by Robert Spencer
The Leftist advocacy group People for the American Way (PFAW) has launched an all-out war against Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN). On Monday it plans to present House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) with a petition bearing 178,000 signatures, demanding that Bachmann not be reappointed to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Michael Keegan, president of PFAW, explained Bachmann’s crime: “Michele Bachmann has used her position on the Intelligence Committee to spread baseless conspiracy theories and smear the reputations of honorable public servants. Speaker Boehner himself called her actions ‘dangerous.’ It’s mysterious, then, why he has chosen to reward her reckless extremism with continued access to sensitive national security information and a powerful platform for her agenda.”
Since Boehner has indeed previously thrown Bachmann under the bus, he may be susceptible to this appeal; if he is at all fair-minded, however, he will recognize not only that Bachmann deserves her place on the Intelligence committee, but that she may be more deserving than any of her colleagues of such a place.
For while Bachmann was widely criticized and ridiculed for daring to suggest that Muslim Brotherhood elements had infiltrated the U.S. government, corroboration of her allegations has recently come from an unlikely quarter: Egypt’s Rose El-Youssef magazine, which asserted in a December article that six highly-placed Muslim Brotherhood infiltrators within the Obama Administration had transformed the United States “from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.” (A translation of the article is available from the Investigative Project here.)
According to the Investigative Project, “the six named people include: Arif Alikhan, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for policy development; Mohammed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Rashad Hussain, the U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference; Salam al-Marayati, co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); and Eboo Patel, a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.”
These represent many of the individuals and groups about whom Bachmann had raised concerns. For example, Bachmann’s letter last summer to the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security stated that Elibiary had “extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood” and “sympathy for Islamist causes,” and accused him of “gain(ing) access to classified documents.”
And indeed, in 2011 investigative journalist Patrick Poole reported that “Elibiary may have been given access to a sensitive database of state and local intelligence reports, and then allegedly shopped some of those materials to a media outlet.” According to Poole, Elibiary approached “a left-leaning media outlet” with reports marked For Official Use Only that he said demonstrated rampant “Islamophobia” in the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The media outlet declined to do a story, but what was Elibiary doing shopping the Official Use Only documents in the first place?
Poole checked with Steve McCraw, director of the Texas DPS, who “confirmed that Elibiary has access to the Homeland Security State and Local Intelligence Community of Interest (HS SLIC) database, which contains hundreds of thousands of intelligence reports and products that are intended for intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies.” Said McCraw of Elibiary: “We know that he has accessed DPS documents and downloaded them.”
There have been questions about Elibiary’s true allegiances for years. He was one of the speakers at a December 2004 conference in Dallas titled “A Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary.” The visionary in question was none other than the founding father of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini.
When I questioned him about his appearance at such a conference, Elibiary claimed that he hadn’t known what kind of conference it was going to be, although he didn’t explain why he went ahead and appeared there anyway once he found out. Among those who found this explanation wanting was journalist Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News, whose skepticism angered Elibiary. The great moderate subsequently threatened Dreher, telling him: “Expect someone to put a banana in your exhaust pipe.”
Bachmann had also raised concerns about the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (formerly the Organization of the Islamic Conference), to which Hussain is the ambassador, and about Magid’s Islamic Society of North America. And so the Egyptian article stands as vindication of her concerns, and shows that she her request that an investigation of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration be opened was entirely reasonable, and not a manifestation of “bigotry,” “racism,” or “McCarthyism” at all – contrary to the hysterical (and formulaic) claims of her Leftist detractors.
Of course, the Egyptian article has to be taken with a grain of salt. It could be the product of a Muslim Brotherhood advocate in Egypt, anxious to bolster perceptions of his movement’s clout and credibility. While that is possible, however, it cannot responsibly be assumed to be the case without closer examination; it is equally possible that the article represents a genuine indication that Bachmann’s concerns were entirely justified, and that the Muslim Brotherhood has indeed penetrated to the highest levels of the U.S. Government.
We’ll never know for sure without a careful, unbiased, non-partisan investigation – which is exactly what Michele Bachmann had called for. If they really had any genuine concern for the American way, instead of calling for her removal from the Intelligence committee, the People for the American Way would be calling for Bachmann to be appointed to chair that committee, and to open the investigation into Muslim Brotherhood infiltration that is so desperately needed.
But of course PFAW doesn’t really have any such concern. And the fact that they have been able to get 178,000 signatures calling for the head of a dedicated American patriot in order to punish her for asking for an investigation that obviously needs to be carried out is a sign of just how much the public discourse has degenerated in this dreary age of Obama.
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