We rate Barack Obama’s statement, that “no foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland,” as true.
Speaking to a group of military men and women, Obama listed some of his and their accomplishments. One controversial one was that there were no terrorist attacks committed by terrorist organizations on American soil during Obama’s presidency. We looked into Obama’s statement.
Here is the video:
The first thing that comes to mind is that there were definitely terrorist attacks during that time, but we have to be careful of his precise wording.
Now, when it comes to technicalities, fact checkers are often very harsh when necessary. Take the following example:
Libertarian leaning Republican, Ron Paul made the same basic statement as Democrat Jim Webb. At least, his meaning was exactly the same. Fortunately though, Politifact was able to find a way to call it “half-true” out of Ron Paul’s mouth because he said “zero” instead of nothing. In math this is different. Zero implies that there actually was an income tax but the rate was zero, which is different than not even having any laws in place at all.
If you read the articles, you’ll see that the breakdown is almost exactly the same, even down to the experts who were interviewed. They even found a caveat that finds them both technically wrong, because there was a short lived income tax to pay for the Civil War. A more accurate statement would, therefore have been “While there was an income tax before 1913, it was 0%”.
Similarly, Fact Checkers are harsh when a statement, by a Republican, is technically true, but there is a feeling that they are trying to mislead. In this example, Donald Trump’s statement is true, but Politifact believed the way he said it was out of context, so it was rated “half-true”. Trump failed to mention that many people’s higher rates will be offset with subsidies, which is obviously missing his point that the Affordable Care Act is not helping to lower healthcare costs. Nevertheless, Trump’s statement wasn’t completely true according to Politifact’s superior narrative.
With all this said, when Obama’s statement that is either misleading or irrelevant to anything, it’s generally all right because he’s a Democrat.
His statement is technically true, in that a foreign organization did not orchestrate any of the horrific terrorist attacks in the conventional sense. And we believe that his foreign policy has been a success because it has made terrorist organizations find new and creative ways to kill people. ISIS had a hand in many US terrorist attacks over the past 8 years through propaganda and tutorials, but not explicitly planning and executing them. Nevermind the fact that this doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in the number of terrorism casualties. It does not mean that Obama’s efforts miss the root problems; it just means we should only be concerned with one thing at a time.
We rate Obama’s statement as true.