Syria Planned Wave Of Political Assassinations In Lebanon

The Lebanese newspaper Al-Mustaqbal reports today that Lebanon has uncovered a network of assassins in their nation, trained and funded by Syria, that targeted three dozen Lebanese lawmakers. To no one’s great surprise, the network exploited Palestinian refugee camps as training centers and had connections to a Fatah splinter group (via It Shines For All):

The Lebanese security forces exposed a network which planned to assassinate 36 senior anti-Syrian Lebanese officials, the Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal reported Wednesday morning. …
According to the report, the investigation revealed that the network trained in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and planned to execute a plot initiated by the Syrian government to assassinate 36 senior Lebanese officials.
According to the newspaper, the Syrian intelligence appointed a group belonging to the Fatah-Intifada organization to implement the plan. …
The detainees, a Syrian and a Saudi, noted that they were part of a 200-member network which planned to execute the plan. The two were arrested by Lebanese security forces after they were suspected of a criminally-motivated murder at the al-Badawi refugee camp. According to the report, the investigation revealed that the Syrian government, through this plan, carried out the most blatant violation of United Nations Resolutions 1559 and 1701 and interfered in internal Lebanese issues.

The newspaper reporting this belongs to the Hariri family, the same as Rafiq Hariri, assassinated by the Syrians. Without a doubt, the Hariris have a pressing interest in assassinations, and this may help save lives, if proven out. The capture of the two operatives of the network, a Syrian and a Saudi, tends to bolster the report.
Syria has a big problem now. They had the benefit of Hezbollah’s survival against Israel for some momentum in their efforts to twist internal Lebanese politics. However, Nasrallah’s power play over the last two weeks and the assassination of Pierre Gemayel have the Lebanese outraged over interference from Damascus. They have already marched in the streets, and now with this covert operation exposed, Lebanese democracy activists will once again have the momentum to go after Hezbollah and end Syrian hegemony.
This once again shows the folly of engagement with the Syrian regime. They have been one of the biggest supporters of terrorism for many years, as their relationship with Hezbollah clearly demonstrates. Now they have been caught trying to assassinate dozens more Lebanese officials, an act of war for which Syrian should suffer severe consequences. What exactly do we have to discuss with these evil dictators, except the terms of their surrender?

Perhaps Olmert Is Learning, And Maybe We’re Not

A day after offering a broad, if familiar, view of a path for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the Olmert government now signals that they will stop offering any more concessions until Hamas returns Gilad Shalit from captivity. All of Israel’s offers of opened commerce and prisoner returns will remain on hold until they have Shalit:

There is unlikely to be any additional progress in the suddenly rejuvenated diplomatic process until Cpl. Gilad Shalit is released, a senior diplomatic source said Tuesday, on the eve of a visit by Egyptian Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.
Suleiman met last week in Cairo with Damascus-based Hamas head Khaled Mashaal, who Israel believes holds the key to Shalit’s fate.
The official hinted that expanding the cease-fire from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank would also be dependent on the release of Shalit, who has been held since June 25.
“Until the Shalit issue is solved, it will now be difficult to move forward with any confidence-building steps with the Palestinians beyond the decision Sunday to move the IDF out of Gaza,” the official said.
According to the official, the Palestinian failure to release Shalit is holding up a large release of Palestinian security prisoners and other steps that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert mentioned in his Sde Boker address Monday, such as removing road blocks, allowing more freedom of movement and opening border crossings. Olmert said in his speech that he would even release prisoners “serving long-term sentences.”

This new tenacity comes a little late. Apparently, Olmert has agreed in principle to allow the Badr Brigade to return from Jordan to Gaza to assist Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah gain some control where Hamas has its power base. Washington gave its support to the plan when Olmert visited the US two weeks ago, which will allow 1200 “troops” formerly under the command of Yasser Arafat to operate within the territories.
I’m not sure why the US wants more terrorists in Gaza, but it seems we do. The thinking must be that Abbas is a partner for peace … and therefore he needs more terrorists in order to prevail over Hamas and the gang war in progress in Gaza. Perhaps we believe that Fatah represents a much better hope for a negotiated peace, but so far, that has not been demonstrated by any evidence at all. In fact, we have seen this week that Fatah continues to actively participate in terrorism against Israel by shooting Qassams from Gaza into Sderot, giving Islamic Jihad a break from its launcher duties.
Is this more Baker-Scowcroft realpolitik? Or is it just another case of wishful thinking on the capacity for peace from current Palestinian leadership? If we’ve reduced ourselves to having to choose which flavor of terrorism we’ll tolerate, we have dramatically lowered our expectations on the war against terrorists, probably to the point of losing entirely.
Olmert, for once, provides an example of firmness on the issue. He will not allow the Badr Brigade to move into Gaza nor any of his other offers to take effect until the Palestinians return Shalit, unharmed. That might be the start of a more realistic look at the futility of appeasement, a lesson that the West needs to learn all over again, it would seem.

NSA Program Has Impressive Safeguards

After all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the last year regarding the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program on suspected terrorists abroad and their calls into the United States, the agency has now formally briefed the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board on the program. Members now claim that the government has worked hard to protect the privacy of American citizens:

After a delay of more than a year, a government board appointed to guard Americans’ privacy and civil liberties during the war on terror has been told the inner workings of the government’s electronic eavesdropping program.
Members say they were impressed by the protections. …
Board members said that they were impressed by the safeguards the government has built into the NSA’s monitoring of phone calls and computer transmissions, and that they wished the administration could tell the public more about them to ease distrust.
“If the American public, especially civil libertarians like myself, could be more informed about how careful the government is to protect our privacy while still protecting us from attacks, we’d be more reassured,” said Lanny Davis , a former Clinton White House lawyer who is the board’s lone liberal Democrat.

The hysteria surrounding this program might finally start receding, as long as these remarks get some significant play. After all, having a former Clinton aide wish he could reveal more about a secret program to reassure people of the good work done by it rather than to torpedo the Bush administration should raise some eyebrows among the paranoid. Former Reagan counsel Alan Raul went even further, telling John Solomon that he believes that the public underestimates the level of concern and dedication for civil liberties in the federal government.
Once again, the public’s support for a tough but necessary program has been reinforced by its careful execution by the NSA. This should not surprise anyone, as even the New York Times acknowledged that they had no information that the agency broke any laws or violated anyone’s civil rights when they broke the story. All they had were “concerns” about the program’s legality from their anonymous tipsters.

We Love You Alcee, Especially When You Leave

It looks like House Democrats have convinced Nancy Pelosi that appointing an impeached federal judge to chair the Intelligence Committee gives them a rather bad start on cleaning up Dodge. Alcee Hastings did not care much for Pelosi’s decision to pass him over for the slot, vowing to “haters” that he’ll be back:

In a decision that could roil Democratic unity in the new House, Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi passed over Rep. Alcee Hastings Tuesday for the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee.
Hastings, currently the No. 2 Democrat on the panel, had been aggressively making a case for the top position, supported by members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Critics pointed out that he had been impeached when he was a federal judge and said naming him to such a sensitive post would be a mistake just as the Democrats take over House control pledging reforms.
“I am obviously disappointed with this decision,” Hastings, D-Fla., said in a statement thanking his supporters. “I will be seeking better and bigger opportunities in a Democratic Congress.” … In a sign of the bitterness that has surrounded the debate, Hastings closed his statement by saying: “Sorry, haters, God is not finished with me yet.”

The Congressional Black Caucus has not given any comment about the matter as yet, but they will not be happy with Pelosi’s backpedal on the chair assignment. Three members of their caucus have sewn up chair assignments to committees, most notably Charles Rangel on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. That will not mollify them, as they have publicly backed Hastings for this slot, and already had some issues with Pelosi over her request to William Jefferson to step down from his committee assignments while under investigation by the DoJ for corruption.
They could threaten to abstain from the vote for Speaker, which would give the GOP an opportunity to win the gavel as the minority. The CBC has enough votes to strip the Democrats of their majority. It would be a bad idea for all concerned, though. A Republican speaker might give the GOP a thrill, but it would be a headache for the House, and would touch off a session of recriminations and backbiting that would dwarf the nastiness of the last three electoral cycles. We saw this in California when Willie Brown kept the gavel through some machinations with the razor-thin GOP majority, and this would be worse.
As for Alcee, we can only laugh at his suggestion that “haters” kept him from the chair. His own party is the one who impeached him, with members of the CBC fully supporting the action, especially founder John Conyers. When they ran on a clean government platform, he had to know that offering a disgraced judge removed for bribery for one of the important leadership positions would — or should — be a non-starter. No one hates Alcee … we especially love him when he leaves.
UPDATE AND BUMP: It won’t be Jane Harman either, according to the Washington Post (via Michelle Malkin):

House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has decided against naming either Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House intelligence committee, or Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (Fla.), the panel’s No. 2 Democrat, to chair the pivotal committee next year.
The decisions came despite lobbying by conservative Democrats on Harman’s behalf and a full-throttled campaign by Hastings to overcome the stigma of the 1988 impeachment that drove him from his federal judgeship.
The fight over the top spot on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has exposed the kind of factional politics that bedeviled House Democrats before they were swept from control in 1994. Harman, a moderate, strong-on-defense “Blue Dog” Democrat, had angered liberals with her reluctance to challenge the Bush administration’s use of intelligence. Hastings, an African American, was strongly backed by the Congressional Black Caucus but was ardently opposed by the Blue Dogs, who said his removal from the bench disqualifies him from such a sensitive post.
Complicating the matter was Pelosi’s relationship with black Democrats. Earlier this year, she enraged the Black Caucus by removing one of its members, Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.), from the Ways and Means Committee after court documents revealed that federal investigators looking into allegations of bribery had found $90,000 in cash neatly bundled in his freezer.
Instead of picking Harman or Hastings, Pelosi will look for a compromise candidate, probably Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.), but possibly Rep. Norman D. Dicks (D-Wash.), a hawkish member of the Appropriations defense subcommittee, or Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), a conservative African American with experience on the intelligence committee. To entice Harman to run in 2000 for a House seat she had vacated for an unsuccessful bid for the California governorship, the Democratic leadership shunted Bishop off the committee — another perceived slap at black lawmakers.

First, we should acknowledge that the decision to pass over Hastings is one of the few smart moves the Democratic leadership has made since winning the midterms, as Liberal Goodman suggests in the comments. However, just as with Pelosi’s endorsement of John Murtha in the leadership elections, the failure of Hastings puts a big dent in her perceived authority within the caucus and also still calls her judgment into question for letting the situation spiral out of control. Now she has a bigger problem on her hands, facing a revolt from two different factions of her caucus without ever having put her hand on the Speaker’s gavel.
Reappointing Sanford Bishop to the committee and having him take the chair would appear to be the best possible solution. He’s a member of the CBC and, at least according to the Post’s description, ideologically compatible with the Blue Dogs. It would give Pelosi a way to assuage bruised feelings within both factions.
The Post article contains more information about Hastings and the acquittal in the criminal trial than the press reported before the elections. The House impeachment found that Hastings lied repeatedly at his trial, misrepresenting the facts about phone calls and other key evidence which later were exposed as falsehoods. That played a key role in the impeachment effort, as Conyers told the Senate as he presented the case for removal that the civil-rights effort did not exist to exchange one form of judicial corruption for another. It makes for fascinating reading, and had the Post bothered to report these details before the election, it’s likely that Pelosi would never have remained as obstinate about Hastings as she did.
As for Harman, she won’t get the chair under any circumstances. The whispers around the campfire paint her as a harpie who drove away good staffers from the Intelligence committee. That follows the aborted attempt to cast her as a target of a federal corruption investigation, an allegation proven false. However, it indicates that Harman probably doesn’t have the support of enough Democrats to force Pelosi to retreat entirely.

Bush Can’t Designate Terror Groups: Judge

A federal judge barred the Bush administration from specifying organizations that support terrorism for the purpose of freezing their assets and keeping funds from terrorists. US District Court Judge Audrey Collins blocked the administration from freezing the assets of the PKK and the Tamil Tigers, two rather obvious terrorist groups:

A federal judge struck down President Bush’s authority to designate groups as terrorists, saying his post-Sept. 11 executive order was unconstitutionally vague, according to a ruling released Tuesday.
The Humanitarian Law Project had challenged Bush’s order, which blocked all the assets of groups or individuals he named as “specially designated global terrorists” after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“This law gave the president unfettered authority to create blacklists,” said David Cole, a lawyer for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Constitutional Rights that represented the group. “It was reminiscent of the McCarthy era.”
The case centered on two groups, the Liberation Tigers, which seeks a separate homeland for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, and Partiya Karkeran Kurdistan, a political organization representing the interests of Kurds in Turkey.
U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins enjoined the government from blocking the assets of the two groups. The same judge two years ago invalidated portions of the Patriot Act.

Collins, a Clinton appointee, gained notoriety two years ago when she became the first federal judge to strike down provisions of the Patriot Act. Interestingly, she found that act, passed by Congress, also to be too vague to be constitutional. In that case, one of the plaintiffs was — the PKK again, which got its terrorist designation not from the Bush administration under the Patriot Act or this executive order, but by Madeline Albright’s State Department in 1997.
Nor was that the first time Collins has had a problem with anti-terrorist legislation. During the Clinton administration, she struck down the 1996 anti-terrorism law passed by Congress in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing. Collins seems to have trouble reading the law, finding all counterterrorism legislation too vague to be understood. Perhaps the problem lies with Collins more than the laws themselves.
John Stephenson wrote about this ruling at Collins’ cheerleaders earlier today:

I should really just stop right there. The ruling is praised by a lawyer for terrorist sympathizing, Center For Constitutional Rights! The Center for Constitutional Rights is openly anti-American and pro-terrorist. Groups suspected of ties to terrorism give money to CCR. The granddaughter of the executed Communist spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg works there! At its 2004 annual convention, the CCR honored attorney Lynne Stewart, an open supporter of terrorism, indicted by the Justice Department for abetting the terrorist activities of her client, the “blind sheik,” Omar Abdel Rahman.
A lawyer from this organization praising this decision says just about all we need to know about the ruling.

As the song says, you can tell the man who boozes by the company he chooses. This pig needs to get up and quickly run to the Court of Appeals, where we can hope for a few jurists who don’t have terrorists’ interests at heart.

Some Of His Best Friends Were Jewish

Just when it seemed that Michael Richards couldn’t embarrass himself any further, he now has to explain his claim of Jewishness. Apparently, neither of Richards’ parents were Jews and he has not converted, yet he has long claimed to be Jewish:

Just when it seemed Michael Richards was about to leave the most troubling incident of his career behind, his publicist is having to explain how the comic could consider himself to be Jewish.
Last week, crisis-management expert Howard Rubenstein acknowledged that Richards had shouted anti-Semitic remarks in an April standup comedy routine well before his appearance earlier this month in which he harangued hecklers with the n-word. But he defended Richards’ language about Jews, saying that the comic “is Jewish. He’s not anti-Semitic at all. He was role-playing.”
As Rubenstein’s assertion circulated, Jewish organizations and commentators pointed out that the man who played Cosmo Kramer on “Seinfeld” has not converted to Judaism and neither of his parents are Jewish.
Which makes him …

A goy who shouts anti-Semitic and racist insults on stage, that’s what it makes Richards.
I recall meeting with some rabbinical students on a flight a few years ago. They had asked to borrow my newspapers and we struck up a conversation. I explained that my grandfather was Jewish, and we talked about mixed marriages and religion. They talked openly about their perspective on Christianity and Judaism, and it was an interesting conversation, but they were clear on one point: I could not be considered a Jew, as my mother adopted her mother’s Catholocism. I would have to formally convert to be a Jew, and that would be true in any form of Judaism.
Apparently, the N-word rant was no isolated incident of uncontrolled rage for Richards. He apparently has a history of hate speech in his comedy act, such as it is. One has to wonder how Richards kept this quiet for so long. He’s not done a competent job of addressing it now that it’s in the open, certainly. His suggestion that his latest invective would help rally the “Afro-American” community is of a piece with his associative Judaism — it’s an excuse and a dodge.

CQ On The Air Tonight

I’ll be appearing on The World Tonight with Rob Breckinridge on Calgary’s CHQR this evening at 9:30 CT. I’ve been on Rob’s show a number of times, and he’s one of the best interviewers I’ve had the pleasure to know. Tonight we’ll be talking about the flying imams — or the non-flying imams — and other topics. If you’re not in Calgary with your radio tuned to 770 AM, then be sure to listen on the station’s Internet stream. Rob takes calls during the show, so don’t be shy about using the number on the site!

Hardly Innocent

We have experienced the birth of a new phrase in victimology — flying while Muslim. The six imams kicked off of a US Air flight here in Minneapolis have gone on tour with this phrase at the ready, doing a “pray-in” at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington DC yesterday. However, details from the airline and its other passengers point towards a much different conclusion, one that understandably worried all involved:

Witnesses said three of the imams were praying loudly in the concourse and repeatedly shouted “Allah” when passengers were called for boarding US Airways Flight 300 to Phoenix.
“I was suspicious by the way they were praying very loud,” the gate agent told the Minneapolis Police Department.
Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks — two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin.

And here’s some information that the national news media seems to have missed — the men sat in seats not assigned to them, including the first-class seats that the imams claimed to have acquired through an upgrade:

The imams who claimed two first-class seats said their tickets were upgraded. The gate agent told police that when the imams asked to be upgraded, they were told no such seats were available. Nevertheless, the two men were seated in first class when removed.

That would normally be enough to get any flight delayed while the seating arrangements got straightened out, especially if passengers deliberately take seats other than those assigned to them. However, the men kept interfering with the boarding process by going back and forth to talk amongst each other. Their seating pattern — again, not that assigned by the airline — positioned them at every egress point from the aircraft.
And those seat-belt extenders? Once they received them from the flight attendants, the imams put them under their seats, and not on the seat belts that purportedly would not fit them. Anyone who saw that would understandably wonder why the imams requested them in the first place, especially the flight crew, which has primary responsibility for flight security.
Small wonder, then, that US Air kicked them off the flight. Two pilots from other airlines confirmed that they would have done the same thing under the same circumstances. One pilot indicated that the repositioning of the group within the plane has been identified as a terrorist probe technique.
The imams did not intend on conducting a terrorist attack. Instead, they have conducted an attack on American security protocols, first by staging this ridiculous event to heighten their status as victims, and second to expose the kind of activities that airlines view as suspicious. In doing so, they have created an environment where the airlines will second-guess their own security procedures, becoming hypersensitive to political correctness instead of focusing on suspicious behaviors. The imams will have made us all less safe if their act becomes a hit.
Unfortunately, members of Congress seem more intent on pandering to the victimology rather than supporting the airlines for doing their job. Sheila Jackson-Lee and newly-elected Muslim Keith Ellison both took the time to acknowledge how humiliating it had to be for the six men ejected from the flight, rather than how stressful it must have been for the passengers and crew of the US Air flight that the imams used to gain their notoriety. I guess they figure that it’s better to be sorry than safe.

Hezbollah Training The Mahdi Militia?

For those who see the situations in Lebanon and Iraq as a continuum of the same Islamist efforts for regional control, it will come as no shock to learn that Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army receives training from Hassan Hasrallah’s Hezbollah. It might come as more of a shock that the New York Times actually reports it, as well as the role Iran plays as a facilitator between the two:

A senior American intelligence official said Monday that the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah had been training members of the Mahdi Army, the Iraqi Shiite militia led by Moktada al-Sadr.
The official said that 1,000 to 2,000 fighters from the Mahdi Army and other Shiite militias had been trained by Hezbollah in Lebanon. A small number of Hezbollah operatives have also visited Iraq to help with training, the official said.
Iran has facilitated the link between Hezbollah and the Shiite militias in Iraq, the official said. Syrian officials have also cooperated, though there is debate about whether it has the blessing of the senior leaders in Syria.

So what have the Hezbollah “trainers” taught the Mahdis? The usual: “weapons, bomb-making, intelligence, assassinations, the gambit of skill sets,” all of the basics for creating the kind of stable, secure Iraq that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised Nouri al-Maliki on his trip to Teheran yesterday.
Quite obviously, Iran and Syria (who also figures prominently in the Hezbollah-Mahdi arrangements) do not have any interest in moderation and democracy in the region. The Syrians want to control the Mediterranean side of Southwest Asia, and the Iranians want to promote radical Islamist fervor — preferably of the Shi’ite flavor, rather than the Wahhabi al-Qaeda strain. Their every step indicates that they want to see the nascent democracy in Iraq undermined for the same reasons we want it to flourish: a successful democracy in Iraq will mortally destabilize their own regimes and their grip on power.
That is why notions of engagement with these two notorious terrorist-supporting states should be a non-starter. Nothing they have done indicates that they see the Middle East in terms other than completely hostile to our interests or the interests of liberty and self-determination, even where one might make an argument that the two diverge. The only items that Iran and Syria want to discuss with us regarding Iraqi democracy are the terms of our surrender and retreat. So-called “realists” want to endorse diplomatic engagement with Iran and Syria but fail to acknowledge that reality in any manner, making them even more Utopian than the so-called neocons who want to work towards the ultimate goal of ending Iranian and Syrian hegemony through terrorism.
At one time, we decided to fight the war on terrorists and their state sponsors in order to end the use of terrorism as a technique for extortion. Now many want to acquiesce to Iranian- and Syrian-sponsored terrorists in order to more quickly surrender.

Homeland Security Chair: Don’t Act On False IDs In Workplace

The incoming chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, Bernie Thompson, has sent a letter to a major industrial uniform provider warning it not to terminate hundreds of employees who gave invalid Social Security numbers when hired. Cintas received the list of “no-match” employees from the Social Security Administration as a part of President Bush’s efforts to get employers to help identify illegal immigrants, but the chair of the committee responsible for immigration matters threatens legal action if they do so:

A Mississippi Democrat in line to become chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee has warned the nation’s largest uniform supplier it faces criminal charges if it follows a White House proposal to recheck workers with mismatched Social Security numbers and fire those who cannot resolve the discrepancy in 60 days.
Rep. Bennie Thompson said in a letter to Cintas Corp. it could be charged with “illegal activities in violation of state and federal law” if any of its 32,000 employees are terminated because they gave incorrect Social Security numbers to be hired.
“I am deeply troubled by Cintas’ recent policy change regarding the Social Security Administration’s ‘no match’ letters,” Mr. Thompson said in the Nov. 2 letter. “It is my understanding that hundreds of Cintas’ immigrant workers have received these letters. I am extremely concerned about any potentially discriminatory actions targeting this community.”
In June, President Bush proposed new guidelines concerning “no-match” letters from the Social Security Administration, saying he wanted to make it easier for employers to verify workers’ eligibility and continue to hold them accountable for those they hire.

Cintas did not plan to immediately terminate the employees anyway. They sent their own letter to the people identified by the SSA explaining that Cintas has an obligation to verify that all of their employees have a legal right to work in the US, and gave them 60 days to update their records. If the don’t do so within that two-month period, then they face indefinite suspension.
It’s difficult to comprehend the problem. Businesses have to have SSNs from new employees in order to verify their eligibility for employment. The SSA has the information available to double-check the information for accuracy. If it doesn’t match, this employer has given them 60 days — two months — to correct their records. Only if the employees, identified by the SSA and not chosen at random, fails to comply do they get suspended as ineligible to work. That sounds like a rational and non-discriminatory system. The affected employees are a self-selecting group, having given incorrect information on their own to their employers, verified by the government.
Only a Democratic committee chair could turn that scenario into something that would “violate … non-discriminatory provisions.” Thompson acts as if Cintas has wanted nothing more than a government report that could force them to shut down their production, when in fact the entire strategy intends on forcing businesses to police themselves better so that they do not knowingly continue to employ illegal workers. Let’s please recall that the hiring of illegal workers is illegal, both for the worker and for the employer. That’s why all of us have to submit all that paperwork at the beginning of our employment. Doing a cross-check on that paperwork to identify bogus documentation — otherwise known as forgery — is not discriminatory, unless one considers criminals a protected class under EEOC regulations.
If anything, Cintas should get plaudits for its efforts to comply with federal regulations on labor. They have taken steps to show that they want to comply with immigration law rather than blithely ignore it. For some reason, and I suspect we know what it is, the Democrats want them to continue breaking the law. This gives us a pretty clear idea what the Democratic agenda on immigration “reform” will contain — penalties for enforcement and a general amnesty, exactly the same as the 1986 debacle that led us to where we are today.
UPDATE: Just for the record, Cintas is a supplier to the federal government, with $625,000 in contracts for 2005.