Like her fellow congressional freshman Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does not miss an opportunity to accuse the United States of racism and oppression. Usually safe in her Twitter cocoon or on left-wing media outlets where her idiotic theories won’t be challenged, Ocasio-Cortez rarely realizes what a fool she’s making out of herself. As long as you keep yourself comfortably ensconced in The Bubble, you can go on believing that you’re making a lot of sense. Which is why it was particularly satisfying to watch that Bubble get popped on Tuesday.
At a congressional hearing with Michael McGarrity, the assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, Ocasio-Cortez attempted to use her minutes to make a banal point about how oppressive and racist the Bureau’s terrorism work really was. She insisted that Muslims are charged with terrorism because they’re seen as “foreign” and excluded while white supremacists are given a pass because, you know, they’re white!
This is the kind of assertion that gets lots of nods and Amens at a CAIR meeting, but it doesn’t go over all that well with someone who actually knows what they’re talking about.
“You’re using the word ‘charge,’ as I said before there’s no domestic terrorism charge like 18 USC § 2339 ABCD for a foreign terrorist organization,” McGarrity explained (patiently, as if to a child). “What we do both on the international terrorism side with the homegrown violent extremists and domestic terrorism, we’ll use any tool in the toolkit to arrest them.”
Imagine feeling confident enough to sit there on a congressional panel and grill a professional counterterrorism expert about these namby-pamby social justice causes…and not even have the courtesy of familiarizing yourself with the law beforehand. It’s not just that AOC is a radical, it’s that she’s embarrassingly lazy when it comes to intellectual pursuits.
Ocasio-Cortez delved more deeply into her own wrongness by telling McGarrity that the San Bernardino shooting and the Orlando nightclub massacre were classified as “domestic terrorist incidents” for the purpose of bringing charges.
“So, because the perpetrator was Muslim, doesn’t it seem that because the perpetrator is Muslim that the designation would say it’s a foreign organization?” she asked.
“No, that is not correct, that is not correct,” McGarrity replied, pointing out to her that it was absurd to think that U.S. law takes religion into account when classifying terrorist charges. “Some of the definitions I think we’re using, we’re talking past each other.”
Having learned nothing, Ocasio-Cortez went on Twitter to claim victory.
“First the FBI witness tried to say I was wrong. I tried to be generous + give benefit of doubt, but then we checked. I wasn’t,” she wrote. “Violence by Muslims is routinely treated as ‘terrorism,’ White Supremacist violence isn’t. Neo-Nazis are getting off the hook.”
First of all, the people in the cases she cited were charged as “homegrown violent extremists,” which is a designation applied to murderous terrorists in the U.S. who get inspiration from foreign groups like ISIS. If there were a white supremacist who was found to be connected to some overseas neo-Nazi group, they would be charged under the same statute.
Either way, it’s ridiculous to suggest that any of this has anything to do with the amount of punishment a perpetrator gets, or that “Neo-Nazis are getting off the hook.” This is a silly crusade that belongs on the pages of Vox, not in the U.S. Congress.
Please, Alex. Stop embarrassing yourself.