WHEN I HEARD Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas say on “Meet the Press” that the southern border is closed, it immediately brought to mind claims by Iraq’s former information minister, dubbed “Baghdad Bob” and “Comical Ali” aka Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, about Saddam Hussein’s superior military forces.

During the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, al-Sahaf said with a straight face that U.S. forces were not even within 100 miles of Baghdad as TV images showed the truth. It also reminded me of statements by some reporters that last summer’s riots were mostly peaceful.

Secretary Mayorkas is asking us to ignore what our lying eyes see. TV pictures show thousands of migrants crossing the border. Adding to the mess is the Joe Biden administration’s authorization for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to spend $86 million to house migrants in American hotels. Will they also get hotel promotional points?

Predictably, Mayorkas defaulted to the administration’s position of blaming Donald Trump for not controlling the border. In fact, illegal border crossings declined substantially, more than 70%, during the final two years of Trump’s presidency. The Washington Times quoted then-acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan saying as economies in Latin American worsen from COVID-19, he expected unprecedented numbers to attempt to cross the border. Get ready, he warned. The Biden administration either wasn’t ready or OK with the invasion.

When certain members of the media, who opposed the Trump presidency, start hammering President Biden for his administration’s failure to control the border, you know the worm is turning. “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd said “It’s fair to call the deteriorating situation at the U.S.-Mexico border a crisis even if the Biden administration refuses to use that word, but it’s more than that. It’s a political crisis for the new president with no easy way out.”

Sure there is. Finish the wall and electronic detection systems and deport adult migrants as President Barack Obama did.

Adding to the warning signs for the Biden administration was the comment on “This Week” from ABC reporter Martha Raddatz “The number of unaccompanied children and teenagers in border patrol custody are reaching record numbers. Children are forced to stay longer in overcrowded facilities. The media is not allowed inside. The administration is restricting access despite promising transparency, citing COVID-19 and privacy concerns. The issue that at times plagued the previous administration is now presenting a challenge to the Biden administration, one that shows no sign of abating any time soon.”

One is even beginning to read criticism of Biden’s immigration nonpolicy in the editorial pages of The New York Times and Washington Post. When that happens, you know that claims by Mayorkas, Press Secretary Jen Psaki and other administration officials are being seen for what they were from the start: lacking in credibility.

No country can long endure if it refuses to control its borders. Because of the pandemic, most European nations are closed to foreigners, as is Canada. Only the U.S. southern border remains porous.

To reject the obvious is the ultimate denial. Baghdad Bob said it best, though in a completely different context, as he admonished the American media in 2003. “Search for the truth. I tell you things and ask you to verify what I say.”

That is a challenge the supportive press, at least up until now, should adopt when examining statements from members of the Biden administration.



Cal Thomas' new book is “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers and the Future of the United States.”