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By Daniel Stein

We have all seen the iconic photo allegedly showing a horse-mounted Border Patrol agent “whipping” a Haitian migrant on the banks of the Rio Grande on Sept. 24, 2021. We now all know that the report was false. No “whipping” or “strapping” ever occurred.

The Border Patrol agent captured in the photo was using split reins to better control his horse, and Paul Ratje just happened to click his camera as the motion of the animal caused the reins to flare out. As Ratje stated, “Some of the Haitian men started running, trying to go around the horses. I’ve never seen them whip anyone.”

The American public only found out later that, in Ratje’s own words, the photo was “misconstrued.” The White House and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas knew almost immediately. A Sept. 24, 2021 email obtained by the Heritage Foundation under a Freedom of Information Act request (actually, they had to sue DHS to get it) reveals that they knew the whipping narrative was a lie more than two hours before President Joe Biden publicly accused border agents of “strapping” migrants and vowed that “those people will pay.”

Shortly thereafter, Mayorkas, who was already aware that the accounts of the incident were very much in doubt, added more fuel to the fire by suggesting that racism played a role in the Border Patrol agents’ actions. “Our nation saw horrifying images that do not reflect who we are. We know that those images painfully conjured up the worst elements of our nation’s ongoing battle against systemic racism,” Mayorkas charged.

The “smoking gun” email reveals that far from being a “fog of war” incident, the administration’s incendiary, and knowingly false, response was the escalation of an actual war it began waging on Jan. 20, 2021 against border security and immigration enforcement. On this new front, the honorable men and women who are trying to enforce those laws also became targets. The email provides further evidence that Mayorkas, who took an oath to “well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office” is in contempt of that oath.

Author: FAIR


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