November 24, 2015

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS HEADLINE: “BAM’S NEW TERROR PLAN: BE AFRAID:”

Travel at your own risk.

Just in time for the holidays, the State Department issued a global travel alert to U.S. citizens warning of the increased likelihood of terror attacks by legions of terrorists — including the murderous Islamic State.

The terse warning, posted on the State Department website Monday, said American travelers should use “particular caution” in the coming weeks and through Feb. 24.

“Current information suggests that (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions,” the State Department wrote.

The possible attacks could include “a wide variety of tactics … targeting both official and private interests,” the State Department added.

That’s odd – 11 days ago, on Friday morning before their Paris attack, President Obama reassured us all that ISIS is “contained.” Perhaps Mr. Obama failed to add, “within our solar system.”

But speaking of being afraid, journalists at the Daily News, serving as Charles Schumer’s Democratic operatives with bylines, are way ahead of Barry on the fear front:

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As AWR Hawkins writes at Big Government, “NY Daily News Sets Up NRA To Be Scapegoat For Future Terror Attack:”

After a week of subtly baiting the NRA to enter into a shouting match over the Democrats’ efforts to expand background checks to include the no-fly list, the New York Daily News is taking the not-so-subtle approach of setting up the NRA to be the scapegoat for any future firearm-related terror attack.

The NY Daily News is going about this in the classic leftist sense by vilifying NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre–criticizing him for refusing to take the Democrats’ bait and come out swinging in the wake of the heinous Paris terror attacks. And having vilified him, they then continue their attack without ever feeling the need to explain why a no-fly list that includes a 4-year old going to visit his grandmother is supposed to be part of the database through which background checks are run.

Moreover, they do not explain how a no-fly list so imprecise that it once barred Senator Ted Kennedy from commercial flights is now the key to keeping American safe.

Instead, the NY Daily News overlooks the imprecision of the no-fly list and quotes Senator Church Schumer (D-NY) saying, “The same nefarious individual we monitor and bar from our planes, we turn the other way when it comes to allowing them to get guns and explosives. The NRA has fought tooth and nail to prevent these individuals from the terror watchlist from being added over the past several years.”

And for good reason, Sean Davis adds at the Federalist.Sorry Democrats, But There Is No ‘Loophole’ That Allows Terrorists To Legally Buy Guns — In their zeal to defeat Republican terrorists, Democrats have decided that the constitutional right to due process is a loophole that must be closed:”

According to several Democratic sponsors of the bill, the proposed law would allow the attorney general to deny a criminal background check clearance to any individual whose name appears on the national terror watch list. The huge problem with this expansive new power is that there are precisely zero statutory criteria for inclusion on this massive list. In fact, when statutory authority for the centralized government database was first codified into law via the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Congress gave all authority for determining criteria for inclusion in the watch list to unelected, unaccountable government bureaucrats. If some faceless Beltway bureaucrat decides you might be a terrorist, then you’re a terrorist. End of story.

It gets even worse, though. If your name erroneously appears on that watch list, which as of 2013 included nearly 900,000 names, the Democrats’ proposed legislation renders you virtually powerless to find out why your name is on there, let alone to have it removed. And having your name erroneously or fraudulently added to that list isn’t as far-fetched as you might think.

In 2014, for example, Weekly Standard writer and Fox News contributor Stephen F. Hayes was informed that somebody added his name to the Department of Homeland Security’s terrorist watch list. There is zero credible evidence that he has any ties whatsoever to terrorism or to any terrorist organizations. Yet, under the Democrats’ new bill, he and everyone else who is erroneously listed would be banned from ever purchasing or possessing a firearm. Hayes’ apparent crime was traveling overseas for a cruise. Hayes is not alone. Each year, thousands of names end up on the terror watch list for no good reason whatsoever.

Under the Democrats’ proposal, the government doesn’t have to tell you why your name is on the list. The proposed law allows the government to keep that information secret. And if you decide to take the government to court over it, the Democrats’ bill creates a brand new legal standard that tilts the scales of justice against you.

As Charles Cooke writes, “Let us avoid gloss or euphemism and speak plainly: This idea flies directly in the face of every cherished American conception of justice, and it should be rejected with extreme prejudice:”

You will note, I hope, that Reid, Schumer, Jentleson, and co. are not proposing to place restrictions on those who have been “accused,” “charged,” or “convicted,” but upon those who are “suspected.” They are not referring to those who are working their way through the judicial system, but to those who remain outside of it. They are not seeking to limit the rights of those who are out on bail or awaiting trial, but those who have not so much as been handcuffed. Loudly and proudly, they are arguing in favor of removing fundamental rights from anyone whose name has been written down on a list. Because they hope to confuse the public, their talk is peppered with references to “Paris-style” “assault” rifles and “automatic” weapons. But this is a red herring: Their proposal applies equally to guns of all types, not just those that give Shannon Watts and Diane Feinstein the willies.

In times past, officials advocating the simultaneous undermining of a range of constitutional rights would have been tarred, feathered, and dumped into the sea, along with their staff, their press agents, and anyone else who saw fit to acquiesce in the scheme. A little of that spirit might be welcome here.

However the press might cast it, there are not in fact “two sides” to this issue. It is not a “tricky question.” It is not a “thorny one” or a “gray area” or a “difficult choice.” It is tyranny. Somewhere, deep down, its advocates must know this. Presumably, Chuck Schumer would not submit that those on a terror watch list should be deprived of their right to speak? Presumably, Harry Reid would not contend that they must be kept away from their mosques? Presumably, Diane Feinstein would not argue that they should be subjected to warrantless searches and seizures? Such proposals would properly be considered disgraceful — perhaps, even, as an overture to American fascism. Alas, there is something about guns that causes otherwise reasonable people to lose their minds.

And lose their minds the bill’s champions have. As of today, there are almost one million names on the terror watch list — that’s names, not identities — of which around 280,000 are linked to nothing much at all. This should not surprise, for one does not in fact have to do a great deal in order to find one’s way onto the list. Perhaps you know someone who is already on it? That’s suspicious, right? On you go! Perhaps you have annoyed someone powerful? Oops! On you go! Perhaps you once said something intemperate in public? Better to be safe. On you go! Perhaps you are a Muslim? On. You. Go.

Oh well – “travel at your own risk,” the New York Daily News would likely sniff in response.

Related: Schumer plans for Senate Democrats to “bring a universal background check bill to the floor of the Senate early next year.” Moe Lane responds, “Senate Democrats could have done this in 2009 when they had sixty votes in the Senate, instead of the forty-five they have now.  Of course, if they had we’d probably have sixty votes in the Senate right now and a President who would have cheerfully signed a repeal bill in 2013. What is Senator Schumer’s victory condition, here? Does he even know?”

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