White House: Stripping constitutional rights for gun control ‘common sense’

Trey Gowdy

The San Bernardino terror attack on Dec. 2 has caused gun-control activists to go into hyperdrive. President Obama and his administration have now latched on to using terror watch lists — those same lists once derided by his supporters — to strip Americans of constitutionally-protected rights. Yours truly and others have already mentioned just how dangerous of an idea that is, but it was perfectly illuminated Thursday during a House Oversight Committee hearing.

In one corner we have Kelli Burriesci, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Screening Coordination, Office of Policy of the United States Department of Homeland Security. (Quite a mouthful of a title there, so one would hope she would know her stuff…)

In another corner we have South Carolina Rep. Try Gowdy.

Here is how it all unfolded:

Trey Gowdy: Let me ask you a question about the terrorism list. What process is afforded a U.S. citizen — not someone who overstayed a visa, not someone who crossed a border without permission — but an American citizen?  What process is currently afforded an American citizen before they go on that list?

DHS: I’m sorry, there is not a process afforded the citizen prior to getting on the list. There is a process should someone feel they are and unduly placed on the list.

Gowdy: Yes there is. And when I say ‘process,’ I’m actually using half of the term due process, which is a phrase we find in the Constitution — that you cannot deprive people of certain things without due process.

So I understand Mister Goode’s idea, which is wait until you’re right has been taken from you and then you can petition the government to get it back. I understand that that’s his idea. My question is can you name another constitutional right that we have that is chilled until you find out it’s chilled, and then you have to petition the government to get it back? Is that true of the First Amendment?

DHS: Sir, there are strict criteria before any gets put on the list.

Trey Gowdy:That’s not my question ma’am. That is not my question. My question is what process is afforded a United States citizen before that person’s constitutional right is infringed? He’s fine when do it with the Second Amendment. My question is, ‘How about the First?’ How about we not let them set up a website or Google account? How about we not let him join a church until until they can petition the government to get off the list. How about not get a lawyer? How about the Sixth Amendment?

How about you can’t get a lawyer until you petition the government to get off the list? Or my favorite — how about the Eighth amendment? We’re going to subject you to cruel and unusual punishment until you petitioned the government to get off the list. Is there another constitutional right that we treat the same way for American citizens that we do the Second Amendment? Can you think of one? **pause** Can you think of one?

DHS:I don’t have an answer for you, sir.

She. Doesn’t. Have. An. Answer.

Burriesci

How is it possible for someone at the Department of Homeland Security, who is advocating on behalf of stripping American citizens of constitutionally-protected rights, to not have an answer to those questions?

As Rep. Gowdy points out, the Obama administration’s own logic dictates that if the Second Amendment can be stripped without due process, then there is no reason why any other rights can’t be taken as well.

Listen to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s comments on the issue Friday, and then ask yourself how comfortable you are with giving the federal government a blank check to do whatever it wants under the guise of national security.

Mr Earnest said:

“I think it’s common sense, the president believes it’s common sense and it is in our national security interest to prevent those who are deemed by the government ‘too dangerous to board an airplane’ that we should pass a law that prevents those people from purchasing a gun — until such time as they can resolve the concerns the government has about their  potential links to terrorism. There is a process administered by the Department of Homeland Security for those concerns to be considered and resolved. When it comes to gun safety, that seems like a pretty common sense step.

In response to Sen. Rubio, I guess I would simply say: Is he suggesting we should wait until someone who is on the no-fly list walks into a gun[store], purchases a firearm and kills a whole bunch of Americans before we pass a law preventing it? I don’t think that passes the common sense test either.”

To recap:

  • The Department of Homeland Security does not know how many of your constitutional rights can be stripped without due process.
  • President Obama wants to give women like Kelli “I don’t have an answer for you, sir” Burriesci the ability to deny you constitutionally-protected rights (The Second Amendment…for now.)
  • The Department of Homeland Security officials will “consider” not infringing upon your constitutionally-protected rights if you go through its petition process and it feels like changing its mind.

In the same press briefing where Josh Earnest created a giant Straw Man argument for Sen. Rubio, the White House Press Secretary admitted that none of the recent mass shooters were on the no-fly list. He also stammered and stuttered when a reporter pointed out that none of the current gun-control measures being talked about would have prevented the mass shootings in the first place.

Right now the federal government is asking for power that its own officials don’t know how to justify because they know that what they want to do is unconstitutional.

Whether you are a gun owner or not, it should terrify you that the same argument used in favor of stripping Americans of Second Amendment rights without due process can be applied to any right enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. 

If you cannot see the danger this poses to future generations of Americans, then I weep for your children.

Yemen falls into ‘complete chaos’; Josh Earnest goes full ‘Baghdad Bob’

Josh EarnestYears ago the American people made fun of “Baghdad Bob’s” attempts to convince the world that American troops were not closing in on the nation’s capital, even though Marines were only blocks away. Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, the Iraqi Information Minister, was a joke. Today, Americans should hang their head in shame because they have their own Baghdad Bob — White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Yemen is spiraling out of control — its president abandoned ship and U.S. special operations forces had to be evacuated this past weekend — and yet Mr. Earnest still maintained Wednesday that the Obama administration considers its efforts there to be a resounding success.

Mediaite reported March 25:

John Karl: Just a quick one first on Yemen. I know you’re asked this after every time something terrible happens in Yemen, but now that we have, you know, essentially complete chaos in Yemen, does the White House still believe Yemen is the model for a counterterrorism strategy?

Josh Earnest: John, the White House does continue to believe that a successful counter terrorism strategy is one that will build up the capacity of the central government, to have local fighters on the ground take the fight to extremists in their own country. And the United States can serve both to diplomatically offer up some support to central governments. We can offer very tangible support to local security forces in the form of training and equipping. And we can also support the operations of those security forces … whether it’s the deployment of ISR capability or, in the case of Iraq, military airstrikes. And that is a template that has succeeded in mitigating the threat that we face from extremists in places like Yemen and Somalia — and is a template that we believe can succeed in mitigating the threat emanating from Syria as well.

John Karl: That’s astounding. You’re saying that you still see Yemen as a model? Building up a central government, which has now collapsed? A president who has apparently fled the country? Saudi troops massing on one border, the Iranians supporting the rebels? You consider this a model for counterterrorism?”

For those who aren’t up to speed, CNN reported March 23:

The U.S. military has pulled its remaining personnel out of Yemen due to the deteriorating security situation, the U.S. State Department said.

The evacuation involved about 100 Special Operations forces members from the Al Anad airbase, sources in the region familiar with the situation told CNN. The State Department called it a temporary relocation.

Those evacuated, which include Navy SEALs and members of the Army’s Delta Force, were the last American forces stationed in the Arab nation, which is home to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terrorist group also known as AQAP.

The New York Times reported today:

Yemeni fighters and army units allied with the Houthi movement closed in on the last redoubt of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi of Yemen on Wednesday amid news reports that he had fled by boat across the Gulf of Aden, possibly to the tiny African nation of Djibouti. …

The region’s most impoverished country, Yemen has been a central theater of the American fight against Al Qaeda. Along with Syria, Iraq and Libya, Yemen is also now at least the fourth state to veer toward collapse in the aftermath of the Arab Spring revolts.

What makes Yemen’s implosion all the more maddening is that the Obama administration is hoping that with the right media coverage it can make enough people believe that nothing is broken. It’s like Chris Farley in “Tommy Boy” after he broke David Spade’s car door and secretly put it back in place. When Mr. Spade’s character came back to his vehicle and the door fell from its hinges, Farley feigned surprise and asked, “What did you do?”

Tommy BoyThe next president is going to have to deal with the aftermath of Mr. Obama’s disastrous counterterrorism strategy, and when that happens his supporters will act as if it all went downhill the moment their guy left office.

Tommy Boy Chris Farley1The problem is that the world isn’t like “Tommy Boy.” When an administration fails to acknowledge reality in territory controlled by al Qaeda and its ideological allies, eventually it results in dead Americans.

Houthi APJosh Earnest went full Baghdad Bob. You never go full Baghdad Bob, no matter how painful it might be to tell the truth.

Only by telling the truth can we truly figure out how to get a handle on a bad situation. The longer we lie to ourselves, the worse our day of reckoning will be. Sadly, it seems as though the White House’s main concern is making sure that judgment day comes sometime after Mr. Obama has left 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.