Mother seeks justice for son – victim of illegal alien identity theft

During a sentencing hearing, Jennifer Andrushko, the mother of a five year oldidentity theft victim told the court of the difficulties she and her family had faced since learning of the theft of her son’s identity by an illegal alien, Lidia Aguirre, also known as Lidia Chavez.

Ms. Andrushko recommended that the perpetrator be given the same sentence that she would have received had she used the Social Security number of one of Ms. Aguirre’s American born children.

Ms. Aguirre had originally been charged with five, third degree felonies – three identity fraud and two forgery. She eventually pled guilty to three, third degree felonies – two identity fraud and one forgery.

In her statement to the court, Ms. Andrusko detailed the damage done to her son and her family by Ms. Aguirre who had used her son’s Social Security number for more than a decade. She described the countless hours she devoted to personally investigating her son’s case, trying to get law enforcement to do its job, and her disgust with the Social Security Administration which showed a total disregard for destruction of her child’s future.

Ms. Andrushko explained that she had first learned of the identity theft on November 16, 2009, when she went to Utah’s Department of Workforce Services to apply for aid after her husband lost his job. During the eligibility interview, she was informed that wages were being reported on the SSN of her three year old son.

After filing a police report, Ms. Andrushko realized that the Harrisville Police Department was not going to pursue the case. The Social Security Administration denied assistance and claimed not to have any record of wages on her son’s Social Security number.

For several weeks after learning of the identity theft, Ms. Adrushko spent most of her waking hours trying to find help for her son but was unable to get any assistance from law enforcement, from federal agencies or even from her Congressman. She eventually contacted her state Senator, Scott Jenkins, and his efforts resulted in Assistant Attorney General, Richard Hamp, who is an expert in employment related identity theft prosecutions, taking the case and pursuing it with vigor.

During the next three years she carried out her own investigation and kept in constant contact with Mr. Hamp. During that time she heard nothing from her local police department even though she added information to the police report that she had originally filed.

She explained that Ms. Aguirre used her son’s Social Security number for employment purposes, to obtain credit and even to get medical care. Ms. Andrushko told the court how hard it has been to determine the damage done to her son’s future and how after three years of constant effort, she has only scratched the surface.

It has even been more difficult to try to clean up the damage because the information is under Ms. Aguirre’s name but with Ms. Andrusko’s son’s Social Security number. Ms. Andrusko is considered to be a third party since she is not the victim and is constantly told that the five year old victim is the only one who can request and get information about activity on his Social Security number.

The court heard that Ms. Andrushko was exceptionally concerned that her son’s Social Security number had been used by a 38 year old, Hispanic female with a different blood type, different allergies and different medical conditions since this could lead to the corruption of her son’s medical records with life threatening consequences.

Ms. Andrusko described how she had contacted the three major credit reporting agencies. All three initially told her that no files existed for her son. She kept up the pressure and in March she was finally advised by TransUnion that there were indeed records linked to her son’s Social Security number in spite of earlier denials. She then contacted medical offices and others who had provided services to Ms. Aguirre while using her son’s Social Security number. (All denied any responsibility for the harm caused to her son.)

Mainly through her own efforts, Ms. Andrushko discovered that:

  • Her son’s Social Security number was used for employment purposes in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2009. (Her son was born in 2006 and even though the number had been used illegally for years, the Social Security Administration still assigned it to him. The fraudulent use of her son’s number resulted in three felony identity fraud charges and two felony forgery charges).
  • Her son’s record showed credit charges totaling $10,397 with Ms. Aguirre co-signing with her husband. This included an auto loan in 2006 of approximately $9000 and another in 1999 for pots and pans. (No charges have been brought for these felonies).
  • Medical care was obtained under her son’s number. This included collections totaling around $7000 and 11 accounts at various facilities of a local health care group plus care at an OB/GYN’s office and some pathology items. (No charges have been brought for these felonies).
  • A pathology bill was paid for by Medicaid which raises the question of whether Ms, Aguirre illegally received government benefits by using a fraudulently obtained Social Security number. (No charges have been brought for these possible felonies).
  • Ms. Aguirre had also used another fraudulently obtained Social Security number meaning that she has still committed more felonies and more importantly that there may be another identity theft victim. (No charges have been brought for these felonies).

Ms. Andrushko pointed out that Ms. Aguirre had seriously compromised if not destroyed her son’s future and that as his mother, she was doing everything possible to recover his good name and to avoid future problems.

She told the court that she fears that her son’s Social Security number will continue to be used if the perpetrator is released. She recommended that Ms. Aguirre be given the same sentence and held to the same accountability standard that she would be held to if the situation was reversed and if she had used the Social Security number of one of Ms. Aguirre’s American born children.

She also discussed her son’s understanding of what has happened to him and of his apprehension about being near Ms. Aguirre during her initial appearance since he knew that the police had been looking for her for a long time. The judge acknowledged seeing the victim, five year old Carter Andrushko, and his family in court every time action was taken in the case.

Ms. Andrushko said that she was genuinely sorry for what the Aguirre family is going through since Ms. Aguirre’s husband was recently arrested and jailed for a serious crime.

She emphasizes that she doesn’t wish Ms. Aguirre ill but that she does want her to understand that children, including her American born children, are prime targets for Social Security number only identity theft. In fact, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Ms. Aguirre’s children’s Social Security numbers are in the pool of numbers available on the street and that her children are the victims of illegal alien driven, job related identity theft.

Ms. Adrushko asked for a copy of the conviction or another document that would help her prove that legal action has been taken and that would help her recover her son’s good name and his future. She also asked for a list of everything Ms. Aguirre used her son’s stolen identity for no matter how trivial – dentist visits, cell phones, utilities, employment, even the purchase of a stick of gum, etc.

The judge inquired about getting a new Social Security number for the victim. Mr. Hamp explained that that would be just one more burden on the victim and that there was no guarantee that the new Social Security number would not be compromised.

Ms. Andrushko said that she had been told not to waste her time trying to get a new Social Security number issued since there had to be two years of constant abuse resulting in so much financial damage that the victim would never be able to recover. She reiterated the fact that her son had already been assigned a corrupted Social Security Number by the Social Security Administration and that she did not want to go through that again since the Social Security Administration continues to issue numbers that are being fraudulently used.

Due to the arrest of Ms. Aguirre’s husband, sentencing was deferred until September 24.

31 illegal immigrants arrested in countywide ICE sweep

Federal authorities arrested 31 people, including nearly two dozen illegal immigrants, in San Diego County during an operation targeting criminal immigrants last week, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Sixteen of the 31 individuals arrested were North County residents, according to ICE. The arrests took place in Chula Vista, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, La Mesa, Oceanside, San Diego, San Marcos and Vista.

The three-day operation, which ended Friday, was conducted by ICE as part of the agency’s efforts to prioritize the deportation of criminal illegal immigrants and illegal immigrants who have been deported before, officials said.

“(ICE) is committed to working hard to make our communities safer by arresting and removing convicted criminal aliens and those who blatantly ignore their deportation orders without regard for our nation’s laws,” said Robin Baker, field director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations in San Diego.

Among those arrested was a 51-year-old Mexican man, whose name was not released, convicted of committing lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14, according to ICE. He is facing deportation, officials said.

Another man arrested during the operation was a 55-year-old Mexican man with a criminal history that includes domestic violence, drunken driving, theft and possession of a controlled substance, according to ICE. He was deported to Mexico last week, officials said.

The 25 men and six women arrested during the operation include foreign nationals from three countries; Mexico, Guatemala and Russia.

Of those arrested during the operation, 23 were illegal immigrants with prior criminal convictions whose crimes included sex crimes, domestic violence, embezzlement and possession of narcotics, officials said.

The group also included five immigration fugitives with outstanding orders of deportation and 18 previously deported illegal immigrants.

Massachusetts Closes Illegal Alien Driving Loophole

Massachusetts has joined the ranks of states that see the need to compensate for weak federal immigration enforcement by acting at the state level to make life more difficult for illegal aliens. The Bay State legislature has voted overwhelmingly to pass a bill to crack down on unlicensed illegal alien driving by allowing only licensed or legally present individuals to register vehicles.

The bill closes a common but serious loophole that endures in many states. In Massachusetts it was exposed by police officers who complained of frequent encounters with unlicensed illegal alien traffic offenders. The officers report that typically the illegal alien drivers carry no insurance either, having purchased only the minimum time period of coverage to get a vehicle registration. According to documents obtained by local Fox News investigative reporters, in 2010 there were nearly 200,000 vehicles registered to unlicensed drivers in Massachusetts.

For a more complete look at the vehicle registration loophole, see my colleague David North’s report, which has information on each state policy.

Republican lawmakers had been trying to pass this reform for years, but it took a perfect storm of events, some tragic, to create a bipartisan veto-proof consensus large enough to overcome the objections of Gov. Deval Patrick, a friend and ally of President Obama who favors sanctuary policies, and who even tried to block the Secure Communities program from the state. But beginning last August, a continuous string of traffic fatalities involving unlicensed illegal alien drivers raised public awareness of the problem and kept it in the news. These events inspired two Democrats who represent a town with a large illegal population to get behind the bill and work for its passage. Relatives of the victims used social media to organize friends and supporters who swamped state house switchboards and talk radio programs to lobby for the changes.

Lawmakers became further enraged this spring, when the state motor vehicle registry issued a new driver’s license to “Omar” Onyango Obama, the uncle of the president, and a long-time immigration fugitive. Obama admitted to a drunk driving charge, but said he needed the license to keep his job as a liquor store manager while he fights being ordered removed a second time.

The lopsided vote for the bill, passed by 135-19-2 in the House and 24-10 in the Senate, was a pointed rebuke to the pro-illegal alien policies of Gov. Patrick. Patrick first tried to water down the legislation, then vetoed it, and then tried to run out the clock on the legislative session, but lawmakers worked into the night to make sure it became law over his objections.

You can’t help but wonder, if such an accomplishment is possible in Massachusetts, one of the most liberal of states where Republicans are outnumbered 163-37, why has Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives not managed to move even the most obvious pro-immigration enforcement bills that have passed the House Judiciary Committee?

Sentencing set for man accused in beheading death

A judge will decide whether a North Dakota man convicted of shooting and beheadingNorth Dakota State Universityresearcher should serve life in prison without parole.

A jury in April found Daniel Wacht guilty of murder in the death of 54-year-old Kurt Johnson.

Johnson was last seen alive outside a Cooperstown bar on New Year’s Eve 2010. His severed head was found in a crawl space in Wacht’s basement. His body has not been found.

Prosecutors said during trial there were “layers of evidence” to convict Wacht. Defense attorney Steven Mottinger argued that there was no way to prove Wacht pulled the trigger.

Sentencing is scheduled Wednesday in Cooperstown at 9:30 a.m.

Sam Mellinger: Twitter-sphere takes aim at NBC’s delays

They are worrying about security, with missile launchers on residential buildings. They are worrying about appearances, with military personnel serving as seat-fillers for the TV shots. And they are worrying about the rain, with CGI-looking clouds hovering over Olympic Park here.

As it happens, what they really should be worrying about is Twitter. The social media monster with the silly name is turning these Summer Olympics upside down, 140 characters or so at a time.

Even if you’re not on Twitter the impact is impossible to miss. Hope Solo, the wild and terrific goaltender for Team USA women’s soccer, used it to blast former teammate and now commentator Brandi Chastain. A Greek triple jumper was booted out of the Olympics for a racist Tweet. And the German hockey player was apparently the victim of a “cowardly fake” message with an offensive joke about Greece.

 

Back home, the Twitter takeover is mocking NBC’s 10-figure investment in the Games. When a broadcasting giant can’t make events start in prime time on the East Coast, it just pretends it can.

So with London five hours ahead of those major markets, NBC made the very 1996 decision to tape-delay many events – notably major ones such as the Lochte-Phelps showdown.

NBC has always tape delayed Olympic events when there’s a major time difference, but these are different times we’re in. Twitter didn’t exist in 2004, and only had six million users in 2008. Today, more than 150 million people use it.

Twitter ensures the world moves in real time, and in that way NBC is spitting into the wind of reality. It’s streaming events live online with the slogan “watch history on NBCOlympics.com,” which is good advice when the alternative is to watch history on television.

NBC is also taking the stubborn stance that high TV ratings are a mandate of tape delayed programming. As if people are tuning in to see NBC, and not the actual events.

Behind the scenes, Olympics organizers and powers are struggling with how to deal with this. They like the free and easy promotion provided by athletes speaking directly to fans, but don’t want the headaches of the inevitable controversies.

NBC’s issue is potentially worse. Information embargoes on major events happening in front of thousands of reporters just aren’t possible. A policy made it possible to revoke credentials of journalists who posted pictures of the opening ceremonies setup before the broadcast, but if there was ever sincerity in the threat it was overwhelmed by a huge number of violators.

There is a thought from some that this may all take care of itself. The viewing experience is still far better on affordable high-definition TV than through computers, but trends continue to push heavy toward online. More than half the online consumption of these Olympics is being done on mobile devices, for instance.

At some point, perhaps the online viewing quality will get close enough to television for the convenience to make it better overall. But at the moment, the best part of mobile devices is the immediacy – and it’s knocking heads with what NBC wants to package for your living room during primetime.

Twitter has weaved its way into a habitual place of many American lives, particularly sports fans, and nobody wants to watch an event after they know the result. If we miss a game live, that’s why God invented highlights.

NBC is trying to change the rules and fight the way people want to consume live events.

Good luck with that.

 

Has Ron Unz Refuted “Hard Hereditarianism”?

In the current issue of The American Conservative, Ron Unzattempts to take on “hard hereditarianism”: the belief that observed IQ differences between ethnic groups are largely genetically based. [Race, IQ, and Wealth | What the facts tell us about a taboo subject, July 18, 2012]

Paradoxically, Unz relies on Richard Lynn and Tutu Vanhanen’s IQ and the Wealth of Nations, which is usually (and only) cited by race realists. But he analyzes the data presented in the book and comes to the conclusion that those who worry that mass Hispanic immigration is lowering the American national IQ are misguided.

Before getting into the substance of Unz’s piece, it is worth pointing out how much has changed regarding the race and IQ debate.

Two decades ago, Stephen Jay Gould argued against the existence of both race and intelligence. Despite devastating criticism, Gould has been widely and uncritically cited by anti-hereditarianism writers ever since.

But today, those who argue that racial intelligence gaps are not genetic are generally more honest. They have mostly stopped using postmodern obfuscation to reject even the possibility of a link between ethnicity and IQ.

For example, University of Michigan Professor Richard Nisbett [Email him] in his book Intelligence and How to Get It, accepts that IQ predicts life outcomes and acknowledges that there is no a priorireason to assume that all ethnic groups have, on average, equal cognitive ability. He instead tries to prove that they do through evidence.

(Charles Kenny’s recent attack on John Derbyshire, Richard Lynn and IQ in general in Foreign Policy is an embarrassing exception to this laudable trend. But read the derisive comment thread! [Dumb and Dumber |Are development experts becoming racists? April 30, 2012])

In his American Conservative piece, Unz notes that Lynn and Vanhanen’s data reported wide variations in IQ between genetically indistinguishable populations. He claims to have found a pattern that indicates that greater wealth causes higher IQ, rather than vice versa.

For example, the Greek IQ increased by 7 points in less than two decades and Ireland saw an 11-point rise between 1972 and 1979. These increases in IQ both occurred during periods of economic expansion. Similarly, we find IQs in the low 90s for countries that were at the time of testing dirt poor and Communist such asBulgaria and Romania. Wealthier Communist states scored in the high 90s:

Countries with Large IQ Increases

Country IQ at Point 1 IQ at Point 2 IQ Change Annual GDP Per Capita Increase Time Gap Between Tests (years)
East Germany 90 99 +9 $769 (using Czech figures) 11
Greece 88 95 +7 $6047 18
Ireland 87 98 +11 $1191 7

Of course, these IQ scores are necessarily based on only one or two studies at each point in question—Lynn and Vanhanen simplyused whatever tests were available. So any such anomalies could be the result of random noise in the data.

One indication that this is the case: in Sweden we find an increase in IQ of 7 points over an 11-year period, even though at Point 1 Sweden had already had a high GDP per capita.

Interestingly, we also see countries that have become richer while at the same time losing IQ points:

Countries with Large IQ Drops

Country IQ at Point 1 IQ at Point 2 IQ Change GDP Per Capita Increase Time Gap Between Tests (years)
Israel 97 90 -7 $5276 14
Poland 106 92 -14 $561 10
Portugal 101 88 -13 $1073 8
France 99.5 (average of two studies) 94 -5.5 $9630 17

So if Unz had wanted to make the argument that greater wealth actually reduces IQ, he would also have been able to find a basis for this in Lynn and Vanhanen’s data.

Of course, the idea that getting richer makes you dumber seems absurd, and contradicts everything we know about the Flynn Effect.

And it’s not the case that the poorer countries studied by Lynn and Vanhanen only saw increases in IQ over time. At the time of each country’s first testing, Poland and Portugal both had lower annual GDPs per capita than Ireland. But Unz finds Ireland’s later rise in IQ significant, while the declines in Poland and Portugal apparently need no explanation.

All of this indicates that the wild variations in scores we see are random noise. You can only find a pattern by cherry-picking the data.

Unz also claims to find evidence consistent with the “wealth causes IQ” hypothesis in European Communist countries that did not see an IQ swing: the poorer ones have lower IQ than the richer ones.

Communist Countries without an IQ Swing

Country IQ Annual GDP Per Capita Year of Testing
Bulgaria 94 $1,315 1979
Romania 94 $1,364 1972
Bulgaria 91 $1,428 1982
Croatia 90 $2,324 (1969) 1952
Slovakia 96 $3,368 1983
Hungary 99 $3,767 1979
Czech Republic 98 $3,791 1979
Czech Republic 96 $4,262 1983

Here, we do indeed seem to see a pattern. The states with annual GDPs per capita over $3,000 all score over 95, while those below that threshold have IQs between 90 and 94.

However, if this pattern reflects some underlying reality, it contradicts other data presented in favor of Unz’s theory. At the time that their IQs were supposedly depressed, Greece and Ireland had GDPs well above the $3,000 per annum threshold; Irish citizens were over two and half times richer.

It seems hard to believe that the IQ of the Irish was depressed because they only had an annual GDP per capita of $7,790, while the Hungarians, Slovaks, and Czechs were able to realize their full potential by becoming no more than half as wealthy.

“Soft hereditarianism” looks good only if we selectively focus on the poorest countries of all: those whose citizens earned less than $2,500 a year at the time of testing. There are five studies from these nations, and four of them show average scores of 94 or below (the exception is Poland’s score of 106). This does suggest that, at the worst levels of poverty that Europe has seen in the post-World War II era, IQ can be depressed significantly.

Still, the data set is small. And after a country reaches an annual GDP per capita of about $2,500-$3,000, it is quite difficult to find any patterns at all in any of Lynn and Vanhanen’s data.

Furthermore, even if we accept that the numbers show extreme deprivation depresses IQ, it is another stretch to apply this finding to the current U.S. immigration debate.

For decades, Hispanic Americans have been as wealthy as some of the richest countries studied in IQ and the Wealth of Nations. Thus the U.S. Census measures annual “total money income per household member” by race, which appears to be the equivalent to an annual GDP per capita figure.[Historical Income Tables: Households (table H-15)] In 1980, Hispanics earned $7,720 per household member, and in 1990 that number increased to $14,197. This is obviously well beyond the level of income where we find any kind of support for the “wealth increases IQ” hypothesis.

More directly pertaining to his point, Unz cites blogger Inductivist’sWordsum analysis, The Flynn Effect among Mexican Americans[February 10, 2008] relying on data from the 2000s, that shows a native-born Mexican American score that corresponds to a 95 IQ. As the same group’s Wordsum-IQ was 84-85 in the early 1980s, Unz concludes that

almost two-thirds of the IQ gap between American-born Mexican-Americans and whites disappeared in two decades, with these results being based on nationally-representative American samples of statistically significant size.

Unfortunately for this claim, individual data points on Hispanic American IQ have fluctuated wildly in the past. In Race Differences in Intelligence , Richard Lynn lists 20 Hispanic American IQ studies going back to the 1920s (pages 164-165). A few have shown scores in the mid to high 90s.

Hispanic American IQ Scores

Year IQ Sample Size
1974 95 608
1986 94 434
1986 99 111

But all 17 other studies, going up to 2001, show scores between 83 and 93.

In other words, results from IQ studies, even those conducted in the United States, tend to show a great deal of random fluctuation. While the recent Wordsum scores are encouraging, we need more data points.

One possibility: the SAT, which has a 0.81 correlation with IQ scores (By comparison, Unz cites a 0.71 correlation between Wordsum and IQ.).[Scholastic Assessment or g? The relationship between the Scholastic Assessment Test and general cognitive ability, by Frey and Detterman, Psychological Science, June, 2004] From 1980 to 2010, the SAT gap between whites and Hispanics has held steady at between 0.6 and 0.8 standard deviations.[The Unsilenced Science: Racial Amplitudes of Scholastic Aptitude, April 11, 2012]

Of course, using the SAT data may be more problematic than Inductivist’s Wordsum scores, since the latter was able to look at only native-born Mexican Americans whereas the former must include immigrants.

But, presumably, a higher portion of Hispanic Americans taking the SAT in 2010 would be native-born compared to 1980. If their IQs were rising, the U.S. born Mexican Americans would be expected to bring up the SAT scores of all Hispanics. Yet, over thirty years, we do not see any convergence between Hispanic and white SAT results.

(And it should also be noted that a higher percentage of Hispanics drop out of high school, which means that some of the lowest performing students never get around to taking the SAT).

Ron Unz is to be commended for soberly looking into such an important and much neglected issue. It would indeed be ironic if someone used Lynn and Vanhanen’s book to refute “hard hereditarianism.” Despite Unz’s triumphant tone, however, his analysis comes up short.

Obama Administration Draws Closer to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

The cozy relationship between the United States government and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood should be cause for concern both to Americans and to Israelis.  U.S. lawmakers are calling for an investigation into President Barack Obama’s administration to determine whether some associations with Islamists could be detrimental to the security of the United States.

U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann and several other lawmakers are asking federal officials to conclude whether there are potential Islamist infiltrators interacting with American agencies, including front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood.  (See also: “‘Gentlemen’s Club’ Gangs Up on Bachmann.”)

The Obama administration has displayed considerable favor towards the Muslim Brotherhood, beginning with the rejection of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during the peak of the Egyptian revolution last year.  Bachmann, along with U.S. Representatives Trent Franks, Lynn Westmoreland, Louie Gohmert, and Thomas Rooney, wants to know why this favor has increased since Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi took office.

They are questioning how Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, received a security clearance to work for the State Department.  Some Middle East analysts conclude that Abedin, who has close family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood (see also “Saleha Abedin and the Muslim Sisterhood“), could be influencing U.S. foreign policy, especially if she is privy to classified information.  It has also been reported that Hani Nour Eldin, an Egyptian lawmaker with close ties to a U.S.-designated terrorist group, met with Obama administration officials in June 2012.

Just how much influence do sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood have in the formation of American foreign policy in the Middle East?

If U.S. foreign policy is driven by links to Islamists, this complicates the U.S. Strategic Cooperation Agreement with Israel.  Israeli officials have put their trust in the Obama White House to keep Israel’s interests in mind during this transitional period in Egyptian politics.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his great concern that the newly elected Egyptian president will keep the peace treaty intact, has depended on American diplomacy to deliver the right message to Morsi — one that will benefit America’s main ally in the Middle East…Israel.

Yet a recent meeting among Clinton, Morsi, and the latter’s foreign minister has revealed a new and worrisome development.  During a news conference in Cairo, Clinton stated:

More than three decades ago, Egypt and Israel signed a treaty that has allowed a generation to grow up without knowing war. And, on this foundation, we will work together to build a just, comprehensive, regional peace in the Middle East based on two states for two peoples with peace, security and dignity for all.

For the first time, the U.S. has publicly linked the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, as noted in Clinton’s remarks.  This is exactly what Morsi has stipulated in his public remarks, and it is a dangerous precedent set by the United States.

In the future, pressure on Israel to succumb to Palestinian aspirations may become an even greater demand of the Obama White House based on the influence of Islamists working within the American government.  Obama could have the strong backing of not only the State Department, but also other government agencies as he insists that Israel comply with certain Palestinian ultimatums in order to move the peace process forward.  Already, Israel is being asked, once again, to work on new concessions in order to bring the Palestinians back to the peace table.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is sticking to his declarations that Israel must halt construction in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and East Jerusalem, must accept a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines, and must release more than 100 Palestinians in Israeli jails.

A re-elected President Obama would have more leverage on Israel in his second term in office, because he would not have to depend on American Jewish support, as he does now leading up to the November 2012 election.  If Obama’s current Middle East policy continues, linking the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty to a comprehensive peace deal in the Middle East (foremost with the Palestinians), it will force Israel’s hand to comply not only with Palestinian demands, but also with Egyptian demands.  It will become a point of contention and increased friction between the Israeli and Egyptian governments.

At the recent news conference in Cairo, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Kamel Amr proclaimed that President Morsi “has repeatedly reaffirmed, and on all occasions, that Egypt continues to respect all treaties signed as long as the other party to the treaty respects the treaty itself.”

Does this mean that Morsi will look for an excuse to re-examine the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty because he feels that the Israeli government is not respecting the agreement in its refusal to meet Palestinian demands?

In his statement to the media, Foreign Minister Amr reiterated Morsi’s remarks regarding Egypt’s treaty with Israel and Egypt’s understanding of peace, “that it should be comprehensive, exactly, as stipulated in the treaty itself. And, this also includes the Palestinians, of course, and… their right [to] have their own state on the land that was – the pre-June 4th, 1967 borders – with Jerusalem as its capital.”

This statement strongly indicates that a newly formed Egyptian government can be expected to pressure Israel in order for peaceful relations with Egypt to continue.  This linkage is a clear sign of trouble ahead for Israel.  Morsi could accuse Israel of not adhering to the tenets of the Egyptian peace treaty because the Jewish state is unwilling to sign a comprehensive peace deal — not only with the Palestinians, but with other countries in the region as well.

What is unconscionable is that Obama is already aligning his foreign policy with Morsi’s, to the detriment of Israel.

Egypt has always been the leader of the Arab world and, until the country’s recent upheaval, has demonstrated its diplomatic power throughout the Middle East.

The last time Israel seriously entered into comprehensive peace negotiations was with Syria, brokered by Turkey, during former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s reign.  Now, diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel have soured, and the Syrian government is about to fall.  That leaves Egypt, and a much weaker Jordan, to pick up the mantle of brokering a Middle East comprehensive peace deal.

Meanwhile, Israeli leaders should be protesting to U.S. officials privately, even if they are keeping a low profile publicly, about Obama’s foreign policy in regard to Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood.  U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns visited Morsi in early July.  He underscored America’s commitment to building a new partnership with a new democratic Egypt.  But there is serious doubt that Morsi’s vision for Egypt includes the formation of a democratic state in the way that America understands democracy.

Morsi, whose first official state visit was to Saudi Arabia, is expected to get needed financial aid to help Egypt’s ailing economy.  He also welcomes U.S. aid, but not in a way that will interfere with his ideology.  Obama seems to be ignoring this fact, hoping that U.S. influence will work in Egypt.  He recently invited Morsi to visit him in September.

Morsi is currently in a political battle with the ruling Egyptian army, which is delaying efforts to write and complete a new Egyptian constitution.  Secular Egyptians are not in agreement with Morsi’s Islamic doctrine, which was revealed in his campaign speech before supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in May 2012.

At the time, Morsi proclaimed:

The Koran is our constitution. The Prophet Muhammad is our leader. Jihad is our path. And, death for the sake of Allah is our most holy aspiration. And, most of all, Allah is our goal. The Sharia; then the Sharia; and, finally the Sharia. This nation will enjoy blessing and revival only through the Islamic Sharia. I take an oath before Allah and before you all, that regardless of the actual text [of the constitution], Allah willing, the text will truly reflect [the Sharia], as will be agreed upon by the Egyptian people, by the Islamic scholars, and by legal and constitutional experts. Rejoice and rest assured that these people will not accept a text that does not reflect the true meaning of the Islamic Sharia as a text to be implemented and as a platform. The people will not agree to anything else.” (MEMRI video translation, 5/2012)

Obama’s Middle East policymakers have been misled in their appeasement of radical Islamists like Morsi, despite no guarantees that Egyptians will live in a free democratic society.  For Obama administration officials to fully embrace Morsi, knowing that he is not fully committed to the peace treaty with Israel, is a White House slap in the face to Israeli leaders.

Another concern is the increased favor Hamas has with the new Egyptian president and the parliament, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood — the parent organization of Hamas.  Morsi and his government can be expected to turn a blind eye to the increased smuggling into Gaza of advanced weapons systems, whether supplied by Libyan operatives or Iran.  Recently, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal met with Morsi in Cairo and said that Morsi’s presidency was the start of a new era for Egypt and the Palestinians.  He confirmed Egypt’s leadership role in the Arab world.

Now, it is up to Morsi to show respect for all Egyptian citizens, whether secular or religious; to keep the peace with Israel regardless of Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians or neighboring Middle East countries; and to accept American economic aid in exchange for a peaceful transition to a free and democratic society.  That scenario is unlikely as Islamists take control of the Arab Spring and exercise their power in the Middle East.  It is time for American officials to stop their appeasement policies, wake up, and see the handwriting on the wall.