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How Barney Frank helped the 9/11 hijackers
By Samuel L. Blumenfeld
I have just finished reading the 500-page 9/11 Commission Report, and what becomes quite apparent is that the weakest link in our antiterrorism defense system prior to 9/11 was the Immigration and Naturalization Service. It was so weak that it became a revolving door for al-Qaida sleeper terrorists who were issued visas that permitted them to come and go as they pleased. And the one man responsible for creating this revolving door was Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, whose 1989 Frank Amendment to INS procedures paved the way for the 19 hijackers to freely enter this country, take flying lessons, and quietly prepare for their deadly attack with no notice from our intelligence agencies.
Gerald Posner, in his highly informative book, Why America Slept, writes (p. 16):
And that is why the 9/11 hijackers were able to carry out their devastating attack without any notice by our intelligence agencies. The Clinton administration had also set up a "wall" between the CIA and the FBI so that sharing intelligence between them became illegal.
The 19 hijackers were made up of two working groups, the four pilots who would take over the cockpits and fly the planes into the buildings and the fourteen enforcers who would kill the airline pilots and control the passengers.
The hijacker pilots included:
Mohamed Atta, leader of the hijackers, who landed in Newark, New Jersey, from Prague on a visitor's visa issued in Berlin on June 3, 1999. He crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the South Tower of the World Trade Center;
Ziad al-Jarrah, the hijacker pilot of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. He received his pilot's license in Hamburg, Germany, and entered the U.S. on June 27 at Newark;
Marwan al Shehhi, the hijacker pilot of United Airlines Flight 175 which crashed into the North Tower. He arrived in the U.S. at Newark on May 29, 2000 on a tourist visa issued in the United Arab Emirates and cleared customs in less than a half-hour;
and Hani Honjour, hijacker pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 which crashed into the Pentagon. He first entered the U.S. on a student visa in 1996, returned to Saudi Arabia, then traveled from the United Arab Emirates back to the U.S. in December 2000 on a student visa.
The fourteen enforcers had little trouble getting tourist visas to the U.S. Even though they knew no English, exhibited none of the behavior of middle-class tourists, these unmarried young men received their visas without a hitch. The well-oiled revolving door was working just fine.
The 9/11Commission Report states (p. 237):
Thanks to Barney Frank, there was no way that the U.S. government could keep these sleeper members of al-Qaida out. Nor could they be tracked after arrival. They came with a lot of money, rented cars and apartments, took flying lessons, worked out at gyms, and took transcontinental flights to familiarize themselves with the interiors of the planes they would be hijacking and the routines of the pilots and cabin attendants.
Of course, 9/11 changed all that. The country had finally decided that the only way to fight terrorism was to find the terrorists and kill them before they could kill us. The result is that visas to the U.S. are no longer given to individuals suspected of being terrorists. But it took the lives of 3,000 innocent victims before the Frank Amendment could be abolished.
Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education, including, "Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers," "The Whole Language/OBE Fraud," and "Homeschooling: A Parents Guide to Teaching Children." These books are available on Amazon.com.
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