Sunday, May 9, 2010

Flawed Conservative Argument Claims Obama Negligent In Faisal Shahzad's Removal From No-Fly List, Despite No Proof

Jim Hoft is at it again, spreading more lies about the government on Big Government.

In an article discussing the New York City Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, Hoft insists that the Obama administration removed the suspected terrorist from the no-fly list.
Earlier this week it was reported that the Obama White House removed confessed terrorist Faisal Shahzad from the Department of Homeland Security travel lookout list sometime after Barack Obama came into office.

Terrorist Faisal Shahzad had substantial connections to the Taliban, reached out to the Taliban, was influenced by Yemeni terror leader Anwar al Awlaki, made at least a dozen return trips to Pakistan since arriving in the United States in 1999, and he bought a one way ticket with cash to Pakistan.

Now we find out that he was “blogging” and asking for jihad as far back as 2006 but that the Obama Administration took him off the terror watch list anyway.
Hoft cites as a source a blog called The Strata-Sphere, which discusses the Obama administration dismantling "Bush-era terrorist investigations."

The author, AJ Strata, cites this CBS article, which states the following:
Sources tell CBS News that would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad appeared on a U.S government travel travel lookout list - Traveler Enforcement Compliance System (TECS) - between 1999 and 2008 because he brought approximately $80,000 cash or cash instruments into the United States.
Apparently, Strata and Hoft believe that on or after January 20th, 2009, Shahzad was removed from the list. Because the article is vague, only stating the years in which Shahzad appeared on the list, Strata assumes that it had to be after 2008 and especially after the Bush administration relinquished control of the government. It is entirely possible that Shahzad's name was removed on January 19th, 2009, but logically, had 19 days passed and the Obama administration took office, and they were the ones responsible for removing Shahzad's name from the list, then the CBS article would have had to state that he was on the list "between 1999 and 2009."

Based on the information presented in the CBS article, I had posted a response, indicating that the CBS report stated that he was on the list from 1999 to 2008, and that the Bush administration was probably responsible for the removal. My fellow commenters at Big Government didn't like that too much, but surprisingly, they couldn't formulate a response to my claims. Instead, they went off on another tangent.

A man by the name of Roger felt it was his need to offer further proof of the ineffectualness of the Obama administration:
And if the CIA was still collecting information without the fear of prosecution they would have reported this guy training all over the place in Pakistan.

And it's not that he slipped through the cracks, it is that the response has been so abysmal. They still haven't gotten their story straight and the media still covers for his administration.

Janet and her horrible hair do need to be shown the door and someone with a 'fire in the belly' needs to be put in that spot.

And what has FEMA done for Tennessee? There is a video clip of a canoe floating over the stage in the grand ole oprey house, the MSM isn't covering that. Why? Why are liberals ignoring the rest of the country, they sure notice when anything happens in their liberal neighborhoods.
We had gone from talking about the removal of Faisal Shahzad from the no-fly list to the CIA's inability to collect information, the administration's "abysmal" response in handling Shahzad and the mixed messages from the developing story, Janet Napolitano's hair, and FEMA. Nowhere did I see a rebuttal to the fact that the CBS report did not indicate the Obama administration was negligent.

I followed up by asking Roger if he thought it was "good for Hoft to misreport and present a false notion as fact?"

"You haven't shown that Hoft presented anything less than accurate and truthful," Roger responded. "You have shown you are bubbling over with anger and frustration, but nothing more."

Really? I thought citing the source of the entire story and pointing out the fallacy in Hoft's article, indicated precisely that Hoft was in fact "less than accurate and truthful."

I also cited this Fox News article, that mentions a statement from the Heritage Foundation, that compares the federal government's use of FEMA to a bailout. I thought citing a conservative source and conservative organization would give me some credibility, but I was mistaken. Roger responded with the following:
You amaze me with this limited government. With EPA where are the limits? Do they respect state boundaries? What about the imperial presidency, does he have his czars respect state lines?

So, you encourage federal intervention in every case but flooding in a republican state. Did you have this position in New Orleans, or did you take the chance to rip on Bush?

My position is, that Fema should at least have a grasp on the situation and our president should be aware, and make resources available to the local authorities. Even if it's drinking water, and it should be declared a federal disaster area for several reasons.

And we don't know if the administration is working in Tennessee, because the media is ignoring it. Good drama works for the liberals, isn't that why Mrs. Obama has so many kids to her garden for photo ops?

So, basically... we are not allowed to use the same cases as the liberals do when the shoe is on the other foot ? We can't use drama, photo ops, federal programs (even in case of disasters) or the media because you don't like it and will call it 'misrepresenting?

Equality is supposed to be the same for everyone, you don't believe that evidently.
Roger apparently believes that I don't believe in equality.  He also makes some broad assumptions.  I had not mentioned the EPA, czars, or New Orleans.  Roger just seems to be deflecting from my original statement - Faisal Shahzad was removed from the list prior to Obama assuming office.  He also missed the point I was making about limited government, which is that conservatives like to attack overreaching government, but in this instance, they want to accuse the government for not doin enough, which is far from the truth.  Roger must not have read the statement made by Tennessee's governor Phil Bredesen:
I have to say that FEMA and the White House have been absolutely supportive. Very quickly FEMA was on the ground here before the raindrops started falling. ... The President was on the phone to me before the sun came up practically on Monday morning. Slightly after it came up, other people from the White House had called and checked in with us and helped. ... I've never seen this kind of a response to things that have happened. We've had our share of tornadoes and those kinds of things. ... I'm very, very pleased with the response we've gotten from the administration.
The White House also released a statement regarding the federal government's involvement:
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Tennessee and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds, and tornadoes beginning on April 30, 2010, and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Cheatham, Davidson, Hickman and Williamson.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis in the counties of Cheatham, Davidson, Hickman and Williamson for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Using logic, Roger's argument is that since we don't know if the administration is doing anything in Tenessee, because the media is choosing to ignore it for some reason, then the Obama administration must not be doing anything at all.  I would think the government's statement and the Tenessee governor's comments would be supporting evidence that the media is covering the federal government's involvement, and Roger is choosing not to ackowledge any story, especially one that may paint the president in a favorable light.

I also thought Roger's response to my response to his comment regarding the Grand Ol' Opry.  He implied that the video of the canoe was evidence that the government was doing anything.  When I stated it was only used for dramatic effect to advance a particular agenda, Roger changed his story, stating that it was taking a play out of the liberal playbook - sounds like another one of those talking points conservatives like to use involving Saul Alinsky.

I also found the claim that Tennessee was a "republican state" to be interesting. While the 2008 election results saw John McCain get 57% of the vote for the presidency, the state's elected representatives are varied. The governor is a Democrat, along with a majority of the representatives in the house, with 4 Republicans and 5 Democrats. Both senators are Republican. Roger's assumption that I have a preference against "republican" states is not only wrong, but flawed.

Let's take a logical look at Roger's argument. Considering the fact that John McCain overwhelming won the state in 2008 seems to contradict Roger's dissatisfaction with the Obama administration, after all, why is he attacking the president of a Democrat country? Considering the majority of Republican legislators for Tennessee, you could also argue that Roger is being argumentative, because again, using the same logical argument, Roger is defying a Democrat nation with Democrat majorities in both chambers of congress.

Basically, in response to a comment I made correcting the author of the article regarding the appearance of the name of a suspected terrorist on the no-fly list, Roger had felt that the only way to back up his argument, and by proxy, his ideology, was to present numerous conflicting arguments that essentially made no sense. This seems to be popular among conservatives, and considering the attacks against education and intellectuality, I predict more ridiculous arguments coming from the right...

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