December 10, 2016

Michael Flynn — Trump's choice for National Security Adviser — says there is Arabic signage marking "lanes of entry" for "radicalized Muslims" to enter the U.S. from Mexico.

Back in August, he said:
"I know from my friends in the Border Patrol in CBP that there are countries — radical Islamist countries, state-sponsored — that are cutting deals with Mexican drug cartels for some of what they call the 'lanes of entry' into our country... And I have personally seen the photos of the signage along those paths that are in Arabic. They're like way points along that path as you come in. Primarily, in this case the one that I saw was in Texas and it's literally, it's like signs, that say, in Arabic, 'this way, move to this point.' It's unbelievable. This rise of Muslims and radicalized Muslims coming into our country illegally is something that we should pay very, very close attention to."
My first reaction was: He sounds too nutty to be National Security Adviser. But it's possible that he's correct about this. It's a particular fact about the real world that reporters should be able to verify (if it's true). My link above goes to CNN, which tries unsuccessfully to get Flynn to clarify and then goes to one representative of Border Patrol personnel:
Shawn Moran, a vice president at the National Border Patrol Council, the labor union of border patrol agents that endorsed Trump, told CNN's KFile the group was not aware of the signs Flynn referenced, but that they were concerned about the threat of terrorism at the southern border.
That's perfectly noncommittal. And that's as far as CNN gets into its investigation of the facts. It switches to talking about how "Flynn has often promoted conspiracy theories." Ironically, is an example of the conspiracy-theory style of thinking: This sounds like other things that fit a pattern and the pattern is really shaping up in an important and exciting way... what else can I find to fit this pattern?

57 comments:

HT said...

What's the subject here? Mediocre journalism or claims about instructions to radicalized Muslims on how to enter the US? Maybe they cancel each other out.

Owen said...

My conspiracy theory is that the MSM have every reason to conspire to make Flynn look like a conspiracy theorist. I would like to hear him confirm that he said those words in that context. Only then would I want to ask whether his confirmed assertion matches the "real world."

As you say, this looks like a very check-able statement. Where and when did he observe this sign? Was it a hand-painted direction in the wilderness by a "coyote" on where to slip through the border fence? Was it a note on a map? Does he speak Arabic or was he told by somebody else what it means? Etc etc.

And while we chase down this odd detail, we can ignore the larger issue: what IS the threat? Seems to me that the border is pretty much indefensible. Thousands of miles on the south side; even more thousands of miles on the north.

HT said...

As you say, this looks like a very check-able statement.

Is it possible to do a google search for other news stories on the same topic?

Ann Althouse said...

"What's the subject here? Mediocre journalism or claims about instructions to radicalized Muslims on how to enter the US? Maybe they cancel each other out."

You get to pick.

The Althouse Blog is a la carte.

Sally327 said...

If the infiltrators need signs in Arabic posted along the way to to figure out how to get here, good luck finding your way around once you've arrived.

Written Arabic is sort of funny looking so maybe he saw a road sign that had been defaced, graffiti or whatever, and he thought it looked like Arabic. Kind of like seeing the Virgin Mary's face in a piece of toast.

David said...

Flynn needs to discover that he wants to spend more time with his family.

Humperdink said...

As we watch soft targets in the US (OSU, San Bernardino) being attacked by lone wolves (cough), is it a stretch to believe our soft borders are letting in the bad guys? I think not.

Sydney said...

There are so many interesting things going on with Trump and his cabinet picks. I wish there were a reliable source of information to learn more about these people. I don't trust the mainstream media to portray their backgrounds and opinions accurately. Maybe I should start reading the British papers, but do they cover this sort of stuff?

HT said...

Humperdink said...

As we watch soft targets in the US (OSU, San Bernardino) being attacked by lone wolves (cough), is it a stretch to believe our soft borders are letting in the bad guys? I think not.




No, of course it's not a stretch. But that's not what we're talking about. The general said there are signs along pathways. The story to me is that Breitbart had that bombshell but the interviewer did not follow up on it. I wonder why he like CNN showed such a lack of curiosity?

Rae said...

I think it would be a good thing to have a actual paranoic as National Security Advisor. He'll keep it real.

GWash said...

this seems to be begging the continuing need for a viable fourth estate.. all the huzzahs on this blog about the end of the media as we know it are counter productive to a functioning democracy... we are approaching critical mass regarding the domination of this gang of financial militarists and in my humble opinion we need a strong investigative media on all sides of the argument to keep the public informed about what goes on 'behind the scenes'..

Humperdink said...

HT responded: "But that's not what we're talking about. The general said there are signs along pathways."

Allow me to expand my comment. How do bad guys know lurking south of the border know where to proceed? Maybe they all have GPS devices. Maybe they were all boy scouts at one time and are skilled in the use of a compass. I suspect (but have no proof) there are markers to designate to route.

HT said...

That's fine. But Ann is saying the media are engaging in conspiratorial thinking or conspiracy theories, the same as they are accusing the general of. My additional point is why is no one asking the same question of Breitbart which had the actual man on the line? Would a follow up question not have been in order for that news organization? They were only the source of it all.

mezzrow said...

The Althouse Blog is a la carte.

Choose one from column A, one from column B...

I recommend the dragon and phoenix, or perhaps the conspiracy theory.

David Begley said...

Maybe CNN could send some reporters out of NYC for a week and learn some facts. Way better than Gloria and Van running their mouths.

Humperdink said...

HT asked: "What's the subject here?"

Althouse responded: "You get to pick. The Althouse Blog is a la carte."

Humperdink chimes in: "As we watch soft targets in the US (OSU, San Bernardino) being attacked by lone wolves (cough), is it a stretch to believe our soft borders are letting in the bad guys? I think not."

HT responds: "But that's not what we're talking about."

Smiling.

David Hampton said...

Doesn't surprise me. Just did jury duty and a sign in the building said interpreters were available for Spanish, VietNamese, Mandarin, and Arabic. Fast lane for jihadists entering the U.S. from Mexico is not a stretch of the imagination. Border Patrol wouldn't admit it anyway because it would hinder their surveillance.

HT said...

And Humperdink doesn't respond to a direct question. Smiling too.

Virgil Hilts said...

On July 10, 2001, Phoenix FBI Agent Kenneth Williams e-mailed a memo to headquarters (seen by at least 10 officials), warning that Islamic jihadists in Arizona were training as pilots and might be plotting a terrorist event. Talk about loonie! His recommendations were ignored.

MayBee said...

I remember a conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton was in poor health, coughed a lot, and seemed unsteady on her feet. There was no proof, and CNN and other media outlets were happy to tell us how crazy we were.

Humperdink said...

Ht said: "And Humperdink doesn't respond to a direct question. Smiling too."

It's good we are both smiling on a Saturday morning in December. Getting a late start (the AA blog will do that to you), but off to my north 40 to scope out a whitetail.

traditionalguy said...

Flynn is now the Media's selected victim/scapegoat for that crazy conspiracy believer we just elected our next President because he was the only one getting everything happening mostly right. Trump just got lucky!

But if we believe DJT has no mind of his own and only does what Flynn and Mattis tells him to do, then we have become the conspiracy imagination loonies.

And remember the hacked e-mails that wiki-leaks leaked were not real. They were Pizza orders.

clint said...

Could someone spell out the "conspiracy theory" that is supposed to make Mike Flynn sound nutty here?

It seems more like it's the *phrasing* in the out-of-context offhand comment that sounds nutty.

The idea that islamic terrorists and drug cartels are working together shouldn't be at all nutty.

The idea that there's a national security threat inherent in islamic terrorists (who want to kill us) and drug cartels (who operate a massive ongoing smuggling enterprise across our borders) shouldn't be at all nutty.

The idea that we should be paying attention to how terrorists get into our country shouldn't be at all nutty.

It comes down to the particular image of arabic writing -- which comes from an out-of-context quote from a single interview.

Mike Flynn's written a whole book about the topic of islamic terrorism and what we are doing wrong. If he's a conspiracy-theory-spouting nut job... find me some quotes from *his book on the topic* (available on Amazon through the Althouse portal to support this blog!) where he spins conspiracy theories. Don't give me one out-of-context image that seems to suggest something nutty, as though that's all we have to go on in evaluating him.


This comes right out of the same playbook as the "Scott Bannon is a White Supremacist" meme. Thousands of articles he edited -- not one of which says that whites are better or the races shouldn't mix or anything we mean by "white supremacist". But a few flashy headlines prove that he's just been secretly hiding his real feelings. Right.

Or the "Jeff Sessions is a Racist" meme. Sure, he has a long career record of fighting racist fringe groups, but he once told a joke that proves he's really a racist! Right.

Pretending that people with decades of public service have no record to look at -- so that we have to intuit everything about them from one cryptic tea leaf seen through a microscope -- is just silly. It's fundamentally unserious, tabloid-style journalism.

CNN. Sad. :)

Mike Sylwester said...

As soon as Flynn becomes National Security Adviser, he should clarify for the public the idea that 17 US intelligence agencies have found that the Kremlin controlled Wikileaks during the past election. The main questions:

* How many of the 17 agencies were asked to comment on and concur with that finding?

* How many of the 17 agencies concurred with the finding?

* How many of the 17 agencies declined to concur with the finding?

Then that would be a good time for President Trump to fire Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Trump should fire Clapper in a dramatic manner, as he always did on The Celebrity Apprentice.

mockturtle said...

Local newspapers in TX and AZ have reported many entries and attempts at entry by Middle Eastern immigrants. These events never seem to make the MSM news, though. It's no wonder the Border Patrol overwhelmingly supported Trump. It's not just a matter of illegals from Mexico any more. It's truly a matter of national security. I could provide links to news articles if anyone demands them.

Bob Boyd said...

We should be putting up signs in Arabic south of the border.

If we did it right, terrorists would start showing up at the gates of the prison in Guantanamo and giving Marine guards the password to get in.

Will Cate said...

I think it's totally believable.

@ MayBee "I remember a conspiracy theory..."

heh... indeed. Just the hours of videotape showing those very things.

SayAahh said...

What threshold of conspiracy ideation and paranoia are we willing to accept to protect our borders?

Bob said...

The stories that forward the MSM's agenda get covered. The ones that don't - - voter fraud, for a very recent example - - don't. It would be quite easy for MSM "journalists" to engage in voter fraud "stings" of the same sort that James O'Keefe specializes in, but it would require being willing to bust fellow Democrats and see them jailed.

GWash said...

and then maybe the republicans who voted to conceal this 'information' could let us know what they knew that caused them to vote to keep it from the electorate.... and what if these 17 agencies actually concur with the finding... where do we go from there?... does this ding the trump triumph? more important than the fact that almost 3 million more americans voted against him than voted for him?... (still waiting for the vast voter fraud evidence)

MayBee said...

The conspiracy that Mike Flynn can't be forgiven for is the 2012 conspiracy that ISIS was getting powerful and dangerous.

Bob Boyd said...

BLM is a conspiracy theory that has gotten people killed and sparked riots.

Steve Uhr said...

It is Flynn's claim -- he has the onus to prove it and identify the border control people he talked to and show the reporters to sign locations.

Bad Lieutenant said...

SayAahh said...
What threshold of conspiracy ideation and paranoia are we willing to accept to protect our borders?
12/10/16, 8:30 AM

That which works.

HT said...

Steve Uhr said...

It is Flynn's claim -- he has the onus to prove it and identify the border control people he talked to and show the reporters to sign locations.
12/10/16, 9:31 AM

______________

I should think so.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Blogger Steve Uhr said...
It is Flynn's claim -- he has the onus to prove it and identify the border control people he talked to and show the reporters to sign locations.
12/10/16, 9:31 AM

Too bad the reporter didn't ask. What does Flynn do now? Flag down some stray reporter and drag him into the desert to go look? At Flynn's expense? He's a busy man. Besides, there may be plenty of reasons why not. The given sign could have blown away or been moved, the route could have been changed, the Border Patrol could request him to keep shtum.

It's nobody's job to make the media happy. You do it.

Bad Lieutenant said...

What Flynn has the onus to do, once appointed, is to find these mopes and arrange their much desired rendezvous with Allah. That's what I want him to do, not talk to Dan Rather.

southcentralpa said...

Given that there have been hidden camera footage of columns of people carrying drugs being accompanied by armed men "shepherding" them to their drop point north of the border and that cartel will have their own heavily defended "corridors" (they use the word "lane" here), and that most malefactors from the ME don't speak/read Spanish, and one would not expect too many cartel soldiers know Arabic/Farsi/Pastun/whatever, this sounds not too crazy at all.

(It's a work of fiction obviously, but think of the place in the movie "Sicario" where they infiltrate the Benecio del Toro character into Mexico, if that helps you visualize the "lanes" Gen. Flynn's talking about. (And if you haven't seen "Sicario", shame on you(it's not nearly as gory as you'd be afraid it was (or indeed, could be))))

Karen said...

There must be a reason that the entire border patrol Association endorsed Trump.

HT said...

I didn't think any embellishments to illegal immigration's impact on people being able to get jobs were needed.

YoungHegelian said...

I don't know about them thar A-rhabs, but the Iranians have been working for years to improve their presence in Latin America.

Now, if the border guards see any signs in Farsi....

Birkel said...

Why would drug cartels have any use for the people who control Afghanistan's poppy fields?

/sarc

Owen said...

Birkel: poppy fields...drug pipeline...border crossing...

What a concept! Outlandish to imagine that the same people who profit from poisoning us slowly with drugs might enjoy killing us quickly with guns, pressure cookers, and runaway Hondas.

Seriously, though, yes. ISIS and similar groups make big money from moving contraband of all kinds. Drugs, guns, oil, slaves. I expect there is a natural affinity with Mexican and other drug cartels.

Michael K said...

Maybe CNN could send some reporters out of NYC for a week and learn some facts. Way better than Gloria and Van running their mouths.

No, that can be dangerous. You can get shot messing around down there,

Capas said the agents were walking up a hill to investigate the triggered sensor, indicating something that was moving across the area, when they took on the gunfire. Capas said it was not known if the agents returned fire but that they were able to radio in they were under fire.

Maybe GWash should take on an independent investigation. Prove that story is false.

mccullough said...

Since Flynn is NSA advisor he doesn't need Senate approval. But maybe Trump shouldn't let him appear on the shows.

hombre said...

Is anybody really stupid enough to believe that Arabic-speaking, Islamic terrorists are NOT entering through our porous southern border -besides the mediaswine at CNN, that is?

CNN could do a real service by thoroughly investigating this probability, but that is apparently beyond their ken. Or am I giving them to much credit here? Is it possible that CNN deliberately intends to take the focus off the potential consequences of Obama's failed border policies by pretending that Flynn is delusional? Could they be that dishonorable? (Sarc.)

Jupiter said...

For the many useful idiots commenting here who apparently are unable to comprehend what they read, here is the quote;

"And I have personally seen the photos of the signage along those paths that are in Arabic."

He claims to have seen photographs of signs written in Arabic script. He claims he was told those photos were taken along the border, apparently in Texas. He does not claim that he was under sniper fire on a Bosnian airstrip at the time, or that he learned how to play the cattle futures market by reading the Washington Post. So he isn't actually a transparent liar or certifiable loon, like the batshit-crazy psycho hag you clowns just tried to pass off as Presidential timber.

SayAahh said...

@Jupiter
Aren't you just a tad troubled by Flynn senior's remarks about the pizzagate ped/Hillary porno ring?

StephenFearby said...

Chuck Ross (Daily Caller) on Flynn:

Nov 11
Trump’s Top Military Adviser Is Lobbying For Obscure Company With Ties To Turkish Government


"...Flynn wrote an op-ed for The Hill on Tuesday, just before Trump’s stunning upset of Hillary Clinton, in which he heaped praise on Erdogan and called on the next president, whoever that would be, to accede his request to extradite the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen back to Turkey."

[Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support
BY LT. GEN. MICHAEL T. FLYNN (R), CONTRIBUTOR - 11/08/16 05:46 PM EST

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/305021-our-ally-turkey-is-in-crisis-and-needs-our-support#.WCPhv1d4UUU.twitter ]


"...The piece does not include a disclosure that Flynn Intel Group, the consulting firm that Flynn founded in Oct. 2014, just after leaving DIA, was recently hired to lobby Congress by a Dutch company called Inovo BV that was founded by a Turkish businessman who holds a top position on Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board."

'...Flynn’s recent op-ed appears to be at odds with some of his past comments about Turkey and its role in the war against ISIS. In the op-ed he refers to the Islamic nation, which is a member of NATO, is “vital to U.S. interests” and is the U.S.’s “strongest ally” against ISIS.

But he told journalist Seymour Hersh for an article published earlier this year that Turkey was doing little to stop foreign fighters and weapons from crossing the border into Syria.

“We understood ISIS’s long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria,” Flynn told Hersh for the article.'



'...Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official, criticized Flynn’s op-ed in a post at the think tank’s website on Thursday.

http://www.aei.org/publication/is-team-trump-repeating-obama-and-clintons-mistakes/

"Flynn gets Erdogan wrong, whitewashes recent Turkish behavior, fails the logic test, and proposes a policy prescription that would make matters worse,” argues Rubin.

He asserted that “regardless of what Erdogan says publicly,” intelligence exists which shows that Erdogan supports ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliates operating inside Syria.

“That makes Turkey a source of instability in the region, not its remedy,” Rubin writes, also noting that Erdogan has embraced leaders of the terrorist group Hamas.'

http://dailycaller.com/2016/11/11/trumps-top-military-adviser-is-lobbying-for-obscure-company-with-ties-to-turkish-government/

Flynn, who has appeared on the Russian RT propaganda network, also seems to have been bought and paid for by Putin.

'...During a very heated interview on MSNBC this morning, Trump adviser and surrogate Michael Flynn chastised anchor Stephanie Ruhle for her highly critical comments towards Russia and leader Vladimir Putin.

The retired general took issue with Ruhle bringing up Putin’s reputation for killing journalists and Russia’s invasion of Crimea. When she initially brought up Putin in relation to Donald Trump and his campaign, Flynn dismissed it as “rhetoric,” and proceeded to discuss the Iran deal and how Russia is a key to it. Thus, per Flynn, “why is that our government” was trying to do a Russian reset.'

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/stop-it-with-that-kind-of-stuff-trump-adviser-demands-msnbc-anchor-stop-demeaning-putin/

Flynn is probably now asking Hillary if she has any extra reset buttons of the type she famously presented to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva in 2009.

Current Flynn evaluation:

Both a litte bit nutty and a little bit (bought and paid for) slutty.


Bad Lieutenant said...

SayAahh, as you yourself show, there's a big cloud of dust or squid-ink or muddy water surrounding what may or may not actually have happened.

For instance, I don't think anybody suggests that it's Hillary, but some of her people such as the creepy John Podesta. It's a good way to make the flesh-creeping John Podesta disappear, by naming Hillary Clinton.

We don't know exactly what did or did not happen or is suggested to have happened, but that's why you have investigations. Was it Tip O'Neill who said that the lack of proof is negated by the seriousness of the charge? Some Democrat.

So I'm fine with everybody named getting a rigorous investigation. Aren't you? I pride myself on a vivid imagination, but I can't think of anything too bad to happen to child molesters. Or those who enable them.

hombre said...

HT wrote of Breitbart: "Would a follow up question not have been in order for that news organization? They were only the source of it all."

What would the follow up question from Breitbart have been? "General, are you telling the truth?" Or, "General is this one of your conspiracy theories?" (The latter assumes that Breitbart, like CNN, misunderstands the meaning of "conspiracy theory.") Or should it have been some other penetrating question implying he wasn't worthy of belief?

The CNN/NYT/WaPo mediaswine combo expects us to accept "sources said," "senior administration sources said," etc., but we should attribute an observation in a domain dominated by common sense made by someone with Flynn's credentials to "conspiracy theory?" Whoever recently characterized the legacy media as "dishonorable as well as dishonest" got it right.

Fake news for dullards.

HT said...

I didn't think I said anything about conspiracy theory, just that Breitbart was sitting on top of a bombshell and just let it pass by.

Michael K said...

"Both a litte bit nutty and a little bit (bought and paid for) slutty."

Another blank profile. Are the Soros checks back now ?

HT said...

That's perfectly noncommittal. And that's as far as CNN gets into its investigation of the facts.

The Drug Enforcement Administration in February announced that Hezbollah was working with South American drug cartels to move drugs into the US. A series of arrests, the DEA said, was meant to stop the organization from using millions in drug money to fund terrorist activity in Syria and Lebanon.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/08/politics/kfile-michael-flynn-arabic-signs-on-border/

Fen said...

Comrades, just a friendly reminder that on American blogs, please try to act as if English is your native language. Большое спасибо!

Harold said...

YoungHegelian said...
I don't know about them thar A-rhabs, but the Iranians have been working for years to improve their presence in Latin America.

Now, if the border guards see any signs in Farsi....


All right, little quiz. What percentage of Americans can tell the difference between written Farsi and written Arabic? I'm not one of them.

Jeff Teal said...

Apparently modern Persian aka Farsi has used a version of Arabic script since the ninth century.so telling the difference between the two would actually require knowing one of the languages.Wiki is good for some things.and it is damn quick