Racist propaganda prompted McCrory's Syrian refugee stance

Drinking deeply from a poisoned well of information:

In interviews, McCrory administration officials say there were ongoing discussions that weekend about a potential response. But when Steen dashed off a message to McCrory's personal email account, it was the first written note by one of his senior advisers urging the governor to consider action, according emails provided in response to a public records request.

"I think you should consider coming out in opposition to any more Syrian refugees coming here to the US or N. Carolina because the FBI says they cannot vet the Syrian refugees," Steen wrote, linking to a story in World Net Daily critical of U.S. refugee policy. Early the next morning, McCrory forwarded that email – adding only "FYI" – from his iPhone to his chief of staff, Thomas Stith.

And it doesn't appear that any of these "leaders" questioned the value of relying on a World Net Daily article to guide their policy decisions, a source that is easily in the top five least reliable outlets for credible information. The article itself is mostly a hit-piece against Lindsay Graham, and the author relies heavily on drivel provided by an extremely questionable "professor" using a borderline fraudulent resume:

Christina Jeffrey, former historian for the U.S. House of Representatives and a leading activist against Haley’s decision to allow the federal refugee program into South Carolina, said Graham and politicians like him seem confused. They call for war on ISIS abroad while importing the threat to the homeland.

“We should be defunding refugee resettlement not funding more,” Jeffrey told WND. “And I think the majority of people in South Carolina would agree. I’m not seeing much support for the refugee program (even before the Paris attacks) and I’m not seeing it among the black people I associate who are Catholics, who are students, who I exercise with at the WMCA,” the professor said.

“We’re watching the suicide of the West and I don’t think America wants to join in that suicide,” Jeffrey said. “The steps by which a civilization commits suicide begins with the leaders not sharing the interests of the people, and when that happens the people will lose heart, they will begin to lose their heritage and hate their country and pretty soon you have no nation. It cannot survive.”

Not only is this "professor" so far out on the extremist edge she's hanging on by her fingernails to keep from dropping off, her stint as a historian for the US House lasted less than a week before she was fired for some really crazy shit she had been involved in before charming Newt into hiring her:

In a statement the morning after her firing, Jeffrey, who was hired less than a week ago, also said she was ``fired in the press.'' Reporters, who received materials from Democratic sources, began
making inquiries to Gingrich's office after learning of Jeffrey's review of the Holocaust course in 1986. House Democrats quickly pounced on her eight-year-old review, one saying it bordered on Holocaust revision.

Gingrich, in a letter signed ``your friend Newt,'' said he appreciated her ``willingness and eagerness'' to serve. ``However, I do not feel that it would be prudent nor beneficial for you or your family nor for the House of Representatives to continue your employment at this time,'' he wrote.

Jeffrey, hired at $85,000 a year, headed a panel that reviewed the Holocaust course for the Republican-run U.S. Department of Education. The panel recommended against a federal grant for the course and the department -- insisting the decision was its own -- declined funding in 1986 and again the next two years. Concluding her remarks on ``Facing History and Ourselves'' a course designed for eighth and ninth graders, Jeffrey wrote: ``The program gives no evidence of balance or objectivity. The Nazi point of view, however unpopular, is still a point of view and is not presented, nor is that of the Ku Klux Klan.''

At the White House, presidential Press Secretary Mike McCurry said it was ``hard to imagine how someone with those extreme views would have been considered in the first place, but the speaker quickly ecognized that and made a decision that strikes us as appropriate.'' He added that it was largely a House matter.

One of the many reasons to avoid World Net Daily as a source for *anything*, much less governmental decisions. Fired within the first week pretty much negates the authenticity of putting something on your resume, and the WND author was probably aware of that when he was typing those words. As to the Nazi and KKK stuff, I'm not qualified to assess somebody that bat-shit crazy. But the thought of McCrory reading this and e-mailing it around, and then holding policy meetings where the content is discussed, just makes me shake my head in disgust.

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The core claim is also (mostly) false

The main reason Steen wanted McCrory to read the tainted article was the quote from the FBI Director to congress, the "No way to vet Syrian refugees." That statement was never uttered, it was crafted by the right-wing media:

Comey has stressed, in testimony before several different congressional committees, that there are challenges (namely, information gaps) to how we screen the refugees, and that there’s no risk-free process. But, he said, we’ve gotten "dramatically" better at the task in the past few years.

He never said that the federal agencies "cannot vet" refugees in as plain of terms as Cruz suggested. (Later in the debate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a similar claim as Cruz about Comey’s remarks.)

Appearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Oct. 8, Comey said, "There is risk associated with bringing anybody in from the outside, but especially from a conflict zone like that. From the intelligence community's perspective, as I said, I think we've developed an effective way to touch all of our databases and resources to figure out what we know about individuals. … I don't think that's a cumbersome process. My concern there is that there are certain gaps."

Comey made similar comments before the House Homeland Security Committee on Oct. 21 and talked about the information gaps in more detail.

"If someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home but we are not going to -- there will be nothing show up because we have no record on that person," he said, adding, "The good news is we are much better doing it than eight years ago. The bad news is, there is no risk-free process."

A day later, on Oct. 22, Comey repeated his comments before the House Judiciary Committee: "We have gotten much better as an intelligence community at joining our efforts and checking our databases in a way that gives us high confidence. If we have a record on somebody, it will surface. That's the good news. … The challenge we face with Syria is that we don't have that rich set of data. So even though we've gotten better at querying what we have, we certainly will have less overall. And so as I said to a question earlier, someone only alerts as a result of our searches if we have some record on them. That's the challenge we face with Syria."

We rate Cruz’s claim Mostly False.

Again, this is the problem with not checking/verifying sources and quotes. The right-wing echo chamber is notorious for taking statements out of context and flat-out rewriting people's words. But it's starting tto happen on the Left as well, which is something we all need to work toward suppressing whenever it pops up.