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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ignorance is Bliss, MT

I'm going to buck a trend here and say that if some two-bit cow-tipping Senator from Montana wants to believe that some or all of the 9/11 terrorists got into the US via Canada, we should go ahead and let him do so. Jumping up and down and demanding retractions and apologies is probably just going to reassure the few remaining rubes out there who believe it that they're on to something. What's worse, it's undignified. And what's even worse than that, it forces us to live with half-assed retractions like this:

Montana Senator Conrad Burns said Tuesday he "misspoke" when he claimed terrorists involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks entered the United States from Canada.

But he insisted his mistake at a news conference this week shouldn't obscure security problems "that clearly exist on the border."

In a letter to Ambassador Frank McKenna, Burns noted a man who planned to bomb a New York City subway in 1997, Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer, was arrested on this third illegal entry into the United States from Canada.

He also noted Ahmed Ressam, the so-called Millennium Bomber who plotted an attack on the Los Angeles Airport, entered illegally from Canada.

"These incidents are disturbing and should not be ignored," Burns wrote.

There now, do we all feel better? Or did that "retraction" have precisely the opposite effect that Ambassador McKenna hoped?

(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)

Posted by Chris Selley on December 20, 2005 | Permalink


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Agreed, Chris. It's kind of, "Oh, excuse me, I meant that other terrorist. Sorry."

Probably doesn't help that the story I think contains an error (but correct me if I'm wrong):

"His letter makes no mention of the fact Canadian police helped U.S. authorities catch Ressam before he could carry out his plans."

Ressam I believe was nailed at the Canada/US border by American customs officers. CSIS was looking for him and once he was caught, they got involved by nailing an accomplice in Montreal.


Unless I missed some part of the story that was revealed afterward.

Posted by: Kevin Steel | 2005-12-20 8:17:32 PM

I don't know. Maybe if Canada Immigration didn't import a whole bunch of psychotic gunmen and war criminals, I'd be more insulted by accusations of Canada harbouring psychotic gunmen and war criminals.

Posted by: Tozetre | 2005-12-20 9:39:02 PM

No kidding. Like the opinion of some rat-bastard mountain man with a Senate seat should matter to us. He's probably related to that judge who temporarily had the border reclosed to Canadian beef.

Yeah. The terrorists are pouring over the border from their safe houses in Cypress Hills Provincial Park. Montanna has Ted Kazinskys squatting in their mountain ranges, so they assume someone must be hiding in ours. Hasn't he heard of the Kadhrs? Our terrorists live in the suburbs!

Posted by: Raging Ranter | 2005-12-20 9:43:13 PM

Correct, Kevin

Ressam was arrested by an astute US Border Guard in Port Angeles Washington, driving off a ferry from Victoria. The guard noticed suspicious behavior and ordered Ressam to open his trunk - full of C-4.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2005-12-20 10:13:23 PM

I can't wait until the day Maher Arar and the Khadr family hijacks a plane flying between Toronto and Vancouver and target it towards the Sears Tower in Chicago. Then there will be hell to pay.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-12-20 11:21:13 PM

That's maybe a little more schadenfreude than you intended, no? Tell us you don't mean it, so we can continue to enjoy your comments.

Posted by: EBD | 2005-12-21 12:11:39 AM

You meant that as a bad joke right Scott? Tell me you really didn't mean it.

Posted by: Steve | 2005-12-21 12:46:07 AM

It's a worst-case scenario, but in your country they'd be called heroes. Shows what kind of a fascist state Canada is. Free Alberta.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-12-21 1:01:30 AM

As in, "if it happens, at least people will realize Canada's a mixing pot... of evil?"

I agree with the Free Alberta sentiment, though I'm reserving judgement on the rest until I get a clear interpretation.

Posted by: Tozetre | 2005-12-21 9:24:29 AM

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