Obama admin denies heroic Iraqi translator asylum; may grant it to Uighur terrorists

By way of both the Gateway Pundit and Black Five, I came across this Fox News report:

An Iraqi translator who has earned commendations for risking his life repeatedly to save the lives of many American soldiers in combat has been denied a visa to live in the United States because of nonviolent actions he took to overthrow Saddam Hussein — at the same time the U.S. government was calling for regime change in Iraq. Jasim, whose name is being withheld for his safety, has received strong support from the U.S. military, and the Department of Homeland Security approved his application for a visa. But the State Department has denied Jasim a visa because he was arrested in 1996 for actions against the Saddam dictatorship. … Because Iraqi translators are seen by jihadists and former Baathists as “traitors,” Jasim’s life is at greater risk the longer he stays in Iraq, according to multiple State Department and U.S. military officials. A number of translators and their families have already been tortured and/or murdered.

During his three years as a translator, Jasim has exposed himself to enemy fire in the course of saving American lives. Three different Americans who served with him in Iraq told FOXNews.com that they are alive today because of Jasim. “The only reason I am here today is because of Jasim,” said Elisabeth Keene, a U.S. Army specialist who serves in a combat unit. “He saved the life of everyone in my unit. On several occasions while our guys were putting rounds down range, Jasim put himself in harm’s way to pull the wounded out and treat them,” Keene said. “Jasim is a hero to everyone he has ever met.” “I owe my life to Jasim … hands down,” said Master Sgt. Jason Krieger, who went on over 200 combat patrols with Jasim. “I consider him a brother, not only in arms, but in love as well.” Those who have worked with Jasim are astonished at the decision to deny him a visa. FOXNews.com has obtained numerous letters submitted by U.S. Army and Marine Corps personnel supporting his application. Each letter praises his heroism in glowing terms and strongly recommends issuing a visa. Jasim even received letters of recommendation from a couple of two-star generals. It is unusual for a translator’s visa application to be endorsed even by one general.

On March 19, 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported:

For “people who can be released there are a variety of options that we have and among them is the possibility is that we would release them into this country,” Mr. Holder said. “That process is ongoing and we’ve not made any determinations or made any requests of anybody at this point.”

The “country” being America and the terrorists being mostly Uighurs, as Reuters confirmed:

Holder said it was possible the 17 Chinese Muslims who have been held for years at Guantanamo, and two or three others prisoners, could be freed in the United States.

Section 103 of the ‘Real ID Act of 2005’ prohibits the immigration of those who train in terrorism or who are associated with terrorist groups. The NRO’s Andrew McCarthy explains:

That law was enacted in 2005 because of the war Holder says he now realizes we’ve been in for over a decade. It was enacted because paramilitary courses factored into all those terrorist attacks from the 1990s that “we as a nation” missed the significance of. Holder hasn’t explained how turning trained jihadists loose on the infidels that they were training to kill is consistent with his new war mentality (a war in which, at his direction, we no longer call enemy combatants “enemy combatants”).

Rasmussen Reports that Americans are overwhelmingly against granting asylum or immigration to terrorists:

Seventy-five percent (75%) say Guantanamo inmates should not be released in this country, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure. For 75% of voters, safety is more important than fairness in determining where terrorist suspects are released. Only 17% say fairness is more important. National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair also said some of these inmates may receive financial assistance from the government to ease their transition into society. Seventy-four percent (74%) oppose giving taxpayer money to former Guantanamo prisoners to help them return to society. Sixteen percent (16%) think taxpayers should provide money to the inmates. … 64% of Democrats agree with 88% of Republicans and 76% of unaffiliateds that Guantanamo inmates should not be released in the United States. Similarly, 83% of Republicans, 66% of Democrats and 79% of unaffiliated voters say safety is more important than fairness in determining where the terrorist suspects are released.

Survey or not, it is against the law to allow terrorists to immigrate into the United States. Yet that is a mere inconvenience to the “rule of law” administration of President Barack Obama; they just will not grant asylum to someone who placed his life on the line in battle for our troops during “President George W. Bush’s war.”

  3 comments for “Obama admin denies heroic Iraqi translator asylum; may grant it to Uighur terrorists

  1. art brennan
    April 6, 2009 at 8:31 am

    I witnessed the Bush/Rice/Crocker policy of refusing to assist Iraqis who in the process of saving American lives and assisting their own people became targets for insurgents and the corrupt ministers of the existing Iraqi government. The decision on Jasim’s visa is just “more of the same.” There are many American soldiers who are ashamed and humiliated by this State Department and Homeland Security policy. Perhaps Obama and Clinton will change the policy. Getting Crocker out of Iraq would be a good first step.

    It is not reasonable to compare the situation with the alleged Uigher terrorists to the draconian policy of denying visas for Iraqis who have endangered themselves and their families by helping us and saving American lives in Iraq. The difference is this: We seized the Uighers, we transported them to Guantanamo, and now the question is “what do we do if they are innocent and in danger if we return them to where we mistakenly picked them up?” Of course, they and many other people are at Guantanamo because of another half-baked self-defeating policy instituted by GWB and carried out by the same sort of “just following orders” bureaucrats that continue to undermine the US in pursuit of their next step up their next promotion.


    First off, your “not reasonable to compare the situation” argument is faulty; the Obama administration is looking for ways to circumvent U.S. law in order to grant asylum to terrorists. Set down your talking points memo for a few minutes and do some serious reading about who these Uighurs are; they hold the same ideology as al Qaeda and we’d be bringing them into our neighborhoods. That is not just stupid; that is recklessly stupid. At the same time, our State Department is looking for reasons to deny asylum to those who fought on our side. You can safely bet good money that the translators working with our troops in Afghanistan will get wind of that decision and it will not help our effort there.

    To your second point, if we conjure up out of whole cloth legal “rights” never dreamed of before in 800 years of Western jurisprudence, our enemies will take full advantage of our foolishness. Worse still, providing protections to unlawful combatants defeats the primary purpose — protecting non-combatants — of the Geneva Conventions.

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