Saturday, February 4, 2017

Note on the Bowling Green massacre

Good idea! I always say, there's nothing worse than "evil". It's so great to have a country with no "evil" in it, we really should make an effort to keep it that way.

Kellyanne Thursday:
“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,” she said. “Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”

Oh, of course. That's so obvious when you think about it. You meant to say "two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized, and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green terrorists", because behind every unsuccessful terrorist is a radicalized mastermind, or something like that.

Although the only masterminds you could possibly advert to in that case, such as it was, weren't the Iraqis. That would be the FBI agents who talked these two helpless Iraqi refugees through trying to send money and matériel back home to the al-Qa'eda forces:
Documents filed by the United States describe in detail the material support activities of the men in Bowling Green. Without Hammadi present, Alwan loaded money and weapons he believed were being sent to Iraq on five occasions from September 2010 through February 2011, handling five rocket-propelled grenade launchers, five machine guns, two sniper rifles, two cases of C4 explosive, and what he believed to be $375,000. After Hammadi joined Alwan in January 2011, the two men loaded money and weapons together on five occasions from January to May 2011. Together, on these five occasions, they loaded five rocket-propelled grenade launchers, five machine guns, five cases of C4 explosive, two sniper rifles, one box of 12 hand grenades, two Stinger surface-to-air missile launchers, and what they believed to be a total of $565,000. Alwan and Hammadi were recorded by video during these operations. 
Partisan Democrat I may be, but when I think that the Obama administration stopped processing refugee applications for six months because of these guys, who would hardly have been able to tie their shoes without FBI assistance, I want to scream. The Bowling Green case showed that the refugee vetting program was working extremely well, bringing in people who could barely be turned into terrorists by the FBI's most intensive efforts, as I was remarking back then (when I was predicting even the Tsarnaev brothers had had FBI help in blowing up the Boston Marathon, something that still looks somewhat plausible, sorry for linking the Intercept, but it does have some journalism in it). The Obama administration response was really pretty ridiculous, though nowhere near as crazy as the hysterically frightened Trump administration démarche, which is a response to nothing at all, because nothing at all is going on, as Trump would know if he'd go to his damn briefings.

But every word Conway uses to describe it is wrong, anyhow. Those guys were in Kentucky, but they had been "radicalized" in Iraq, they wanted to contribute to terrorism in Iraq, they were guided by no masterminds other than the G-Men hoping to entrap them, and it was pretty well covered in fact. She's speaking about something basically imaginary, and so far removed from the realities that it's hard to imagine how she could have thought she'd get away with it. When I was comparing her to a jazz musician, it should have been Thelonious Monk, because the risks she takes—the wrong notes she's willing to drop in there—are so astounding.

It's really amusing, by the way, how the Trump administration keeps appealing to the Obama administration as offering precedents for their stupid decisions (there's a good story on that from Tamara Keith on NPR this morning). I thought the Obama administration was supposed to be a total disaster, the collapse into non-greatness from which Trump was planning to rescue the nation. Now he wants us to thing (falsely) that he's imitating it. I guess he may not know much, but he knows how the ratings are looking.

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