Global Independent Analytics

Fact checking the fifth round of GOP debates

Choose the next President from those deliberately deceitful candidates

 Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee in an article for The Washington Post discuss December, 15 Republican debates.

The fifth round of GOP debates was held on December 15: the prime-time event featured nine prime candidates along with four second-tier contenders who were chosen basing on average of recent polls. Ye Hee Lee and Kessler selected 12 controversial statements in order to verify their authenticity.

When you had the World Trade Center go, people were put into planes – that were friends, family, girlfriends – and they were sent back for the most part to Saudi Arabia. They knew what was going on. They went home and they wanted to watch their boyfriends on television” – Donald Trump.

This statement is a slight alteration of his previous claim that September 11 hijackers’ wives have been sent home before the terror attacks. In fact, this quote was fact-checked earlier and Trump was granted four out of five on the WP’s false-o-meter. However, the thorough investigation of 9/11 events demonstrated that contacts between terrorists and their family members were abruptly cut off just before the incidents, and no one of terrorists’ relatives was in the U.S. at that time.

The prior program only covered a relatively narrow slice of phone calls … primarily landlines. The USA Freedom Act expands that so now we have cell phones, now we have Internet phones, now we have the phones that terrorists are likely to use. … The old program covered 20 percent to 30 percent of phone numbers to search for terrorists. The new program covers nearly 100 percent” – Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas).

In his assertion Cruz failed to deliver the accurate description of the USA Freedom Act: in fact, the bill terminated the NSA’s bulk phone records collection, curtailed the collection program itself and curbed collection of private data by government. Actually, under the old program the percentage of calls covered did equal to about 20-30 percent, and under the new one the admittance of call records will be about 100 percent, but here is why Cruz is wrong. The government now should receive court’s order to record private calls of an individual that is suspected to have links to a terrorist organization. Thus the authorities do not have the right to collect and access any data they wish basing on a service provider, city or area code. Moreover, although the bill permits phone companies to retrieve cellular phone records, the cell phone data collection would not increase drastically because cell phone companies always have had access to this data.

The metadata program was a valuable tool that we no longer have at our disposal” – Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida).

This claim evoked during the USA Freedom Act with Cruz. Rubio’s allegation might seem controversial depending on what he meant by “under our disposal”. In fact, the government would sustain its metadata program; with only difference it being now a targeted scheme rather than a bulk collection. Despite the fact that the bill does limit data collection, the authorities still have the right to access suspicious phone calls under the court’s ruling.

People are pouring across the southern border” – Trump.

Trump seems to effectively ignore the fact that the immigration rate has decreased severely over the past time and now is at its lowest in comparison to two previous decades. The population of illegal immigrants in the U.S. has reached its peak in 2007 and since then has fallen by about 1 million. Researchers have also discovered that net migration from Mexico is experiencing a sharp downward trend since 2007.

That means you stop the Obama administration’s policy of releasing criminal illegal aliens. Do you know how many aliens Bill Clinton deported? 12 million. Do you know how many illegal aliens, George W. Bush deported? 10 million” – Cruz.

Cruz is playing a word game when providing the statistics. Actually, there are two types of deportation: a “return”, during which an alien returns back hone without any official order, and “removal”, which is a compulsory movement based on an order with subsequent prohibition of reentry. The number of “removals” is generally used by media when speaking of deportation. The statistics show that under Obama the “removal” number has significantly increased even though the total deportations number has declined.

One of the things I would immediately do, in addition to defeating them here at home, is bring back the warrior class — Petraeus, McChrystal, Mattis, Keane, Flynn. Every single one of these generals I know. Everyone was retired early because they told President Obama things that he didn’t want to hear” – Carly Fiorina.

Fiorina seems to ignore the circumstances under which the aforementioned officials departed the administration. Petraeus, CIA resigned director, was convicted not only of extramarital affair with his biographer, but also of passing her classified materials which led to misdemeanor charge.

McChrystal was fired by Obama after the disclosure of his officials’ disdainful attitude towards administration officials.

To put things in perspective, in the first Persian Gulf War, we launched roughly 1,100 air attacks a day. We carpet bombed them for 36 days, saturation bombing, after which our troops went in and in a day and a half mopped up what was left of the Iraqi army” – Cruz.

While vying to defend his pledge to “carpet bomb” ISIS, he illustrated his claim with an example of bombing that occurred during the first Gulf War. In fact, the “carpet bombing” art has not been used since Vietnam War. In 1991 laser-guided precision bombs were used to change the face of war at that time.

One of the most troubling aspects of the Rubio-Schumer Gang of Eight Bill was that it gave President Obama blanket authority to admit refugees, including Syrian refugees without mandating any background checks whatsoever” – Cruz.

In his attack on Rubio regarding the 2013 Gang of eight immigration bill and erroneously described the resignation program. In reality, the said bill grants administration the authority to designate refugee status to certain groups of people which are able to proof that they are in fear of persecution in their motherland. The bill does no more than considering people for refugee resettlement more easily; in no way the bill waives security or allows refugees skip security check.

ISIS put out a fatwa on disabled children and killed dozens of them because of their disability” – Former senator Rick Santorum.

He quoted an unverified Internet rumor in his claim. The information regarding fatwa first appeared on FoxNews but was neither investigated nor confirmed.

Here’s what I want to tell the Arab world and Turkey. We’re not going to send 100,000 troops. You’re going to do the fighting this time and we’re gonna help you. We paid for the last two wars, you’re gonna pay for this one” – Sen. Lindsey O. Graham.

Although 2003 invasion of Iraq cost America a pretty penny, Graham should not forget that the first Persian Gulf War was largely financed by Arab allies. In fact, they provided more than two-thirds of total war funding.

New York Police Department had a very active program using intelligence in certain Muslim communities — consistent with our Constitution, consistent with civil rights – so that they can have the intelligence as to where these sermons are being given, and who is being radicalized. And they stopped and prevented dozens and dozens of attacks in New York” – former New York governor George Pataki.

Unfortunately, Pataki overestimated success of this NYPD program. It was disclosed that the program never led  a terrorism investigation and none of data collected by department led to a case. However, the media reported NYPD’s claims that the program helped prevent 14 terrorist attacks against the city of New York. Moreover, the department was sued by a group of Muslims who claimed that the department’s surveillance violated their constitutional t=rights.

I’d like to stop sending $350 billion overseas to buy oil from people who hate our guts, wouldn’t you?” – Sen. Lindsey O. Graham.

Graham failed to estimate the contribution of Arabs to oil import of the U.S. America did spend more than $300 million for importing crude oil, but the lion’s share belongs to Canada with its 42%. By comparison, Arabs have received about 15-20 percent of the total contributions.

EXPERT OPINION

Joshua Tartakovsky

Ted Cruz argued in the debate that Obama has been releasing “illegal criminal aliens” while George W. Bush deported 10 million and Bill Clinton 12 million.

But, as the Washington Post pointed out, this is untrue. Obama has been deporting migrants in far greater numbers than earlier.  According to the chart provided by the Washington Post, deportations have increased under Obama. Here are the records of recent years removals of migrants from the country. Please note the declining slope.

2014: 414,481

2013: 438, 421

2012: 419,384

2011: 388,409

2010: 383,031

2009: 391,932

2008: 359,795

2007: 319,382

2006: 280,974

2005: 246,431

2004: 240,665

2003: 211,098

2002: 165,168

2001: 189,026

2000: 188,467

1999: 183,114

1998: 174,813

1997: 114,432

1996: 69,680

1995: 50,924

1994: 45,674

1993: 42,542

1992: 43,671

Read more

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