Fox's Starnes twisted some recent comments of FBI director James Comey in order to frighten viewers into thinking that Al Qaeda has infiltrated every state of the country and that it's only a matter of time until they “start blowing stuff up” here. All thanks to President Obama, of course.
In an “American Dispatch” video, which I believe is published only online, Starnes announced:
The enemy is among us.
FBI director James Comey delivered some alarming words to law enforcement officers last week in Mississippi. There are Islamic radicals living among us in all 50 states and there are open FBI cases in every state but Alaska.
...Now, President Obama once told us he had Al Qaeda on the run. And he’s right. They’re running right across our border and right smack into our neighborhoods. And yet we are at war with an enemy our president does not believe exists. What’s the president going to do when the Islamic radicals start blowing stuff up in this country? Will he try to blame the Crusades or maybe the Protestant Reformation or the 1967 Billy Graham crusade in Kansas City. Blame whoever you want, just don’t blame the Islamic radicals.
Here we go again with Fox's terrorism-fighting by magic words theory. But putting that aside, let's look at how Starnes either deliberately distorted or else misunderstood what Director Comey said in Mississippi last week.
COMEY: We spend all day, every day worrying about the variety of ways in which the terrorism threat has morphed, most prominently... in the growth of this group of savages that we call ISIL... We are focused keenly on who would be looking to travel to join this band of murderers, who will have come back from Iraq and Syria to the United States and who, if they're not going to travel, might be inspired to engage in acts of violence because of some sick sense that meaning can be found there, in partnership with these ISIL savages.
Clearly, Comey is not saying that there has been a mass influx of Al Qaeda operatives “running right across our borders” the way Starnes implied.
As for the open cases in 50 states, Comey did not suggest that Al Qaeda or Islamic radicals operating everywhere but Alaska. What he said is that some people are “inspired” by radicals without actually joining up with them.
COMEY: We have open cases all over the place focused on this threat. ...Any place there are troubled souls, who might be susceptible to the poisonous propaganda and training that's offered through the internet, by groups like ISIL and othe progeny of Al Qaeda... potentially has an issue. And Mississippi's a great state. But like all 50 states, it has troubled souls who might look to find meaning in this sick, misguided way. The challenge we face in law enforcement is that they may be getting exposed to that poison and that training in their basement, and so they're not going to a physical space where they're meeting terrorists or communicating overseas in a way that we can intercept.
What Comey said is scary enough. But why would a guy, especially one who presents himself as a devout Christian patriot, want to twist the truth to make it even more frightening and divisive?
Why, it could just be that Starnes has a book to plug. This “culture warrior” (who seems to have done all his “fighting” from the safety of an armchair) concluded his minute and a half of exploiting a real danger by saying, “Now if you really want to find out what’s happening in this country and why, just read my latest book.”
Watch Starnes below. Comey's remarks are underneath.
This pseudo “christian” is a paranoid nut case.