Border wall

Alabama Congressman Invokes 9/11 to Defend Border Wall

Tragedy alone is not justification enough for drastic measures.

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Things got heated this morning on CNN, as Rep. Mo Brooks (R–Ala.) and New Day co-host John Berman argued over whether we need a wall on the U.S.–Mexico border. The argument reached its low point when Brooks decided to start invoking 9/11.

"Let's look at 9/11 by way of example," the Alabama Republican said. "We lost 3,000 people, more or less, on 9/11. That justified going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our troops are still there to varying degrees. 3,000. With the southern border, we have the loss of at least 15,000 Americans a year—that's part of the justification." (He seems to have conjured that dubious figure by adding a debatable count of the number of people killed by illegal immigrants in 2017 to the number of people who have overdosed on imported heroin since 1999.)

The 9/11 attacks were indeed used to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S. entered Afghanistan in 2001 with the goal of taking down the Taliban, who they accused of giving safe haven to Al Qaeda. That war has cost more than $1 trillion, not to mention the lives of over 2,300 Americans and even more Afghans. Yet according to a government watchdog's report to Congress last year, the violence and instability in the country has only gotten worse. And does anyone really believe that Americans are any safer?

Yuri Gripas/REUTERS/Newscom

In 2003, the U.S. went to war in Iraq, accusing Saddam Hussein of developing illicit weapons of mass destruction. They turned out to be wrong about that. Still, almost 5,000 Americans died as a result of the war. The exact financial cost is murky, but it's at least $800 billion

And Brooks is citing these wars as a precedent? If anything, they're a reason to remember that the response to a tragedy can itself be tragic and ill-advised. America's open-ended wars were a mistake; and it would be a mistake to spend billions of taxpayers' dollars on a border wall that won't even work.

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  1. Reminds me of the Family Guy episode where Lois gets elected by continually saying, “911. Terrorists.”

  2. (He seems to have conjured that dubious figure by adding a debatable count of the number of people killed by illegal immigrants in 2017 to the number of people who have overdosed on imported heroin since 1999)

    Joe cites Politifact website which is itself a dubious citation.

    Joe does not find out what the Congress meant by 15,000 deaths but assumes that the number is false without asking for support.

    Reason M.O. right here.

    The wall is getting extended no matter how hard Reason tries.

    700 miles of border wall/obstacles and counting!

    1. Heck, that’s far more citations than you have provided when people answer you that yes, they would like citations.

      loveconstitution1789|12.3.18 @ 10:20AM|#

      Do you need me to link the rules of NAFTA and USCMA so you can compare and contrast the “worseness” for us?

      Please do.

    2. Poor alphabet troll. Its script only has one blockquote saved for me.

      1. Here, try another.

        Criminal immigrants

        Fake statistics

        You provide more entertainment every day.

        1. What does that have to do with heroin OD deaths, which Joe assumes was the justification statement?

          CATO does nothing but say that native Americans commit more crimes than illegals. So what. Every illegal kept out of the USA is one less violent crime committed by illegals. Zero illegals means zero violent crimes committed by illegals.

          Furthermore, CATO lies and has the nerve to imply that every illegal inside the USA is not a criminal. They are. Every Illegal immigrant commits a crime the day they enter the USA without permission. Illegals have a 100% crime rate.

          You are such a joke Joe, I mean alphabet troll.

          1. Hey, LovesTrump’sCock1789 are you not also a criminal by being an authoritarian statist?

          2. The only reason that someone becomes a criminal merely by walking across the border is because there’s a law that says so. What is intrinsically wrong with someone crossing a border? What if I invite someone from Mexico to visit me on my property that abuts the border? Whose rights are violated by that? Not every law is a good law. I think we’re focused on the wrong thing.

  3. His middle name wouldn’t happen to be Ron would it?

  4. A Trumpista Congressman, from Alabama?

    What else is new?

  5. I wonder what Brooks’ Reason handle is. lc1789?

  6. You know who else gets invoked with reckless abandon?

    1. Jesus Christ?

    2. Stuart Woods?

    3. Blink 182?

    4. James Dean?

  7. That justified going to war in Iraq

    right

  8. Mo Brooks is almost certainly a French surrender monkey.

    No other way to explain how he thinks a Maginot Line will stop them truly truly dangerous hordes of Guatemalan terrorists.

    1. No forests to prevent THIS wall. Plus it will be much much longer.

    2. The Maginot Line did force the German to go around it to get into France.

      When the Maginot Line was surrounded, the Germans decided to attack at a few points. It took them weeks to make much headway.

      Had the french extended the Maginot Line to the Atlantic Ocean, it would have delayed the German Army to some degree. Which was its intended purpose. No fortification is invulnerable.

      The German Army won mainly because of cutting off massive Allied armies from supplies in France via super fast mechanized action.

      Some talking points just dont hold up to historical fact.

      1. Yeah – and that means those Guatemalan terrorists will merely have to get into rubber dinghies and invade the beaches of Mobile directly. This congressman is deliberately leaving his own beaches vulnerable for partisan political posturing.

        And what if they decide to parachute into small town America directly? Are those not worth defending or is he just a tool of those big-city globalist elites?

  9. Things got heated this morning on CNN, as Rep. Mo Brooks (R?Ala.) and New Day co-host John Berman argued over whether we need a wall on the U.S.?Mexico border. The argument reached its low point when Brooks decided to start invoking 9/11.

    Did John Brennan respond to Brooks by rolling his eyes and filing his nails?

  10. Closed borders would have stopped 9/11. All immigration has been bad for traditional Americans and our freedoms.
    The borders should have been shut in 1790.

    1. CaveMan: Aptly yclept.
      If the borders would have been shut in 1790, I wouldn’t be here. Would you? What is the definition of “traditional Americans?”

      1. Oh. Did I just feed a troll? Sorry.

  11. This headline is very misleading. The Congressman was NOT talking about preventing terrorism.

    He was comparing the three thousand lives that were lost on 9/11 to the thousands of murders committed by illegal aliens each year, and countless heroin deaths and other social ills associated with a porous southern border.

    The three thousand lives lost on 9/11 were used to justify ensuing wars (which cost $12 trillion) and other actions that changed the course of global history and are still ongoing today.

    Yet we ignore the problems associated with the loss of far more American lives with respect to more domestic issues such as a quasi-open border. Why is that? It’s because the prevailing politics, propaganda, and ruling establishment is heavily skewed against the best interests of the American people.

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