Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Sessions: Waterboarding is illegal and I oppose a blanket ban on Muslim visitors
At Hot Air by Allahpundit --
Jeff Sessions: Wokest AG ever.
These two answers are getting buzz today because they contradict things Trump said during the campaign, but as Sessions himself notes, the “Muslim ban” proposal of winter 2015 was long ago watered down to call instead for close vetting of visitors from countries with a strong terrorist presence. Mike Pence later claimed that that would apply to Christian and Jewish visitors from those countries too, not just Muslims, in order to make the scrutiny as evenhanded as possible. The new “ban” isn’t a ban at all, in other words, and it’s geared at nationality, not religion. If today’s questioners wanted to challenge Sessions, they could have grilled him on what criteria he’d use to decide whether a particular country is of special concern when it comes to terrorism. Does, say, France have enough of a terrorist presence to justify close vetting of visitors? Instead, the hearing was reduced to Sessions making the basic point that of course avowed violent religious fanatics, i.e. jihadis, will be scrutinized and barred from entry even if most Muslims won’t. The test is whether a visitor can co-exist peacefully with America’s liberal values — although that too can be tricky in certain cases.