Local Republican congressman John Culberson took to the Fox News airwaves last month to raise the alarm about illegal immigration.
Two West Texas sheriffs, he said on Hannity & Colmes, "confirmed for me that they had an Al Qaeda terrorist…in the Brewster County jail."
To which the two sheriffs in question have answered, in essence, WTF?
One of the sheriffs, Brewster County's Ronny Dodson, told The Big Bend Sentinel that he had jailed one person "who had drawn a picture on his pants of Osama Bin Laden, and we don't know if that was a joke or not." He said Culberson must have been confused somehow by hearing various stories from border agents.
Tony Essalih, Culberson's press secretary, says there's no confusion. Two other aides of the congressman were present when the sheriffs told them of the terrorist prisoner, he says.
"We really haven't figured out where the communication breakdown was. What he said on the show was what he was told by the sheriffs," Essalih says.
Both sheriffs have been avoiding the non-local media since the story broke, but one staffer at the Brewster County Sheriff's Department said Culberson's people "were lying through their teeth…I told them if they'd bring me an Al Qaeda I'd slap him four times, make him pick up cigarette butts; you know, something really mean. But no, no Al Qaeda [here]."
David Murff, one of Culberson's challengers in CD-07 and who has joined the blogranks, has more.