Austin Hill

There might be members of the Al Qaeda terrorist network are here in the United States. But it’s difficult to know for sure.

On Monday October 12, U.S. Secretary Of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano disclosed to the Bloomberg TV network that “it is fair to say there are individuals in the United States who ascribe to al-Qaeda-type beliefs…”

That’s interesting. But what does it mean?

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Are “members of the Al Qaeda terrorist group” here? Or are they people who merely “ascribe to Al Qaeda-type beliefs,” but they aren’t actually members of the Al Qaeda? And if the people that Secretary Napolitano was referring to are not members of Al Queda, and yet they think and believe like Al Qaeda, does this mean that there is a new, separate terrorist group being spawned?

According to Bloomberg, the bulk of Secretary Napolitano’s remarks were about “increased cooperation” between federal policing agencies, and local law enforcement. She also indicated that because of the Obama Administration’s placement of more agents along the U.S. – Mexico border, our nation’s enforcement of immigration laws has improved. “One of the things that has changed is that there has been a lot of enforcement at the Southwest border,” she claimed. “It’s just not the same border.”

Yet in the same interview, Secretary Napolitano off-handedly remarked that people “who ascribe to Al Qaeda-type beliefs” are here. Not a word about how “they” got here – did they enter through Canada or Mexico, did they arrive on a commercial aircraft, did they sneak in on a cargo ship? People “who ascribe to Al Qaeda-type beliefs” are just here.

What, really, is Secretary Napolitano intending to say? And how are we to understand her?

The timing of Ms. Napolitano’s remarks was curious. It was less than a week prior, on October 6, that Napolitano announced new plans for the detention of illegal immigrants. While downplaying the term “illegal immigrant,” Ms. Napolitano nonetheless told reporters on a conference call that ““we run a huge detention system through (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). It’s a huge range of detainees, from those who have criminal records and need to be housed in a prison-like system and those who have no criminal background and who have come to this country only seeking asylum.” Napolitano went on to explain that, those who are “in the detention system” who have “no criminal records” will, in the future, be “facilitated” in renovated hotels, nursing homes and other residential facilities. Those, on the other hand, who do have “criminal records,” will be detained in prisons and jails.

The Napolitano nuance is extraordinary. It appears that she was saying that those illegal immigrants who have “no criminal record” will be “facilitated” and “supervised” in unconventional locations, whereas those illegal immigrants who have “criminal records” will be regarded as actual criminals. The obvious question here is, of course, “has a person who enters our country illegally, by definition, already broken the law, and therefore established a criminal record?” Yet Secretary Napolitano seems to be distinguishing between mere “illegal immigrants” (those whom she deems to have “no criminal record”) and “REALLY-illegal immigrants” (those who, for her, do have a “criminal record”).

Secretary Napolitano’s nuances and slick non-statement statements are consistent with her conduct as Governor of Arizona. She was the Governor who once stated that she would be “open” to a state bill authorizing driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants – not quite stating that she “wanted” such a policy, but lending her tacit support to the idea – but then fell silent on the issue when it became a political liability for her (she never really rejected it outright, but nonetheless stopped talking about it). She was also the Governor who, when standing for re-election, dispatched the Arizona National Guard to the U.S. – Mexico border, yet declined to authorize the troops to subdue people crossing the border illegally.

Now, she seems to be admitting that some potentially very dangerous people are in our country, yet won’t straight-forwardly call them “Al Qaeda terrorists.” This is our nation’s top officer for Homeland Security, who apparently won’t communicate clearly about the actual security threats, and what our government is doing to address them. Like President Obama and so many others in his Administration, she seems pre-occupied with “campaigning,” and “selling us” on all the great new programs she’s introduced.

Given the conspiracy hoopla over the years about former President Bush “allowing” 9-11 to happen, it’s noteworthy that some of the 9-11 hijackers actually did pilot training and operated a terrorist cell in Arizona while Napolitano was both serving as her state’s “top cop” (state Attorney General), and putting together her first gubernatorial campaign. Did Attorney General Napolitano miss some important intelligence data back then, because she was busy campaigning?

And why, exactly, is the Obama Administration doing so much “selling” and “campaigning” through the Department Homeland Security? Is it about getting Obama re-elected in 2012 – or is about something that is much more imminent?


Austin Hill

Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.