February 27, 2017

WHEN IDEOLOGY MEETS EVIDENCE:

Leaked DHS Report Contradicts White House Claims on Travel Ban (Nora Ellingsen, February 27, 2017, Lawfare)

[W]hen the Department produced its draft report, later leaked to the Associated Press, the White House wasn't pleased with the results--and for good reason. The assessment does not support the administration's position that individuals from the affected countries disproportionately threaten the United States. The Wall Street Journal quotes at least one White House official as expressing dissatisfaction: "The president asked for an intelligence assessment. This is not the intelligence assessment the president asked for."

Relying on unclassified and publicly available information, the three-page assessment concluded that citizens of the seven affected countries are rarely implicated in U.S.-based terrorism plots. Indeed, the conclusions are similar to ones I drew earlier this month when I wrote about the conclusions we can draw from FBI international terrorism arrests. Like the DHS analysts, I also relied on the publically available Justice Department press releases, and this data only support one broad conclusion: foreign-born individuals from the affected countries are not a particular terrorism threat to the United States.

But in the next two pages, the DHS assessment takes the analysis several steps further than I went. First, the report found that country of citizenship, more generally, is not a reliable indicator of terrorist activity. [...]

In addition, the assessment challenges the administration's claim that the affected countries have a history of "exporting terrorism" to the United States. In fact, these countries aren't actually exporting very many people at all. [...]

Finally, the assessment draws an important distinction between the countries on the list that face a significant terrorism threat that is reasonably contained within their borders and those who struggle with terrorist groups that also target the United States. Of those seven countries, the assessment indicates that most aren't harboring terrorist groups actively targeting the United States. 

Comic gold.

Posted by at February 27, 2017 11:12 AM

  

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