Squawking About Illegal Aliens Rights – Silence About Americans` Lives

Squawk, squawk, squawk. The nation`s leading

editorial writers were in full

wing-flapping mode
over Attorney General John
Ashcroft again this week. The latest object of
consternation: an

internal Justice Department report
regarding the
post-September 11 detention of 762 aliens—nearly all of
them here illegally—while they were investigated for
possible ties to terrorism.

Yes, the extensive report highlights a few
significant civil liberties concerns. But as has been
typical of the anti-Ashcroft Chicken Littles, the
newspaper editorial attacks are rife with false claims,
exaggerations – and foolish belittlement of the
continuing national security threats posed by lax
immigration enforcement.

The Los Angeles Times indignantly

that the feds "held most [detainees] for
months without charges."

False. If the Times editorial board had
actually bothered to read page 30 of the inspector
general`s report—rather than rely on the ACLU`s talking
points—it would have seen that the inspector general
found exactly the opposite.[Read
the whole reporter

, in PDF format. Warning: 13.2 Megabytes!]

Almost all of the detainees received written word of
their charges within 30 days or less. In fact, the
report found only 24 cases out of the 762 where it took
more than a month to serve notice of charges. And of
those cases, the inspector general acknowledged that
there were numerous legitimate reasons for delay, such
as logistical disruptions in New York City after

Sept. 11,
including electrical outages, office
shutdowns and

mail service cancellation
that slowed delivery of
charging documents.

As for alleged harassment and abuse of detainees, the
inspector general`s report stated that "we did not
find evidence of a pattern of physical abuse of
September 11 detainees" at one of two facilities

At the other, 12 of 19 detainees claimed they were
subjected to "some form of physical abuse." It
does appear there was at least one brutish guard (since
fired) who acted unjustly and that some detainees
experienced uncomfortable conditions while in
confinement. But none of the allegations of either
physical or verbal abuse of detainees was sufficient to
press criminal charges.

The Washington Post

the Justice Department`s cruelty in holding
"people unfortunate enough to have a problem with
their immigration status."
Page 62 of the inspector
general`s report, for example, cites the purportedly
outrageous delay in releasing an illegal alien who had
come under suspicion because of his employment with a
Middle Eastern airline.

The detainee had been ordered kicked out of the
country way back in 1995 for violating immigration laws,
but defied the order for six years. In October 2001, he
was arrested based on a lead received by the FBI. It
took three and a half months for the FBI to clear him.

What`s more outrageous: that paperwork oversights and
overloaded caseworkers led the FBI to hold this detainee
for a little longer than necessary, or that hundreds of
thousands of such deportation fugitives are considered
by Post editorial writers and their ilk as
"run-of-the-mill immigration cases"
who should be
left alone?

media elite
may remain

stubbornly oblivious
to the

dire consequences
of winking at violations of
immigration laws. The families of the murdered Sept. 11
victims can`t afford that academic luxury.

Yet, under the headline "Mr. Ashcroft`s abuses," the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

piled on
: "Normally, immigrants with minor visa
violations aren`t arrested. But in the wake of Sept. 11,
the Justice Department tried to deny the men bond and
adopted a `hold until cleared` policy."

Do these critics really believe that turning all the
illegal alien detainees

before running thorough criminal and terrorist
background checks would have been the ideal choice in
the aftermath of Sept. 11?

And wouldn`t all these editorial know-it-alls be the
first to complain if Ashcroft allowed the release of a
single detainee who turned out to be a


The squawking never ceases.

Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of

Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores

for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click

for Michelle Malkin`s website.