Kellyanne Conway ... defended the White House's refugee ban with an assertion that appears to be factually indefensible: She made up a "massacre."More:
Appearing on MSNBC's Hardball TV program on Thursday night, Conway referred to the "Bowling Green massacre" as part of her attempt to justify Trump's temporary restrictions on refugees and nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries.
"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 they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre," Conway said
"Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered."
However, it seems likely that the incident Conway refers to didn't get covered because there is an overwhelming consensus that there was no massacre at all.
... it's possible Conway was referring to Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 25, and Waad Ramadan Alwan, 41 -- two Iraqi nationals who were sentenced to long prison terms for taking part in attacks against U.S. troops in their homecountry, according to the Justice Department.These were men who came to the U.S. under a refugee program for Iraqis. After the U.S. government identified them, it arranged a sting that caught them:
The two men lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky at the time of their indictment, but there is no information about either of them carrying out a "massacre" -- or any violent offenses at all -- on U.S. soil.
Once the FBI learned of Alwan’s presence in Bowling Green, an undercover agent fooled him into thinking he was helping Al Qaeda in Iraq by sending rocket-propelled grenade launchers, machine guns, sniper rifles and more.The refugee program was tightened -- and by the way, that had consequences for one legitimate would-be refugee:
Alwan enlisted the help of Hammadi, who was also living in Bowling Green, according to documents.
Once authorities were confident the pair was not part of a larger terrorist cell, they arrested Hammadi and Alwan. The former was sentenced to life in prison, the latter to 40 years behind bars.
That case forced the State Department to stop processing applications from Iraqis seeking safety in the U.S. for six months in 2011....It's possible that Conway, or whatever young aide briefed her, literally didn't know that a massacre of this kind never took place in Bowling Green.
At least one Iraqi who helped the U.S. was assassinated during the delay, ABC reported, citing two U.S. officials.
But even if that's true, Conway knows that the deplorables who put Trump in office won't care that she got this wrong, or will decide that these guys could have committed a Bowling Green massacre and therefore this is less of an "alternative fact" than, oh, everything the hated lamestream media reports. To them, it could have been true, so it is true. So she assumes she never really has to check her facts if a misstatement will make the hated LSM rise to the bait, because Trump's base will never abandon him if she remains cavalier about the facts.
It's not clear how wise this assumption is. A new CBS poll says that Trump has only a 40% job-approval rating and a 48% disapproval rating.
If she did know she was making up a fact, which is an entirely reasonable surmise, then it's clear she'll always make up facts if that seems like the best way to attain a goal. We weren't talking about these two guys from Bowling Green. Now we are. Mission accomplished.
We're in a post-fact world. This won't be the last time this happens. And I'm certain that Conway and the administration will never express regrets for this lie, or any other.
UPDATE: Oh, here's the alleged excuse, via Instapundit.
There was an incident in Chattanooga in which several people were shot on U.S. military installations, but it took place in 2015, not 2011. And the perpetrator, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, was not a refugee -- he was a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in 1990 and came to the U.S. with his family as an infant. (That would have been around the time the U.S. started a great big war on behalf of the Kuwaitis, whose country had been invaded by troops from Saddam Hussein's Iraq.)
Oh, and Chattanooga is about 150 miles from Bowling Green. Gosh, Kellyanne, I thought it was elite bubble-dwelling liberals who couldn't tell all those flyover communities apart.
UPDATE: Shockingly, Conway admits error:
Not shockingly, she follows up by claiming she's been mistreated.
You're in the major leagues now, Kellyanne. Put on your big-girl pants and stop whining.
Oh, and Both Sides Do it but "the enemy" is worse:
1/2: Honest mistakes abound. Last night, prominent editor of liberal site apologized for almost running a story re: tweet from fake account— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) February 3, 2017
2/2: yet won't name him, attack him, get the base 2 descend upon him. Same with MLKJr bust fake story. It's called class, grace, deep breath— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) February 3, 2017
No, here's how you do it: "I was wrong." Period. Full stop. You apologize, then you drop the subject.
Class? Grace? You wouldn't know them if you tripped over them, Kellyanne.