Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the Senate today:
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., pressed Holder to say whether he believed he had the authority to release someone with terrorist training into the United States. The attorney general did not directly answer Shelby’s question, but said the government doesn’t have any plans to release terrorists.
“With regard to those who you would describe as terrorists, we would not bring them into this country and release them, anyone we would consider to be a terrorist,” Holder said. [emphasis added mine]
What does the law say? It says those who trained as terrorists or associated with terrorists are inadmissible into the United States. But Attorney General Eric Holder says it is a matter of judgment and we know his recommendation will have great influence on President Obama.
In 1999, then DAG Eric Holder released known terrorists free in the United States, by way of pardon recommendations for FALN terrorists that were approved by President Clinton. Many Members of Congress back then, from both sides of the aisle, indicated those pardons were motivated by politics, to help his boss help his wife get elected to the Senate. This January, AG-nominee Holder admitted he “had made some mistakes” yet he also said those pardons were “reasonable.” We have good reason to question his judgment and motivations.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has twice written Holder and not received an answer.
I again reiterate my questions from last month and ask that I be given the same courtesy and dialogue you provided foreign government officials in Europe last week. Just four years ago, Congress enacted into law a prohibition on the admission of foreign terrorists and trained militants into this country. Accordingly, Congress is entitled to know what legal authority, if any, you believe the administration has to admit into the United States Uighurs and/or any other detainee who participated in terrorist-related activities covered by Section 1182(a)(3)(B). [emphasis added mine]
As you know, the current administration, including President Obama, has repeatedly criticized the Bush administration for legal decisions and authorizations that were made in efforts to defend the national security of this country. It would be both reckless and hypocritical for this administration to follow this criticism by acting in derogation of the law to permit an action that could endanger national security.
Knowing what we know now, the 19 hijackers would not have been legally admitted into the United States on their way to 9/11.
That is the point about the Uighurs. They trained in the same place as al Qaeda for the same purpose and hold the same ideology: Afghanistan, terrorism, and violent jihadism. If Eric Holder will not measure the Uighurs by those facts and standards, there is good cause to question his authority under the law and personal judgment.