Letter: 'Extreme vetting' is a sham--we're already as safe as we can be
All this talk about "extreme vetting" is hypocritical relative to the real world. The U.S. already has a comprehensive vetting process that normally takes 18-24 months before an applicant is cleared for entry. Adding "extreme" does nothing but sound tough. It further unjustly denigrates the competence of the government agencies and personnel involved in the process.
The recent executive order and even the improved version to ban immigrants and refugees from seven, now six, specific Muslim countries is totally unnecessary to protect our country. From who? There has never been a terrorist attack or incident in this country from any person or group identified with the countries named. An earlier warning was issued to travelers going to those countries letting them know there is civil unrest within them, not people coming from there.
Contrast this extensive vetting process for foreign born with the 15 minute background check (if any) to buy weapons or bomb making materials here in the United States. The score tells the story. Zero terrorist attacks resulting in deaths of innocent people from the seven countries named and 100 gun related deaths every day within our borders. In a year, that's 35,000 (100 times more than killed on 9/11) and our congress cannot even pass minimal background check legislation to detect potential "terrorists within."
The slogan "Make America Safe" is often used as an irrefutable reason for unnecessary and disruptive acts such as the immigration ban and adding billions to an already bloated Defense budget. We are already as safe as we can be. there is no absolute "safety" in this widely diversified world population. Conflicts are inevitable. Economic greed, pushing ideologies, quests for power... are permanent in our human fabric.
However, we are already investing more in "keeping us safe" than all other countries in the world combined. We have the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, sheriffs, policemen, security guards ...how many others?
Spending more on traditional weapons of war will do little to keep us safer. They are mostly designed to fight World War Two smarter or win World War Three, likely to end in a nuclear holocaust. Weapons of the future must be designed to counter future threats. Cyber attack resistance, defending our infrastructure, international intelligence gathering, expanded use of robotics and drones have more payoff at less cost than more of the same.
As the world supreme military power, we have engaged in major skirmishes since WWII. Didn't win any of them. Cost Trillions, killed millions.—Lee Purrier, Park Rapids