DHS Refused to Check the Social Media of Visa Applicants, and Such a Search Could have Prevented the San Bernardino Massacre
We have become a country that is bound to our devices. We have to check in wherever we go. We have to update our status or tweet a picture of where we are. It is what a psychiatrist would call megalomania, this incessant need to be at the center of everyone’s attention. Always wanting everyone (even people we would not talk to in public) to know what we are doing. And we do not seem to care about the consequences.
Most colleges and businesses have begun to ask applicants for the password to all their social media. They know that, when applying for school or a job, you will put your best foot forward. So, to get a glimpse of what you actually are like, they look at what you post, Tweet, and Snapchat. But, though this is a common practice, the DHS thought that it would be frowned upon if they did it to people seeking residency in America.
ABC News reports:
Fearing a civil liberties backlash and “bad public relations” for the Obama administration, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson refused in early 2014 to end a secret U.S. policy that prohibited immigration officials from reviewing the social media messages of all foreign citizens applying for U.S. visas, a former senior department official said.
“During that time period immigration officials were not allowed to use or review social media as part of the screening process,” John Cohen, a former acting under-secretary at DHS for intelligence and analysis. Cohen is now a national security consultant for ABC News.
This has to be the most schizophrenic administration in the history of this great nation. It is perfectly okay for the NSA to listen in to our phone conversations. They can even record every conversation we have, just in case. They even had secret subpoena hearings to make it all legal. But with immigrants, we must uphold their right to privacy.
A spokesperson for the DHS, Marsha Catron, told ABC News that months after Cohen left, in the fall of 2014, the Department began three pilot programs to include social media in vetting, but current officials say that it is still not a widespread policy. A review of the broader policy is already underway, the DHS said.
That this is not something they are doing as a normal policy is strange. Everyone knows that these people have been using social media to promote their Nihilist beliefs. They always end up telling us after the fact that the terrorist was all over social media, telling anyone who would listen that they love ISIS. But now, after the largest attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, they are looking into implementing this as policy. A little late boys.
The revelation comes as members of Congress question why U.S. officials failed to review the social media posts of San Bernardino terrorist Tashfeen Malik. She received a U.S. visa in May 2014, despite what the FBI said were extensive social media messages about jihad and martyrdom.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., demanded Sunday that the U.S. immediately initiate a program that would check the social media sites of those admitted on visas.”
“Had they checked out Tashfeen Malik,” the senator said, “maybe those people in San Bernardino would be alive.”
How often do we have to see things such as this before we recognize that this much incompetence is impossible?