Allen B. West

Folks, I REALLY want this administration to succeed, but I just have to ask…

It was liberal Democrat New York Senator Daniel Patrick Monyihan who once quipped, “you are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.”

This simple quote seems very appropriate in regards to the Ninth US Circuit Court “opinion” and that of the judge in Washington state who first gave his opinion on the travel ban – -because the facts say something quite disturbing.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, “Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, bolstering the administration’s immigration ban. 

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According to a report out Saturday, at least 17 claimed to be refugees from those nations, three came in as “students,” and 25 eventually became U.S. citizens.

The Center for Immigration Studies calculated the numbers of convicted terrorists from the Trump Seven: 

Somalia: 20,Yemen: 19,Iraq: 19,Syria: 7, Iran: 4, Libya: 2 , Sudan: 1.

The Center’s director of policy studies, Jessica M. Vaughan, based her blockbuster report on a 2016 report from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that report found that 380 out of 580 people convicted in terror cases since 9/11 were foreign-born. 

She received further information on many in the report to conclude that 72 of those convicted of terrorism come from the seven nations target by Trump. From her report seen here, these immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6).

Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump’s order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it harmed the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order.Thirty-three of the 72 individuals from the seven terror-associated countries were convicted of very serious terror-related crimes, and were sentenced to at least three years imprisonment. The crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles, and unlawful possession of a machine gun.”

Now, I’m going to ask a somewhat rhetorical question here. Why wasn’t this information known and presented by the Trump administration the Friday of the release of the Executive Order, or perhaps 24 hours prior?

Knowledge is power and if Jessica Vaughan from the Center for Immigration Studies was able to retrieve this information from the Senate Judiciary, why couldn’t the Trump administration Chief Policy Advisor, Stephen Miller, have done the same?

This is why in the military, any operation has an execution timeline where one plans, gathers information, and even conducts a rehearsal before taking action.

I’m not advocating an overly meticulous and deliberative process that lends to paralysis. However, you don’t want to be so impetuous that you lead with your jaw, and take punches.

All the requisite information, truth and facts, were on the side of the Trump administration in issuance of this executive order, but the lack of laying out the case put them on complete defense.

Now, I know there all the sycophants who will attack me, but this is about lessons learned, folks. I want to see this administration succeed and not give easy layups to the left and their media acolytes.

Yes, I know they’re going to be looking for the negative, but doggone, make it hard for them and make them look foolish while doing it. You don’t win playing defense after you’ve allowed the left to define you and your policy position; take the high ground first.

Some will say we’re proving the left wrong in all their assertions. I’d much rather deny them the ability to have any assertions in the first place — and define THEM.

Furthermore, if there was more cooperation with Senate and House Committees on the Judiciary and Homeland Security, or even if the Trump administration had waited for Senator Jeff Sessions to be confirmed as Attorney General, you’d have the key elements for success.

I hear y’all saying that I’m being some type of armchair quarterback. Hardly, I’m doing what we call in the military an AAR, After Action Review. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and the Trump administration hasn’t been in place for even a month. I suggest and offer that prudence and detailed discretion is a great ally.

In the military there are two phases for a successful operation: the shaping phase which sets the conditions for success, followed by the decisive operation phase. My recommendation to the Trump administration is to spend more time in the shaping phase, in order to enable a successful decisive phase.

The challenges are great, and we haven’t even discussed the issues of North Korea and Iran’s defiant shooting off missiles. But the key is simple, unlike the Obama administration whose foreign policy maxim was “dont do stupid [email protected]”, the Trump administration should “work smart, not hard.” And then we will truly “Make America Great Again.”

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