Obama’s Civil Liberties Nominee: Profiling Foreigners From Terrorist Countries Is “Inappropriate”

Barack Obama’s nominee to Chair the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, David Medine, had his nomination approved of by the Senate Judiciary Committee in late February of this year. However, when he was asked about profiling for terrorists among foreign nationals, Medine wrote in a questionnaire “In general, profiling of foreign nationals based solely on their point of departure to the United States is inappropriate.”

Nominees that the Senate has already confirmed were also asked to respond to this identical questionnaire.

The questionnaire, provided by Senator Chuck Grassley, is a lengthy 22 pages, but in the section in which Medine provides the above answer there are several questions that need to be brought out. These all come under the section titled Views on Race and Ethnicity Relating to Terrorism Cases.

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“Do you believe that focusing the limited resources of an investigative agency where they are most likely to make an impact is the best method for combating terrorism?” the questionnaire asked.

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Note Medine’s answer. “Yes, given limited resources, it makes sense for an investigative agency to focus on areas where it can have the most impact, if done in a legal, non-discriminatory fashion.”

Non-discriminatory fashion? Does he mean non-discriminatory in the way we see the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) conducting their routine grope downs and scans at airports? Or is he implying something else? I think the answers he continues to provide tell us.

The second question in the section asks, “How do you address the homegrown terrorism threat, and the appropriate response to it, while completely ignoring race, religion or ethnicity as a factor in the investigation?”

One of the challenges of detecting and preventing homegrown terrorism threats is the fact that it is often not linked to any of the characteristics mentioned,” Medine answered. “As a result, the key is to develop intelligence regarding individuals and plots as the bases for taking action.”

Excuse me, but there have been over 20,000 Islamic, terrorist attacks since September 11, 2001. The fact Mr. Medine says that terrorism is often not linked to religion or ethnicity is absurd!

Adding to that, is a final question in the section, which asks “While most, including me, agree that racial profiling is unacceptable, is the same true for profiling foreign nationals coming to the U.S. from certain high-risk foreign nations?”

Medine responded, “In general, profiling of foreign nationals based solely on their point of departure to the United States is inappropriate. However, there may be intelligence regarding a plot being developed or partially implemented in a particular foreign country that could, under some circumstances, justify heightened scrutiny of visitors from that country linked to other information about the plot.”

People in America why terrorists will continue to strike at us. Well here is why. Both Senator Grassley and Obama’s nominee have stated that they believe profiling is unacceptable. Though Grassley uses the term “racial,” which I agree with, Medine doesn’t do that. I’m not in favor of racial profiling. I am in favor of profiling based on one’s religious claims, namely Islam. In this case, Islam has been shown to be a violent religion, not a peaceful one. It comes from the text of their own book.

Furthermore, if those who claim to be Muslim, not a race, but a creed, and they are not following the commands of jihad, then perhaps they should not call themselves Muslim anymore.

Elizabeth Shield writes, “Medine’s opinion that constitutional protections against racial profiling should be extended to foreign nationals should raise serious red flags.”

Out of twenty of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists, 14 are foreign-born. I’ll also point out that all fourteen are Muslims. Additionally, four of those listed that were born in the US are Muslims.

While Medine didn’t answer questions about his views on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the PATRIOT Act, he did state his philosophy about privacy and civil liberties in the context of national security, law enforcement and cybersecurity efforts.

His philosophy is expressed, not in the U.S. Constitution, but by Congress in the 9.11 Commission Act. He wrote:

  1. In conducting the war on terrorism, the Government may need additional powers and may need to enhance the use of its existing powers.
  2. This shift of power and authority to the Government calls for an enhanced system of checks and balances to protect the precious liberties that are vital to our way of life and to ensure that the Government uses its powers for the purposes for which the powers were given.
  3. The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States correctly concluded that “The choice between security and liberty is a false choice, as nothing is more likely to endanger America’s liberties than the success of a terrorist attack at home. Our history has shown us that insecurity threatens liberty. Yet, if our liberties are curtailed, we lose the values that we are struggling to defend.”

050213-ike-lgNow, stop and think about what was just stated. It’s Orwellian double speak. The call that says Government may need to enhance its existing powers is another way of saying, Government needs to bypass the Constitution in certain circumstances (ie. illegal wiretapping, federal agents groping you down at the airport, indefinite detention and denying due process rights of American citizens suspected of terrorism or having ties to terrorism).

So far, the PATRIOT Act has demonstrated that the federal government has not been able to really “balance” between liberty and security. In fact, they are not even effective at conducting proper security regarding our borders or illegal immigration.

It is a lie to state that the choice between liberty and security is a false choice. Unless government is going to parade around with us at every moment of our lives, they cannot ensure that a terrorist attack will not happen anymore than they can ensure a mass shooting won’t take place. However, dealing with foreign nationals entering the United States can and should be scrutinized due to the countries they come from.

I’ll also add that the success of a terrorist attack at home does not endanger our liberties, but all this alleged “security” most definitely does!

Medine is 180 degrees in the wrong direction here. He should be supporting a halt to Islamic immigration into the US. He is not fit for this office and as such, should not be confirmed by the US Senate.

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