Monday, May 11, 2009

Canadian Bacon: The Sequel

Homeland* Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is increasing security along the US-Canadian border. Although I loved Mark Steyn’s crack about the Derby Line/Stansted library, I don’t find her actions quite as ridiculous as he does, for two reasons. First, I’ve heard via a family connection that Washington and Oregon are gearing up for possible trouble during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and this stepped-up security could be part of the mobilization for that. (Although that doesn’t explain the build-up along the eastern end of the border.) Second, I’m hoping Napolitano is smarter and more devious than she appears. How so, you ask. Here’s how.

There’s no doubt Napolitano’s explanation for the increased security along the Canadian border is idiotic:

"One of the things that we need to be sensitive to is the very real feeling among southern border states and in Mexico that if things are being done on the Mexican border, they should also be done on the Canadian border," Napolitano told a conference in Washington.

This is like saying that since Iraq and Israel are both in the Mideast, we should be fighting the same war in Israel that we are in Iraq. Consider, however, that such lunatic political correctness may simply be a fig leaf for concerns about:

the "undisputed presence in Canada of known terrorist affiliate and extremist groups," including Hezbollah, Hamas and the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria.

After all, it would be political suicide for a member of the Obama Administration - less than a month before the President’s Egyptian address to Muslims - to come right out and say, “We’re beefing up patrols on our northern border because there are Muslim extremists in Canada”. So perhaps Napolitano is using the facade of political correctness to conceal the reality of impolitic incorrectness. At any rate, I certainly hope so.

What I found most interesting in the story though was this (emphasis mine):

In an interview on "The National," Canada's main evening TV news show, Napolitano said April 20 that "to the extent that terrorists have come into our country ... it's been across the Canadian border."

Asked if she was talking about the Sept. 11 perpetrators, she replied, "Not just those, but others as well."

Ressam is the only known example of a suspected terrorist trying to cross the border. None of the 19 skyjackers came through Canada, according to the 9/11 Commission report. Napolitano later said that she knew of other cases that had not been made public "due to security reasons."

That sounds an awful lot like what we heard during the Bush Administration: all their actions would make perfect sense to everyone if only the public knew the whole story which, sadly, it couldn’t because of - that’s right - national security concerns.

Now, I don’t actually have a problem with that logic as long as it’s not overused. However, in Napolitano’s case I do hope someone else who is privy to the “other cases” is double-checking her work. You know - just to be sure she isn’t confusing Canada with Maine again.


*I hate the word “homeland”. I don’t have a homeland. I have a country. I have a nation. I have a state. Most of all, I have a Constitution. I do not have a homeland.

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