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Myrick's al-Qaeda Myth

Last Wednesday Hugh Hewitt noted a press conference by Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) in which she said the following:

"I mean, they just arrested, down on the border -- what? a couple of weeks ago? -- three al-Qaida members who came across from Mexico into the United States. That's a given fact. They were holding them in the jail down there."

Hugh commented this was either "a blockbuster story, or a complete urban myth." Turns out it's the latter. Tim Funk of the Charlotte Observer did some investigating and found out Myrick's claim wasn't even close to being true. According to Funk, Myrick says she based her claim on an an unproven account of a border crossing appearing in the November 22, 2004 issue of Time magazine which she confused as being current. That is not a misprint: the article in question ran almost a year ago and did not mention any actual border crossings or arrests.

Myrick's spokesman called it "an honest mistake." Perhaps.  But given that she made the claim in the context of promoting tougher requirements for drivers licenses in North Carolina saying the measures were important for national security, it looks like Myrick got caught demagoguing. At best she looks sloppy and ill informed, which is the last thing we need from our elected representatives when it comes to matters of terrorism and national security.