Really, Really Pretending: Bowling Green

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There is a Baha’i prayer that invokes aid from God ”to refute what is vain and false.” Since Baha’is are also not to participate in partisan politics, finding a balance between these two mandates can be difficult. This is my attempt to apply the spirit of Baha’u’llah’s prayer without entering into partisan political discourse, because in the final analysis, it doesn’t matter who uttered the words below. What matters is that these words represent the government of the country in which I was born and in which I live. A country I believe has a pivotal role to play in the realization of the essential oneness of mankind.

So, this…

“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 they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre.” – a presidential spokeswoman, on Chris Matthews ”Hardball”, January 29.

To be clear, there was no Bowling Green Massacre, which has been verified by the residents of Bowling Green (a real place with real people living in it). Hence, the statement led to a gobsmacked reaction from the press and many Bowling Green Massacre jokes, memes and tweets, my favorite of which was this…

 

“Finding these Bowling Green Massacre jokes to be a little too soon. Out of respect, we should wait until it takes place.” – Justin Shares

All of which led to this…

“On @hardball @NBCNews @MSNBC I meant to say “Bowling Green terrorists” as reported here: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/al-qaeda-kentucky-us-dozens-terrorists-country-refugees/story?id=20931131 …” – Tweet by above mentioned spokeswoman, February 3

Let’s consider what ”Bowling Green Terrorists” would have sounded like in that sentence…

”…President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized, and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green terrorists.”

Nope. Doesn’t work structurally … or factually; there were no Bowling Green terrorists for them to mastermind. They were not arrested for activities here, but for what they had done in Iraq before coming to Bowling Green—activities that were uncovered in an FBI investigation. Nor did President Obama impose a six-month ban on the refugee program. What he did was slow the process down by increasing the rigor of the vetting system (that this same spokeswoman has claimed does not exist at all). This is all verifiable from multiple sources.

But here is the reality check on the spokeswoman’s ”clarifying” tweet above. On the same day that she made the Bowling Green Massacre a ”thing” in ways I’m certain she did not intend, she gave a phone interview to Cosmopolitan magazine. Speaking about the ban President Obama allegedly imposed, she said this…

”He did do it, it’s a fact. Why did he do that? He did that for exactly the same reasons. He did that because two Iraqi nationals came to this country, joined ISIS, traveled back to the Middle East to get trained and refine their terrorism skills, and come back here, and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre of taking innocent soldiers’ lives away.” – source Cosmopolitan.com from a telephone interview with spokeswoman, January 29

This is a grammatically challenged version of the same claim made on ”Hardball”. In both cases, she used the same phrase: ”masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre”. But here, she added that the victims of Bowling Green were soldiers. In fact, these terrorists did kill soldiers—in Iraq.

Update: The spokeswoman also said this during an on-the-street interview posted as a video on TMZ. Specifically, she said this…

“He did that because, I assume, there were two Iraqis who came here, got radicalized, joined ISIS, and then were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green attack on our brave soldiers.”

Let’s all be real here. This White House spokeswoman is stating as fact that President Obama instituted a ban on Iraqi refugees because of an event that never occurred. She did not misspeak (three times in the same day). She made stuff up.

I make stuff up, too. It’s my job. But I market it as fiction and do not expect my readers to take it as real life.

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