Kevin E. Foley’s article calling attention to the support given by Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney to the Republican House majority’s bill preposterously titled American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015 is a tribute to the news journal he shepherds. Maloney’s vote for this abominable, unAmerican bill not only wounds himself but wounds the democracy he is sworn to support and the party he claims as his own.
The bill’s purpose is simply to embarrass the president in his effort to admit refugees fleeing the horrors of ISIS. For Maloney to lend his name to this effort is disgraceful, something I expect he will discover when the polls open next fall. It flies in the face of the welcoming openness on which this country of refugees was built. FBI Director James Comey has testified (1) that the bill will make it impossible to allow any refugees into the U.S., and (2) that the FBI has in place an effective process to vet all refugees.
In spurning these highly informed opinions, Maloney exhibits not an exercise in courage but exactly the opposite, a cowardly dance to tunes played by Trump and others of his ilk.
Foley’s story on Rep. Maloney’s hasty marriage with House Republicans rightly points to the Congressman’s calculation of political capital he might accrue for use in the 2016 electoral games. Ever since the mendacity at the highest levels of government justified the invasion of Iraq 12 war-long years ago, any time a politician invokes “security” for any purpose whatsoever you’d do well to grab your wallet and those copies of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights you keep posted on your fridge and head for Bull Hill.
On second thought, before you go, read the other lead, about Joey Giachinta’s accidental death while he was servicing his forklift. It’s estimated that, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an American is 271 times more likely to die from a workplace accident than terrorism.
As for the assurance that this bill would only add the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence on to “the stringent screening that is already in place for refugees, with wait times approaching two years,” one wonders what our Mother of Exiles, standing with her lamp of welcome in New York’s harbor, would say: “Give me your tired, your poor, your absolutely certifiably guaranteeably harmless huddled masses, yearning to be … rich”? Rather, I think if she could hang her head, it would be in shame, and Congressman Maloney should do likewise.