"Can somebody please tell us how U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano got her job?" asked Canada's National Post in an
editorial April 22. "She appears to be about as knowledgeable about
border issues as a late night radio call-in yahoo."
The National Post's question was triggered by an interview Ms.
Napolitano gave to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) April 20, in
which she claimed some of the 9/11 hijackers entered the U.S. through
Canada. (All 19 came directly to the United States.)
A few weeks earlier, in a speech to the Brookings Institution in
Washington, D.C., Ms. Napolitano said: "One of the things that we need
to be sensitive to is the very real feelings among southern border
states and in Mexico that if things are being done on the Mexican
border, they should also be done on the Canadian border."
There are a few differences between Canada and Mexico which Ms.
"The Mexican border is so porous the U.S. is building a barrier from
Texas to the Pacific to try and stem the flood of illegal immigrants,"
noted National Post reporter Kelly McParland. "It's so dangerous
President Barack Obama is sending hundreds more federal agents, hoping
they can slow the violence spilling over into the U.S. In Ciudad
Juarez, across from El Paso, 1,800 people were killed in 2008. There
were 366 abductions in Phoenix, largely linked to Mexican human
smugglers and narcotics gangs. Recent U.S. intelligence assessments
warn Mexico risks becoming a violence-ridden failed state similar to
Canadians are not flooding illegally into Montana or Michigan. Drug
cartels aren't shooting it out in the streets of Vancouver and Winnipeg.
Though some highly potent marijuana makes its way from British Columbia
to Washington state, drug smuggling across our northern border is
miniscule compared to our southern border. As the National Post's
editors noted: "In Canada, the main problem is congestion resulting from
"Ms. Napolitano's words...have triggered a rare unanimity of opposition
in Canada," noted Lawrence Martin of Toronto's Globe and Mail.
Offending our neighbor and close ally is the worst of Ms. Napolitano's
blunders in her brief tenure, but by no means the first.
In an appearance on CNN on April 19, Ms. Napolitano declared that
entering the United States illegally is not a crime. Section 8, Title
1325 of the U.S. Code begs to differ: "Any alien who (1) enters or
attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as
designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or
inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains
entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading
representation or the willfull concealment of a material fact shall, for
the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or
imprisoned for not more than six months, or both, and, for a subsequent
commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned
not more than two years, or both."
Shouldn't the head of the Department of Homeland Security know that
illegal immigration is illegal?
Shortly after assuming office, Ms. Napolitano banned the use of the word
"terror" to describe events like 9/11, or "terrorist" to describe those
who perpetrated them. Mass casualty attacks would henceforth be known
as "man-caused disasters," she decreed.
But then DHS used the word "terrorist" in a fact-free report approved by
Ms. Napolitano to describe veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan
who might join right wing groups. The American Legion demanded an
apology from Ms. Napolitano, and on April 24 received it: "I offered
(American Legion national commander David Rehbein) my sincere apologies
for any offense to our veterans caused by this report," she said.
Ms. Napolitano was governor of Arizona when President Obama chose her to
head DHS. She had no discernable qualifications for the job, and has
demonstrated repeatedly she lacks the judgment for such an important and