Fox & Friends rushed to politicize the recent attempted car bombing in New York City by falsely claiming the Obama administration "refuses to say the word terror," by citing the incident to demand that the administration hold Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's trial outside of the city, and by asking whether the administration is "sleeping while the enemy plans" attacks.
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Fox & Friends uses attempted NYC bombing to attack Obama administration
Carlson falsely claimed Napolitano "refuses to say the word terror. Is this a mandate within the Obama administration?" Discussing the incident with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, co-host Gretchen Carlson said, "Let's face it. Anyone who wants to blow up and kill people in Times Square, it's no doubt an act of terrorism. We just interviewed though, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, who refuses to say the word terror. Is this a mandate within the Obama administration, not saying the word terror?" She later said "the reason I ask the question, Mr. Mayor, is because if you have an administration that does not want to say the word terror, then how the heck do you fight terrorism?" Giuliani responded: "First of all, I hope that wasn't the Secretary's reluctance, but you are correct. The Obama administration has had trouble saying war on terror, terror. I think you can't solve a problem until you can face up to it."
Perino used attempted car bombing to demand Holder move KSM from New York City. While interviewing Fox News contributor Dana Perino about the attempted car bombing in New York City, co-host Steve Doocy said it "reinforces the fact" that "New York is always a target," and asked whether it "really make[s] sense" to "have the Khalid Shaikh Mohammed trial and the other terrorists done right here at this big target." Perino said "it doesn't," adding "it's time for them to give it up and for New Yorkers to demand that they give it up. New York is already a target. Why bring Khalid Sheik Mohammed and all of his hate to New York City and bring more attention and more focus and make it even a more valuable target for Al Qaeda?"
Carlson baits King to say Holder's plan for KSM trial is "disgraceful." Later in the program, Carlson asked Rep. Peter King (R-NY): "In light of this attempted terror attack Saturday night, what are your thoughts with regard to the Khalid Sheik Mohammed trial still being considered for New York City?" King responded that it's "absolutely disgraceful," and added, "This trial should be taken out of New York; it should be announced immediately. What Attorney General Eric Holder is doing is just really fighting here for a left wing ideology."
Peter Johnson, Jr: "Are we safer now than we were nine years ago, or have officials lost their way?" Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. asked whether the attempted bombing meant that "officials lost their way," and connected the attempted attack to the attempted Christmas Day bombing and the Ft. Hood shooting. Johnson suggested the administration is demonizing the tea party movement as the "true danger" rather than terrorists, and asked, "Are we sleeping while the enemy plans? ... Is the Department of Homeland Security protecting you?"
Napolitano did not "refuse" to say terror -- she said she would "not rule it out"
Napolitano said she would "not rule out" terrorism. Contrary to Carlson's claim that Napolitano "refuse[d] to say the word terror," during the interview, she said repeatedly she would "not rule out" terrorism, but suggested she would not define it as such "until we know the perpetrators, the people -- person or persons who were responsible," because "you don't know the derivation, you don't know their intent." From the interview:
DOOCY: The other key thing, Madam Secretary, is that this is terrorism, right?
NAPOLITANO: Well, it's certainly something that I would not rule out. The way it was carried out, the kind of device that was used. Again, until we know the perpetrators, the people -- person or persons who were responsible -- you don't know the derivation, you don't know their intent. But I would not rule that out.
DOOCY: Well, right. Clearly, the guy was trying to, if not kill people, scare people, which is terrorism.
NAPOLITANO: Well, and we do know that if that --you know, if the explosions had been properly done and ignited, that would have been quite a fireball in that particular area. It was not properly done, it was not effective. And one of the very significant things that occurred here was that street vendors noticed this truck improperly parked, notified law enforcement, law enforcement immediately took action. Really an illustration about how everyone has a role to play when we're talking about our security.
CARLSON: I think the American public sees it as an act of terrorism, but the proof will be in the coming days.
Carlson debunked by Fox News chyron, which noted that Napolitano called it a "potential terrorist attack" the previous day. Napolitano appeared on CNN's State of the Union on May 2, and was asked whether "there are international terrorist ties to this." Napolitano said in response: "Well, we're taking this very seriously with the New York City Police Department, with the FBI, the Joint Terrorist Task Force. We are treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist attack. The derivation of that we do not know. And that's what the investigation will tell us." While Carlson made the false claim that Napolitano and others in the Obama administration "refuse[d] to say the word terror," the following on-screen text aired:
Obama regularly uses the word "terror" in speeches
President Obama regularly uses the word "terror" when discussing national security in speeches. For example:
Obama referred to "nuclear terrorism" when announcing his Nuclear Posture Review: From the April 6 statement (emphasis added):
The Nuclear Posture Review, led by the Department of Defense, recognizes that the greatest threat to U.S. and global security is no longer a nuclear exchange between nations, but nuclear terrorism by violent extremists and nuclear proliferation to an increasing number of states. Moreover, it recognizes that our national security and that of our allies and partners can be increasingly defended by America's unsurpassed conventional military capabilities and strong missile defenses.
As a result, we are taking specific and concrete steps to reduce the role of nuclear weapons while preserving our military superiority, deterring aggression and safeguarding the security of the American people.
First, and for the first time, preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism is now at the top of America's nuclear agenda, which affirms the central importance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We have aligned our policies and proposed major funding increases for programs to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons around the world. Our nuclear security summit next week will be an opportunity for 47 nations to commit to specific steps to pursue the goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world within four years. And next month in New York, we will work with the wider world to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime to ensure that all nations uphold their responsibilities.
Obama repeatedly referred to attempted Christmas Day attack as a "terrorist attack" or act of "terrorism." In addresses following the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest Airlines plane, Obama repeatedly referred to the incident as a "terrorist attack" or "terrorism" (emphasis added):
From a December 28 speech:
Good morning, everybody. I just want to take a few minutes to update the American people on the attempted terrorist attack that occurred on Christmas Day and the steps we're taking to ensure the safety and security of the country.
Thanks to the quick and heroic actions of passengers and crew, the suspect was immediately subdued, the fire was put out, and the plane landed safely. The suspect is now in custody and had been charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft. And a full investigation has been launched into this attempted act of terrorism and we will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable.
Second, I've ordered two important reviews because it's absolutely critical that we learn from this incident and take the necessary measures to prevent future acts of terrorism. The first review involves our watch list system, which our government has had in place for many years to identify known and suspected terrorists so that we can prevent their entry into the United States.
From a January 2 speech:
It has now been more than a week since the attempted act of terrorism aboard that flight to Detroit on Christmas Day. On Thursday, I received the preliminary findings of the reviews that I ordered into our terrorist watchlist system and air travel screening. I've directed my counterterrorism and homeland security advisor at the White House, John Brennan, to lead these reviews going forward and to present the final results and recommendations to me in the days to come.
And even before Christmas Day, we had seen the results. Training camps have been struck; leaders eliminated; plots disrupted. And all those involved in the attempted act of terrorism on Christmas must know-you too will be held to account.
Following meeting with Turkish Prime Minister, Obama spoke of "the shared commitment to defeat terrorist activity." In remarks following his meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, Obama referred to "the shared commitment to defeat terrorist activity regardless of where it occurs." From the December 7 speech (emphasis added):
We reaffirmed the shared commitment to defeat terrorist activity regardless of where it occurs. I expressed condolences to the Prime Minister and the Turkish people for the recent terrorist attack that was taken there and pledged U.S. support in trying to bring the perpetrators of this violence to justice.
White House's "guiding principles" of Homeland Security includes "defeat terrorism worldwide." The Homeland Security section of the White House's website details the administration's "guiding principles" in "keep[ing] the American people safe." The first principle listed is "Defeat Terrorism Worldwide." From WhiteHouse.gov:
Defeat Terrorism Worldwide
Administration also intends to provide $5 billion in assistance through the Shared Security Partnership over the next several years to enhance the ability of our partners to improve their own security and work with us to defeat terrorism worldwide.