In a recent interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway cited an entirely made-up story in a thinly-veiled attempt to justify the Trump administration’s proposed and poorly executed Muslim travel ban.
According to Conway, two things happened (that really didn’t): first, back in 2011 the Obama administration banned Iraqi refugees from entering in the United States for six month. Second, that the reason for said ban was due to something she called the “Bowling Green Massacre”; an apparent attack committed by Iraqi refugees in Kentucky that, coincidentally, a) no one ever heard of, and b) was not covered by the media.
“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 radicalized and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre,” Conway stated. “Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”
For the record, there has never, ever been a terrorist attack committed by Iraqi refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Ever.
Think about is: Kentucky. Red-state Kentucky. Iraqi terrorists in red-state Kentucky. A massacre. Think this one would have slipped the press stream?
The real story, however, is that in 2011 two Iraqi refugees, Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, were in fact arrested in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but not for any massacre. Rather the pair had allegedly been plotting to send weapons and money back home to Iraqi insurgents.
The reason why the arrest of Alwan and Hammadi led to a six-month slowdown in Iraqi refugee admissions (not a “ban” by any means) is that during the FBI’s investigation, Alwan’s fingerprints were discovered on a roadside bomb in Iraq.
The findings suggested that comprehensive fingerprint databases were not being properly integrated within the State Department; a finding which prompted the Obama administration to call for a review of just under 60,000 refugees (hence the “slowdown”).
The damage is done, and going to get worse
Let’s not mistake this for anything but a lie. Conway’s “massacre” assertion is yet another “alternative fact” that plays straight to the base for which it was intended, and odds are she hit her mark perfectly.
The faction of the U.S. population that is in support of the “Muslim ban” cannot seem to get their facts straight or correct, nor do they seem to care otherwise.
Call it an “alternative fact” or “fake news” or whatever else, this is the exact type of propaganda that stokes the Trump base, keeping people fired up without giving away any of the actual details.
Consider Trump’s most recent “don’t worry about it” line regarding his conversations with other world leaders.
“The world is in trouble, but we’re gonna straighten it out,” he said at this week’s National Prayer Breakfast. “That’s what I do. I fix things. We’re gonna straighten it out.”
“When you hear about the tough phone calls I’m having, don’t worry about it,” he continued. “Just don’t worry about it. They’re tough. We have to be tough. It’s time we’re gonna be a little tough, folks. We’re taken advantage of by every nation in the world, virtually. It’s not gonna happen anymore.”
Conway’s “massacre” assertion is yet another “alternative fact” that plays straight to the base for which it was intended, and odds are she hit her mark perfectly.
None of this makes sense, and that is the point. The Trump administration is purposely deflecting and distracting the American public in order to garner further support for its agenda because actual reality does not, in fact, support its agenda.
Whether a fictional terror attack or an inaugural popularity contest, the pro-Trump base is going to ignore the specifics and instead fall in lock-step with the rhetoric.
Conway’s lie was most likely entirely deliberate (assuming, of course, she is not actually stupid enough for it to be a mistake). Millions of voters will hear her and believe her because she is speaking the language with which they identify most.
Deliberate, damning and outright deceitful, it is this language that the Trump administration will continue to divulge straight through into the 2020 election season; when once again intelligent criticism of our political players will take a backseat to populism and social negligence will outshine constructive discourse.Click here for reuse options!
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