Quick quiz, Americans. How many 9-11 terrorists entered North America through Canada?
If you said zero then you know more than your Homeland Security Secretary did earlier this week.
On Monday, in an interview with a Canadian television journalist, Janet Napolitano elaborated on her recent claim that the Canadian and Mexican borders should be treated equally. Though she admitted that Canada doesn't export anything like the same level of drugs, or illegal immigrants, "to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it's been across the Canadian border."
When asked if she was talking about 9-11 terrorists she replied "not just those but others as well."
This resulted in something of a diplomatic squabble since it is well known, in Canada at least, that every single terrorist involved in 9-11 entered North America through the U.S.
Facts are facts, and later that day Napolitano's people issued a statement claiming that she had misunderstood the question and was really talking about the one and only convicted terrorist to have ever entered the U.S. through Canada, Ahmed Ressam, a.k.a the would-be "millennium bomber."
And true enough, Ressam entered the U.S. in 1999 with a forged French passport. At which point he was immediately apprehened. The Mounties, who had been following his activities for two years, discovered suspicious materials in his Vancouver hotel room, and quickly tipped off U.S. authorities.
What about all the "others", the justification for millions of dollars to be spent on increased security, and who are more of a priority than easy traffic with America's largest trading partner?
According to Napolitano these are "suspected extremists" who are known to the U.S. government, but not to the public. (Though at least four of these "suspected extremists" are known to the Canadian public as innocent Canadian citizens who were deported by the U.S. to middle eastern countries to be tortured by proxy.)
Lacking any actual terrorists she could name, save one, Napolitano fell back on the second favorite U.S Homeland Security myth: tougher borders are needed because, "the fact of the matter is that Canada allows people into its country that we do not allow into ours."
Canada's immigration minister, Jason Kinney immediately challenged that as "absolutely wrong. Ever since 9-11, and before 9-11, Canada has co-operated with the United States on issues of continental security, including as it relates to immigration."
And try telling Canadian immigrants that it's easier to get into Canada than the U.S.
Says one Toronto Member of Parliament: "I have a heavily immigrant riding, and I do visas all day every day, and one of the most difficult things I have to explain to my constituents is why is it that the United States granted a multiple-entry visa to the relatives but Canada won't."
One last quiz. Since becoming Secretary of Homeland Security three months ago, how many times has Napolitano been to Canada's dangerous, porous border?
If you guessed zero, you're right again!