Kevin McCarthy Lying About Terrorists At The Southern Border? UNPOSSIBLE!
"Pretty sure he is either wrong or lying" sums up so much about Kevin McCarthy. The House minority leader bobs along on a peaceful sea of ignorance and mendacity, buoyed by his own willingness to say absolutely anything to boost his political fortunes. And so his nonsensical comments about terrorists infiltrating our southern border caused barely a ripple in the news cycle.
McCarthy claims people on "the terrorist watch list" from "Yemen, Iran, and Turkey" are being caught coming across… https://t.co/Foja3AwQSu— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1615833703.0
And when you go to Monument Three and you talk to those agents, it's not just people from Mexico, or Honduras, or El Salvador. They're now finding people from Yemen, Iran, Turkey. People on the Terrorist Watch List they are catching. And they're rushing in all at once.
No, not really. As the Washington Post notes, there have been zero media reports about terrorists apprehended at the southern border, and McCarthy's peers who are in a position to know immediately called his claims horseshit.
"Weird as the Chairman of the subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations and a border state member of Congress haven't heard anything about this," tweeted Rep. Ruben Gallego. "Gonna ask for a briefing. Pretty sure he is either wrong or lying."
Rep. Veronica Escobar, a Democrat who represents the El Paso area, said she offered to connect McCarthy with people in her district who could engage him in a meaningful discussion of border issues and that she begged him not to use the Latino community as "a prop."
"When I learned that Leader McCarthy would be coming into my district and into my community, I sent him a letter," she told reporters Monday, according to the Post. "I also cautioned him … and asked him to be mindful about the fact that the words that he and our colleagues use have great power, and they have great consequences, as well."
But McCarthy came to Texas to demagogue, and he was going to get his money's worth!
We've played this exact game before during the Trump administration where Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tried to bolster her boss's off the cuff blarping about terrorists flooding in through Mexico by ignoring the difference between people from Special Interest Countries and Known Suspected Terrorists. So any person apprehended at the border who hails from a country that has ever produced a terrorist is magically transformed into a real, live TERRORIST INFILTRATOR, BE VERY AFRAID!
Because it's not enough to pretend that desperate, frightened people seeking asylum are all rapists and cartels. Sometimes you gotta spice it up by pretending that Osama bin Laden is trying to break in via Mexico!
Sarah Huckabee Sanders also got in on the action, saying in January 2019, "We know that roughly, nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border." Note that she doesn't say that terrorists are actually coming in through Mexico, but she doesn't not say it either. In reality, zero terrorists were apprehended at the southern border — the vast majority were blocked when they tried to fly in through a US airport.
But the fact that it was nonsense didn't stop the Trump administration. Check out this fun DHS memo from 2019 where the agency tried to retcon this hokum by pretending that citizenship in a list of countries which includes both Bangladesh and Nigeria equates to a specific finding of potential terrorist activity.
"Last year at our Southern Border, DHS encountered more than 3,000 'special interest aliens' — individuals with suspicious travel patterns who may pose a national security risk," they warned ominously, "not to mention the many criminals, smugglers, traffickers, and other threat actors who try to exploit our borders."
So McCarthy's blatant lies about apprehensions at the southern border are nothing new. Which is perhaps why he felt no pressure to present any evidence besides claiming that he talked to border agents and "You saw it in their eyes."
So, which is it? Is he wrong or lying?
Haha, that is a trick question. The answer is YES.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.