The press reports are horrifying: 95 year-old women humiliated; children molested; disabled people abused; men and women subjected to unwarranted groping and touching of their most private areas; involuntary radiation exposure. If the perpetrators were a gang of criminals, their headquarters would be raided by SWAT teams and armed federal agents. Unfortunately, in this case the perpetrators are armed federal agents. This is the sorry situation ten years after the creation of the Transportation Security Administration.
The requirement that Americans be forced to undergo this appalling treatment simply for the "privilege" of traveling in their own country reveals much about how the federal government feels about our liberties. The unfortunate fact that we put up with this does not speak well for our willingness to stand up to an abusive government.
Our enemies have made no secret of their desire to use weapons of mass destruction to attack the United States.
Last year, the Committee on Homeland Security received testimony from former Senators Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Jim Talent (R-Mo.), the Commissioners of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism (WMD Commission). At that hearing, the Commissioners noted that, “it is more likely than not that there will be ... a weapon of mass destruction used someplace on earth by a terrorist group before the end of the year 2013 and that it is more likely that the weapons will be biological rather than nuclear.”
The following is the prepared opening statement of Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) for today's hearing on "The Threat of Muslim Radicalization in U.S. Prisons."
Today we hold the second in a series of hearings on radicalization in the Muslim American community; specifically, on the important issue of the threat of Islamic radicalization in U.S. prisons.
I welcome our distinguished panel of witnesses. They have first-hand insights into this problem, and we appreciate their willingness to share their experiences with the Committee.
This issue of Islamic radicalization in U.S. prisons is not new. In fact, this is the third congressional hearing on this problem in recent years. It is a hearing which is necessary because the danger remains real and present, especially because of al Qaeda's announced intention to intensify attacks within the United States.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in the following speech on the Senate floor Tuesday that the two foreign fighters held by law enforcement in Kentucky who admitted to conducting attacks against U.S. soldiers and Marines in Iraq should be sent to the secure detention facility at Guantanamo Bay rather than being tried in a federal courtroom in Kentucky.
Since the attacks on 9/11 and the very beginning of the War on Terror in 2001, most Americans have understood that we could no longer passively wait for the next enemy attack.
In order to defeat, dismantle, and disrupt al Qaeda, our intelligence, military and law enforcement officials would have to work together to defeat terrorist cells whether they’re in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan or here in our own backyards.
On Friday, I joined fellow congressman Gus Bilirakis, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security’s Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communication Subcommittee, in convening a field hearing in Clearwater Florida to hear from the frontlines on emergency management and hurricane response. It was helpful to hear from these hometown heroes and talk to residents of hurricane country. Together with state and local officials, they emphasized what we already know too well - deep cuts to homeland security grants put our communities at risk. I trust their assessment because they, not Washington officials, are really the ones who respond when disaster strikes.