Pamela Geller embraced Glenn Beck’s crumbling conspiracy theory that the government is trying to cover up the alleged role of a Saudi national in the Boston marathon bombing in an interview with Janet Mefferd yesterday.
Mefferd: [Janet Napolitano] says this Saudi national was on a watch list but only while he was being questioned and then he was immediately taken off; does this sound strange to you?
Geller: If we can speak with any accuracy, she’s lying. She’s been lying and changing her story. First she said he wasn’t on the list, then she said it was a different Saudi; then she said he was pinged, while she said he was pinged when he left, she then said his name was spelled wrong and that’s why they didn’t know when he came back to the country. What is really disturbing about all this is that this is our national security, these are our babies and our families that are being put in harm’s way and they’re lying to us, they’re lying to us and they are covering for jihadists. This is what is happening. What is the motive for this? There can be no good motive.
Geller: How many jihadists in waiting are there in this country? That Saudi national that not only Michelle Obama visited, the first person of interest that was detained, who is now being deported in a rush deportation because he has ‘national security violations’ had visited the White House many times.
First, it seems that Geller confused the Saudi national, who is considered a victim and not a suspect, with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the deceased Boston bomber.
Geller also said that the Saudi national is about to be deported, even though The Hill already reported that the rumor is false and based on “another student from Saudi Arabia who was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for violating his visa” and “is not believed to have any connection with the bombing.”
After arguing that the Saudi man in the hospital almost certainly had a role in the attack, she said that Michelle Obama visited him in the hospital where he is recovering…because of course the government would let the First Lady visit dangerous terrorists!
The Christian Science Monitor adds that the Saudi national was temporarily put on a watch list it was only so he couldn’t leave the hospital while he was being questioned. His name was then removed from the list after he was cleared by authorities, and he is not subject to deportation.
First off, [Bret] Baier said the wording of the paper was indeed somewhat dire.
But officials told him it was simply an automatic piece of customs paperwork triggered when police went to question the Saudi in the hours after the bombing.
To make sure he did not somehow get on an airplane before they could talk to him, they put him on a no-fly list. That automatically meant he was subject to visa revocation. The other language, including the reference to an “event,” followed from that.
“Also keep in mind, it’s just … a customs and border control document…. It’s not indicative of any investigative information,” said Baier.
After the FBI determined the man had no connection to the Boston crime, it took several days for the bureaucracy to scrub him out of its system. That is why the document existed for a short period of time, and why it shows evidence of officials trying to change it. But anyone searching the system for his name on the Sunday prior to the bombing would have found nothing, reported Baier, because no US government agency was looking for him.
The Homeland Security Secretary replied that the Saudi in question had not been on a watch list prior to the bombings and was never really a person of interest in the case.
“Because he was being interviewed, he was at that point put on a watch list,” Napolitano added. “And then when it was quickly determined he had nothing to do with the bombing, the watch listing status was removed.”
As if all this weren’t complicated enough, a number of news outlets have reported that there is a second Saudi man in Boston, unrelated to the student, who was taken into custody when he showed up at a port to retrieve a package, and a routine check showed he had overstayed his visa.
That’s the Saudi who is subject to deportation. The student who was caught in the bomb blast is not.