The Corner

Maybe It’s an Arizona Thing . . .

Okay, in a spirit of bipartisanship:

Just days after Janet Napolitano, the U.S. homeland security secretary, sparked a diplomatic kerfuffle by suggesting the terrorists took a Canadian route to the U.S. eight years ago, McCain defended her by saying that, in fact, the former Arizona governor was correct.

“Well, some of the 9-11 hijackers did come through Canada, as you know,” McCain, last year’s Republican presidential candidate, said on Fox News on Friday.

In its way, this is worse than Secretary Napolitano. The war on terror is supposed to be McCain’s area of expertise.

As readers well know, I’m all for taking the slightest opportunity to blame Canada, but this is pathetic: The 9/11 killers filled in joke paperwork issued by the U.S. State Department and were waived through U.S. immigration by U.S. officials: No Canadians were involved, only the government of the United States. Three thousand Americans died as a result of the federal bureaucracy’s Saudi Visa Express service, but the nation’s most senior politicians can’t be bothered apprising themselves of this basic fact.

This is what happens when you take what are meant to be “citizen-legislators” and bulk them up with a retinue larger than the average Gulf emir. Half these guys are hopeless when they’re off the cue cards, but, even by those standards, this is embarrassing: We’re talking about a basic fact about the defining event of the last decade – and McCain can’t even be bothered getting that right.

[UPDATE: After innumerable e-mails to the contrary, let me make it clear:

On 9/11, 19 mostly Saudi terrorists killed 3,000 people. Not one of those terrorists ever set foot in Canada or crossed the Canadian/U.S. border. The Napolitano/McCain statements are, yes, insulting to Canadians (and I would be in favor of the Canadian Government expelling the U.S. Ambassador just to make the point), but they are far more deeply insulting to Americans, and especially to the dead of 9/11.]

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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