Author Topic: Q: What's the source of all American "anti-terror" laws? A: 13 Jewish groups  (Read 782 times)

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Offline bluegrass

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MetroWest Jewish News
East Orange, New Jersey
March 28, 1996 
Editorial

Playing catch-up, the House of Representatives this week inserted into an immigration bill a measure that it had removed from the anti-terrorism legislation the previous week.

The measure, which streamlines deportation proceedings for accused terrorists living here, was part of a broad slew of powers removed from the anti-terrorism bill after the National Rifle Association announced that it would "score" the vote -- that is, record the vote and hold it for or against members of Congress next fall, when they are all up for reelection.

Officials from the Anti-Defamation League, central address for anti-terrorist activities for the organized Jewish community, watched helplessly as the House GOP -- minus most New Jersey Republicans and with some pro-gun Democrats -- voted, in the language of the ADL, to "eviscerate" the anti-terrorism legislation. Score: NRA one, ADL nothing.

That made the NRA happy, but left the GOP vulnerable to being outflanked by President Bill Clinton and the Democrats on terrorism, which, after the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City, is increasingly seen as a form of violent crime, not a far-away "foreign policy" issue. The first anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing is April 19. Without any congressional action, Dems will stick the "soft on crime" label on Republicans and Clinton will "Willy Horton" the GOP for putting the NRA's interests above the safety of most Americans. Hence this week's move.

In addition to deportation, there are four other provisions Jewish groups want put back when House and Senate conferees meet to hammer out a final version of the anti-terrorism bill. Led by ADL, 13 Jewish groups (including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, American Jewish Congress and American Jewish Committee) are pressing Congress to come up with a bill that also imposes criminal penalties for financial support to designated terrorist groups; requires that financial institutions freeze assets held by these groups; expands restrictions on access to the U.S.; facilitates exclusion and deportation of aliens who are representatives and leaders of designated terrorist groups; creates new federal jurisdiction to prosecute acts of terrorism carried out domestically, as well as conspiracies here to commit terrorism abroad; and establishes an FBI counter-terrorism center.

All this is too much for those House Republicans who share the radical right's paranoia about federal power and who increasingly sound like the radical left of the late '60s.

The NRA's point man through all this was Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), a freshman from Marietta, just outside Atlanta. Barr is one of the House conferees, which will allow him to continue to push his line. Barr was also the NRA's point man for the House's shameful repeal of the assault weapons ban.

Barr and the NRA objected to the anti-terrorism bill's provisions that would expand authorization for wiretaps, give the FBI access to credit reports and hotel and telephone records and let the executive branch designate foreign organizations as terrorist and forbid their fund raising in this country.

Groups concerned with civil liberties, including AJCommittee, AJCongress and NJCRAC, strongly backed the bill, but wanted the provision limiting habeas corpus appeals stricken. Instead of a bill that would give us the best of both worlds -- maintaining civil liberties and fighting terrorism -- Barr brought us a worst-of-both-worlds bill -- keeping the probably unconstitutional habeas corpus limits, but eliminating tough counter-terror provisions.

There may not be too many Jews in Oklahoma City, but the Mideast link to the World Trade Center and U.S. fund raising by the mad bombers of Hamas created a Jewish and pro-Israel interest in anti-terror legislation. (Later this month, ADL is bringing Israeli teenagers who survived the recent Hamas bombs to Oklahoma City.)

Lest you think that Barr is opposed to Jewish interests, think again. It's just that when Jewish interests were up against the NRA, Barr preferred the right to bear arms to making the right move against Hamas.

In fact, the same Bob Barr who led the fight to gut the anti-terrorism bill signed the AJCommittee's anti-terrorism full-page ad in The New York Times: "We stand with Israel -- in grief, in solidarity, in our resolve to fight terrorism." Some resolve.

And the same Bob Barr who led the fight to repeal the assault weapons ban was the principal witness in last week's House hearings on Louis Farrakhan's grand tour of the crowned heads of terrorism -- Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Libya.

As chair of the House GOP firearms legislation task force, Barr held hearings on Waco and Ruby Ridge with friends of the militia groups like Reps. Helen Chenoweth of Idaho and Steve Stockman of Texas -- targeting not the right-wing loonies or the Branch Davidians but federal law enforcement agencies.

At the same time, Barr signed the AJCommittee ad and testified against Farrakhan. So is he good or bad for the Jews?

Barr is a friend, but his friendship has limits. The same could be said of someone from the other side of the aisle: Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ Dist. 10), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Payne is a friend -- if you judge by his continued backing of foreign aid to Israel. (For Payne, who has an interest in African affairs, that's not as easy as it looks. Africa gets very little foreign aid while Israel gets the largest single slice.)

But like Barr's, Payne's friendship has its limits. When Jewish interests (and American, as we see it) conflict with the prevailing dogma in his constituency, Payne goes where he imagines his voters to be.

For example, Payne criticized the Farrakhan hearings, asking why there were no hearings about the fires set in black churches in the south. To be sure, federal law enforcement agencies should look into the spate of apparently racist arson, but what has that to do with Farrakhan? Payne's line was reminiscent of the communists in the 1930s who, when asked about Stalin's excesses, would routinely respond, "And what about the Scotsboro boys?" -- referring to seven blacks whose defense became a cause celebre on the left when they were accused of raping two white women.

Payne said Farrakhan "doesn't offend me," but his best line came after former Reagan administration official Michael Ledeen testified that Clinton made a "profound error" when he urged people to focus on the "faces of the people" at the Million Man March rather than on Farrakhan's words.

"I take offense for all of the people who participated," Payne replied.

"Words are important and we have to pay attention to words," said Ledeen.

"You don't even have a clue," said Payne. "You missed the whole thing."

At least Payne's apologies for Farrakhan fell short of Rep. Cynthia McKinney's. The Georgia Democrat said the hearings portended a return to "the McCarthy era" and that "Louis Farrakhan is not above the law, but neither is Louis Farrakhan beneath the protection of the Constitution." The problem with McCarthy was that the infamous demagogue fabricated accusations of communist infiltration; but repudiating McCarthyism doesn't vindicate communism. The feds should monitor radical extremists of the left and right, black and white. As we read the Constitution, we find no protection for those who choose to work with foreign terrorist states against America. Farrakhan has not denied he's taking big money from Libya, but says he's an agent of God, not a foreign government.

So if you're looking for Congress to clamp down on Hamas, you can rely on Payne. But if you want a Congress that goes after Farrakhan, you can rely on Barr. The differences between the two not only shed light on the state of anti-terrorism legislation and the feds' response to Farrakhan, but underscore the strengths -- and limits -- of American Jewish political influence in 1996.
No more dead goyim.

Offline D_Joyce

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"The problem with McCarthy was that the infamous demagogue fabricated accusations of communist infiltration; but repudiating McCarthyism doesn't vindicate communism."[/i]

History is vindicating McCarthy, much to the chagrin of the Bolshevik Jews, yet "columnist," those paragons of "truth," still cloud the issue with their bias against truth when it comes to implicating Jews in chicanery.
"No damn man kills me and lives." -- General Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA
"Never be haughty to the humble or humble to the haughty." -- President Jefferson Davis, CSA
"The contest is not between Us and Them, but between Good and Evil, and if those who would fight Evil adopt the ways of Evil, Evil wins."