ZenPundit
Sunday, October 31, 2004
 
AN IMPORTANT FINANCIAL SPONSOR OF ISLAMIST TERROR...THE STATE DEPARTMENT

In a little noticed story, Newsweek revealed that the U.S. Department of State under President Clinton ended up funding al Qaida to the tune of $ 4 million plus through direct grants to an Islamist " charity " that were apparently passed on to Osama bin Laden. Such grants continued even after the charity was in the sights of the FBI and in all probability the CIA and NSA. The gravy train was only terminated in 1999 upon the insistance of counterterror czar Richard Clarke, three years after the FBI began investigating. No wonder we are reluctant to lean on the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates to squeeze those who give money to terrorists - the USG could be a top twenty donor to al Qaida !

Combined with the infamous " Visa Express" program- which Clinton-era bureaucrat Mary Ryan fought to preserve tooth and nail - it may be argued that the State Department not only brought some of the 19 highjackers stateside - it paid for the 9/11 operation as well.
 
Comments:
A small note on Visa Express. There are legitimate reasons to have a streamlined program for certain visa requests. It makes no sense to make grandma go out and stay in line along with the twenty-something visa requestors. Visa Express, in its more sane manifestations, allowed grannie to visit her grandkids in the US without having to show up personally. The problem was that single males from teenagers to people in their forties are simply a high risk demographic and the KSA visa express allowed them to participate too. In rightly protesting the KSA program, you shouldn't mix that in with the sane variants in other countries.
 
Hi TM

I have no problem with sane versions of security procedures or even Visa Express per se.

My real problem with State was an obstinate bureaucratic refusal, rooted I would argue in trendy PC attitudes combined with a long tradition of institutional and insular elitism, to address the obvious problems in Visa Express * even after 9/11* - until the bureaucrat in question was given the boot.

Common sense, after the first WTC bombing, the USS Cole, the Millenium plot, the embassy bombings etc. should have led State to take moves to tighten the entry requirements on the high-risk categories you have mentioned. Or to at least argue for such a change to the administration and Congress rather than doing the opposite.
 
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