I couldn’t believe what I was watching when Sen. Corey Booker become unhinged at the hearing for Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. As soon as I heard it I went straight to Twitter to try and understand what statistic he was using and what study he was using. Luckily, The Daily Caller did the research. We will begin with what study was used.
One of the particular points of contention for Booker was how the White House allegedly ignores America’s white supremacists, whom the senator argued were more dangerous than Islamic militants.
The New Jersey Democrat cited a 2017 report published by the Government Accountability Office that purports to show that out of 85 extremist attacks that resulted in victim deaths since 9/11, 73 percent were committed by right-wingers.
In Booker’s dramatic monologue, he claimed that all of these attackers held “bigoted, hateful ideas about minorities” and implied he wanted 73 percent of the DHS’s time spent tracking down these far-right extremists.
Here is why this particular study has already been debunked.
However, there are serious issues with the GAO report that Booker used to argue white supremacists are the biggest terror threat to the nation. One of the major problems with the study is what incidents it lumps in with right-wing terror.
The biggest error in GAO’s data on white supremacist terror was caught by National Review’s David French last April. The Umpqua Community College shooting, one of the deadliest shootings the GAO attributed to a white supremacist, was actually committed by an African-American with no discernible ideology outside of hatred for religion.
Anti-government activists who appeared not to have been motivated by hate for minorities committed a good portion of the violent incidents the study categorized as right wing terror — contrary to what Booker argued on Tuesday. The GAO study also includes prison slayings carried out by white supremacist gangs as cases of domestic terror.
Another problem French found with the study was its glaring omission of left-wing terrorism. The National Review writer noted three incidents of politically-motivated police murders committed by black nationalists over the last three years.
Those incidents would appear to count as violent extremism, but the GAO report leaves out those and many other incidents in its findings, giving America the erroneous impression that only jihadis and right-wing extremists engage in political murder.
It is interesting that Booker went with the 73 percent figure from the study instead of the number of people killed by white supremacists. The GAO reports that while right-wing extremists were responsible for more incidents, Islamists killed more people on American soil.
So, even in a completely debunked study, Islamic Extremists were responsible for more deaths than these supposed Right Wing Extremists. The study also decided to call a black male a white nationalist and even included prison slayings as a form of “domestic terror”. The Daily Caller called this claim misleading, I call this claim false. The idea that a sitting congressman would use such a debunked study to score a political point is truly disgusting.