Don’t worry, it didn’t actually happen
The Short Version
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was defending the president’s travel ban to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Thursday evening when she referenced the Bowling Green Massacre as having been caused by two Iraqi refugees. The biggest problem with her statement? There never has been a Bowling Green Massacre and the Internet was swift to respond.
Let’s Go To The Video
We wouldn’t want our ridicule to be taken out of context
Run That By Me Again?
Bowling Green Massacre. As in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the sleepy little home of Fruit of the Loom underwear, the National Corvette Museum, and Bowling Green University. The year she cites is 2011. She uses the word “massacre.”
If that’s leaving you scratching your head, it’s because no such thing ever happened. Even the folks in Bowling Green agree, nothing happened there in 2011. Nothing ever happens in Bowling Green. Conway, the mother of “alternative facts,” made the whole thing up.
No one is surprised, though. Apparently, this kind of misinformation is going to be a standard for this administration.
Where She Got Confused
What might have gotten mixed up in Ms. Conway’s addled brain is the fact that, in 2011, two Iraqi citizens who happened to be living in Bowling Green were arrested for attempting to send weapons and money to al-Qaeda for the purpose of killing US soldiers. That is confirmable and was widely reported at the time. The two were eventually sentenced. MohanadShareef Hammadi was sentenced to life in federal prison and Waad Ramadan Alwan was sentenced to 31-40 years.
Ms. Conway’s information is still wrong, though. The Obama administration did not stop or ban Iraqi resettlement. What actually happened, and this is confirmable in multiple federal records from the State Department and other agencies, is that thObama administration imposed more extensive background checks on Iraqi refugees resulting in a slowdown in visa approvals. That was it. No ban.
There was a drop in refugee arrivals from Iraq in 2011. The numbers look like this:
- 2010: 18,251
- 2011: 6,339
- 2012: 16,369
The rate of visa approval in 2011 was dramatically slowed under the new rules, creating a bottleneck of sorts in the system. However, there was NO BAN under the Obama administration during that time.
The Internet Responds
If there’s one thing the Internet is great at doing, it’s catching other people’s mistakes and holding them accountable. Twitter users were quick to step up to the plate and #BowlingGreenMassacre has been trending ever since. Here are some of our favorites:
— Portmanteau Jones (@SadlyCatless) February 3, 2017
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) February 3, 2017
More people were killed in the Bowling Green Massacre than are killed by immigrant jihadist terrorists each year. #BowlingGreenMassacre
— Impeach Donald Trump (@Impeach_D_Trump) February 3, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those slain in the #BowlingGreenMassacre. Triceratops attacks have no place in civilized society.
— POTUS Fact Dept. (@POTUSFactDept) February 3, 2017
— Rocco Pendola (@rocco_pendola) February 3, 2017
— Rasmus Krempel (@rasmus_stuff) February 3, 2017
— 7012 (@juvelenah) February 3, 2017
Now, with all that nonsense behind us, let’s be clear that such an obvious attempt at gaslighting by a senior White House official is absolutely unforgivable. Ms. Conway didn’t just “misspeak.” The press didn’t “misinterpret her words.” No, she lied. She made up shit that never happened and tried to pass it off as fact.
And while we’re at it, can we call MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on the carpet for letting get away with that ridiculous comment? C’mon, Chris, you knew damn good and well there was no Bowling Green Massacre, yet you just let it blow right past you as you went to the next question. Ya’ need to grow a pair if you’re going to interview anyone from this administration.
And that’s where we end this story. No one should be interviewing Ms. Conway and her “alternative facts” in the first place. She needs to be sidelined by the media and totally ignored. This story stands as a perfect example of why.
We don’t need four years of this nonsense.