We interrupt our regular programming to bring you this breaking news. Flash! White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders has been caught wildly exaggerating the terrorist threat at our southern border! NBC News has the details:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered only six immigrants at ports of entry on the U.S-Mexico border in the first half of fiscal year 2018 whose names were on a federal government list of known or suspected terrorists, according to CBP data provided to Congress in May 2018 and obtained by NBC News.
The low number contradicts statements by Trump administration officials, including White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who said Friday that CBP stopped nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists from crossing the southern border in fiscal year 2018.
Gotta admit, that 4,000 down to just six is a pretty damning indictment of White House dishonesty. One might be tempted to think that the Trump administration routinely exaggerates things as a bargaining tactic. Not that the Democrats or the news media would ever do that. If the millions of deaths caused by global warming and repealing Net Neutrality haven’t convinced you of their honesty and good faith, then nothing will.
Still, I can’t help but think about that number. Only six possible terrorists—surely a drop in the bucket, jihadi-wise. It’s no wonder NBC is so inclined to laugh off the threat. I mean, even assuming that the government’s numbers are correct, six ain’t a whole lot—is it?. And assuming that for the six who got caught, there weren’t hundreds or maybe thousands of other dangerous individuals who weren’t on the watch list but did make it through, that’s still no reason to build a big, silly, immoral wall—right?
Before we answer that question, though, perhaps we should consider what a small number of highly-motivated terrorists can do.
In France back in 2014, three terrorists killed 90 people at the Bataclan Theater in Paris. A year later, just one bloke driving a truck through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice killed 86 more.
But that’s Europe, right? Terrorism here in the States isn’t nearly as bad, is it?
Well, there were the two guys with a truck bomb who tried to blow up the World Trade Center back in 1993. Even though they fell short of their goal when the towers didn‘t fall, they still managed to kill six people. And how about those Tsarnaev brothers in Boston? They used a couple of pressure cookers to kill three people and main dozens more, before they moved on to murdering a police officer and shooting up a neighborhood as the cops closed in on them.
Oh, then there was that charming couple in San Bernardino who shot up an office Christmas party in 2015. They managed to kill 14 before skipping out on the egg nog and cookies. And let’s not forget Omar Mateen—just one guy with a pistol who capped 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando a little over two years ago.
The overachievers in the terrorist club, though, have to be the 19 hijackers who commandeered four airplanes on September 11, 2001, crashing them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, taking nearly 3,000 lives in the process. Granted, a measly six terrorists is only a third of that number—but you can see what I’m getting at here.
What’s amazing, however, is how NBC apparently doesn’t get it. Even six people on the terrorist watch list trying to cross the border is six too many—and there is no “only” about it. I’ll grant them that Sarah Sanders greatly overstated the numbers involved, but it’s hard to overstate the nature of the threat.
We need the wall. So let’s build the damn thing already.