GOP Insanity: ‘Terror Babies,’ Lies and Demagoguery (Video)
August 12, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Tip for right-wing Texas lawmakers: When appearing on national TV that isn’t Fox News, expect to be questioned on your bigoted nonsense. Debbie Riddle, (R-Tomball) an apparent wingnut-in-waiting to clownish hack Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), appeared on CNN’s AC360 with Anderson Cooper last night, to spread ridiculous falsehoods about the danger of “terrorist babies,” a “story” first told on the House floor by Gohmert. What is a terror baby? It’s a nefarious ongoing plot carried out by pregnant Muslim women, whom arrive in the U.S. to give birth and return home to raise their babies as terrorists. Then, according to Gohmert, “20, 30 years down the road,” the terror babies would return to destroy America.
Is any of this nonsense even remotely true? No, but little things like facts and reality aren’t about to stop right-wing Republicans from demagoguery, when there are a few votes to be had. And fearmongering GOPers love catchy derogatory slogans that they can repeat ad nauseam, such as “terrorist babies” and “anchor babies.” Thankfully, Anderson Cooper was not about to allow Riddle to get away with repeating her conspiracy theories. And it was quite enjoyable to watch her squirm, as he asked her for proof that she didn’t have, of course.
Cooper began his program, reminding his viewers on the “terror babies” story first told by Gohmert, whom attributed the tale, as told to him by “a retired FBI agent.” But he later changed his story, as coming from “a lady on a plane.”
Riddle took it from there, also referring to unnamed ex-FBI agents. And when pressed by Cooper to provide a credible source for her story, she complained that the CNN host was unfairly grilling her. Riddle then conveniently launched into a rant about “anchor babies” and Muslims crossing the Mexico border carrying “dirty bombs,” to blow up Houston.
COOPER: Representative Riddle, you told my producer that pregnant women are coming here as tourists, having babies, and then going back home — quote — “with the nefarious purpose of turning them into little terrorists, who will then come back to the U.S. and do us harm.” You said it’s part of an organized terrorist element and could cost us lives. Where did you hear that?
RIDDLE: That is information that is coming to my office from former FBI officials.
COOPER: What former FBI officials — I mean, what evidence is there of some sort of long-term plot to have American babies born here and then become terrorists — raised as terrorists overseas and then come back here?
RIDDLE: Well, at this point, I don’t have the hard evidence right here in front of me. However, this is something that is being talked about by various members of Congress. This is being looked into. This is an issue with not only folks coming across our southern border, with what is called anchor babies, and coming over for the entitlement programs and for that sort of thing, but I think that this is a lot more sinister issue. All of these issues, we need to look at, because this is a critical, critical issue for all of the American — American public.
COOPER: But you have no actual evidence?
RIDDLE: Other than that coming from former FBI folks.
COOPER: Can you tell us who these former FBI folks are, and what evidence they have or what evidence they have shown you?
RIDDLE: At this point, I’m not going to reveal that.
COOPER: I mean, if this is a real threat to the security of the United States, why wouldn’t current FBI people be worried about it as well? I mean, why wouldn’t this actually be…
RIDDLE: You know what? That’s a really good question, because right now we have serious current threat that the government seems to be ignoring, and ignoring on our southern border. Quite honestly…
COOPER: But — but they haven’t told you any actual evidence, right? So, some former FBI — you say some former FBI agents have talked to your office. Have they given your office actual facts or proof?
RIDDLE: That information, we are still gathering. But the point that I think you are trying to make is about folks coming over here, having their babies when they are not here legally, or they might have overstayed their visa, whether they are coming from south of the border or whether they’re coming from Middle Eastern countries.
We must protect and make sure the safety and security of the people of Texas and the folks of this country is secure. That’s the number-one job of every elected official. And, quite frankly, it is altogether possible to make a dirty bomb, stick it in a suitcase, walk it across our southern border, and take it to downtown Houston or any other city, and blow it up, and kill a million or more folks.
Yet, why isn’t the government taking that seriously? So, you’re questioning me on details of this. And that’s — those — they’re fair questions. And we can deal with that now or we can deal with it at a later time. But that issue with dirty bombs that can be walked across our porous border that our president refuses to protect and secure…
RIDDLE: … could — could endanger people today.
COOPER: Right. Well, I mean, border security is certainly…
RIDDLE: That’s the question.
COOPER: Border security is certainly an issue, and it’s a good topic. It’s not the topic, though — I mean, you have made statements about these basically terror babies that are being raised overseas to be brought back here. I’m just asking for proof. You say you’re still gathering it from unnamed former FBI people.
RIDDLE: Well, actually, I — when your folks called me in the preliminary, that was part of the conversation. They did not tell me that you were going to grill me for this specific information that I was not ready to give to you tonight. They did not tell me that, Sir.
State Rep. Rafael Anchia, (D-Dallas) was also on hand to offer some sanity to the conversation, wherein he swiftly debunked Riddle’s “anchor babies” claims.
Additionally, the next evening, Cooper brought on former FBI Assistant Director Thomas Fuentes, who completely destroyed Riddle and Gohmert’s fanciful tales about terror baby plots, apparently only whispered to right-wing Texas lawmakers:
“The FBI has 75 offices overseas, including offices in Jordan, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan,” explained Fuentes. “There was never a credible report — or any report, for that matter — coming across through all the various mechanisms of communication to indicate that there was such a plan for these terror babies to be born.
“Also, I’d like to add, there seems to be a lot of former FBI agents lurking in the halls of Congress and in the legislature in the state of Texas, so I’m kind of curious about that issue as well.”
“I think — in this case, I think the FBI has knocked this story down completely, officially or unofficially,” Fuentes also added. “I think at first they didn’t want to comment on it just because they didn’t want to lend any credence to the people spreading it, but realized that there has to be some comment or else the no comment, you know, means there might be some secret classified information out there, but — but there is no credible information about this particular aspect.”