Debunking the dreaded ‘terrorist baby’ threat

DEBUNKING THE DREADED ‘TERRORIST BABY’ THREAT…. In recent months, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) has been making his case against the 14th Amendment with an argument even most conservatives avoid: the dreaded “terrorist baby” threat.

Gohmert got the ball rolling in June, arguing that pregnant terrorists plan to come to American soil, have babies, and “20, 30 years down the road,” these home-grown terrorists will “help destroy our way of life.” This wasn’t just some fantasy he cooked up, Gohmert argued. He claimed to have received important information from “a retired FBI agent” who told him national security officials believe “terrorist cells overseas” have “figured out how to game our system” when it comes to birthright citizenship.

This week on CNN, Texas state Rep. Debbie Riddle (R) also claims to have received information from “former FBI officials,” warning of terrorist babies.

Last night, CNN’s Anderson Cooper talked on the air to Tom Fuentes, who served as the FBI’s assistant director in the office of international operations from 2004 to 2008. Fuentes didn’t seem especially impressed with the right-wing lawmakers at their crazy theory.

“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.”

Fuentes didn’t come right out and say, “These Republicans are lying to the public,” but he came awfully close.

If recent history is any guide, this won’t affect the debate at all, and hacks like Gohmert will continue to repeat this nonsense anyway. But for those who care about evidence and reason, it’s nice to have such a thorough debunking to refer to.