Sitting on my home office desk is one of my most treasured possessions. It's a silver medallion inscribed "United in Memory: September 11, 2001," with a proud American eagle on one side. On the other side, the memento depicts workers at the Pentagon saluting as they unfurl a large U.S. flag from the Pentagon rooftop.
The medal was given to me by Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77. Jihadi hijackers who exploited our joke of an immigration system crashed the plane into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, while screaming "Allahu Akbar!" I look at the keepsake every day before I write to be reminded of this nation's strength, courage and perseverance.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon released video images of American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the military headquarters building. The Defense Department released the images, recorded by a Pentagon security camera, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Washington, D.C.-based Judicial Watch.
I know the White House didn't intend it, but the Pentagon 9/11 video release underscores why President Bush's push for a massive "guest worker"/enforcement-later approach to border security is such a betrayal of the memory of those who died in the attacks.
When Sept. 11 hijackers Hani Hanjour and Khalid Almihdhar needed help getting fraudulent government-issued photo IDs before embarking on their suicide mission, they hopped into a van and headed to the parking lot of a 7-Eleven store in Falls Church, Va. That's where scores of illegal alien day laborers ply bogus identity documents to other illegal aliens from around the world.
As I've noted many times, I visited this 7-Eleven while reporting on the national security-immigration nexus. It is a stone's throw from the Pentagon, where Hanjour and Almihdhar deliberately drove Flight 77 into the ground. The parking lot is still to this day often filled with "undocumented" day laborers whom President Bush never fails to extol for doing the jobs Americans won't do (or "aren't doing," as he now hedges). Local cops I have interviewed suspect that most of these men are here illegally and that they continue to facilitate trade in fake identification documents. But nobody arrests them. We are, as the Million Illegal Alien Marches have demonstrated, a de facto sanctuary nation.