1 mainstream-media outlet exposes serious gaffe
The judge who granted an injunction against President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries based his decision on a blatantly inaccurate premise.
Judge James Robart, a federal district judge in Seattle, stated that no one from the seven countries on Trump’s list – Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya – has been arrested on terrorism charges since the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on America.
His comment, made in open court on Friday, went unchallenged in the establishment media all weekend and into Monday, while WND reported it was inaccurate and gave a partial list of terror incidents that have been plotted or carried out by Somali and Iraqi immigrants since 9/11.
Where is Politifact? Where is Snopes? Where are all the other media fact-checkers to correct the mistaken judge?
“Judge Robart no doubt knows the mainstream media is a propaganda arm for the left’s globalist agenda, and so no one would report the falsity of his statement except ‘discredited’ or ‘right-wing’ news outlets,” said Robert Spencer, an Islam expert who blogs for the David Horowitz Freedom Center at JihadWatch.org.
Finally, on Monday afternoon, the Associated Press came out with a fact-check on Robart’s comment, debunking it as patently false.
“WASHINGTON — The federal judge who halted President Donald Trump’s travel ban was wrong in stating that no one from the seven countries targeted in Trump’s order has been arrested for extremism in the United States since the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Just last October, an Iraqi refugee living in Texas pleaded guilty to attempting to provide support to the Islamic State group, accused of taking tactical training and wanting to blow himself up in an act of martyrdom. In November, a Somali refugee injured 11 in a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University, and he surely would have been arrested had he not been killed by an officer.”
CNN, the New York Times and the major TV networks were silent on the legitimacy of an exchange Friday in federal court between Robart and Justice Department lawyer Michelle Bennett, who was tasked with defending Trump’s executive order.
Robart grilled Bennett, asking if citizens of the seven countries named in the order had been arrested for plots in the U.S. since 9/11. Bennett said she didn’t know.
“The answer to that is none, best I can tell,” Robart said. “You’re here arguing on behalf of someone that says we have to protect the United States from these individuals coming from these countries, and there’s no support for that.”
Congress gives the president wide latitude in foreign affairs, which includes granting visas, Bennett reminded the judge.
But the judge answered: “I’m also asked to look and determine if the executive order is rationally based. And rationally based, to some extent, means I have to find it grounded in fact instead of fiction.”
As it turns out, Robart was the one basing his decision on a fiction.
Trump’s order bars citizens of the seven countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely halts refugees from Syria.
Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, halted the enforcement of Trump’s order nationwide pending appeals. The case has been appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and is expected to make a fast track to the Supreme Court.
Robart, ruling in a lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota who sought to stop the order, said the states “have met their burden of demonstrating that they face immediate and irreparable injury as a result of the signing and implementation of the Executive Order.”
He said the order adversely affects residents of the two states in areas of education, employment, education and freedom to travel. Dozens of corporations such as Microsoft, Expedia, Apple, Google, E-Bay, Amazon, Starbucks and others claim to be suffering damages by the executive order. The essence of their claims is that they are suffering economically, which may be the case since these companies benefit from hiring cheap immigrant labor from Muslim countries.
Almost every president since the advent of modern air travel has implemented bans on travel from various nations for various reasons. President Obama enacted a six-month ban on refugees from Iraq in 2011 after it was revealed that two Iraqi Muslims resettled in Bowling Green, Kentucky, were sending weapons and cash to al-Qaida in Iraq. They were arrested, tried, convicted and are serving time, unbeknownst to Judge Robart.
President Jimmy Carter implemented a travel ban on citizens from Iran after the Shah was deposed and students seized the U.S. Embassy in 1979.
Dozens of Somali refugees have been involved in terror plots, including more than 40 of which left the country to join ISIS, al-Shabab or al-Qaida, the FBI has confirmed.
Andrew Luger, the U.S. attorney for Minnesota, even admitted in April 2015 that “We have a terror recruitment problem in Minnesota” involving the Somali refugee community in that state. His comment came at a press conference after six Somali refugees were charged with trying to leave the country to board flights to Turkey, from where they planned to hop across the border to Syria and join ISIS.
The problem got so bad in Minnesota with Somali refugees and their sons being recruited by ISIS that the federal government under Barack Obama approved grants for a pilot program that emphasized teaching Somali youth how not to succumb to the terrorist recruiters by getting involved in soccer or the arts.
As WND pointed out in a story Sunday and the AP acknowledged Monday, Somali refugees also carried out knife attacks against civilians at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on Sept. 17, injuring 10, and at Ohio State University on Nov. 28, injuring 11.
So Robart either has a short memory, does not read the news, or was deliberately whitewashing the facts in an attempt to strike down Trump’s executive order.
Pamela Geller, editor in chief of the Geller Report and president of American Freedom Defense Initiative, said Robart’s decision, if upheld, smacks directly at the sovereignty of the United States and strips the president of his constitutional authority to protect the nation.
“The media doesn’t care about the truth. It only cares about demonizing Trump. To report Robarts’ lie would interfere with their quest to destroy Trump, Trump’s ban, and the dawn of a new, glorious era in Trump America,” Geller told WND. “The travel ban is legal: it is clearly set out in American law that the president has the right and responsibility to bar people from entering the country for national security reasons.”
She said it is indicative of how “traitorous the left has become that they are so angry and rioting about this.
“And the judges who have blocked the ban are no better. Even those appointed by G.W. Bush represent the failed establishment that is trying desperately to hold on to its power, continue to further the cause of globalist socialist internationalism, and keep the U.S. from defending itself.”
Limbaugh: Robart issued political, not legal opinion
Rush Limbaugh, on his show Monday, said Robart “is not a conservative,” that he was appointed by George W. Bush likely as part of a game of “horse trading” with Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state.
Robart once praised Black Lives Matter in a lawsuit against police in Seattle.
Limbaugh said Robart did not even attempt to decide the case based on legal principles, choosing instead to base his opinion on an assumption about Trump’s motive for implementing a “Muslim ban.”
“When you get right down, this judge does not have the legal power to do what he did, because he is interpreting Trump’s state of mind. If you read the judicial opinion that orders the temporary stay from the judge, this Judge Robart guy in Seattle, he doesn’t even address the law of this! He just addresses typical left-wing touchy-feely things and then presumes to understand the president’s state of mind, and he presumes to understand the president’s prejudices and biases.”
Even constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz — who doesn’t agree with Trump on the temporary travel ban — said in an op-ed for the Toronto Globe and Mail that Trump could have ignored Robart’s decision.
“Trump could have just told the guy to go pound sand, but Dershowitz even said that the president has too much respect for the legal system to openly defy a judge like this, that they’re gonna go through the process of trying to get this stay of his executive order overturned so that it can be re-implemented. It’s not about banning Muslims,” Limbaugh said. “It’s about vetting terrorists. It’s not about religion. This is the thing that… See, the left has been allowed to frame this and characterize this via the protesters and the rioters working in consort with the media.”
Trump supporters are thinking they’ve accomplished a great thing but the protesters and media were a step ahead, Limbaugh said.
“…these people begin protesting within minutes of this executive order. They fill up LAX, they fill up JFK, they make it look like the whole country’s fit to be tied at this and then they mischaracterized it as a ban on Muslims and a bigoted religious ban, and they say America’s never had a religious test,” Limbaugh said. “Which we have, by the way, just not the way you think or the way it sounds. But we’ve always asked refugees their religion when they claim they’re fleeing religious persecution.”
Obama effectively banned Christians from Syria
In fact, President Obama, in league with the United Nations, applied his own religious test on refugees flowing out of Syria. Almost none of the refugees who were Christian or Yazidi were allowed into the United States. A total of 56 Syrians or 0.5 percent of the more than 17,000 Syrian refugees allowed into the U.S. were Christian while more than 98 percent were Sunni Muslim. Christians make up 10 percent of the Syrian population and were among the most persecuted and vulnerable of all Syrians as they were being hunted down and killed by ISIS and other Sunni rebel groups fighting the Assad regime.
A group of foreign policy advisers to former Democrat presidents, including Madeleine Albright, John Kerry, Susan Rice, Leon Panetta and other top aides to ex-president Barack Obama filed a brief with the Ninth Circuit urging the court to uphold Robart’s block of the president’s executive order.
“We view the Order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States, rather than making us safer,” they argued.
“Reinstating the Executive Order would wreak havoc on innocent lives and deeply held American values.”
Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont who ran for president in the Democratic primary, put out a tweet Monday that he also hopes the courts strike down Trump’s temporary ban:
“It is extraordinary how little Donald Trump knows about immigration, or cares about the Constitution, rule of law or separation of powers.” -- Leo Hohmann