Whopper of the Week: James W. Ziglar
The INS approves student visas for 9/11 terrorists six months after they toppled the World Trade Center.
"America should be proud of the extraordinary effort of these men and women."
—Immigration and Naturalization Service commissioner James W. Ziglar, praising the work of INS employees after 9/11, in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee's immigration subcommittee on Oct. 17, 2001.
"This certificate is issued to the student named above for:
(check and fill out as appropriate)
a. ______ Initial attendance at this school.
b.__XX__Continued attendance at this school.
c._______School transfer. Transferred from_____________.
d._______Use by dependents for entering the United States.
—INS notifications sent this month to Huffman Aviation approving student visas for flight students Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, pilots of the planes that crashed into the WorldTradeCenter on 9/11. The documents arrived March 12. Click here to see Atta's INS approval and here to see Al-Shehhi's, both courtesy of the Smoking Gun. Click here to read the INS's explanation for why it approved visas for two extremely notorious dead terrorists and here to read a March 14 story about the whole fiasco by Dan Eggen and Cheryl W. Thompson in the Washington Post. Please note that one anonymously quoted INS official tells the Post,"to accuse us of being out of touch, that's not fair."
Got a whopper? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.
Mar. 8, 2002: Robert Zoellick and the U.S. steel industry
Feb. 28, 2002: Al Sharpton
Feb. 22, 2002: Olympic skating judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne
Feb. 14, 2002: Kenneth Lay
Feb 8, 2002: Enron spokeswoman Peggy Mahoney
Jan. 31, 2002: Monsanto
Jan. 24, 2002: Linda Chavez
Jan. 17, 2002: George W. Bush
Jan. 10, 2002: Simon & Schuster
Jan. 4, 2002: The Associated Press
(Click here to access the Whopper Archive for 2001.)
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.