Gingrich's anti-immigration commercial lies and distorts

One of my biggest problems is that I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I have tried that with Newt Gingrich. Every time that I cut him some slack, he proves that the slack wasn’t warranted. So, Newt has a new commercial. The commercial starts off with Newt saying, “Muhamed Atta and several of the 9/11 hijackers entered the United States illegally.”

Wow. Really? Man, I figured I would of known that. I read that book by Senator Bob Graham, Intelligence Matters. I don’t remember reading that in there. I also read, well, to be honest, I skimmed the 9/11 commission report. I don’t remember reading that the 9/11 hijackers were in the country illegally. So, I decided to do some research, something that Newt Gingrich and his handlers should have done. From the Staff Statement #1 of the 9/11 Commission, “Beginning in 1997, the 19 hijackers submitted 24 applications and received 23 visas. The pilots acquired most of theirs in the year 2000. The other hijackers, with two exceptions, obtained their s between the fall of 2000 and June 2001. Two of the visas were issued in Berlin, and two were issued in the United Arab Emirates. The rest were issued in Saudi Arabia. One of the pilots, Hani Hanjour, had an application denied in September 2000 or lack of adequate documentation. He then produced more evidence in support of his student visa application, and it was approved. Except for Hanjour, all the hijackers sought tourist visas.”

As a matter of fact, the Staff Statement is so bold as to say that the hijackers could have tried to sneak in this country illegally but they didn’t. “As we know from the sizable illegal traffic across our land borders, a terrorist could attempt to bypass legal procedures and enter the United States surreptitiously. None of the 9/11 attackers entered or tried to enter our country this way.”

My only conclusion is either Newt Gingrich didn’t know or is lying. Newt is a very smart man. You decide. (BTW, this guy is thinking of running for President. Please. Give me a break.)

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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