Conservative radio host and Nigerian socio-political policy expert Rush Limbaugh has a new theory on why Hillary Clinton's pre-Benghazi State Department waited so long to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization: they look like American blacks. According to Limbaugh, the left's inability to judge people beyond the color of their skin and not, as some have argued, the specific circumstances surrounding the situation in Nigeria, are the reason why the United States didn't make the distinction sooner.
On Monday, Limbaugh brought up the video Boko Haram released supposedly featuring some of the kidnapped girls. "The Boko Haram leader….who performed on the video is a good looking guy," he said in a video. "This is why Mrs. Clinton wouldn’t call this group a terrorist group. Because they’re black. This is how surface-conscience the left is." Limbaugh goes on to blame "racial politics and identity politics, whatever" for creating a climate where liberals are afraid to call people terrorists because they are black. It's worth noting that almost everyone in Nigeria is black, too.
"So this group escapes any scrutiny," he added. He argued that America hasn't swooped in to save the day because of this glaring oversight. "They don’t get the proper treatment from this country, foreign policy wise, and in effect they’re allowed to just behave without any stops."
Last week conservatives were enraged when the news broke that the State Department had not declared the group a terrorist organization in 2011, despite prompting from the CIA and other counter-terrorism groups. The left-leaning Think Progress argued that, among other things, designating the group as a terrorist organization would have "internationalized" a group that primarily works to undermine the Nigerian government. Meanwhile Media Matters collected reports from people arguing that the foreign terrorist organization designation would have only raised the group's profile and helped its recruitment efforts.
Of course, as Allen West pointed out, it doesn't really matter why the State Department waited until 2013 to label the group a foreign terrorist organization. This is all just a "wag the dog" moment to distract our attention from Benghazi.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.