Friday, February 03, 2017

More “alternative facts,” i.e., falsehoods (or lies) from the Trump administration

Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President and infamous for her recent “alternative facts” locution (a term, Robert Hockett reminds us, that can indeed have a perfectly proper descriptive semantic referent), has now provided us with an illustrious example of the Trump administration’s appalling penchant for resort to such falsehoods:

“Speaking to Chris Matthews on MSNBC on Thursday night, Conway said: ‘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. Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.’”

This is “brand-new information” alright, because it’s a complete fabrication: there never was such a “massacre:”

As Ed Mazza explains at The Huffington Post,

“Conway … appears to be referring to an incident in 2011 when two Iraqi refugees were arrested in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Mohanad Shareef Hammadi and Waad Ramadan Alwan believed they were sending money and weapons to al Qaeda in Iraq when in fact, they were caught in an FBI sting operation. While Hammadi and Alwan were convicted in 2013 of terrorism and are currently imprisoned, there was no massacre in Bowling Green nor were they accused of planning or attempting one.

There was also no ‘ban’ on the refugee program. As Business Insider reported, the Obama administration delayed processing refugees as it expanded screening measures; refugees already in the country were re-screened. Iraqi refugees continued to enter the country, just at a slower pace.”

Not only was there no “Bowling Green massacre,” there was no “ban” on the Iraqi refugee program. Yet more evidence for the proverbial proposition that “truth is stranger than fiction.”

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