Saturday, September 27, 2014

Nothing To See Here

MSNBC had this to report yesterday about the jihadist attack in Moore, Oklahoma:

In recent weeks, several Westerners have been beheaded by terrorists aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has called for Muslims to carry out similar attacks around the world.

Moore police said there is no evidence that the attack was inspired by any similar events in the Middle East or by religious fundamentalism. (“No evidence Oklahoma beheading linked to terrorism, police say”).


And Still More on Holder’s Going Away

If you’re wondering why all these Holder-centric posts just now, they’re because, second only to his boss, I consider Attorney General Eric Holder the worst actor in the crowded stage of bad actors who have made up the Obama administration. His departure is one of the few glimmers of hope in and ugly and disheartening year. People need to know who Holder is, and who he has been all along.

Peter Kirsanow writes this at NRO:

Mr. Holder’s Injustice Department

The very first controversy of the Eric Holder-led Justice Department (“DOJ”) involved the dismissal of the voter-intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party (“NBPP”). The matter provided a template for most of the DOJ controversies that followed: denial, stonewalling, obfuscation, deceit, and racialism.

The U.S.Commission on Civil Rights conducted a year-long investigation into the matter shortly after the dismissal. Despite being compelled by statute to cooperate fully with commission investigations, DOJ

· refused to answer 18 separate interrogatories,

· refused to respond to 22 separate requests for production of documents,

· barred two key DOJ attorneys from testifying (both of the attorneys defied DOJ and testified at considerable risk to their careers),

· refused to provide witness statements for twelve key witnesses,

· invoked specious privileges in order to withhold critical information,

· failed to provide a privilege log,

· and failed to provide requested e-mails between Civil Rights Division personnel and other DOJ officials regarding the dismissal of the NBPPlawsuit (some of the e-mails later were revealed pursuant to court order in a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch)

Despite the vigorous stonewalling, DOJ publicly claimed that it was cooperating fully with the investigation. The claim was blatantly false, but was cheerfully reported by the media. What most of the mainstream media failed to report, however, was that the bipartisan commission’s investigation adduced testimony that

· A high-ranking DOJ political appointee gave instructions that the Voting Section was not going to bring cases “against black defendants or for the benefit of white victims.”

· A high-ranking DOJ political appointee explicitly told the entire Voting Section “that this administration would not be enforcing Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act.” (The purpose of section 8 of the NVRA is to ensure that persons ineligible to vote are not permitted to vote.)

· DOJ refuses to enforce Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act on behalf of white victims.

· There exists within DOJ pervasive hostility to the race-neutral enforcement of civil-rights laws.

Furthermore, a high-ranking DOJ political appointee testified under oath that no political leadership was involved in the decision to dismiss the NBPP lawsuit. The testimony was shown to be false only after the Judicial Watch lawsuit pried loose e-mails showing clear political involvement.

The commission’s 262-page report to congress contains much more evidence that, under Holder, DOJ did not enforce the nation’s civil-rights laws in a color-blind manner. Something to consider while reading the next obtuse editorial extolling Mr. Holder’s record on civil rights.


On Holder’s Departure, II

From the NRO:

Eric Holder’s Rap Sheet

Eric Holder’s legal mercies have typically been reserved for Clinton donors and unrepentant terrorists, but his decision yesterday to step down as attorney general of the United States after nearly six years is an act of mercy toward the American public.

In an administration characterized by outsized misadventures — from the use of the nation’s tax bureau to suppress political opponents to the use of secret waiting lists at government hospitals that killed American servicemen — Eric Holder managed to make his Justice Department a source of special, nay, historic attention: In June 2012, Holder became the first U.S. attorney general to be held in contempt by the House of Representatives. He earned every vote.

Achieving “justice” via the Justice Department may be an intrinsically unlikely prospect, but none of Holder’s recent predecessors — Janet Reno, John Ashcroft, Michael Mukasey, even the much-maligned Alberto Gonzales — exhibited his sheer contempt for the rule of law. Much to his preference was employing the law for political purposes; or, when necessary, dispensing with the law completely.

The latter was largely Holder’s policy as chief legal counsel to the president. The duty of the attorney general has historically been to advise against unconstitutional or illegal activity; Holder instead regularly aided and abetted it. When the president unilaterally delayed deportations for a select group of illegal immigrants, Holder concocted specious legal rationales to justify it. Regular slap-downs from the Supreme Court — on the president’s unconstitutional NLRB appointees, on his contraception mandate, on his unconstitutional effort to control ministerial hiring — have proven Holder’s legal work insupportable.

Nowhere was Holder’s rank partisanship more clearly on display than on issues of race: for instance, his refusal to prosecute the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation — despite video evidence of truncheon-wielding men warding voters away from a Philadelphia polling station in November 2008. Those whose political expression was inhibited in Philadelphia were not, Holder later suggested to the House Oversight Committee, “my people” — and thus apparently did not deserve the protection of the law. This from the lips of the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer. Meanwhile, Holder dismissed his critics as racists, eager to destroy him and the president because “we’re both African American.” This same “nation of cowards” was, by Holder’s reckoning, responsible for the voter-identification laws that his Justice Department has worked stridently — and largely unsuccessfully — to suppress in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and elsewhere.

Nor was it just Klan types in the Badger State that Holder eyed suspiciously. In May 2013 his Justice Department seized the phone records of 20 Associated Press reporters, and Fox News’s James Rosen revealed that the department had monitored his phone calls and e-mails.

Meanwhile, Holder opted to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the principal architect of the September 11 attacks, and his co-defendants in federal court in New York rather than in military tribunals in Guantanamo Bay — a practice that blurs the line between crimes and acts of war.

All of the above has been astonishing — but utterly predictable. To those with eyes to see, it was clear even before his confirmation that Holder was not suited to the role of the nation’s lead law-enforcement officer. As deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton, for instance, Holder “leaned” toward the pardon of fugitive and Clinton donor Marc Rich, and advocated clemency for 16 terrorists from the Puerto Rican FALN. But he still met with plaudits from a number of Republican senators.

In the coming months, those senators will have the chance to try again, as the Senate votes on a successor. Republicans should use every opportunity to push for a nominee whose first obligation is to the law — although the prospects of securing such a nominee from this administration are slim.

As for Holder, his time in the spotlight may not be over. The congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, and other dubious Department of Justice activities, continues, and Holder may — and likely should — find himself facing further congressional inquiry.

Regardless, the end of Holder’s death grip on law enforcement at the federal level is long overdue. Perhaps now the Justice Department can get back to delivering actual justice.


On Eric Holder’s Departure

At AEIdeas John Yoo writes:

The nation can wave goodbye to Attorney General Holder with relief, as to a bad house-guest who almost burned down the house during his unwelcome stay. His political missteps were legion, and his choices on law enforcement policy revealed a stunning combination of ideology and incompetence. He called for the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other al Qaeda leaders in downtown New York City, for example, which showed a failure to understand our war on terrorism. He accused Americans of being a nation of cowards on race while dropping prosecutions of voter intimidation in Philadelphia. He made a terrible error of judgment on sending guns that ended up in Mexico and then made the mistake of stonewalling Congress’s effort to investigate — leading to the unprecedented citation for contempt of a sitting attorney general.

But worst of all was not Holder’s political or prosecution choices, but his refusal to obey the Constitution. The AG is the nation’s law enforcement officer, second only to the president. His most important and unique job is to interpret and enforce the Constitution for the executive branch. On Holder’s watch, the Obama administration has refused to carry out the laws, as required by the Constitution’s Take Care Clause, in areas ranging from Obamacare to immigration to welfare. The only exception to the president’s duty to carry out the Acts of Congress is if the laws themselves are unconstitutional and hence violate the higher law. But in all of these cases, the Obama administration knew that these laws raised no constitutional problems — it merely disagreed with the policies, even with laws that it supported during enactment.  Obama and Holder created for themselves a second, absolute veto on Acts of Congress.

Holder and his supporters, who know these decisions violate the Constitution but kept silent because of their partisan support for Obama, will rue their abuse of presidential power. Future presidents will be able to change tax rates or refuse to prosecute political supporters under these theories. Future conservative presidents may use the same claim to start dismantling the overgrown welfare state without the assent of Congress. We happily see Holder go, but he will have more regret not just looking back at the controversies that wracked the Department of Justice under his care, but when he ponders the future when conservative AGs turn his precedents against the bloated welfare state that he loves.


Keystone Kops versus Quran

Why doesn’t it make us feel better that the FBI have been called in to investigate the motives of the jihadist who beheaded his coworker in Moore, Oklahoma?

Police in Oklahoma said on Friday that they have asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance after determining that a man who allegedly attacked co-workers after being fired the previous day beheaded one of his victims and, according to some employees, earlier tried to convert colleagues to Islam.

So far, the FBI hasn't found any connection between the suspect and any terrorist groups, a law enforcement official said. But agents aren't finished probing the suspect's background and are still looking into his contacts and any potential travel. (“FBI Called in to Help Investigate Beheading in Oklahoma”).

The FBI rarely finds connections lone-wolf jihadists and terrorist groups largely because the agency has forbidden itself to draw connections between Islam, itself, and jihadist violence. That’s been the situation since 2001,

when fifty-seven Muslim organizations wrote to John Brennan, who was then the Homeland Security Advisor and is now the head of the CIA, demanding that they fire [Robert] Spencer and other trainers who “spoke about Islam in connection with terrorism" and that they cleanse all counter-terrorism training material of any mention of Islam and jihad. (“Spencer: Obama Administration Scrubbed Jihad and Islam from Counterterrorism Manuals”).

Trying to figure out what’s behind jihadist terrorism when you’re forbidden to recognize the violence in Islam is like trying to diagram sentences while forbidden to even imagine such things as subjects, predicates, and direct objects.  So now special agents are looking into Nolen’s travel, when he never needed to leave the country at all.  And if they can’t find proof that Nolen  traveled to the Middle East and physically sat at the feet of designated terror masterminds, or had  a paid receipt for dues to Al Qaeda or Al Shabab, the feds have to conclude the suspect has no “connection” to terrorism. This is why when the entire country knew within days that the Boston Marathon bombers were motivated by radical Islamist doctrines, weeks later the FBI and other PC cops remained unable

to connect them to a foreign terrorist organization” and had to keep chipping away at theirformal intelligence assessment on the factors that moved the Tsarnaevs toward hard-line Islamist views, and whether there was a single development or tipping point in their alleged turn to violence.  (“Tsarnaev brothers not yet linked to foreign terror groups officials say).

In Nolen’s case, there was a single development tipping point that turned him into a savage murderer: when he converted to Islam. According to the Daily Mail, “[t]he FBI is now investigating Nolen's recent conversion to Islam to determine whether it was connected to the attack,” but how successful will they be when connections like that are off-limits either through sanitized training, or craven obedience to PC standards?

It never occurs to these geniuses that an ideological or spiritual adherence to a set of beliefs can create a “connection” between individuals and groups all over the world who may never meet. The venal lawyer who taught my trial prep class had never met his hero, Mao, but I knew the lawyer was still a Red. I’ve never met a Pope, but I’m still a papist. I largely support the Holy Father’s views, I occasionally contribute to his causes, pray for his intentions, yet have never had any personal contacts with the Vatican.  Are the Holy Father and I connected? Of course we are.

It’s a spiritual thing.  But that’s something that, from Waco to Ft. Hood to Boston to Oklahoma, our G-Men have never been able to understand.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Muslim Brotherhood, Again

Andrew C. McCarthy writes:

In Search of the ‘Moderate Islamists’

It is not out of ignorance that President Obama and Secretary Kerry are denying the Islamic roots of the Islamic State jihadists. As I argued in a column here last week, we should stop scoffing as if this were a blunder and understand the destructive strategy behind it. The Obama administration is quite intentionally promoting the progressive illusion that “moderate Islamists” are the solution to the woes of the Middle East, and thus that working cooperatively with “moderate Islamists” is the solution to America’s security challenges.

I wrote a book a few years ago called The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America that addressed this partnership between Islamists and progressives. The terms “grand jihad” and “sabotage” are lifted from an internal Muslim Brotherhood memorandum that lays bare the Brotherhood’s overarching plan to destroy the West from within by having their component organizations collude with credulous Western governments and opinion elites.

The plan is going well.

As long as the news media and even conservative commentators continue to let them get away with it, the term “moderate Islamist” will remain useful to transnational progressives. It enables them to avoid admitting that the Muslim Brotherhood is what they have in mind.

As my recent column explained, the term “moderate Islamist” is an oxymoron. An Islamist is a Muslim who wants repressive sharia imposed. There is nothing moderate about sharia even if the Muslim in question does not advocate imposing it by violence.

Most people do not know what the term “Islamist” means, so the contradiction is not apparent to them. If they think about it at all, they figure “moderate Islamist” must be just another way of saying “moderate Muslim,” and since everyone acknowledges that there are millions of moderate Muslims, it seems logical enough. Yet, all Muslims are not Islamists. In particular, all Muslims who support the Western principles of liberty and reason are not Islamists.

If you want to say that some Islamists are not violent, that is certainly true. But that does not make them moderate. There is, moreover, less to their nonviolence than meets the eye. Many Islamists who do not personally participate in jihadist aggression support violent jihadists financially and morally — often while feigning objection to their methods or playing semantic games (e.g., “I oppose terrorism but I support resistance,” or “I oppose the killing of innocent people . . . but don’t press me on who is an innocent”).

Understandably, the public is inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to people the government describes as “moderates” and portrays as our “allies.” If transnational progressives were grilled on these vaporous terms, though, and forced to concede, say, that the Muslim Brotherhood was the purportedly “moderate opposition” our government wants to support in Syria, the public would object. While not expert in the subject, many Americans are generally aware that the Brotherhood supports terrorism, that its ideology leads young Muslims to graduate to notorious terrorist organizations, and that it endorses oppressive Islamic law while opposing the West. Better for progressives to avoid all that by one of their dizzying, internally nonsensical word games — hence, “moderate Islamist.”

I rehearse all that because last week, right on cue, representatives of Brotherhood-tied Islamist organizations appeared with Obama-administration officials and other apologists for Islamic supremacism to ostentatiously “condemn” the Islamic State as “not Islamic.”

As I recount with numerous examples in The Grand Jihad, this is the manipulative double game the Brotherhood has mastered in the West, aided and abetted by progressives of both parties. While speaking to credulous Western audiences desperate to believe Islam is innately moderate, the Brothers pretend to abhor terrorism, claim that terrorism is actually “anti-Islamic,” and threaten to brand you as an “Islamophobe” racist — to demagogue you in the media, ban you from the campus, and bankrupt you in court — if you dare to notice the nexus between Islamic doctrine and systematic terrorism committed by Muslims. Then, on their Arabic sites and in the privacy of their mosques and community centers, they go back to preaching jihad, championing Hamas, calling for Israel’s destruction, damning America, inveighing against Muslim assimilation in the West, and calling for society’s acceptance of sharia mores.

The Investigative Project’s John Rossomando reports on last Wednesday’s shenanigans at the National Press Club. The Islamist leaders who “urged the public to ignore [the Islamic State’s] theological motivations,” included “former Council on American-Islamic Affairs (CAIR) Tampa director Ahmed Bedier, [who] later wrote on Twitter that IS [the Islamic State] ‘is not a product of Islam,’ and blamed the United States for its emergence.”

Also on hand were moderate moderator Haris Tarin, Washington director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Imam Mohamed Magid, former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); and Johari Abdul-Malik, an imam at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va. All of these Islamists are consultants to the Obama administration on policy matters; Magid is actually a member Obama’s Homeland Security Advisory Council.

Where to begin? CAIR, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, is a Muslim Brotherhood creation conceived to be a Western-media-savvy shill for Islamic supremacism in general, and Hamas in particular. At the 2007–08 terrorism-financing prosecution of Hamas operatives in the Holy Land Foundation case — involving a Brotherhood conspiracy that funneled millions of dollars to Palestinian jihadists — CAIR was proven to be a co-conspirator, albeit unindicted. Mr. Bedier, who is profiled by the Investigative Project here, is a notorious apologist for Hamas — the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, which is formally designated as a terrorist organization under U.S. law. He also vigorously championed such terrorists as Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Sami al-Arian (who pled guilty in 2006 to conspiring to provide material support to terrorism).

I’ve profiled MPAC here. It was founded by disciples of Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and champions of both Hezbollah and the Sudanese Islamists who gave safe-haven to al-Qaeda during the mid Nineties. After the atrocities of September 11, 2001, MPAC’s executive director, Salam al-Marayati, immediately urged that “we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list.” Without a hint of irony, MPAC’s main business is condemning irrational suspicion . . . the “Islamophobia” it claims Muslims are systematically subjected to. Like many CAIR operatives and other purveyors of victim politics, MPAC officials tend to double as Democratic-party activists.

Magid’s organization, ISNA, is the most important Muslim Brotherhood organization in the United States. I have profiled it in these pages a number of times. As detailed in The Grand Jihad, it is the Islamist umbrella organization that traces its origins to the Muslim Students Association, the foundation of the Brotherhood’s American infrastructure.

The MSA, which indoctrinates students in the jihadist-lauding works of Banna and Sayid Qutb, has not surprisingly been the launch point for several prominent terrorists — Patrick Poole provides the scorecard here, which includes al-Qaeda founder Wael Julaidan; al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki; al Qaeda financier and Hamas/Hezbollah champion Abdurrahman Alamoudi; and Aafia Siddiqui, the notorious “Lady al-Qaeda” who was captured apparently plotting a terror rampage targeting New York City, who attempted to murder as U.S. Army captain while in custody, and whose release the Islamic State has been demanding. (Other MSA alumni include ousted Egyptian president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi, and top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.)

I profiled the Dar al-Hijrah mosque and Johari Abdul-Malik, one of its very interesting imams, in both The Grand Jihad and a 2010 column. At a 2001 conference hosted by the Islamic Association of Palestine — an organization the Muslim Brotherhood established to promote Hamas in the United States — Abdul Malik advised that Muslims could “blow up bridges” and “do all forms of sabotage” as long as they avoided “kill[ing] people who are innocent on their way to work.” As he works to make Islam “the dominant way of life” in America (as he put it in a Friday “sermon” in 2004), he shrugs off the mosque’s history of praising violent jihad, comparing jihadist “martyrs” to the United States Marines.

One of the founders of Dar al-Hijrah was Ismail Elbarasse, a Muslim Brotherhood operative who was a friend and business partner of Mousa abu Marzook — a high Hamas official who, before being deported, actually ran that terrorist organization from his Virginia home. It was from Elbarasse’s home that the FBI seized the 1991 Brotherhood memo from which I derived the title of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America — a document in which the Brotherhood described its “work in America” as

a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers, so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. 

Dar al-Hijrah’s imams and board members have included a who’s who of the jihad:

clip_image001Anwar al-Awlaki, the aforementioned al-Qaeda operative;

clip_image001[1]Mohammed al-Hanooti, a former Islamic Association of Palestine leader and major Hamas fundraiser;

clip_image001[2]Mohammed Adam El-Sheikh, a founder of the Muslim American Society (the Brotherhood’s quasi-official presence in the U.S.) who ran the Baltimore office of the Islamic American Relief Agency until that charity was shut down by the Treasury Department for supporting al-Qaeda;

clip_image001[3]Abdelhaleem Asquar, serving a federal prison sentence for obstructing an investigation of Hamas’s American support network;

clip_image001[4]Samir Salah, who helped Osama bin Laden’s nephew set up another charity (Taiba International Aid Association) that was shut down for bankrolling terrorism;

clip_image001[5]Esam Omeish, a Democrat who was forced to resign from a state-government immigration panel after the emergence of videos showing his praise for “the jihad way” against Israel.

With such a cast of characters, the mosque has predictably attracted some notorious attendees, including the aforementioned terrorists Marzook and Alamoudi; Nidal Hasan, the jihadist who murdered 13 American soldiers at Fort Hood; Omar Abu Ali, the one-time valedictorian at Virginia’s Islamic Saudi Academy who is now serving a life sentence after joining al-Qaeda and conspiring to murder President George W. Bush; and 9/11 suicide hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Hani Hanjour — Awlaki’s ofttimes companions whose presence cannot be all that surprising since an al-Hijrah Islamic Center phone number was found in the Hamburg apartment shared by 9/11 ringleaders Mohammed Atta and Ramzi bin al-Shibh.

By appearing with leaders of Dar al-Hijrah, ISNA, MPAC, and CAIR, the Obama administration and its allies are telling us that these purportedly “moderate Islamists” are the allies America needs to defeat the Islamic State.