All that is bad enough, but the bombshell -- as reported by Lajeunesse and confirmed in the congressional report -- is the role being played by Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. It's well known that the oil-rich Marxist in Caracas has been busy spreading his anti-American "Bolivarian Revolution" throughout our southern hemisphere. But this investigation now concludes that Chavez's nefarious deeds go well beyond a weapons-buying spree and efforts to manipulate elections in Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.
According to the congressional report, "Venezuela is providing support --including identity documents -- that could prove useful to radical Islamic groups The Venezuelan government has issued thousands of cedulas, the equivalent of Social Security cards, to people from places such as Cuba, Colombia and Middle Eastern nations that host foreign terrorist organizations." These documents can be used to obtain Venezuelan passports and American visas, which in turn allow the holder to elude immigration checks and enter the United States.
Nothing in the report comes as a surprise to Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.). His new book, "In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security," is full of anecdotal information that substantiates the charges made by the House Homeland Security Committee staff. Tancredo notes that a group of Pakistanis were recently apprehended at the U.S.-Mexican border with fraudulent Venezuelan documents.
Somehow, most of this has eluded the crack journalists who purport to write and report "news" for our so-called mainstream media. Even Agence France-Presse took notice that al Qaeda had established a "clandestine travel service" south of the border to help move operatives into the United States. Though American pundits have been quick to accuse citizen organizations like the Minutemen of being "vigilantes" or worse, the people with the poison pens have paid scant attention to the realities contained in this report -- most of which was already in the public domain.
Doubters who cannot accept how essential it is to plug the holes in our southern frontier should read this report and wake up to a clear and present danger. For those who still have trouble understanding, the concluding lines of Section III on Page 32 should suffice: "Given the ever-present threat posed by al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations -- a threat that has been underscored by the recent events in London and the vulnerability of our borders -- the need for immediate action to enforce our borders could not be more apparent."
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.