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Inside the Beltway
Wrought with fraud
A Republican congressman wants to stop the Visa Lottery program, the annual lottery established by Uncle Sam in 1990, whereby 50,000 foreign nationals are chosen at random to enter the United States and become permanent residents.
Virginia Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte says the program poses national security risks and is wrought with fraud. He’s not alone in his concerns.
The State Department’s inspector general issued a scathing report in 2003, warning that the lottery “contains significant threats to national security from entry of hostile intelligence officers, criminals and terrorists” and is “subject to widespread abuse.”
And get this — the IG found during the 2003 lottery process that 364,000 duplicate applications were submitted by foreign nationals.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has awarded a grant to veteran Washington broadcaster and former Ambassador Richard W. Carlson, vice chairman of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), to develop a television documentary series examining the global war on terrorism.
Mr. Carlson says the series, co-produced with FDD senior fellow Barbara Newman, will explore intelligence and special-operations efforts to fight terrorism here and abroad. One segment will investigate the terror group Hezbollah and its activities in more than a dozen American cities.
The grant was awarded under PBS’ America at a Crossroads initiative, which will provide up to $20 million over the next three years to those who wish to develop and broadcast films on the challenges America faces in the wake of September 11.
A former ambassador under President Reagan, Mr. Carlson is a past director of Voice of America and was president and CEO of the CPB.
John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndi cated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin
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