I am proud to announce that I personally survived the #BowlingGreenMassacre and can officially mark myself on social media as “safe”. Many of my friends are also announcing that they also survived.
“Hey, what happened?” you might ask.
The story is this. Last Thursday Kellyanne Conway (yes ‘her’), appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews. There she proceeded defend the illegal, travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries by telling a major lie: that two Iraqi refugees were the masterminds behind “the Bowling Green massacre.” You can find that within the following clip at the 02:50 mark.
“I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalised and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre.
“Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”
Er no … most people don’t know about it because it never happened.
So did Obama impose a six-month ban?
This has been debunked by commentators. They point out that the 2011 action was a slowdown on the processing of refugees from Iraq after two Iraqi nationals were arrested over a failed attempt to send money and weapons to al-Qaida in Iraq, there was no ban, that part of the claim is a complete lie as well.
The actual facts are as follows …
- Two Iraqi men arrested in 2011 and they did live in Bowling Green, Kentucky
- When it was discovered that one of them had fingerprints that matched those taken from a roadside bomb in Iraq, it was realised that, “Databases of fingerprints from Iraqi militants were not well-integrated into the broader State Department–run refugee admissions process,” This detail was reported by VOX.
- There was no massacre, nor were they accused of even planning one
- Iraqi refugees were not banned from entering the U.S. What the Obama administration did was to initiate a new review of roughly 57,000 Iraqi refugees who had been recently admitted into the United States. This process consumed manpower and was time-intensive, so it resulted in a significant slowdown in Iraqi refugee admissions to the United States for six months.
As for Trumps travel ban for people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia, analysis by the Cato Institute confirms that the number of US citizens killed in terrorist attacks by nationals from those nations is exactly zero.
There is no factual or even moral justification for such a ban, and so the only recourse that the administration has is to simply make stuff up.
She is not the only one promoting this fictitious claim, Rand Paul was doing it as well …
Rand Paul: "…the attempted bombing in Bowling Green, where I live."
(Prosecutor said there was no attempt or even plot to bomb in America) pic.twitter.com/O0BMEgk4XF
— Joe Sonka (@joesonka) February 3, 2017
A couple of things are rather clear.
- “Alternative facts” are here to stay
- Nothing said by any representative of the administration can be trusted as reliable, deception and lies are the new norm.
Is it really all that bad?
You might be tempted to consider the thought that this is all not that bad.
Hold that thought for a moment.
Here is a recent example of just how utterly absurd things now are. Kjell Magne Bondevik from Norway recently fly into the US to attend the national Prayer Breakfast. He, was detained and questioned about a visit he had made to Iran back in 2004, 13 years ago. The fact that he did visit Iran at that time is wholly understandable, he was the Prime Minister of Norway at the time. He was also carrying a diplomatic passport when detained last week, but that did not even cause the border officials to pause and consider the thought that his detention and questioning was utterly daft.
The US does indeed face a very real existential threat from hostile forces that hate things such as basic human decency, tolerance, inclusiveness, and multiculturalism. Those hostile forces are being led by an individual who now sits in the White House. That is where the real threat to the basic integrity of the US currently resides.
“Bowling Green never remember, always forget.”
— Will Sanders (@Cinezombi) February 4, 2017
— Aaron Mitchell (@admitchell2) February 4, 2017
— Amanda Crawford (@amandajcrawford) February 4, 2017
— Charlie Dahan (@cbdahan) February 3, 2017
— Felicity Spector (@FelicitySpector) February 3, 2017
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) February 3, 2017
— Boing Boing (@BoingBoing) February 4, 2017