CNN Gives MS-13 a Platform to Claim Trump Is Helping Them

July 31st, 2017 11:13 AM

The establishment press and the left began to build a template after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. Their argument, which eventually gained traction with protest movements during the Iraq War, claimed that any serious attempt to kill, imprison, expel, or otherwise punish terrorists would only help the enemy recruit more terrorists.

A CNN reporter and an opinion writer are now claiming that an equivalent of this bogus argument should apply to the attempt to rid the nation of the scourge of the MS-13 gang.

The left has continued to treat the "going after terrorists creates more terrorists" meme as gospel, even though it was universally recognized (even at the New York Times, though it did so cryptically in its back pages when it happened) that Al Qaeda was successfully expelled from Iraq as a result of the 2007-2008 military surge in what independent war correspondent Michael Yon described as a "victory across the board," and even though it and other terrorist groups, including ISIS, didn't begin to meaningfully rebuild in that country until the U.S. abandoned Iraq near the end of 2011.

But a busted leftist meme rarely dies. Either its failure is forgotten, or it gets written into history as if it was really a success, so it can then be applied to new circumstances.

In applying the "going after bad guys creates more bad guys meme" to MS-13, CNN's Dan Lieberman, in a Thursday report updated Friday morning and repeatedly shown on CNN's airwaves, attempted to legitimize it by having alleged gang members make the claim — as if murderous thugs would never lie — and personalized it to President Donald Trump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

MS-13 members: Trump makes the gang stronger
On Long Island, some fear crackdown on immigrants is emboldening violent street gang

... The violent gang known as Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, originated decades ago among Salvadoran immigrants in Los Angeles and has since built a criminal network that extends across the US, with thriving pockets in the Washington, D.C. suburbs and here on Long Island, just an hour or so east of New York City. It's estimated to have 10,000 members nationwide.

President Trump has vowed to wipe them out and will visit Long Island Friday to discuss his plans. But the FBI says the gang is growing.

And several people familiar with MS-13, including two gang members themselves, told CNN they think Trump's crackdown on immigrants is actually making MS-13 stronger because witnesses are more reluctant to come forward for fear of being deported.

"It's not like before, where ... they (the gang) were more hidden," said Margarita (a mother whose son who has been an MS-13 recruitment target), adding that a decade after fleeing violence in El Salvador she has never felt more afraid. "People can get deported, so they don't call the police. So they (MS-13) feel more free."

"I think it's emboldening them ..."

... But a senior Trump administration official disputed that thinking.

"The reality is that we are removing MS-13 and other criminal gang members in very large numbers, and they are hurting," the official said.

... While MS-13 has had a presence in the U.S. for decades, the level of violence and activity has risen considerably in the last two years, according to the FBI. And in recent months here, authorities say the gang has been on a killing spree.

... Police in Nassau County say immigrants and victims of MS-13, such as Margarita and her son, should still feel safe coming forward.

"I can say without any doubt ... we never, never ask any (immigration) status and we don't care, on victims and witnesses," said Detective Sgt. Michael Morino of Nassau County Police's gang investigation squad.

Lieberman reported that he met with "David and Alex" (assumed names). They claim they are recent MS-13 recruits, and that they would like to escape gang life, but feel that they can't. These two alleged gang members claim that "They [MS-13] feel like they can do whatever they want, 'cause Trump himself has made everybody fear," and that "He's helping them."

Based on the law enforcement response seen in the last excerpted paragraph, victims and witnesses should have nothing to fear. That they think they do, despite the facts, can be traced to hysterical "pro-immigrant" groups which believe that fanning unfounded fears is an effective anti-Trump political strategy, the potentially deadly consequences be damned, and to much of the establishment press, including CNN in this instance, which provides them assistance.

Then there's the question of what has happened "in the last two years" which would have revived MS-13.

The answers are that gang members snuck into the U.S. just before and during that time, and that they had far more potential recruiting targets than usual accompany them.

In mid-June, in an exhaustive, 3,200-word rundown of MS-13's rise chronicled at the Washington Post ("MS-13 gains recruits and power in U.S. as teens surge across border"), three reporters — Justin Jouvenal, Dan Morse and Michael E. Miller — did a generally strong job of explaining how it all happened, with one glaring exception. They managed to do it all without naming the Obama administration or then-President Barack Obama himself — except in this single chart:


The Post trio, in presenting the situation as a response to a "humanitarian crisis," never explained how the Obama administration overtly encouraged over 200,000 unaccompanied minors to cross the U.S.-Mexican border during the final four years of Barack Obama's presidency.

A week later at National Review, Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, interpreting the true meaning of the Post's work, provided the damning explanation (paragraph breaks added):

A Renewed MS-13 — Courtesy of Obama’s Lax Immigration Policies
After taking a major hit under Bush, the vicious Central American gang is back.

... (Unlike Border Patrol reactions to previous, smaller waves of unaccompanied children during the previous 15 years — Ed.) When the latest surge of Central Americans started, the Obama administration never pivoted to detention. Instead, it spent years on the “let them go” option, approaching the surge as a humanitarian issue rather than a law-enforcement matter. Most groups of illegals that included a child (“family units,” they were called, even though many of the children were borrowed or rented for the purpose) were given the summons and dropped off at the bus station.

As for the supposedly unaccompanied children — virtually all of whom were accompanied by smugglers, who directed them to flag down the Border Patrol once in the U.S. — instead of prompt repatriation, Obama invoked a part of the law that was intended to protect kids who were the victims of human trafficking (basically, sex slavery), even though few if any of them were. Using that trafficking law as a pretext, Obama declared that all arriving minors would be allowed to enter for resettlement in their chosen destination, and released to their parent or sponsor with few questions asked. They were flown, at taxpayer expense, to join their (usually illegal) relatives who had paid to have them smuggled in the first place.

This led a federal judge, in a ruling in a smuggling trial, to decry the government’s collusion with the smugglers: “Instead of arresting [the mother of the child in question] for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the DHS delivered the child to her — thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy.”

The result was predictable — the illegals who had been given “permisos” (“permits,” as they came to call the summonses) sent word back that the border was open to them, and they started streaming north.

... But it still didn’t change the policies that were inducing illegals in the U.S. to send for their kids, with administration officials clinging Baghdad Bob–style to the notion that the flow was purely a result of conditions in Central America.

Naturally, neither Lieberman's piece at CNN nor a Saturday opinion piece attorney Raul A. Reyes, whose body of work appears to tag him as an open-borders, illegal-immigrant amnesty advocate, mentioned the Obama administration, Barack Obama's name, or the policies of his administration which enabled MS-13's revival.

But, per CNN's Lieberman and Reyes, now that MS-13 has been strengthened, cracking down on the gang will only create more gang members and make it even more powerful.

What's their alternative? Lieberman doesn't present one. Reyes claims it's "a path to citizenship or legalization for the undocumented." With MS-13, that's the equivalent of claiming that if we just love the terrorists more and treat them as equals, they won't attack us. That hasn't worked out at all with terrorists, and there's absolutely no reason to believe it would work out well with MS-13.

CNN irresponsibly used alleged gang members to advance a bogus argument which, if followed, would exponentially increase the gang's strength — and the everyday dangers U.S. citizens face.

Cross-posted at