Friday, February 03, 2017


Let's dispel the notion that the Trump administration doesn't know what it's doing. The Trump administration knows exactly what it's doing, or thinks it does:
Kellyanne Conway ... defended the White House's refugee ban with an assertion that appears to be factually indefensible: She made up a "massacre."

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.

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.
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:
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.

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.
The refugee program was tightened -- and by the way, that had consequences for one legitimate would-be refugee:
That case forced the State Department to stop processing applications from Iraqis seeking safety in the U.S. for six months in 2011....

At least one Iraqi who helped the U.S. was assassinated during the delay, ABC reported, citing two U.S. officials.
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.

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:

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.


Buford said...

Kellyanne Conway is just one of the demon spawn from the Succubi...there are others...Spicer may be an Inccubi...and the rest of the trump demon spawn, Steve Bannon, is going about his evil agenda, trying to start wars, oppress the press, and doing evil in ways we have never seen in our presidency before...Not even Dick Cheney is this evil...oh wait, yes he is....

Carol Ann said...

We aren't in a post-fact world. Facts still exist. Reality hasn't gone away. What we have is a society suffering from a psychotic break. The Trump administration is psychotic from top to bottom and a visible manifestation of the problems with unfettered freedom of speech (no self-control), the notion that all opinions are of equal value, and that reality is only what we believe (a New Age thing, thanks Chopra!)

No, I don't advocate suppression of speech, I advocate education that emphasizes logic, research, thinking and learning. Our current system emphasizes job training, and all the rest is just optional.

L.A. Goldenrod said...

At this point, any news channel that continues to invite Conway on-air is complicit in the Trump administration's efforts to mislead the country. She never does anything but lie. They know before they call her that she will not do anything but lie. If they put her on the air anyway, it must be assumed that they want her to lie to their viewers.

Professor Chaos said...

"Appears to be factually indefensible." or as the rest of us say "a lie." I guess I should be glad the press is caling out her falsehoods at all, but I wish they weren't afraid of the word "lie,"

Cathie from Canada said...

Sometime in 2006 or 2007, a Bush staffer named Fran Townsend was being interviewed about the successes of the Bush administration. One of the things she listed was the capture of Bin Laden. When the interviewer pointed out that Bush HAD NOT captured Bin Laden, Townsend immediately described it as "a success that hasn't happened yet."
So I suppose that makes Bowling Green "a massacre that hasn't happened yet"!

AllieG said...

The thing about this is that it gets her laughed at. She made a fool of herself. Can't misdirect that. That's why it got the first sort of apology of the Trump administration. I'm sure that was on orders.

Jimbo said...

In the Bush II Era, we had the rise of "truthiness" to represent lies that sounded like they were plausible truths but, in fact, were simply made up or serious distortions of reality. We also had Rove's famous creation of new realities that the press would dutifully study, ignoring actual reality. These deeply cynical manipulations of a largely gullible public clearly set the stage for the carnival barker and conman Trump and the outright lies and alternative facts of a new Administration clearly bent on a destructive, fascist agenda.

DTR said...

Lord have Mercy! Every time that woman appears on the TV, she looks closer to collapse. She's using a trowel for the cover-up now. The mistakes will keep coming. She reminds me of a crank addict on her last binge.

rclz said...

@Diane Rodriguez

It's the evil leaking out.....

Unknown said...

Usually Conway blames Hillary Clinton for any mistep, so I guess this is an improvement.