in the United States and other vital information, serves as the key document for INS officers attempting to track aliens. Almihdhar described his address on the I-94 form as simply, "Marriott in New York City." A grilling about that vague and imprecise response might have raised suspicion, but Almihdhar was rubber-stamped anyway.

It was good enough for the INS. It just wasn't legal.

Under the law aliens are required to put down a "complete and legible United States address" when they enter the country. Those who truly don't know where they will be staying must at least fill out the full name and address of an acquaintance in the United States. Almihdhar, who lived for a time in South Florida, did neither.

Roughly a month after Almihdhar entered the country, federal officials realized he was a suspected terrorist and the FBI set out to find him. But the Bureau had little to go on; ten Marriott hotels operate in New York City.

Agents couldn't track him down. FBI Director Robert Mueller lamented the scant information with which his agents had to work at a September 16 press conference. "One finds that when [visitors] fill out [I-94 forms] at the border, they can put down “Marriott, New York City.' And as everybody knows, there are a number of Marriotts in New York City," Mueller complained. "And when we're passed a name and required to find the individual and we have no identity data other than a hotel or motel, we do the obvious thing and... have them run all the hotels in that vicinity. But it is very difficult quite often to find somebody once they are in the country."

What Mueller likely didn't know is that INS was aware that many I-94 forms were incompletely filled out. Moreover the agency intentionally violated federal rules concerning I-94 forms as a matter of unofficial policy, according to documents obtained by New Times. On March 26, 1998, former MIA port director Dora Sanchez wrote that inspections had shown the airport was "deficient" in ensuring I-94 forms were complete. "This is an area that we must correct," she wrote in an interagency memo to inspectors.

But inspectors say nothing was ever done about it. In fact, on August 14, 1998, Sanchez wrote another memo, this one complaining that some INS officers weren't "inspecting as fast as they should."

"In order to achieve an acceptable rate and maintain a less-than-45-minute processing time per flight, please adhere to the following," she wrote. One of her orders: "If there is no U.S. address and they have none, don't bother with it. Their foreign address will suffice OR a U.S. telephone number OR “Hotel, Miami, FL,' etc. Please don't make the alien hunt for an address if he/she doesn't have one." (Reached by telephone, Sanchez declined to comment.)

cont'd


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: almihdhar; atta; immigration; ins; visas
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The end of the memo is particularly interesting. Even while ordering inspectors not to follow immigration rules for the sake of moving "customers," she puts in a word about enforcing the law. "Our time is very limited and we must use it wisely," wrote Sanchez, who now works for the INS in Dallas. "We must facilitate the entry of all passengers while not compromising our law enforcement efforts."

Letting people into the country was the easiest thing to do, and the bureaucracy naturally followed the path of least resistance.

Unfortunately so did the terrorists.


I posted the Miami Herald article earlier today, but this is such an overwheming, systemic indictment I thought it should go on the Front Page.
1 posted on 10/19/2001 12:38:28 PM PDT by testforecho
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To: testforecho
So in other words, our own *failed* immigration policies are partially responsible for making America so vulnerable on 9/11.
2 posted on 10/19/2001 12:41:34 PM PDT by ikanakattara
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To: testforecho
Good find. Bumping.
3 posted on 10/19/2001 12:42:21 PM PDT by the808bass
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To: ikanakattara
I believe it was our failure to properly implement our immigration policies that contributed to the success of the attacks
4 posted on 10/19/2001 12:47:48 PM PDT by AUgrad
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To: testforecho
I wonder whether Aponte and Sanchez were born US citizens?
5 posted on 10/19/2001 12:51:55 PM PDT by Temple Drake
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To: testforecho
IF WE HAD KEPT ALL 18 hijackers out of the US it would not have helped a bit.

There are lots of places in the world to buy training on flying airliners. They didn't have to use the USA. They did it becuase it cost less. If they could not have entered the USA they would have just hijacked Canadian planes leaving on international flights. They could have taken down the WTC with out ever entering the USA before hand.

Fools think the solution is preventing terrorists from having oportuinity. It cannot be done in a free society. The only security is when the terrorists are absolutely certain that an attack will result in the total destruction of their cause.

Two thousand years ago the Romans had it figured out. They had a saying about their enemies.

Let them Hate, as long as they fear.

That is all the security there ever is or ever will be.
6 posted on 10/19/2001 12:54:04 PM PDT by Common Tator
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To: testforecho
I hope this is widely published, and we finally take this problem seriously.
7 posted on 10/19/2001 12:57:43 PM PDT by Republic of Texas
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To: testforecho
Thanks for posting this. Does anybody else notice that we hear about every day how the FBI has detained about 700 people, but we never hear about any being arrested or deported? The "war" on terrorism is a big, fat joke. There are more than 250,000 illegal aliens in the United States who have already been ordered deported by an immigration judge, but who remain in the United States anyway.
8 posted on 10/19/2001 1:04:16 PM PDT by Lion's Cub
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To: Common Tator
Let them Hate, as long as they fear.

I agree completely. Having said that, are we doing what we can to keep out terrorists? I think the comment in the article about Darwininsm in action was telling. Why shouldn't we keep out the bumbling, stupid terrorists if we can? This is like the missle defense argument: Well, since our enemies can always use another method to deliver the bombs, why should be bother with an ABM system? I think the answer there is the same here: We build it not because it is foolproof or perfect, but it defends us from a real threat.

9 posted on 10/19/2001 1:06:56 PM PDT by testforecho
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To: testforecho
At MIA, inspectors were given a flier titled "Attitudes to Remember." It includes helpful little reminders such as "Everyone has a good reason for what he/she has done," "Being flexible shows strength," "See others as you want to be seen," and "People are flawed, not evil."

I will repeat: Doris Meissner should be in prison.

10 posted on 10/19/2001 1:13:41 PM PDT by denydenydeny
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To: testforecho
Excellent post!!

I am disappointed that we are taking action in Afghanistan because it is exactly what they were expecting. Its time we put on the mind of a terrorist and stepped out of the boxes we've been thinking from for far too long. When I finally did that I realized that we could "bean a few birds with one stone".

In order to strike fear in the terrorists hearts and to exact a little justice for the wrongs that have been perpetrated by our own paid elected and unelected officials as well as a few other miscreants,I offer the following idea.

Using either commercial airliners,which would justify the money for their 'bailouts" or military cargo planes suit up the troops.Equip them with swords and knives{most of the troops I am thinking of don't like guns},pack up K-rations and bottled water,show them how to open their parachutes and drop them into Afghanistan.

I think on the first plane we should place our esteemed ex-comander-in-chief and his spouse and his attorney general, the head of INS certainly deserves a seat on that plane as well as the heads of oh so many offices of departments whose mission was to protect us.I would also reserve a place for the two dog-sitting lawyers from San Francisco and their step-son and so on.

The way I figure it a couple of plane loads of the likes of them would result in an immediate turn over of all of the terrorists we are seeking. But the United States should only agree to receive the terrorists if they keep the "troops"we sent them forever. What do you think?

11 posted on 10/19/2001 1:43:34 PM PDT by saradippity
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To: AUgrad
And also, the current trend for political correctness and for diversity has contributed big time to the failure of policies of government agencies such as the INS, the army, ect...

If people would only take a hard look at human nature and accept it for what it is. Christians prefer to hang around each other. So do Muslims. Fine! Everybody just stay in your own country and don't mind other people's business.
Most importantly, do not impose you customs and way of life on others soil.

12 posted on 10/19/2001 3:25:19 PM PDT by Curly007
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To: Curly007
And also, the current trend for political correctness and for diversity has contributed big time to the failure of policies of government agencies such as the INS, the army, ect...Any white man before 9-11 who insisted there be rules regarding entry to the country, to protect ourselves from the Attas of the world would have been labeled a facist and a racist.Sad it had to take the deaths of 7000 innocents to bring the country back to sanity.
13 posted on 10/19/2001 3:40:10 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
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To: The_Media_never_lie
We got the clintons to thank for this, the feminists, gay activists, the libs.
It has gotten so bad: I am taking a mandatory course on Business Communication. Half of it is about words not to use such as, fireman, policeman, insuranceman, manking.
What is wrong with "mankind"? They even push it in writting: "do not write 'he or she' but 'she or he'".
This is insane!
14 posted on 10/19/2001 3:47:15 PM PDT by Curly007
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To: testforecho
Good find - BTTT
15 posted on 10/19/2001 3:51:26 PM PDT by LouD
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To: Curly007
"Call a spade, a spade" in other words.
16 posted on 10/19/2001 3:52:18 PM PDT by AUgrad
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To: AUgrad
YES
17 posted on 10/19/2001 3:59:21 PM PDT by Curly007
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To: testforecho
We already saw this with the Railroad Serial killer from Mexico who came back and forth to the US to kill Americans and the INS had him in custody also and let him go and kill more.
18 posted on 10/19/2001 4:04:45 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: denydenydeny
We should put Pat Buchanan in charge of the INS, he's not afraid to look politically incorrect and he's not afraid to fight for his principles.
19 posted on 10/19/2001 4:05:55 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: Curly007
bttt
20 posted on 10/19/2001 4:06:20 PM PDT by snippy_about_it
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To: testforecho
He was taken into the "hard room" and asked, "Are you a democrat?" When he answered, "Yes", he was allowed to go on his happy way. I'd bet good money or bad money the DMC was there to register him to vote.
21 posted on 10/19/2001 5:18:06 PM PDT by Terry Mross
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To: Lion's Cub
Thanks for posting this. Does anybody else notice that we hear about every day how the FBI has detained about 700 people, but we never hear about any being arrested or deported? The "war" on terrorism is a big, fat joke.

Worth repeating. I agree with you.

22 posted on 10/19/2001 5:43:05 PM PDT by gogov
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I keep hoping there will be a major shakeup in the INS. I guess more of us are going to have to die before it happens.
23 posted on 10/19/2001 6:15:29 PM PDT by thathamiltonwoman
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To: testforecho
Good post.

I went through more of a background check the last time I bought a new gun than these murderous sand goblins went through to get into this country, board a commercial airliner, and murder 5000 innocent people.

All in the name of "diversity" and more votes for the Nazi party in America.

24 posted on 10/19/2001 6:19:39 PM PDT by Mulder
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: testforecho; Mercuria; Maalaea; sarcasm; dennisw
FYI BUMP!!
26 posted on 10/19/2001 6:32:07 PM PDT by Brownie74
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To: testforecho
The people responsible for some of these decisions should be tried for treason against the United States.

If convicted by a jury of their peers, they should be promptly hung.

27 posted on 10/19/2001 6:45:14 PM PDT by Mulder
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To: testforecho
Doris Meissner is a disgrace to this country. Her INS was and currently still is a joke. She used it to serve the selfish and corrupt political purposes of the Clinton White House. Meissner had hundreds of agents to send in after a little boy, Elian Gonzales, at the bequest of Janet Reno, but did nothing to secure our borders to prevent criminals and terrorists from entering.
28 posted on 10/19/2001 6:47:20 PM PDT by Enlightiator
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To: Common Tator
To make airport inspectors Federal employees as are the imigration and customs slugs is laughable. The drones that defend our borders (for the most part) just want to put in their eight hours and go home. Federalizing retired military,(they're still on the payroll), with added pay would help this situation,IMHO
29 posted on 10/19/2001 6:55:16 PM PDT by col kurz
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To: Common Tator
To make airport inspectors Federal employees as are the imigration and customs slugs is laughable. The drones that defend our borders (for the most part) just want to put in their eight hours and go home. Federalizing retired military,(they're still on the payroll), with added pay would help this situation,IMHO
30 posted on 10/19/2001 6:56:20 PM PDT by col kurz
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To: testforecho
I think every dept. of the goverment needs a good shakedown there have been too many negelent cases.It's time to clean house
31 posted on 10/19/2001 7:01:15 PM PDT by classygreeneyedblonde
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To: col kurz
Sorry for the double post, but while I'am "oversharing" may I add, we need a force to round up all the illegals now within our borders, another reason for calling up all retired military/and or vets, give an outlet for many of us to do our part...
32 posted on 10/19/2001 7:07:25 PM PDT by col kurz
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To: col kurz
btt
33 posted on 10/19/2001 7:09:05 PM PDT by Rome2000
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To: testforecho
I might be just a "stupid okie" from the heartland, but why in God's name are we still letting these middle eastern men enter our country(refer to the NewsMax article on the 14 Syrians in Dallas for "flight training")? Why can't we deport all middle eastern males in this country who are not citizens of this country? If not, why won't the government protect it's own citizens. I am outraged. Oh, and by the way, I have not heard one comment on why that monster Mohammed Atta was wearing white gloves as he was entering the airport to board the plane than killed thousands of our citizens. I found that very odd when I saw the picture of him on the security tape just after the Sept 11 attack. Well, now we all know. His hands were raw from anthrax exposure and he did not want to draw suspicion to those his raw hands, or are the authorities not willing to admit it. All the government is doing now is having meetings about limiting student visas from terrorist countries. What will it take? We should have passed a law a month ago banning visas and another to deport non-citizens from these terroist countries. Who cares about racial profiling. Our lives are in danger. Is there anyone listening in Washington?
34 posted on 10/19/2001 7:12:20 PM PDT by okiedokie
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To: testforecho
The 34-year-old Egyptian arrived at Miami International Airport earlier this year on a flight from Spain. His intention, he told immigration inspectors, was to learn to fly planes. Because he planned to go to school, the tourist visa he had used on a previous visit was invalid; the law required that he obtain a student visa from a U.S. consulate before entering the country. Following INS procedure, an inspector stopped Atta at the immigration line and sent him to "hard secondary," a room where intense investigations of suspected illegal aliens are supposed to take place.

Had INS management strictly enforced federal law, it would have deported Atta. Instead officers decided to waive the requirement that he have a proper visa. Further, the agency didn't even make Atta fill out necessary forms or pay a $170 fine, as required under law.

INS Supervisory Inspectors have broad powers of discretion.

Inspectors are encouraged/instructed to use the least amount of authority/power as possible.

This is how I heard it: When Atta entered, he stated on primary that he was a visitor, and was thinking of taking flight lessons. This statement was alone might not get you sent to secondary. The officer on primary, may inform the subject that flight lessons would be a violation of his visitor visa and let him know that he would be subject to deportation, if he was caught by INS.

Depending how the subject acts on primary, depends on if he is referred to secondary.

In secondary, the same thing would be stated, and if the subject states that he still wants to attend flight school, he can be offered a Waiver of Documents, which cost $170.

Atta most likely stated that he would not attend flight school and would just visit friends or family, and was then let in on his B2 visa.

Atta was not dumb and was probably convincing, and as such released.

Depending on the Inspectors, he could have been refused entry and removed, forced to pay $170 or be removed or convice the inspectors that he would not attend flight school, and be aloud to enter.

35 posted on 10/19/2001 9:01:42 PM PDT by Marine Inspector
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To: Marine Inspector
The INS's response was in the Post yesterday:

Atta Skillfully Evaded Authorities in the U.S.

"Published reports that Immigration officers improperly allowed terrorist Mohamed Atta to enter the United States at Miami International Airport are factually incorrect," the INS said in a statement yesterday. The agency was reacting to a report in the Miami Herald that the INS had missed a chance to stop the 33-year-old Egyptian before last month's hijackings.

36 posted on 10/21/2001 9:39:40 AM PDT by testforecho
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To: testforecho
The INS doesn't check anybody going out, therefore, they don't know if a person has overstayed his visa or not. This needs to be changed.
37 posted on 10/22/2001 1:27:51 AM PDT by XBob
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: testforecho
Bump for the civil rights of visiting terrorists.
39 posted on 10/23/2001 12:06:24 AM PDT by Clinton's a rapist
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Look like we need some volunteers in the INS. This may have been prevented.
40 posted on 01/31/2002 10:21:13 AM PST by Stew Padasso
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To: OKCSubmariner; ratcat; Askel5; boston_liberty
BTTT

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

41 posted on 03/15/2002 7:39:48 PM PST by Uncle Bill
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To: Howlin
If it were up to Dick Gebhardt, he would have made ATTA a legal resident, maybe even a model citizen, for 'staying over.'
42 posted on 07/31/2002 10:06:20 PM PDT by piasa
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To: JohnHuang2; Travis McGee; Shermy
Check out the links
43 posted on 08/02/2002 1:33:05 AM PDT by piasa
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To: Howlin; Cincinatus' Wife
check out 41
44 posted on 08/02/2002 1:34:20 AM PDT by piasa
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To: piasa; Uncle Bill
From your LINK.

***The disturbing result is that the INS has become a laughingstock among even moderately sophisticated terrorists, complains Gonzalez, who was a member of the INS Terrorism, Drugs, and Fraud team (TDF) at Miami International Airport. Gonzalez says that, despite the unit's name, the service never really took the terrorism threat seriously at the airport. "You have to understand that everything INS does is pretty half-ass," he explains. "Terrorism was only a very minute part of TDF."***

45 posted on 08/02/2002 4:12:52 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: testforecho
In September 1994 then-INS commissioner Doris Meissner authored a pamphlet titled "Serving the Customers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service."

"We intend to improve the way we do business," Meissner wrote. "Customer service is a top priority."

Unless, of course, the customer in question is a little kid washed up on our shores from Cuba, and the boss wants him sent back to appease Castro. Then Doris will squelch information that the father might be under duress. Talk about warped priorities from the INS...

46 posted on 08/02/2002 4:23:15 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: piasa
Thanks, going to link 41.
47 posted on 08/02/2002 7:48:07 AM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: FITZ
We should put Pat Buchanan in charge of the INS, he's not afraid to look politically incorrect and he's not afraid to fight for his principles

That's actually a great idea. It would also help to difuse the conservatives who are upset enough about lack of immigration restraints, and could keep them voting Republican.

Plus, it might make things interesting if Buchanan were to be in charge of INS, and keep expressing his outspoken and informed views.

48 posted on 08/02/2002 7:58:19 AM PDT by grania
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To: piasa; Sabertooth; Tancredo Fan; maica; Freee-dame; Marine Inspector
"Stamp Monkies". That's one I hadn't heard before, the term INS agents use for themselves.

This country is just to stupid to survive, period. The instinct for self preservation is extinct at the national level.

49 posted on 08/02/2002 8:04:44 AM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: Common Tator
"Fools think the solution is preventing terrorists from having oportuinity. It cannot be done in a free society. The only security is when the terrorists are absolutely certain that an attack will result in the total destruction of their cause."

BTTT.

50 posted on 08/02/2002 8:08:11 AM PDT by Fabozz
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