Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Extreme Vetting'

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Extreme Vetting'

Article excerpt

READING FROM a teleprompter, Donald Trump calmly delivered a speech in Ohio on how his administration would address Islamic terrorism. His political base heard much to like, but while Trump's delivery was assuring, his message was not.

There is no debate that radical Islamic terrorism must be stopped. Trump and many Republicans are making too much about whether President Obama uses that exact phrase, while ignoring that it was Obama who ordered the raid resulting in the death of Osama bin Laden. Or that the scheduled U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq was set by Obama's predecessor, President George W. Bush.

The premise of Trump's message -- that the United States will no longer be committed to nation building -- was familiar, because that was the very message that helped elect George W. Bush. In fairness to Bush, world events changed his plan. World events will change and modify the vision of whoever takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2017.

What was of great concern in Trump's speech Monday was his plan to create an "extreme vetting" process for immigrants and also to establish a commission on radical Islam. Trump said America once fought against communism; that reference was chilling because the House hearings on un-American activities that devolved into a witch hunt against people with past affiliations, no matter how slight, to communist-leaning organizations is widely regarded as a dark spot on our history.

We also question his proposed "extreme" ideological tests for immigrants. He offered few specifics, and nothing would stop a would- be terrorist from lying.

U.S. intelligence agencies must do better, but we cannot embrace rhetoric as loose as that of Trump, who said we should fight terrorism "viciously if necessary," when it is said in the context of gaining intelligence from captured suspected terrorists. …

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