Concerning the debate involving the admission of Syrian refugees. Supporters of admission cite several reasons, including assurances by the Obama administration that an effective “vetting” process will be implemented to identify possible security risks.
I recently ended a 30-year career at a state law enforcement agency. My responsibilities included managing organic crime-related data and intelligence systems, as well as supervising access to other agency (i.e., local, state and federal) systems. To be effective, it is reasonable to assume that any “vetting” will have to include a labor-intensive investigatory interview process. This process will invariably have to access data systems originating both within and outside the U.S. Because of the subjects involved, who presumably were born and raised in Syria, the use of the latter will be particularly critical.
Collecting, validating and maintaining crime-related data is a challenge even for U.S. and European-based international law enforcement agencies who are viewed as having special expertise in this area. However, is it remotely reasonable for us to expect that background information originating from Syria — even if it was collected, which is doubtful — is reliable? Remember, we are talking about Syria, a devastated, war-torn country, previously ruled by father-and-son dictators.
Randy Poole, Boise