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April 16, 2015 11:22 AM UTC

No Truth To Ken Buck's ISIS/Texas Fearmongering

  • 24 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

We took note earlier this week of an alarming claim by Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado via Twitter:

Rep. Ken Buck.
Rep. Ken Buck.

Ken Buck’s warning that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is “operating a camp just 8 miles from the U.S. border”–note the lack of qualifiers well-adjusted people use like “may be”–was based on a report by the conservative group Judicial Watch, which was then reported by the conservative Washington Times. According to Media Matters for America, Sean Hannity picked up the story on Tuesday, and it spread rapidly from there in the right-wing media.

But is there any truth to this frightening assertion? It doesn’t look like it. The same Washington Times story Buck cited quotes Mexican authorities denying there is an ISIS base anywhere near the U.S. border:

“The government of Mexico dismisses and categorically denies each of the statements made today by the organization Judicial Watch on the alleged presence of ISIS’s operating cells throughout the border region, particularly at Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua – El Paso, Texas,” Ariel Moutsatsos-Morales, Mexico’s minister for press and public affairs, told The Washington Times.

“The relevant authorities operating in the region have also confirmed the inexistence of these activities with their US counterparts, with whom they will continue to work closely and to exchange information at our common border,” Moutsatsos-Morales added.

KVIA-TV in El Paso checked with local American authorities, who dismissed this latest report of ISIS lurking over the border as unsubstantiated–just like previous similar reports:

It is similar to a rumor that U.S. federal officials dismissed months ago.

ABC-7 checked with several federal law agencies involved with border security and were told the report is unverified, and it is unlikely that ISIS is in Anapra or Juarez, Mexico.

Bottom line: unless this conservative advocacy group is privy to intelligence that nobody else has, including the governments of the United States and Mexico, there’s simply no evidence that any of this is true. For a sitting member of Congress to spread such a frightening, unconfirmed rumor without any kind of qualifier that it is unconfirmed is–needless to say–highly irresponsible.

On second thought, maybe we do need to say it, since it’s been two days now and no reporter has circled back with Buck to ask about it. No matter how safely conservative a district Buck represents, we have to think there are voters in his district who won’t appreciate this baseless fearmongering.

And we think they ought to know.

Comments

24 thoughts on “No Truth To Ken Buck’s ISIS/Texas Fearmongering

  1. Is anyone checking on reports that a dangerous cabal of the brainless and armed dwarfish melon-shooters is operating a camp somewhere in close proximity to our nation’s capital?

      1. These Freedumb lovers have advanced inland are are just 8 miles from the Kansas/Nebraska border.  Cornhuskers and Wildcats, arm yourselves!

  2. There are many who will not appreciate his baseless fearmongering, including some within the Republican party.  It doesn’t matter.  The world has a new Michelle Bachmann, and his name is Ken Buck.  

  3. Can we all simply agree going forward that Ken Buck is an immoral, soulless, shameless, lying, fear-mongering, cynical POS?

    And just think what that makes those who vote for this craven bastard.

    1. And we can all agree that anything that starts with…  No truth to Ken Buck’s fill-in-the-blank… merits a big fat “duh”. But, hey, the  constituents who who voted for him probably believe everything he says and are fine with it. 

    2. Ken Buck has managed to do one thing which I thought was impossible:  he raises a genuine question whether Doug Lamborn is still the biggest embarrassment in the CO House delegation.

      1. He has also managed to expose how spineless and servile the press is to not call him on his blatant misrepresentations of the truth.  No follow up or request for verifiable details.  None.

        1. The media has been doing this kind of uncritical press release and/or he said/she said presentation ever since it presented both sides as equally valid “opinion” when Kerry was Swift Boated with nothing but undocumented lies, while he had the fully documented facts all on his side.

  4. And that lack of pushback is the reason why politicians like Ken Buck can both consume and spread bad information.   They can say irresponsible and extreme things and operate in a fact-free environment.   And once bad information gets repeated and catapulted in the mainstream print and broadcast media, people can then safely believe whatever they want.  This is how conspiracy theories and false facts jump from trashy, hula-hoop eyed wacko sources like InfoWars or WorldNetDaily and make their way into regular discourse. 

    If the mainstream media’s only role is to act as timid stenographers and report what other people are saying … and leave fact verification to third parties … and they let truth become a partisan issue … then they are letting themselves get used.  As a tool. Specifically, as a bad faith tool for spreading falsehoods, and legitimizing them as if they were debatable.

    It is all a conscious choice by the media.  They don’t want to offend anyone.  Least of all powerful, well-funded politicians, advertisers, and well-organized groups on the right.  

    But this country is drowning right now in bad information and ungrounded opinion.  And the mainstream media is facilitating.

    1. The irony is that with the Internet today people are drowning in bad information that gets reinforced from multiple biased sources.  Scientific research has been corrupted by corporate sponsors peddling a pre-defined bias.  Politicians can take any position and not worrying about the veracity of their facts.  So much information.  So little that is truly truthful.

      1. That repetition and reinforcement factor is deliberate.   Like all effective propaganda campaigns, it intended to create a feedback loop that affirms and re-affirms the messages that are dropped down the funnel for public consumption.  Except this one is part of a continuing campaign that upholds an entire superstructure of politicized information and false facts.

        It is bad enough when voters consume this.  But it is downright dangerous when the politicians that are exploiting that feedback loop start believing in it themselves.  

        As George Orwell once said, “Sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.”   And we’ve been lurching around a lot as a nation for the last 14 years, partially blinded, on various domestic and international battlefields.  Some people are seeking new ones.   

        1.  “affirms and re-affirms the messages that are dropped down the funnel for public consumption.’  

          Like the message from the American Petroleum Institute that natural gas is a “clean” fuel? That kind of message?

          It is, of course, not. The relentless campaign on national TV has convinced over 70% of Americans that natural gas is cleaner than coal…’tain’t so Magee.

          Aldous Huxley saw it coming….

          “log on to learn more….”

  5. ISIS vs. cartels

    Hmmmm.. As reality TV it would be too sad and gross.

    but as graphic novel,  comic book TV series, I kinda like the concept.  Might need zombies, but it could stand alone.

  6. Eighty-two years ago, a gentleman stood before a nation in the grip of fear caused by what seemed to most people to be overwhelming economic calamity and the rise of some of the most malignant foreign leaders in all of history.  He looked out at the people gathered in a great crowd to hear him speak and the millions across the country gathered around radios and he began:

          All we have to fear is fear itself.

    With those words Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a person who knew all about fear and the well springs of inner strength,  brought hope to the entire nation and calmed the anxiety that was felt by all.

    Compare Mr. Buck and others of his ilk, like former member of Congress Michelle Bachman, to that.  Instead of leadership, they call upon us to fear the false and to act upon that fear by loosing faith in our elected officials, our public institutions, and in ourselves.  Their actions and words speak for themselves.  They are not leaders in the sense we expect, nor are they even partisan leaders.  Instead, they have betrayed us by attempting to move our minds, our feelings and our ultimate motives by endorsing patently false information. At this time, in this hour, all we have to fear is Mr. Buck.  

  7. Brought to you by the same people seeking to impeach Obama over an alleged misstatement by a subordinate of Hillary Clinton about Benghazi.

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