Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Lie like a Trump

Syrian refugees in Lebanon, July 2013, via CNN.
Listening to Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) on NPR, who argues how the #MuslimBan isn't a Muslim ban because there are 40 Muslim-majority countries that aren't on it, and wishing as usual that somebody would explain: just because it will fail to ban most Muslims doesn't mean it's not a Muslim ban; it's just an ineffective one—it's aimed more at gratifying Trump's fans and giving the false impression that Trump has kept a campaign promise than anything else. It is a fake Muslim ban; a con, like everything Trump does. Nevertheless it plainly discriminates against Muslims. Just not all Muslims (and not any Muslims with whom President Trump has business dealings, as has been pointed out).

Anyway, Inskeep woke me by asking Johnson, to my surprise, why it is that Trump feels he needs to use untrue statements—I'll get the exact wording when they put up a transcript—and Johnson replied not with an answer to the question or a denial of its premises (why bother?) but some whataboutism, proffered with Kellyanne swiftness and aplomb; well, there are a lot of facts out there, and they don't get publicized, for instance this Fordham University study where they found that most 20% of people in the US charged as ISIS supporters were in fact refugees.

A little Googling revealed what he was talking about:
The most comprehensive survey of Americans who’ve been charged with attempting to help ISIS finds that none of the 68 are Syrian or Syrian-American and that only three were refugees of any kind.
“ISIS Cases in the United States,” compiled by Fordham University Law School’s Center on National Security, notes instead that to date four out of five U.S. residents charged with supporting ISIS are American citizens and almost two-thirds are U.S.-born.
Moreover, the three ISIS sympathizers who were killed in attempts to carry out attacks in the U.S. — in Texas and Boston — were all U.S.-born citizens. Two were African-Americans and the other the son of a Catholic nurse and a Pakistani-American engineer.
“In the ISIS cases, there is NO trend suggesting the involvement of refugees … or Syrians,” said Karen Greenberg, director of the Center.
It's the exact opposite of the conclusion Johnson claims to have heard about. You lie, Congressman. You lie like a Trump.

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