Doer in battle over border comments
U.S. conservatives are fighting back against Gary Doer, Canada's ambassador to the United States, insisting that terrorists have indeed entered the United States through Canada after the former Manitoba premier denounced the recent remarks of a Tea Party candidate.
The campaign of Sharron Angle of Nevada, who is running for the U.S. Senate, pointed Tuesday to the case of Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian who was convicted of trying to bomb Los Angeles International Airport in 1999.
Ressam's plans were thwarted when he was stopped by a diligent U.S. customs officer at the ferry terminal in Port Angeles, Wash., where he'd come from Victoria.
Michelle Malkin, a popular conservative commentator, joined Angle's campaign in defending her.
"Canada's lax border: Sharron Angle is right," read the headline on a Malkin blog post on Tuesday.
"Angle is absolutely spot-on about the porous northern border. She's saying what Homeland Security officials have been saying for years," Malkin wrote.
She goes on to reprint a list of suspected terrorists with links to Canada from Janice Kephart, who served as counsel to the U.S. commission that looked into the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings. None of those on the list had ties to the Sept. 11 attacks.
Doer sent a letter on Monday to Angle's campaign, defending Canada's border security measures and telling her she was wrong to have suggested last week that the men who engineered the 9/11 attacks entered the U.S. through Canada.
"There have been no terrorist attacks on the United States coming from Canada," Doer wrote, citing the 9/11 Commission report. "I can assure you that Canada takes border security very seriously and trust you will see fit to set the record straight."
He added: "We do not have a 'porous' border but rather one of the more secure borders in the world."
Doer is just the latest Canadian ambassador forced to remind Americans that Canada had no ties to the 9/11 attacks. Former ambassador Michael Wilson had to issue the same reprimand in spring 2009 after Homeland Security czar Janet Napolitano suggested the 9/11 terrorists had a Canadian connection.
Former ambassador Frank McKenna once called the diehard American myth a "viral infection."