We've always known that Newt Gingrich is a serial prevaricator, and has always provided us with plenty of material for the fulfilling the second half of this blog's name.
But last night on the Daily Show he did a special kind of lying: Pretending to be authoritative about how we handle terrorism cases, when in fact he was talking out of his butt.
Stewart: But why do you say they’re more radical?
Gingrich: Well, if you had gone to Bill Clinton and said, ‘We’ve just found this guy with his underwear burning because he tried to blow up an airplane’ --
Stewart: Wait, what? Woah. All I heard was Clinton and burning underpants – now I’m not sure what we’re talking about.
Gingrich: You’ve gotta keep focus.
Stewart: If you had gone to him and said –
Gingrich: Why don’t we make – Because he lived through Jimmy Carter’s sending prisoners to Arkansas, it helped him get beat in the 1983 election. And he understood there are certain things the American people have an aversion to, like trying to try terrorists in New York City, which is the place the terrorists tried to destroy. And that the American public doesn’t understand reading Miranda rights to terrorists in Detroit when it’s fairly obvious they’re terrorists.
Stewart: The only thing I would say to that is, didn’t they do the same with Richard Reid, who was the shoe bomber?
Gingrich: Richard Reid was an American citizen.
Of course, Richard Reid is in fact a British citizen:
Reid, also known as Abdul Raheem and Tariq Raja, was born a British citizen in Bromley, South London, to Leslie Hughes, who was of white English descent, and Colvin Robin Reid, whose father was a Jamaican immigrant of African descent.
Republicans are desperate to try to quash this point, because it completely undermines their favorite new meme (first promoted by Karl Rove), namely, that Obama is weak on terrorism because we shouldn't "Mirandize" terrorism suspects.
And they've been getting reminded of the reality a bit lately -- namely, that the cases are nearly identical -- and moreover, handling terrorists through the civilian court system simply makes the most sense.
So now they're just flatly lying about it.