Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is proud to have voted to gut the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution. In a press release dated today, McCain praises himself for voting in favor of a Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) amendment to prohibit Americans from purchasing firearms if they are on the US “terror watchlist.”
I believe deeply that we can and must do more to keep guns out the hands of dangerous terrorists who seek to harm us…
While no one would disagree with McCain’s above statement, the fact is that individuals appearing on any federal watchlist have not been found guilty of being “dangerous terrorists.” They are not even terrorist suspects. In fact we have no idea why they are on the list or how they got there, as the process of getting on — and getting off — the list is secret.
How many people are on the watch list? The US government won’t say.
“You know, we don’t provide those exact numbers,” replied US Attorney General Loretta Lynch when asked recently. A range at least? “Well, as I say, we don’t provide those exact numbers,” Lynch repeated.
We do know that in the mid-2000s it was reported that as many as 30,000 people are mistakenly on the terror watch list. People like the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Or 8-Year-Old Mikey Hicks. Or CNN Reporter Drew Griffin (who found himself on the list after he did a series of reports critical of the TSA).
These people are not “dangerous terrorists.” They are normal Americans. But even those on the list for suspected terrorist sympathies have not been convicted of a crime. They have not had their right to due process before being deprived of life, liberty, or property. They have had no evidence presented against them nor have they had the opportunity to face their accuser. In fact they are not allowed to know that they have even been accused.
While the discussion surrounding firearms is important, it is clear that individual actors are inspired by the foreign terrorist ideology that ISIL espouses from its physical sanctuaries in the Middle East that are a result of a failed foreign policy and the absence of strategy from this Administration. To combat this challenge, we must cut radical Islamic extremism off at the source in Syria and Iraq, and that can only happen when the Administration finally develops and implements a strategy to defeat ISIL.
It is interesting that the Senator calls for cutting radical Islamic extremism off at its source in Syria while at the same time he is cavorting with extremist groups inside Syria and calling for more arms to be delivered to rebels even though more than 60 percent of these weapons end up in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaeda.
Perhaps if McCain really wanted to do something about radical Islamist extremism in the Middle East he would simply butt out of the affairs of others, zip his lips, and stop visiting with terrorists.
This article was published by RonPaul Institute.