Tuesday, September 02, 2014


In a New York Times article about attempts by Chris Christie and other Republican presidential aspirants to get up to speed on foreign policy, there's a passing reference to a recent statement by Rick Perry:
The job training has produced some stumbles. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas invited eye rolls from Pentagon officials when he declared it a "very real possibility" that fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had come across the Mexican border and into the United States.
I read that in the Times a couple of hours ago -- at a moment when this was on the Fox Nation front page:
Fmr Border Patrol Official Warns of 'High Risk Marriage' Between Cartels, Terror Cells

Ronald Colburn, the former national deputy chief of the US Border Patrol spoke to FOX News' Jesse Watters on Fox & Friends about the ongoing crisis at the US/Mexico border.

Colburn warned of a 'high risk marriage' between Mexican drug cartels and terrorist groups intent on entering the United States.

He noted 'significant evidence' within the US intelligence community that groups such as ISIS are reaching out to the cartels for such assistance....
In the Fox and Friends clip, Watters asks if there is "actual intelligence that you're seeing that shows that ISIS is reaching out to Mexican drug cartels and potentially crossing the southern border into Texas." Colburn says there's "significant evidence and chatter, to call it that, being discussed amongst the intelligence community here in the United States that organizations such as ISIS are in fact reaching out to the very unscrupulous cartels and cartel leadership in Mexico. They are a marriage, one might call, that is quite a high risk to the United States of America." Colburn goes on to say that "we need to be watching this coming 9-1-1," over the usual Fox visual alarmism:

Of course, the long-standing, frequently debunked rumor is that Al Qaeda, not ISIS, is in cahoots with the cartels. (Note that Colburn says that some groups are working with the cartels, though he won't say specifically that ISIS is one of them. Watters, being a good Fox propagandist, is only too happy to make that final connection for Colburn.) This scaremongering goes back at least as far as 2005, when Al Qaeda was said to be working with MS-13 on what was meant to be an "American Hiroshima." (There was, of course, no such attack.)

Now, you'd think the dismal track record of the wolf-criers would dissuade others from joining their ranks, but that's not how the GOP operates. Back then it was crazy Louie Gohmert warning about the terrorist border menace; more recently, it's been National Review, which (inexplicably) still has a reputation for being resistant to crazy conspiratorialism. And as Roy Edroso notes, NR is not alone:
The venerable right-wing shit stirrers at Judicial Watch claimed that "high-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed" that "Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices." This was disseminated via friendly outfits like the Washington Times, National Review, and Newsmax, ratcheting up the panic among the brethren. "Fox News analyst Monica Crowley was one of the few journalists to draw attention" to the Judicial Watch report, breathlessly reported Twitchy, which also replicated tweets from conservatives such as "but still NO SECURED BORDER" and "Does the MSM even have a clue about this?!"
The New York Times says that Rick Perry decision to float this crazy theory was a "stumble." Was it? Not if the right-wing media thinks it wasn't. I expect this belief to become like climate change denialism and evolution skepticism -- every Republican candidate in 2016 will at least have to pay lip service to it.


Victor said...

Monica Crowley?
A journalist?
She's a propagandist.

Victor said...

Oh, and I'm still keeping my eyes peeled just in case ISIS has Saddam's killer mini-drone program, to spread Ebola - or, whatever the scary virus of the day is - along the East Coast of the USA.

Joe said...

Let's play this out: al Qaeda works with Mexican drug cartels. Mexican drug cartels can be designated terrorist organizations. Gun dealers in the Southwestern US sell guns to Mexican drug cartels. Gun dealers get prosecuted for material support to terrorism.

Pass the popcorn!