Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Setting The Hook
Watching Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) questioning a governmental official is a thing of beauty. It is like watching a master angler letting the fish nibble the bait and then suddenly setting the hook. The fish is hooked and wondering just what the heck just happened.
This past Thursday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on National Security held a hearing on "Terrorism and the Visa Waiver Program". The lead witness was Kelli Ann Burriesci, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. She heads the Screening Coordination Office. Part of her office's job is to facilitate transfer of information from the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database to the TSA's No-Fly List.
The video below shows Gowdy questioning Burriesci. The first two minutes are setting the stage for Gowdy's question where he sets the hook. That question is at 2:50 in the video. While excerpts of this questioning are out there, I think it is instructional to watch Gowdy's questioning before he begins to set the hook.
Gowdy's key question is “Let me ask you another question about the terrorism list, what process is afforded a U.S. citizen before they go on that list?”
Burriesci's answer is that there is no process afforded a citizen before they are put on the list but only a process after they get on the list. This is just the answer Gowdy wanted and as a prosecutor in a prior life he knew he was going to get it.
It only gets better after that.
Gowdy's point, of course, is that the denial of due process with regard to an enumerated right such as the Second Amendment is, by its very nature, unconstitutional.
Those who would use the No-Fly list, the Terror Watch List, or the FBI's omnibus Terrorist Screening Database as the basis to deny a citizen's rights under the Second Amendment - or any civil right for that matter - are playing a dangerous game. That many Democrats and gun prohibitionists are doing it to score political points makes it unconscionable.