On Fox, Cupp falsely claims Obama, Napolitano won't use the word “terrorist”

On Fox News, S.E. Cupp falsely claimed that President Obama and Janet Napolitano “won't even say 'terrorist,' ” suggesting that Obama and his administration are weak on terror. In fact, both Obama and Napolitano have used the word frequently, and the administration has increased counterterrorism resources and achieved significant successes.

Cupp's bogus claim: Obama and Napolitano “won't even say 'terrorist' ”

Cupp attacks with falsehood that Obama “won't even say 'terrorist.' ” From the July 14 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

JUAN WILLIAMS (Fox News contributor): You never want to acknowledge when the guy does something that actually takes on the terrorists.

SEAN HANNITY (host): When he does something well.

CUPP: He won't even say “terrorist.” And Janet Napolitano won't say the word either, which is the very reason her office exists. Homeland Security exists because of terrorism, and she won't even say the word.

HANNITY: How about -- how about -- what is it about this reluctance to utter the words, “There is a war on terror,” instead of “man-caused disaster,” “overseas contingency operation” ? I still don't get it.

Obama frequently uses the words “terrorist” and “terrorism.” Contrary to Cupp's claim, Obama has used the word numerous times in speeches, press conferences, and other statements throughout his presidency. For example, Obama used the terms:

  • When announcing trade sanctions on Iran, stating: "[T]he Iranian government has violated its commitments, defied United Nations Security Council resolutions, and forged ahead with its nuclear program -- all while supporting terrorist groups and suppressing the aspirations of the Iranian people."
  • When answering questions regarding terrorism at a G-20 press conference, stating, "[A]ll of us have an interest not in occupying Afghanistan, but an interest in making sure Afghanistan is stable, can stand on its own two feet when it comes to security issues, and is not a base for terrorist activities launched against the United States of America."
  • When addressing military personnel, saying, “We will disrupt and dismantle and ultimately defeat al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates.”

Napolitano also frequently uses those terms. As Homeland Security secretary, Napolitano also has used the words terrorist and terrorism frequently. Among numerous other examples:

  • She used the terms in a recent announcement of enhanced security measures for international flights to the United States, stating, “The terrorist threat to global aviation is a shared challenge and ensuring aviation security is a shared responsibility.”
  • In recent remarks at Harvard Univesity's Kennedy School of Government, she said: “At DHS, we are constantly looking for ways to make it harder for terrorists to strike us, and to bounce back quickly if they do.”
  • In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, she stated: “President Obama has been very forceful about seeing the threat of terrorism in all of its complexity and in bringing all of our resources, not just the federal government, to bear against violent extremism.”

Obama administration has stepped up counterterrorism efforts and had numerous successes

Successes include killing and capturing terrorist leaders. In December 2009, Obama announced a 30,000 troop increase to Afghanistan. In January, Yemen confirmed the deaths of six senior Al Qaeda figures in an air strike. The Afghan Taliban's second in command was captured in February. A March U.S. drone strike in Pakistan reportedly killed a “top al-Qaeda planner.” In April, the United States and Pakistan announced a 25 percent increase in American troops in Pakistan. Two top Al Qaeda leaders were killed in April by Iraqi and U.S. forces. The top U.S. military commander in Iraq was quoted in the New York Times saying, “The death of these terrorists is potentially the most significant blow to Al Qaeda in Iraq since the beginning of the insurgency.” The Obama administration has also steadily stepped up the use of drone strikes in Pakistan.