- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 20, 2002

Equal time for EEOC

I am writing in regard to Donald Devine's "Selective focus on abuses" (Commentary, July 10), which was grossly inaccurate. I wish to clarify the following points:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found no discrimination against Emma Monroig nor any Hispanics at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (CCR).
All CCR commissioners, including chairwoman Mary Frances Berry, play no role in the management of the agency, including the handling of EEOC complaints. The commissioners, including the chairwoman, are part-time, have no offices at the agency and have no operational responsibilities.
The ultimate decision maker and head of the CCR for management and personnel matters is the staff director.
I appreciate the opportunity to share with your readers information about the commission's activities and mission.

LES JIN
Staff Director
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Washington

Banking on criminal activity

Several banks recently announced that they would accept the Matricula Consular (Mexican Consulate ID) as the only form of identification necessary to open a bank account ("U.S. banks, cities accept Mexican illegals' ID," Thursday). This may be aiding in money laundering, tax evasion, racketeering, conspiracy and the structuring of transactions to evade reporting requirements by U.S. banks.
This new practice also may be blatantly illegal. In an effort to stop money laundering by criminals, terrorists and drug dealers, Congress passed laws making it illegal to open a bank account without a Social Security number or a taxpayer ID number. An American citizen is required to have a Social Security number, and a legal resident is required to have a visa or a green card that can be used to obtain a taxpayer ID in order to open a legal bank account.
It looks as if these banks need a quick legal refresher. According to Title 8 of U.S. Code:
Any foreign national who enters the United States illegally is a criminal (8 USC Sec. 1325).
It is illegal to hire, transport and/or harbor an illegal alien.
Any money or assets that an illegal alien has is the result of criminal activity. Remember, a Mexican illegal alien is the only person who would need a Matricula Consular to open a bank account.
Additionally, if a bank and/or its employee accepts the Matricula Consular to open a bank account without requiring the person to provide proper legal identification and a Social Security number or a taxpayer ID number, the bank and/or its employee may be engaging in and/or aiding in money laundering (18 USC Sec. 1956), tax evasion (26 USC Sec. 7201), racketeering (18 USC Sec. 1962), conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government (18 USC Sec. 371) and structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements (31 USC Sec. 5324).
If a bank and/or its employee engages in any of these illegal activities, the bank and/or employee should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

FRANK VERA
Redlands, Calif.

Clearing the air on missile defense

On June 28, Jim Hackett and I outlined President Bush's success at the Moscow summit ("Arms controllers and anti-missile weapons," Commentary). We called for opponents of missile defense, in light of the changed relationship between the United States and Russia, to join to secure America's defense against ballistic missiles. In a July 10 letter, Lawrence Korb of the Council on Foreign Relations took us to task ("Poor caricature of 'rich' arms controllers"). While interesting, Mr. Korb's points are sufficiently erroneous to require a response from me.
Whether self-appointed arms-control organizations wrote the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty is beside the point. They tried tirelessly to preserve its perverse prohibition against defending Americans from ballistic missiles even when it became clear that such threats had increased dramatically. Previous administrations did adhere to the ABM treaty. It was, needless to say, the law of the land. But so what? President Reagan and his successor, George Bush, laid the groundwork for the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty through their support for missile defense, in contrast to the outright hostility of the Clinton administration.
As Mr. Korb says, Gen. Larry Welch of the Institute for Defense Analysis used the phrase "rush to failure" to describe the national missile defense program. However, he was describing the Clinton approach to missile defense. In remarks at a seminar I hosted this year, he praised the corrective actions taken by the Bush administration to put the programs on course.
Plans to build a phased, layered defense will deal with the countermeasures so feared by Mr. Korb, although they have nowhere been tested or deployed. It is perplexing why congressional critics cut the boost-phase programs that would deal with countermeasures. It is true that some critics of missile defense are not self-appointed arms controllers again, so what?
Unaddressed by Mr. Korb was the opposition of the "expert" arms-control crowd to the reductions in nuclear weapons achieved by both the Reagan and Bush administrations. As The Washington Times editorialized on July 7 ("Brookings beware: Strobe's light is dim"), the arms controllers got it all wrong.
They supported a nuclear freeze, as Mr. Korb acknowledges, a position identical to that of the former Soviet Union. But in a truly audacious rhetorical sleight of hand, Mr. Korb says the 1979 imbalance in nuclear forces was inconsequential, but even if it weren't, it was former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's fault. A freeze would have rendered the U.S. nuclear deterrent obsolete, as it was aging more quickly than the more modern Soviet force. It was not Mr. Kissinger who gave us this sad state of affairs, but former President Carter, whose fumbling failure to deploy the Trident, the D-5 and the Peacekeeper missiles gave us the lopsided correlation of forces Mr. Reagan inherited in 1981.
The think-tank arms controllers to whom Mr. Korb refers did not inspire the Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START) and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty; they greeted these proposals with hoots of derision and actively campaigned against the military deployments Pershings, ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCM), Peacekeepers and D-5s that made the treaties possible. I am flabbergasted that Mr. Korb would try to give credit for arms reductions to these organizations. Yet true to form, over the past 18 months, he, like his arms-control friends, repeatedly has ridiculed our current president's proposals to build global missile defenses, end the ABM treaty and reduce nuclear weapons. The president succeeded. He was right. Mr. Korb was wrong. Again.

PETER HUESSY
President
GeoStrategic Analysis
Potomac, Md.


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