MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, MEDIA MAKE STATEMENTS…BUT DID THEY ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 1, 2016) — On Monday morning, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Mac Thornberry issued a brief statement in response to sparring which began after Mr. Khizr Muazzam Khan gave an impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention on its final night last Thursday directed at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Wwhile focusing on the loss of his son, who served in the U.S. military and was killed by an IED in Iraq in 2004, Khan clearly directed anger and the accusation of divisiveness at Trump and his stated policies, particularly toward the admission of Muslims to the U.S.
When Khan was introduced to the stage, there was a standing ovation and loud applause, even though the topic of his speech was not publicly divulged.
His first statement was, “First, our hearts and prayers are with our veterans and those who serve today. Tonight we are honored to stand here as parents of Capt. Humayun Khan and as patriotic American Muslims,” which was greeted by more applause and chants of “USA! USA! USA!” from the audience.
He continued, “Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed. We believed in American democracy, that with hard work and goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings. We are blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams.”
At approximately the 3:49 mark in a video of the full speech provided by Breitbart, Khan said that if Trump had been leading the country when his family sought to come to the U.S., “he never would have been in America,” speaking of his son. “Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He wants to build walls and ban us from this country,” Khan claimed, followed by boos from the audience in support of his statements.
Directing himself to Trump, Khan then asked, “Have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy,” while holding up a pocket Constitution. He challenged Trump to “look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection under the law'” in an apparent reference to his perception that Trump’s views on curtailing Muslims’ entry to the U.S. from countries experiencing terrorism are discriminatory.
Khan’s remarks have reportedly made pocket Constitutions “bestsellers” in the U.S. of late.
Laden with emotion, Khan further said to Trump, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one” to more applause. At the end of his speech, he declared, “We are stronger together,” echoing Clinton’s campaign slogan, “and we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our president.”
As Khan spoke, his wife stood on his right side and said nothing, looking downward. Khan encouraged Americans to “get out and vote” for “the healer,” “not the divider.”
“God bless you; thank you,” he concluded his speech, which CNN later described as “powerful.”
Trump responded to the speech by tweeting, “I was viciously attacked by Mr. Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond? Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!” to which the media responded by describing Trump’s words as “an attack” resulting in “bipartisan backlash.”
Sen. John McCain, who is facing a primary challenge from Arizona State Sen. Kelli Ward this month, called Trump’s tweets directed at Khan’s words “defamatory.”
In an interview over the weekend with ABC News, Trump raised the question as to why Khan’s wife had remained silent during his speech, which the media immediately seized upon, characterizing his speculation as “criticism,” “an outburst,” and “mocking.”
Although Mrs. Khan refuted the implication that her family’s faith did not permit her to speak her mind, women born into the Islamic faith are subjected to the greatest of cruelties in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan, from whence the Khans reportedly immigrated in 1980.
On May 28, 2014, The Washington Post published an article titled, “In Pakistan, 1,000 women die in ‘honor killings’ annually. Why is this happening?”
Khan claimed to know in a Monday morning CNN interview that Trump’s expressed desire to restrict the entrance of Muslims into the U.S. would “strengthen their recruitment process,” meaning Islamic radicals.
While Khan claimed that Trump has painted all Muslims with a broad brush, Trump has said that he has “some wonderful friends” who are Muslim who “thanked” him for his stance on keeping out would-be terrorists who could infiltrate “refugees” brought in from Syria, in particular. “They’re not all terrorists,” Trump told Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly in June.
On Thursday night, Khan was neither introduced as nor did he disclose that he is a Harvard-trained attorney working in the Washington, DC area in the fields of international business and immigration, as reported by The Washington Examiner on Monday.
On Saturday, Newsmax reported that Khan is a lawyer.
The Examiner reported, in part:
The father of a Muslim American soldier killed in Iraq who is caught up in a war of words with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is an immigration lawyer who specializes in a highly controversial program accused of letting immigrants buy their way into the U.S.
Khizr M. Khan’s website notes that he works to help clients with the E-2 and EB-5 programs that let overseas investors buy into U.S. companies and also provides green cards for family members.
The author then quoted Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) as having said, “The E-2 and EB-5 are two of the most notoriously abused visa categories that essentially allow wealthy foreigners to buy their way to U.S. residency, and possibly citizenship, with a relatively modest investment.”
USCIS reports that the E2-Treaty visa program is a “nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. “
E-2 countries include Australia, Belgium, Congo, Ethiopia, Iran, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, and Sri Lanka, among many others.
EB-5 visas are issued to “entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they:
- Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and
- Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.”
Since making his speech at the DNC, Khan has appeared on numerous news programs touting the greatness of America and the U.S. Constitution. Although characterized as a private person not accustomed to the public limelight, Khan has an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School, experience teaching law and interacting with “global” clientele in the fields of business, “commercial real estate,” and the aforementioned “treaty investor” immigration visas.
Khan stated in a CNN interview on Monday that Trump is unable to take criticism, that he has a “black soul,” and that Republican congressional leaders should reject him as their candidate. He also said that his “good wife” convinced him not to include a statement in his remarks on Thursday that as American Muslims, they repudiate terrorism in the name of Islam.
He said he urges Americans to look for the words “equal dignity” in the Constitution, but those words are not there.
Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution devolves the responsibility of “a uniform rule of naturalization” to the Congress, not the president. Refugees and immigrants are not the same, which Megyn Kelly failed to distinguish on her broadcast of “The Kelly File” on Friday in response to Khan’s comments. “Syrian refugees is a different issue. That’s not the same as Trump’s Muslim ban,” Kelly said to guest and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Trump has, however, referred to “immigration” when speaking to voters about the threat of Islamic terrorism and has objected to accepting Syrian “refugees” who, as FBI Director James Comey has said, cannot be thoroughly vetted.
As reported by The Washington Post last fall, Syrian “refugees” have migrated to many European countries. More recently, “refugees” have been found to have carried out terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice, France, and Germany on multiple occasions.
Mass sexual assaults have also been reported in Germany, and, following the slayings of a pregnant woman and nine teenagers late last month, “thousands” are protesting Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s “open door” policy toward Middle Eastern refugees.
The United States Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) states of the existing “refugee” program established by law:
Every year, immigration law requires that Executive Branch officials:
- review the refugee situation or emergency refugee situation.
- project the extent of possible participation of the United States in resettling refugees.
- discuss the reasons for believing that the proposed admission of refugees is justified by humanitarian concerns, grave humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest.
Following consultations (discussions) with cabinet representatives and Congress, a determination is drafted for signature by the President. The Presidential Determination establishes the overall admissions levels and regional allocations of all refugees for the upcoming fiscal year.
No refugees may be admitted in the new fiscal year until the Presidential Determination has been signed.
Annually, processing priorities (for definition see the “Glossary” page) are established to determine which of the world’s refugees are of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Fulfilling a processing priority enables a refugee applicant the opportunity to interview with a USCIS officer, but does not guarantee acceptance.
The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952, also called the McCarran-Walter Act, defined new quotas for the acceptance of immigrants as well as foreigners deemed inadmissible to the United States, the latter of whom include drug addicts, tuberculosis sufferers, polygamists, those who have already been “arrested and deported,” and “Any alien who seeks to procure, or has sought to procure, or has procured a visa or other documentation, or seeks to enter the United States, by fraud, or by willfully misrepresenting a material fact,” among other categories.
Chapter 2, Section 212 of the 1952 INA also precludes anyone from admission who has been known to have committed a crime.
In November of last year, a report by the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee stated:
A review by the Majority Staff of the House Homeland Security Committee concludes that the Administration’s proposal will have a limited impact on alleviating the overall crisis but could have serious ramifications for U.S. homeland security. Additionally, widespread security gaps across Europe are increasing the terrorism risk to our allies and present long-term implications for the U.S. homeland.
Some have suggested that Khan’s speech was written by Clinton campaign operatives, which Khan did not deny in a CNN interview.
Khan has publicly attempted to advise Trump to “sit with his advisers and portray to this world that he is empathetic.”
On Monday afternoon, Yahoo! News wrote that “Trump’s off-the-cuff insults and controversial proposals such as the Muslim ban and a plan to keep illegal immigrants out by building a wall along the Mexican border, have made many in the party establishment reluctant backers of his White House bid.”
The New York Times called Khan a “cable news sensation” following his speech and media appearances; however, Khan is now saying that he and his wife are “private people.” “We participated in this convention because a tribute was being paid and there was context to my conversation. We had been patently subjected to the maligning of this candidate for a while year,” he said on Monday.
The Post & Email has not been able to locate a website for the ESI Institute, which Khan’s biography states “offers courses and seminars on US and cross-border electronic discovery law and HIPAA Compliance related topics world wide.”
Trump has said that the controversy which has arisen from Khan’s remarks and his own retorts is misguided. “This story is not about Mr. Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the U.S. Get smart!” he tweeted on Monday morning in response to Khan’s CNN interview on “New Day.”
On Fox News’s “The Five” at 5:00 p.m., co-anchors Kimberly Guilfoyle and Dana Perino excoriated Trump for responding to Khan’s remarks, with Perino insisting that Trump should “apologize.”
The press release from the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) reads as follows:
For Immediate Release:
August 1, 2016
HASC Communications (202) 225-2539
|THORNBERRY STATEMENT ON KHIZR KHAN SPEECH AND MILITARY SERVICE|
|WASHINGTON- Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement:|
“I am dismayed at the attacks Khizr and Ghazala Khan have endured after they spoke about their son’s service and sacrifice. There is never enough honor we can show to the families of those whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Service to our country is above politics. I believe that each of us are called every day to show our deepest respect and gratitude to all of those who protect our freedom and their families.”
At 1:18 p.m. The Post & Email contacted HASC spokesman Claude Chafin to ask if Thornberry had researched Khan’s background, including his ties to controversial immigration programs, to which Chafin responded, “I’ll let the chairman’s statement stand for itself” and quickly hung up.