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Saturday
25Apr

Das Not Compute

Twice in the past week, prominent American politicians have outright lied and claimed that the 9/11 terrorists entered the United States from Canada.  First, it was Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation last Monday. In response to a question about security issues across the Mexican and Canadian borders for the United States, Napolitano said:

Canada is not Mexico, it doesn't have a drug war going on, it didn't have 6,000 homicides that were drug-related last year. Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it's been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there.

When journalist Neil Macdonald asked, "Are you talking about the 9/11 perpetratos?", Napolitano said, "Not just those but others as well."

Now it's former Republican presidential candidate John McCain. In an interview with FoxNews on Friday, McCain defended Napolitano (who at least had the decency to claim she misunderstood the question, though how she misunderstood a direct question like that is beyond me).  When asked about Napolitano's comments by Fox, McCain responded, "Well, some of the 9/11 highjackers did come from Canada, as you know."  

At least Fox, which likes to spend time bashing Canada for things such as being a terrorist haven, had the good sense to note McCain is wrong in the title of the article: "McCain Repeats False Claim That Sept. 11 Hijackers Entered U.S. From Canada."

Canadian Ambassador to the United States, Michael Wilson, has been apoplectic this week with first Napolitano's claims, and second, McCain's:

Unfortunately, misconceptions arise on something as fundamental as where the 9/11 terrorists came from. As the 9/11 Commission reported in July 2004, all of the 9/11 terrorists arrived in the U.S. from outside North America. They flew to major U.S. airports. They entered the U.S. with documents issued to them by the U.S. government. No 9/11 terrorists came from Canada. 

And this is the point: all of the 9/11 terrorists were indeed in the United States legally: they were not illegal immigrants, they did not smuggle themselves into the United States.  They entered the US directly, they did not pass through the Canada.  And yet, despite this, American politicians have continued to outright lie about this, and not just Napolitano and McCain, but also Hilary Rodham Clinton, when she was in the Senate, as well as Senator Charles Schumer.  And this is not an idiocy limited to the right wing, obviously.  Napolitano, Clinton, and Schumer are all Democrats, and very high-ranking ones at that.

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