FBI Just Blew Ted Cruz’s Main Bogus Talking Point About San Bernardino Shooters Out Of The Water

During a mostly fact-free Republican debate on national security, Sen. Ted Cruz was particularly dense about how to fight terrorism.

In a low point, Cruz suggested that “political correctness” stopped authorities from investigating the two San Bernardino shooters. He pointed to the fact that they had supposedly openly talked about Jihad and committing an act of terrorism in the United States, but no one had bothered checking their social media accounts because they didn’t want to offend Muslims.

We didn’t monitor the Facebook posting of the female San Bernardino terrorist because the Obama DHS thought it would be inappropriate. She made a public call to jihad, and they didn’t target it…

…The problem is because of political correctness, the Obama administration, like a lot of folks here, want to search everyone’s cell phones and e-mails and not focus on the bad guys. And political correctness is killing people.

Unfortunately for Cruz, just one day after staking his national security platform on fighting political correctness and checking the Facebook accounts of Muslims, the FBI blew his theory out of the water. Setting the record straight, FBI Director James Corney informed journalists that there was no evidence that the couple had been posting about their plans on social media.

The married couple who massacred 14 people in San Bernardino, California, on Dec. 2 did not express support for “jihad and martyrdom” on social media — as was previously reported — FBI Director James Comey said on Wednesday.

There was also no evidence Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife Tashfeen Malik, 29, were part of an organized cell or had any contact with overseas armed groups, Comey added.

The couple did, however, express support for a violent ideology in their private communications, Comey said.

In other words, the two attackers did what any conspirators might do: Kept quiet about their plans and only talked amongst themselves. Without aggressive invasions of privacy, the Obama administration (or a hypothetical Cruz administration) would have no way of monitoring that sort of communication.

Even worse for Cruz — who had hoped to show that he was an expert on this stuff — he got almost everything else wrong too. As Elizabeth Nolan Brown at Reason explains, the rule telling immigration officials not to look at social media only applies to immigration officials, the agencies charged with tracking potential threats like the FBI, CIA, DEA, NSA, and yes, even the DHS, are certainly paying attention to online chatter.

On the flipside, Cruz’s suggestion that profiling only Muslims because looking at other people is a waste of time is offensive nonsense. Not only would that mean letting many dangerous people slip through the cracks, but it would ignore one of America’s biggest threats: Right-wing terrorism. In a remarkable irony, on the same day that Cruz was advocating America spy on Muslims, a Fox News-obsessed conservative was being arrested for terrifying threats against employees of a biotech firm associated with Planned Parenthood. An online trail of his comments, made mostly within Fox’s cesspool comment section, revealed that he had spent years threatening liberals and offering to pay people to murder anyone he felt was at odds with the Republican Party.

Did his years of violent hate-speech get overlooked because of “political correctness” too, Mr. Cruz?

Feature image via CNN screengrab