Maybe it's something about Governors down here in the Lone Star State. The uncanny ability to use fear of terrorism for political ends, and with totally manufactured claims, seems to have been passed down to the current incumbent Gov. Rick Perry from his predecessor George W. Bush.
With the Texas House poised to consider a border security bill and state budget writers deciding how much to spend, Gov. Rick Perry told a Pittsburgh newspaper some border-crossers with al-Qaida ties have been apprehended.So now you know - to Texas Republicans, if you come from a country where Al Qaida has a presence then you're automatically a terrorist. My neighbours, who are refugees from Afghanistan, will be delighted to hear that. Texas senators are understandably upset, calling for Perry either to brief them on the evidence that any of these people have been actual terrorists or shut the f**k up.
"The information that we have is that there have been individuals who have crossed, and some that have been apprehended, that have ties back to the al-Qaida network," Perry told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on a trip to the city to speak at a Boy Scout dinner.
"I don't get confused that with the lack of manpower and the lack of resources that the federal government has made available that you can cross the border, and you can cross the border with enough frequency and with enough items to create a lot of havoc," he said.
Perry spokesman Ted Royer said Friday the statement wasn't based on new information but was a continuation of comments the governor has made for years. The comments have been based on federal intelligence sources having "confirmed that al-Qaida and other terrorist networks view the Southern border as a prime point of entry," Royer said, with people from countries where al-Qaida has a known presence having been apprehended all along the border.
We have absolutely no information" about such apprehensions, said Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, International Relations and Trade Committee chairman. "I would urge the governor to call us in, and give us a briefing, so we can better serve our communities."But there isn't any evidence that any of these people were actual terrorists whatsoever. It's scaremongering to political ends, pure and simple. And Perry isn't the only Texas Republican doing it.
Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, said, "I've heard accounts where people have said that, but I've never seen an independent, verifiable report that makes that allegation.
"To use al-Qaida as a ruse to try and get a border security bill before the people is not helpful," Shapleigh said. "Let's deal with the facts as they are and protect our nation and at the same time develop comprehensive immigration reform."
The House author of the border bill, Rep. David Swinford,said 234 undocumented immigrants from countries where al-Qaida has a presence were apprehended along the border in a recent one-year period.What an utterly shabby bunch of lying xenophobic political hacks. Perry, who has also kept the Dubya flame of cronyist corruption alive in Texas, may well have his eyes set on a presidential run in 2012. You have been warned.
"It gets my attention," said Swinford, R-Dumas, State Affairs Committee chairman. "We've got a lot of valuable things in Texas they could sure do a heck of (a) number on."