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White House: ICE ‘Would’ve Helped Stop 9/11'

Cynthia Nixon: ICE is a "terrorist organization."

Kentannenbaum/Dreamstime.comKentannenbaum/Dreamstime.comImmigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) "would've helped stop" the 9/11 terror attacks had it existed at the time, a White House spokesperson said Monday.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley was responding to liberal actress and Democratic New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon's comments referring to ICE as "terrorist organization."

"It's deeply disturbing that Cynthia Nixon has no clue of what ICE does to protect Americans and New Yorkers every day from dangerous criminals, terrorists, child smugglers and human traffickers," Gidley said in a statement, according to Fox News.

Gidley went on to suggest that since the 9/11 terrorists "were foreign nationals on visas who committed immigration fraud and who should have been deported," ICE could have stopped them. "It's especially unfortunate that Nixon, as a New Yorker, not only advocates for the abolition of the very agency that would've helped stop 9/11, but also smears and slanders the tireless work carried out by the brave men and women of ICE to keep our country safe," he said.

ICE was created in 2003 in response to 9/11, though it's not clear whether the agency really would have been able to prevent the attacks. 9/11 was the result of one of the biggest failures of American intelligence in history, but it's hard to argue that additional bureaucracy would have made the difference.

It's not the first time in recent days that the Trump administration has suggested ICE could have helped prevent 9/11. In a fact sheet published Thursday, the White House noted that "many of the 9/11 hijackers committed visa violations," adding that "ICE identifies dangerous individuals before they enter our country and locates them as they violate our immigration laws."

In the years since 9/11, many people have speculated on what could have stopped the attacks. According to former FBI Director Robert Mueller, surveillance programs would have helped, while Donald Trump said during his presidential campaign that his immigration policies would have acted as a deterrent. With perhaps the most outlandish claim of all, actor Mark Wahlberg suggested in 2012 (before apologizing) that if he had been a passenger on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, "it wouldn't have went down like it did."

Photo Credit: Kentannenbaum/Dreamstime.com

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  • BestUsedCarSales||

    "Maybe, probably not" and "No" are my responses.

  • ||

    Is this the old Johnny Carson daily mail bit?

    Marry? Fuck? Kill?

    I don't see any questions.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    There's assertions though. You can respond to a whole variety of statements.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    The questions are "Can BUCS be beaten in porn trivia?" and "Would BUCS ever play porn trivia without the 'masturbate your way out of a question' rule?"

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I don't really know much porn trivia. I live in the moment and don't absorb it.

  • H. Farnham||

    If your No response is in reference to Mark Wahlberg's claim, then obviously you've never watched the movie "Ted"... or was it "The Departed"?... whichever one had the CareBear in it.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Jack Nicholson? That was The Departed.

  • H. Farnham||

    That man's a national treasure, and I will always maintain that he did a better 'Joker' than that Orlando Bloom fella.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Mike Pence should tweet that Cynthia Nixon is terrible at wearing criticism.

  • CE||

    No way ICE would have cracked down on Saudi nationals at that time.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) "would've helped stop" the 9/11 terror attacks had it existed at the time, a White House spokesperson said Monday.
    Key word is "helped".

    Mohamed Atta 33 Egypt American Airlines Flight 11
    Abdulaziz al-Omari 22 Saudi Arabia
    Wail al-Shehri 28 Saudi Arabia
    Waleed al-Shehri 22 Saudi Arabia
    Satam al-Suqami 25 Saudi Arabia
    ___
    Marwan al-Shehhi 23 United Arab Emirates United Airlines Flight 175
    Fayez Banihammad 24 United Arab Emirates
    Mohand al-Shehri 22 Saudi Arabia
    Hamza al-Ghamdi 20 Saudi Arabia
    Ahmed al-Ghamdi 22 Saudi Arabia
    ____
    Hani Hanjour 29 Saudi Arabia American Airlines Flight 77
    Khalid al-Mihdhar 26 Saudi Arabia
    Majed Moqed 24 Saudi Arabia
    Nawaf al-Hazmi 25 Saudi Arabia
    Salem al-Hazmi 20 Saudi Arabia
    ____
    Ziad Jarrah 26 Lebanon United Airlines Flight 93
    Ahmed al-Haznawi 20 Saudi Arabia
    Ahmed al-Nami 24 Saudi Arabia
    Saeed al-Ghamdi

    ICE could have been tasked with preventing less people from countries that hate us from entering the USA.

  • Libertymike||

    The founding generation warned us not to buy conspiracy theories spun by government critters.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We are WAY past that. There are millions if not billions of non-Americans that want to enter the USA to be here and/or hurt us.

    Osama Bin Laden literally tried to take down the towers years before. Our intel agencies should have been strict with Islamic sympathizers entering the USA.

  • Agammamon||

    Maybe, maybe not. What matters is that they weren't and ICE, if it had existed instead of INS, would have not had any different policies than INS had at the time.

    INS already had all the responsibilities that ICE and CPB have today. These capabilities still existed before ICE existed. INS was just split into 2 separate organizations - and then smooshed back together under DHS. So ICE wouldn't have accomplished anything INS failed to do.

  • The Narrator||

    "INS already had all the responsibilities that ICE and CPB have today"

    Serious question, there has been no expansion of what they do since INS was split up?

  • Agammamon||

    Not really. Other than the whole 'we now stop terrorists along with drug smugglers and illegal' expansion that every other law enforcement agency in the country undertook post-9/11.

    INS still investigates immigration crimes - the 'vetting terrorist visas' and rounding up illegals and deporting them back.

    CBP still patrols the borders and ports of entry.

    There's just no longer any direct, internal lines of communication between these two groups anymore.

    Nominally, everything of importance goes up to DHS, where the coordination between these two agencies (and several others, like the Coast Guard) and prioritization happens.

  • TangoDelta||

    So basically added layers of bureaucracy to help absorb the resulting budget increase. Yay team!

  • Dan S.||

    There are millions if not billions of non-Americans that want to enter the USA to be here and/or hurt us.

    Since that statement is technically true if there are merely millions (not billions) who simply want to be here (not hurt us), I guess it is technically true. It is surely false that there are billions who want to come here to hurt us.

    BTW, in another thread, you asserted directly that there were a billion people who wanted to come here to live. I wondered if you had any source for that number, and if you were counting people who merely had idle wishes, or only those who actually had the resources (such as airfare) to get here.

  • Zeb||

    So could the INS and other agencies that existed at the time. I'm not convinced that having border patrol and customs and immigration and naturalization under the same roof would have made any difference.

  • The Narrator||

    That sentence needs commas.

  • Agammamon||

    The weird thing is - they *were* under the same roof before. They were *part of the same department* before.

    Then they were split apart, and then put back side-by-side under DHS. Effectively cutting off any intra-agency communication lines that existed in INS and making everything go up through DHS and then back down to other agencies.

  • Shirley Knott||

    More bureaucracy! More jobs!!

  • Earth Skeptic||

    And badges!

  • Happy Chandler||

    Prior to Trump, immigration enforcement prioritized those with serious crimes for removal.

    Current policy is to spend more money detaining families fleeing gang warfare.

    It's kind of like the grandmother getting pulled for enhanced screening at the airport. Security theater that makes us less safe. Diverting resources from the truly dangerous to the not dangerous.

  • damikesc||

    Hard to say "more dangerous". After all, none of the 9/11 guy were "criminals" either...

  • Happy Chandler||

    They were flagged as risks in both Phoenix and Minnesota.

  • ||

    Saudi Arabia and the UAE are two of our closest allies in the ME. They don't fall under "countries that hate us."

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Countries don't hate. People in countries hate. And plenty of Saudis hate the US or some vision they have about the US. Maybe they have good reasons; maybe they are just wacked-out rag heads (there's another reason). But sure would be nice to keep them outside our borders.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I have no problem staying outside the borders of Sharia theocracies.

  • SQRLSY One||

    "ICE could have been tasked with preventing less people from countries that hate us from entering the USA."

    (You presumably mean more, not less).

    Most of these terrorists were from Saudi Arabia... Yet Emperor Trump has NOT placed Saudi Arabia on the "hated" lists!!! The lists are purely political, not practical... Which is one of the billions of reasons why we need to SHRINK Government Almighty, not worship or expand it!!!!

  • Hank Phillips||

    "ICE could have been tasked with preventing less people from countries that hate us from entering the USA."
    Translation: The additional bureaucracy could have been ordered to have more people from countries that hate us enter the USA. (Preventing fewer is the same as admitting more)
    --This sockpuppet must have been one of the Republicans tasked with improving the LP migration plank at the convention.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm beginning to suspect that Cynthia Nixon is not a serious candidate.

  • Libertymike||

    I bet she gets more sex in the city than Mike Pence.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    What about in the countryside?

  • Libertymike||

    No different.

    Why? Unlike the creepy Veep, creepy Cynthia has no rules against being in places with women other than her wife.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why would not wanting to be alone with women that are not your wife be creepy?

    He will never have to worry about being falsely accused of sex stuff because of his preference.

    In this era of Lefties being so desperate as to make up stuff, its a smart move.

  • Libertymike||

    I was just being silly because Cynthia Nixon is a whole lot creepier than the most vile projections of Pence the progressives may promulgate.

    We need more men who are unabashed about their fidelity to their wives.

  • ||

    I have my doubts about her as a person. Like a skinny version of Carrot Top with even less talent for prop comedy. Her acting range extends all the way to vapid, neurotic, urban, heterosexual progressive which can be a tough reach from her real life persona as a vapid, neurotic, urban, lesbian progressive.

  • Libertymike||

    Pretty much the way I see it, mc.

    The best I have seen of her is in a couple of L&O SVU and Criminal Intent episodes in which she played variations on the theme you describe. In the SVU episode, she played a psychotic multiple personality variation on the theme.

  • Nardz||

    She ugly

  • Fats of Fury||

    Nonsense, she just cemented her front runner status for the 2020 Libertarian nomination.

  • Just Say'n||

    Totally surprised that a former FBI Director thought that more spooks would have prevented the attack on 9/11 rather than figuring that less government involvement overseas would have made the attacks unlikely to have ever occurred.

    Oh well, let's just pretend like terrorism is some spontaneous occurrence divorced from our foreign involvement overseas

  • JoeBlow123||

    Yes and no. Being top dog and friends with lots of countries, even if you are isolationist, puts you in the limelight more than likely with disaffected losers too most likely.

    In any event, if it is in our interest to do something we should not be cowed by terrorists. If it is not in our interest we should not do it no matter what terrorists think. That is the point of terrorism by the way, to cause political change by piling up bodies. If we are cowed by terrorist actions if plays into the success of the tactic, no?

  • Libertymike||

    Ergo, no TSA at the airports.

    Ergo, no security kabuki theatre, anywhere, anytime.

    Ergo, A's fears about flying should not be socialized at the expense of B.

  • CE||

    Especially since the FBI botched the investigations that could have discovered the hijackers early enough to stop them.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Is there anything more persuasive than a counterfactual?

  • HGW xx/7||

    And if Dalmia had written the article, it would have been titled: "Foreigners Would Have Stopped 9/11"

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    And if only we had nuked England during the Revolutionary War then the War of 1812 never would have happened!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I do agree with this.

  • Zeb||

    Why did Wahlberg apologize? (I assume it wasn't for talking like a dumbass thug from Boston). Isn't passengers doing something supposed to be the reason why things didn't go down the way the terrorists wanted on that other plane?

  • The Last American Hero||

    Being a Masshole, he would have crashed landed the plane into Yankee Stadium.

  • Agammamon||

    And missed.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Still would have improved the Bronx.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Every White House and Congress since 2003 has made this claim. It is, in fact why ICE was formed. Whether it would have been successful or is a good idea is a valid topic for debate, but the WH claims are not new or extraordinary.

  • CE||

    The only way ICE would have stopped them is if they had tried to enter the country from Mexico.

  • The Narrator||

    Am I allowed to pick now to get off the "paying the slightest bit of attention to D-list celebrity outrage on Twitter" merry-go-round? Can we get Reason to at least consider joining me?

  • Ska||

    She is a d-list celebrity trying to get in the NY governor's race. Which makes it slightly different. I'm not even sure this governor run is still happening.

  • The Narrator||

    Did we really always pay attention to no-chance wackos trying to run for some office before? Really? Cuz I remember it a bit differently.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    You mean like Trump?

  • The Narrator||

    No, I mean a no-chance wacko.

  • SIV||

    I don't think immigration is the issue with ICE for these progs. ICE is like the only federal bureaucracy, certainly the only heavily armed one, that supports the president. The EPA has guns but they'd get their ass handed to them in a fight with ICE. I'd say the FBI is outnumbered but that's a distant second to them being cowardly pussies.

  • Libertymike||

    Do you think that the Aryan Brotherhood would hand ICE its ass?

  • Happy Chandler||

    Besides the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Space Force? I haven't seen any polling on the Coast Guard.

    Bureau of Prisons. NSA.

  • Agammamon||

    "ICE identifies dangerous individuals before they enter our country and locates them as they violate our immigration laws."

    Isn't . . . isn't that what INS did before ICE existed?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    No. Before ICE we had an open-border situation (however you define Open Border when you use it as an insult in an argument) and there was literally nothing but Canadians raping our Minnesotans.

  • The Narrator||

    I fail to see the problem.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Minnesotans are too ugly to rape. (no offense to any Minnesotans)

  • The Narrator||

    Ah I see, so humanitarian concern for Canadians.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I care too much.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Isn't . . . isn't that what INS did before ICE existed?

    The INS needed a SWAT team, so ICE was born.

  • Brian||

    When I type "cunt" in iOS Safari, Sir Knowledge suggests "Cynthia Nixon."

    I think that's all we need to know, or something.

  • damikesc||

    Apparently, "If this existed, it could've prevented that event" is a thought process Reason writers never partake in.

  • Flinch||

    Both sides are wrong. ICE could not have stopped Albright from giving visas to people on terrorist watch lists. Chalk this one up as mental midgets jousting from the perches of their pogo sticks.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Great reporting from People magazine again, I mean Reason magazine.

    "Blowhard liberal from blowhard liberal state says something provocative. Trump press secretary says something back. Also, more open borders."

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    ICE agents are little better than drug warriors -- poorly educated authoritarians strutting about with badges, enforcing paltry, big-government rules for the lessers among us, one day to be swept aside with the Prohibition agents, inquisitioners, and coal and iron police.

    The sooner every one of them is compelled to try to find a decent livelihood, the better for America and liberty.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Deport every illegal.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And when that doesn't work?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    More government agencies with more force will make it better.

  • Libertymike||

    The better solution is no more pesos for Pedro.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If that's a slang term for welfare for mexicans, then let's just go the whole way. Because I don't particular value my fellow american's welfare more than others.

  • Libertymike||

    BUCS, cela va sans dire that no pesos for Pedro also means no gimmie dats for gringos.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm fine with that. I just notice a lot of people come in hard with the "Fuck Mexican" talk before backing it up with "oh, I just don't want them using welfare." Rarely come out against welfare first, without having to highlight that foreigners are the problem.

  • Libertymike||

    BUCS, I make no bones about the fact that while I'm a liberty of travel absolutist, I would prefer that my neighbors be more representative of America's traditional demographic.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Do you mean no more welfare for Pedro? Or do you mean making it illegal to employ Pedro?

  • Libertymike||

    Of course I mean the former.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Okay, I'm with you. No welfare for Pedro.
    There will still be economic migrants. Then what?

  • Libertymike||

    There won't be anywhere near the current number.

    Purely economic migrants, with ambition and a willingness to convert to the creed of free enterprise, would be welcome.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    There won't be anywhere near the current number.

    Maybe, maybe not. I have always found the argument that migrants come here because of the welfare benefits to be specious. Instead I think a more reasonable claim is that migrants come here to improve their economic standing, necessarily start off at the bottom of the economic ladder, and wind up consuming welfare benefits out of economic necessity.

  • Libertymike||

    Nevertheless, the welfare is a problem. As you know, all welfare begets more state.

  • Curly4||

    Well Trump got the statement nearly correct. If he had used a 'c' instead of a 'w' in the statement it would be correct. But that was before ICE was started If that was the job given it by congress, then congress must not have ICE to do its job because ICE has not done that job on a regular bases from its inception. Now congress could have (and still could) force ICE to do its job if congress wanted or a lot of somebodies would wondering what had happened to them. Now (and this is the reason that congress has not wanted ICE to do that jobe) that Trump is pushing ICE to do this job the outcry in congress and in some groups rings to high heaven. I wonder just how long this outcry could continue if ICE and border patrol just pack up and went home until there was an outcry for them to once again to stop the invasion. Just think what would happen when all the low level jobs were being taken by these immigrants who has move here and will work for much less than what US citizens will. Now don't demand that government force these businesses to pay a higher wage for that would only get more immigrants here to take these jobs because they are used to working harder the citizens are. So that would mean that every citizen (and maybe a few of the immigrants) would go onto welfare, ops, I mean entitlements which would mean each working stilf would have to payer higher taxes to cover the cost.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    "invasion"

    lol

  • Libertymike||

    Is your conception of invasion cabined to military assault?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    No one is fooled why you all choose to call the peaceful migration of innocent people an "invasion". It is a corruption of the language, just like when those who favor abortion call killing an unborn child a mere "choice", or when gun grabbers call their ideas "common sense". The idea is to convey a meaning that is different enough from reality in order to provoke a reaction and push a narrative.

    Undocumented migration is "invasion" just as much as the mailman delivering mail to my mailbox is an "invasion" of my property.

  • Libertymike||

    Who is "you all?"

    If you are going to conflate my position with that of lc or John or BYODB or JoeBlow or damikesc or so many others here who are not, and do not consider themselves to be, anarchists like me, you are not arguing in good faith.

    You just can't accept the fact that there are NAP abiding anarchists who are liberty of travel absolutists who also would prefer that their neighbors be more representative of America's traditional demographic. There is nothing intellectually inconsistent with those positions.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    My apologies if I misrepresented your position.

    So you don't want Mexicans here but you would not use government force to prevent them from migrating. I don't really have a problem with that. It is not that different from my position, except that I don't really care if the migrants are Mexican or not.

  • Conchfritters||

    No, ICE would have failed too, as did the FBI - they had Zachariah Moussaoui, arrested in Minnesota in August 2001, for plotting the same type of attack. That's why they can collect all the data they want and shit all over our rights in the name of "terrorism", they still didnt stop it when it mattered the most.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Words matter. By definition, it is terrorism when a non-state actor does it and tyranny when a state agency does it. The ctrl-left does not want to use the word "tyranny", because they do not want their audience looking up the word and discovering that elected officials can be bad.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    So, Cynthia Nixon is a fucktard.

    And Hogan Gidley is a fucktard.

    And Fox News has plenty of fucktards.

    But how the hell did so many fucktards get access to the front page?

  • Don't look at me.||

    People with brains tend to be boring.

  • Rockabilly||

    Things just get weirder and weirder, man

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El2TwBiaqyo

  • Hank Phillips||

    Voting for force-initiating looters drunk on mysticism AFTER Saracen berserkers knocked down civilian buildings in NYC was the biggest failure of American voter intelligence in U.S. history. Fortunately, many are realizing this, and the LP vote count is up 328% and growing.

  • Juice||

    Visa fraud? All the hijackers' visas were legal and legit. Oh they committed fraud because they were on tourist and student visas and there are no terrorist visas. I guess that's fraud, but how the hell would ICE stop them when INS or any other government agency failed to?

  • josh||

    At the very least, we should all be able to say that 9/11 was clearly preventable. I'm angry to this day at how the government portrays it as a thoroughly unexpected event that they needed vast new powers to prevent from happening again. Rather than the obvious fact that none of them did their damn jobs and a lot of people died because of it.

  • Jacky888||

    would've helped stop ?

  • INTJ||

    It is not clear whether ICE could have helped. What is abundantly clear, though, is that 19 foreign nationals who obtained visas on fraudulent grounds, and who were not subsequently deported when they overstayed their expirations, killed several thousand people, and if we had a system in place where the enforcement agencies could have tracked down and deported them, there would have been a decent chance they wouldn't have gotten on those planes.

  • NashTiger||

    I get so confused

    You can't criticize a single FBI Official (without them getting a purple heart), but ICE are terrorists

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