In an exclusive story on FoxNews.com we've learned this week that 10 of 17 Afghan military deserters who deserted from a training program on a U.S. Air Force base in Texas are still at large. The good news is that seven of the men have been accounted for.
But that's about all the good news there is to report right now. This story comes with a lot of questions. There's just a lot about this that doesn't add up. Here's what I want to know:
1. Why are we just hearing about this situation now, when some of the people on the list have been missing for 2 years? And when the most recent person to go missing was 6 months ago. Has something changed? What's happened to make us -- all of a sudden -- become more alert?
2. Was there a previous notice about this missing men? The Be-on-the-Lookout (BOLO) notice released on Wednesday was given a wide distribution -- it was was distributed to local and federal law enforcement officials and joint terrorism task force members across the country. Was there previous military to military notification that went out earlier this year through military security?
3. Here's a simple but important question: Are these guys all on the no-fly list? They better be! But if they're are not, why not?
4. Has there been an explanation about why all 17 of these men appear on the list, especially if 7 of them have already been accounted for?
5. When a couple was recently arrested for trying to enter MacDill Air Force Base, they were immediately flagged for having a fake ID and within 90 seconds a bomb squad was at their car. Was their lightening fast action because they were on a heightened state of alert because of the AWOL Afghans -- who had passes allowing them full access to bases.
Either the folks at MacDill misspoke or the base was on a VERY heightened state of alert. Remember these Afghan deserters had full access to bases.
The bigger picture here is that once you're in this country, legally or illegally, you can disappear. And that's whether you're here because you're mowing somebody's lawn or you're a sleeper agent. If you go back to 9/11 most of the men involved in the attack were first here legally and then they disappeared.
Nine years after September 11, the immigration issue may be politically charged, but it has a national security component. We know that after the millenium bomber was stopped on our northern border security has been tightened. But now there is a significant percentage of illegal immigrants coming through our southern border who are coming from countries that are terrorist havens, that is countries like Pakistan or Somalia. How are we planning to deal with this? Because, again, once folks get in to our country they can disappear.
Maybe all of this can be explained away. We'll see. After the Times Square bomber was caught we were told, "Oh, don't worry about it, he was upset about losing his job and his house." Now we know he was trained in Pakistan!
In the meantime, there certainly are a lot of questions. And here's the last one...
6. Why is it that we always hear about these things on a Friday afternoon?
Like I said, there are an awful lot of questions that remain, too many of them unanswered.
Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland is a Fox News National Security Analyst and host of FoxNews.com's DefCon 3. She is a Distinguished Adviser to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. She wrote Secretary of Defense Weinberger’s November 1984 "Principles of War Speech" which laid out the Weinberger Doctrine. Be sure to watch "K.T." every Monday at 10 a.m. on FoxNews.com's "DefCon3" already one of the Web's most watched national security programs.
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