Wednesday, December 1, 2010

They're coming to get you

I just. I can't. This is really quite amazing. Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) has convinced Huckabee--who had her on his Fox News show to talk about this--that Hizballah operatives are being funneled from Iran through to Venezuela, up to Mexico, and then infiltrating the U.S. via the Mexican border in collaboration with drug cartels. In order to plant car bombs, or something.

I swear, I am not making this up:

As [TPM has] reported, Myrick believes Hezbollah "is partnering with Mexican drug cartels in the U.S. borderlands and may be planning 'Israel-like car bombings of Mexican/USA border personnel or National Guard units.'" Part of her evidence of this is that "well trained officials are beginning to notice the tattoos of gang members in prisons are being written in Farsi" along the Southwest border.

She's since expanded on this theory, claiming that because Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are "very good friends," Iranian members of Hezbollah "go from of course Iran into Venezuela, stay up to two years, learn the language, get false documents, and then transit up through Mexico to come across our border."

Huckabee had Myrick on his show on Sunday, and was quite alarmed at this "pretty explosive information," because "we're not hearing this - not from the Department of Homeland Security."

This is shatteringly stupid for a number of reasons. As many commenters at TPM pointed out, the drug cartels would have to be very, very dumb indeed to do anything like this, as it would certainly be very bad for business. Secondly, a Hizballah member with Farsi tattoos on would be an odd duck indeed, Iranian influence or no.

Thirdly, the slender thread of truth here--that Hizballah once was active in Latin America--is being rather abused. Hizballah has not been active in a major way in this hemisphere for over a decade, as far as I know; and when they were active in Latin America, the attacks took place in Argentina.

Now, if you Google around, you can find what look like some fairly reliable sources backing this claim up (MSNBC, for one). But no serious academic source I've encountered has ever mentioned the ongoing existence of a widespread fundraising operation by Hizballah in Latin America (which at least seems a slightly more plausible version of a similar claim), and the DHS has officially stated that it has no "credible information on terrorist groups operating along the Southwest Border."

Finally, the only way this could ever possibly work would be if a) all brown people looked alike and b) no brown people of any kind had any interest in stability/the absence of car bombs in the U.S.; otherwise the terrorists would be immediately distinguishable from the drug dealers, and/or the loyal American citizens of Hispanic or Arab descent might choose to enlighten their chalky overlords neighbors.

I assume I don't need to elucidate what's wrong with those premises.

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