President Barack Obama’s Sunday night address had a very telling slip-up that has analysts asking big questions: Was Obama intentionally lying to deflect attention away from a very real and dangerous threat to United States citizens?
During his prime-time televised address, Obama said that the female terrorist in the recent San Bernardino, CA, shootings, Tashfeen Malik, came to the United States under the visa waiver program. That allows foreign nationals to enter the United States for short-term visits without a visa.
In the speech – which had no doubt been reviewed by policy and immigration experts – Obama said he has “ordered the departments of State and Homeland Security to review the visa waiver program under which the female terrorist in San Bernardino originally came to this country.”
But that isn’t true. Malik came to the U.S. on a K-1 visa, known as a “fiancée visa,” when she moved to the United States to marry fellow terrorist Syed Farook.
This is an important distinction, because the so-called fiancée visa program includes a vetting process. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security fingerprint and run background checks on those coming into the country for this visa program.
Their vetting process did include a check on Malik… and nothing came up.
And while it’s not considered as thorough as the refugee vetting process, it still was a total failure that cost 14 American lives.
Was Obama’s omission of the visa type Malik used an intentional effort to deflect attention away from potential failures in the refugee vetting process? The White House administration has refused to back down from its plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees, despite concerns that the vetting process is flawed and could lead terrorists like Malik to gain entry into America.
Rather than admit that America’s vetting process is broken, Obama simply switched the type of visa Malik used when traveling to America. Fortunately, some astute members of the press caught the lie.
The rest of Obama’s speech, he failed to impress. There were no new policy prescriptions, no fresh military strategies and no timelines.
One senior administration official, who asked for anonymity to discuss strategy, said the speech was primarily aimed at explaining the president’s current plan to ordinary Americans who’ve been rattled by the rash of attacks in Paris, the Sinai Peninsula and, most recently, San Bernardino.
Obama spoke four days after that deadly massacre — and 48 hours after the FBI first described the case as a terrorism investigation. The delay led Republicans to charge him with failing to acknowledge the attack on his watch.
And Obama’s address failed to quiet his critics.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., dismissed Obama’s remarks as “silliness.”
“I think not only did the president not make things better tonight, I fear he may have made things worse in the minds of many Americans,” Rubio said. “This is not a time for ideological silliness, this is a time for serious action because the future security of our country is at stake.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article