Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson acknowledged Tuesday that his department had to release two men who admitted they were part of a terrorist group from Turkey, after a judge ordered them to be let out — a decision he said he disagreed with. So, why even spend the money to catch them? Where is the balance and common sense?
As I discuss in my book, there is a lot of red tape and rules that don't seem to interact well with one another in this country. Plus, we have rights that still have to be protected and we have programs without the proper funding resources. There isn't a single issue that I can point my finger at tonight and say, "Yes, this is where we failed" when it comes to this specific situation. So, where are these men today? We don't know. We lost track of them once they were released. All we know is they entered Canada seeking asylum. That's it.
Mr. Johnson had to be transparent with this matter and I'm sure he is very frustrated with the Judge's decision. I think many people are. Now, to be fair, the men in question are considered terrorists by the USA because of their group affiliation. Both men were members of the PKK, or Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has been battling for Kurdish rights within Turkey for decades. Our country put the PKK (and its members) on the list of Terrorists groups even though they technically don't fall into the same category as other terrorist groups who truly want to hurt America. So, it is a grey area and while we need to use more common sense in this country (who is to say the PKK claim wasn't a cover), we also can't have across-the-board rules that confine people seeking asylum or let those who want to harm our country slip through our hands because of a loop hole.
There is no "right" answer here. Only frustrating facts and valid arguments on all sides of this issue. I'm hopeful, going forward, that we can address scenarios like these in a more microscopic manner. Now, because the men are in Canada, it will be hard to watch them and see if we made the right decision as a country. Instead, we have to hope, wait and see.
Twyla Garrett of IME.