Barney Frank accuses Bush of genocide “ethnic cleansing” Major Update

posted at 10:43 am on January 5, 2007 by Bryan

There’s no other way around it: When you accuse someone of perpetrating “ethnic cleansing” in any way, shape or form, you are accusing them of genocide.

Genocide. Let that word work its way around your mind for an moment. Genocide is the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. Think about that. And then watch the most grotesque public statement made by any elected official in the United States in the last 100 years.

No, I’m not kidding or reaching for the hyperbole. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) in the video below accuses the Bush administration of perpetrating “ethnic cleansing by hurricane” in Louisana after Katrina, in order to make Louisiana more Republican. The video and audio quality aren’t good, but the words are there. Listen a couple of times if you have to.

I will not here, in this post, go through all the details of why this is a smear and a lie on the part of Barney Frank. It should be obvious that he’s wrong and he’s gone so far over the line of acceptable political discourse that there is no turning back for him. I’ll just refer you to this article that Chris Regan and I wrote shortly after Katrina devastated the Gulf coast. The upshot of Chris’ research at the time was that the local officials in NOLA had a plan, but it was a shoddy plan that would produce a ghost town. And it did. So if there’s genocide to be found (and there isn’t, regarding Katrina or its aftermath), it’s to be found on NOLA’s own local elected government. But as I said and stress, there was and is no genocide connected to Katrina in any way, shape or form.

Barney Frank should be held to account for his statement. He should be hounded about it by Fox News and every other journalist with access to him.

To accuse the sitting President of the United States of enacting ethnic cleansing on American soil is to accuse the President of the United States of committing a grave atrocity worthy of impeachment and worse. It is to equate the President of the United States with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and yes, Saddam Hussein.

The atrocity actually committed here is Barney Frank’s shameless assault on the truth. Rep. Barney Frank ought to resign his seat in Congress forthwith. The disgusting statement captured above should mark the end of his political career.

Update: Frank’s DC office number is (202)225-5931. I’ve put in a call and am currently on hold.

And by the way, we captured Frank’s comments from YouTube and have our own copy of them. So even if Matthew Stoller or someone else removes them from YouTube, the comments will live on.

Update: I’m no longer on hold. I’ve spoken with one of Rep. Frank’s press representatives, who has promised to call me back.

More: Here’s how I see things. If Rep. Frank actually believes what he said, then he believes that there’s a mass murderer occupying the Oval Office. Therefore, Frank should introduce articles of impeachment immediately. If he believes what he said, another day in office for Bush is another day that we’re ruled by a mass murderer. Congress is empowered to stop the chief executive if there’s evidence that he has committed high crimes and misdemeanors. It’s hard to imagine a higher crime than perpetrating ethnic cleansing against American citizens on American soil. Being found guilty of such a crime just resulted in the hanging of Saddam Hussein.

Of course, Frank may not actually believe what he said. He may be playing to the Democrat base, or he may be delusional, or he may have just gotten carried away with the sound of his own voice. If any of that is the case, he should go on the record with a full retraction and apology, both to the President and to the American people for accusing their elected President of perpetrating ethnic cleansing. The honorable thing to do after that is resign.

No, I’m not holding my breath that any of that will happen. But Frank’s office has promised to call me back. True, they didn’t say when they might do so.

Update: Gateway Pundit has some stats for New Orleans post Katrina. No genocide.

Update (AP): I’m pressed with other stuff, but if anyone wants to try to transcribe the entire clip, please do so. The audio’s not good but he clearly says, “The policy, I think, is ethnic cleansing by inaction,” and then goes on to say that “they” let the hurricane do the ethnic cleansing so that their hands would be clean.

More (Bryan): Per Ace, ethnic cleansing can and usually does include genocide as defined above, but not always. It can also mean the forced removal of a population from one place to another for political and ethnic purposes. That’s a weaker definition than the one I’m using and it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when someone brings up ethnic cleansing post Kosovo and Rwanda, but it’s valid. So perhaps Frank didn’t mean out and out genodice, just a treatment of blacks in New Orleans reminiscent of what Saddam did to the Marsh Arabs.

Are you standing by that definition of ethnic cleansing, Congressman? Care to revise and extend your remarks?

Update (Bryan): I just got off the phone with Steve Adamske in Rep. Frank’s office. They deny that accusing the President of conducting genocide constituted any part of Frank’s comments. Fair enough. They stand by the use of the phrase “ethnic cleansing” as being the Bush policy in Louisiana, which means that Rep. Barney Frank stands by his accusation that the President of the United States has prevented NOLA residents from returning to their pre-Katrina homes for political reasons: to make Louisiana more Republican. It’s an accusation that Rep. Frank has made before, actually. His representative used Frank’s “ethnic cleansing” comments of last year (at the link) as a defense of these new comments. Wrong is still wrong, no matter when you say it.

Whether Frank meant by “ethnic cleansing” genocide or merely the forced removal or prevention of return for racist and political reasons, it is still over the line and deeply irresponsible, both as a charge and as political rhetoric. On the very day that the new Democratic majority took power, we have Rep. Barney Frank accusing the Bush administration of engaging in reprehensible and nakedly racist policies. Well Congressman, your party is in power now. You can do something about the “ethnic cleansing” of Louisiana if that’s what you think has actually taken place. Proffering a shred of evidence to support your position would be a good start.

Update: We have a transcript. Here’s an exerpt:

“And, what I believe is, at this point you’re not talking about [inaudible], but what you’re talking about is, I think, a [inaudible], what you’re talking about is when you simply, in a calculated way, refuse to do anything for well over a year … [inaudible] … and [stuttering] I, I, the policy I think here is ethnic cleansing by inaction.

“It’s not ethnic cleansing in the sense that they’re killing people or [driving] people out, but what we need to recognize here is that, they’re in this happy position for them, where the federal government does nothing, as they become richer and richer, because well not only black people needed housing assistance, but they were [predominantly poor, who did it], to simply not do anything to alleviate this housing crisis which … was being exacerbated by Katrina … [inaudible] they, they, they let the hurricane do the ethnic cleansing, because then they’re, all they’re doing is not resisting it, that’s why I call ethnic cleansing by inaction, and I know that there are people who were very happy that, as a result, … [inaudible] … [so that] Louisiana would become a more widely Republican [city] … [inaudible] … because if you lose 100,000 black voters … then you have to take a state that was prodominately Republican and made it [inaudible].”

Who are these people who are happy with the results of the “ethnic cleansing by inaction” of Louisiana, Congressman? Names, please. And by couching it the way he has, it’s clear that he sees in Katrina’s aftermath a reprehensible policy that goes all the way to the top.

The phrase “ethnic cleansing” is very much a loaded one. Its use in this context is beyond the pale of irresponsibility. That the Congressman stands by its use says more about him than it says about Katrina or President Bush. That his party will likely do nothing about his comments says still more, about them.

Update: See-Dubya looks up the definition of “ethnic cleansing” as per the ICC, and finds that Frank has no case against the Bush administration.

That won’t stop Rep. Frank of misusing the phrase, nor will it force him back down from it. Only his conscience could do that.

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Sorry Barney.

You, sir. are a living, breathing, screeching Dumbass.

Ineptitude and bad communication are the reasons that Katrina resulted in such a clusterf*ck.

Bureaucracity is a killer.

Mr. Frank should be censured in the House and sued in a civil action to boot.

What a waste of oxygen is he.

hillbillyjim on January 6, 2007 at 3:31 PM

Sorry ’bout misspell: bureaucracy.

Of course D.C. is bureaucraCITY, so maybe it was Freudian?

hillbillyjim on January 6, 2007 at 3:37 PM

Barney Frank accuses Bush of genocide “ethnic cleansing”
Maybe Bush should accuse him of COLON CLEANSING by DEPRAVED SEX ACT! But seriously folks, this is what you get when you dance with the devil! When this pervert was found to be running a sodomite BROTHEL out of his house, it was the REPUBLICANS THAT LET HIM OFF THE HOOK!!!!! Well SUCK IT UP, no pun intended there Barney. You should have TARRED and FEATHERED this creep the morning he was RIDDEN OUT OF TOWN ON A RAIL. But you’re all so “tolerant”, look what it’s got ya! Remember all that Republican BI-PARTISANSHIP! Remember when dumb assed TRENT LOTT gave the DEMS half of the committee chairmanships?? HA HA HA HA HA HA H A HA HA HA, Maybe now as they kick your dumb asses off every committee and sign bills without inviting you to the meetings, you’ll wake up as to who they really are. But somehow I doubt it, ’cause Republicans are duuuuuummmmmbbbbbbb,

Soothsayer on January 5, 2007 at 10:19 PM

Soothsayer, that is your best comment EVER. Amen and Amen.

Barney Frank is a self-serving, babbling, mush-mouthed idiot.

hillbillyjim on January 6, 2007 at 3:44 PM

At the risk of using the term in the same thread as a Barney Frank story, I too have a beef. I would love for Kathleen Blancstare and Candy Man Nagin to collect their constituency that was relocated to the Houston area. We’ve had enough of sheltering them from the Bush ethnic cleansing while they cleanse us of our sense of safety, social services budget and stable annual crime rate.

In a word, those buses run east too.

SailorDave on January 6, 2007 at 5:14 PM

Yeah, NOL is still such a happy happy town

bbz123 on January 6, 2007 at 5:38 PM

And, no, I don’t believe that there are a lot of fence sitting “reasonable” voters whose minds will be turned toward the compelling positions of Barney Frankfurter by my harsh commentary. Do you?

I do not believe for one second that EVERY person who votes for Barney is a complete moonbat. I think they are lazy. Too lazy to research his positions because their lives are going pretty good under his representation.

Those are the people I think could be persuaded by a reasonable argument.

My feelings are that even though the vitriol makes us feel better, it is never going to change the mind of the rabid Franks supporter, and it will turn off those whom have a less than cursory knowledge of his agenda whom might listen to a reasonable argument.

And yes, Barney made his personal life a public issue when he used his private sexual behavior as a political position as a tool to effect political change. He should be challenged every single time he opens his mouth and spews the gay agenda. I am not against debating all issues, I just believe respectful dialogue is more fruitful. But to each his own. I am not here to force you to my values. I was simple making a statement I thought was apropo.

And I am not trying to puff up. It would be kinda silly to try that on a blog because eventually, what you really are and stand for will become quite clear in short order.

csdeven on January 6, 2007 at 5:51 PM

I am not against debating all issues, I just believe respectful dialogue is more fruitful. But to each his own. I am not here to force you to my values. I was simple making a statement I thought was apropo.

csdeven on January 6, 2007 at 5:51 PM

Fair enough; I generally agree. But a little ridicule for the likes of Barney Frank ought to be generally accepted conduct, in my opinion. And this was truly ridicule, and not vitriol; Frank isn’t worth my vitiol. I save that for Dick Durbin…

Jaibones on January 6, 2007 at 11:36 PM

Jaibones on January 6, 2007 at 11:36 PM

Cool. I have myself ridiculed Lollypop boy on several occasions.

csdeven on January 7, 2007 at 12:06 AM

Lollypop boy


Jaibones on January 7, 2007 at 12:31 AM

Accusations of ethnic cleansing are the least of what we’re in for, I fear. The real clincher for the Democrat congress is going to be their tacit support for Islamic ethnic cleansing – by Democrat inaction – when the Iranian Nuke crisis comes down to the wire. I can’t wait to see their hollow rhetoric turn to dust as they do everything possible to prevent W from saving the Jews.

Halley on January 7, 2007 at 2:13 AM

Lollipop oy will go absolutely apoplectic this week along with the rest of his little team when our Armed Forces finally go in strong and start taking care of unfinished biz.

bbz123 on January 7, 2007 at 3:48 AM

The question Frank and other liberals refuse to ask is: Why haven’t the people who were forced to relocate because of a natural disaster, and not forced out as part of a vast conspiracy, returned to NO and started rebuilding? There are federal funds available to help them return and rebuild, yet they have not returned. The mayor of NO himself made a plea for them to return, yet still they have not. What can account for this?

Could it be that these people have found a better life for themselves and refuse to return? Could it be they do not want to return to the welfare state they were in before? Could it be that most are now gainfully employed and do not wish to lose that employment? Could it be that they are disgusted with the city’s and state’s response to this disaster and refuse to return to a failed government? Just what is keeping these people away?

The mayor of NO complained about the immigrants that have traveled to NO for the employment opportunities available with the massive cleanup and rebuilding efforts going on so we know that it’s not an unemployment problem. These people have to have shelter to survive and they seem to be surviving just fine so we know it’s not a housing shortage. These people need food, clothing, etc and they seem to be able to locate those so we know it’s not a resource problem.

Just what IS preventing the former citizens from returning to NO? The answer is thus: They don’t WANT to return. I guess that makes it a self imposed ‘ethnic cleansing’ as there people could return at anytime but choose not to.

I wonder how that fits into Frank’s ethnic cleansing theory?

RedinBlueCounty on January 7, 2007 at 1:58 PM

Lollypop was thinking anal cleansing.

His brain is infested and infected with tooo much pork.

Again, How does this pancake keep getting Re- elected ? ?

Texyank on January 7, 2007 at 6:20 PM

I wonder how that fits into Frank’s ethnic cleansing theory?

RedinBlueCounty on January 7, 2007 at 1:58 PM

It doesn’t. But he will lisp and spit at you about not interrupting him while he avoids answering the question.

R D on January 8, 2007 at 2:47 AM

I wanna hear that circus freak recite “She sells seashells…” 10 times fast.

Teddy on January 8, 2007 at 4:03 AM

Barney Franks is a turd who allowed his boyfriend to turn his office into a whore house.

He needs to be expelled from Congress.

georgej on January 8, 2007 at 7:39 AM

I try to make two points in my post, unfortunately knowing too much about hurricanes.
The first:

And just to let you know that rising water isn’t exclusively a Rovian plot to wipe the Democratic voting poor black man from the face of the earth, take a listen to some of these 911 calls during Ivan ~ those are white people climbing on their washers and kitchen counters, trying to break into the ceilings as the water comes up. “Can someone come get us?” (No dumba$$, they can’t. The winds are steady at 140mph.) And. Some of them drowned. Now, I know that doesn’t count as ‘genocide’, because it’s white ‘rednecks’ from the Panhandle, but we have feelings, too.

And the second:

MY question to Rep. Frank? So if THIS round was presidential ‘genocide’, who catches the blame for Round Two? YOU’RE ‘in charge’ now and those are OUR tax dollars, so…?

Who has the cajones (the technical term) to be the adult in the room here, Congressman? Have you said ONE WORD about what’s ACTUALLY going on in the city at this moment, instead of your pitiful, recycled urban legends? Do you even know? (Note to Barney: see Popular Mechanics for FACTS. Don’t be intimidated ~ they have pictures and pie charts.) New Orleans had a DEMOCRATIC government before Katrina and, to the voters’ utter, eternal SHAME, all the same good time boys are there again…

tree hugging sister on January 8, 2007 at 11:13 AM

Frank is my Congressman here in the worst state.

Believe me, most people in his district don’t know what he stands for and the ones that do agree with him in spades.

Everyone else eventually moves.

The NYT owned newspapers (Globe and Telegram) simply do not report anything that their disgusting representatives say or do. People are so parochial here that national embarassment means nothing.

This is a thoroughly backwards state. If you have a Connecticut driver’s license you can’t even buy a beer at a Celtics game. In the wake of Katrina, Cape Cod offered to house some Katrina victims. Nobody was interested in coming up here and the residents of the Cape were not only offended, but absolutely furious.

Frank is as much a sympton as he is the disease.

CaptiousNut on January 9, 2007 at 8:36 PM