Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Gordon England's blindness

Frank Gaffney Jr. just nails the problem with Gordon England we discussed last weekend.
When the history of the George W. Bush administration is written, one of the most important questions to be addressed will surely be: Why did a president who repeatedly talked about the ideology animating our enemies in this "War on Terror" do so little to wage an effective "War of Ideas" against it?

The good news is that historians — and the rest of us — have just been given an insight into that highly consequential disconnect. The bad news is that the incident suggests a problem of such ominous proportions that it raises questions as to whether our government is being rendered incapable of fighting successfully an ideology best described as Islamofascism at home, to say nothing of abroad.
Exactly. And the blame is right with GWB. Here is a bit more detail,
At issue evidently was Maj. Coughlin's fastidious chronicling of the true nature and activities of organizations such as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). In briefings prepared for the U.S. military, he had concluded that ISNA is one of a number of front organizations for the Muslim Brotherhood — a particularly insidious wing of the Islamofascist movement that shares with its ideological soulmates a commitment to imposing Shariah worldwide, albeit putatively through nonviolent means.

Interestingly, the Justice Department arrived at a similar conclusion, as evidenced in its designation of ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in the recent trial of the Holy Land Foundation. The latter operated as an Islamist "charity" in Houston until it was shut down by the government after September 11, 2001, and charged with providing funds to Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organization. While the lengthy proceeding resulted in a mistrial (due, it appears, to misconduct by a self-professed Hamas-sympathizing juror), documents placed in the record by prosecutors are damning with respect to connections between Saudi-financed influence operations like the ISNA and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on the one hand and various bad actors around the globe on the other.
He also outlines a very good case on why I think Mr. Islam should be fired instead. Nothing sinister, just sometimes good people have blind spots that lead to bad ideas and bad actions.
Evidently, however, the Islamic Society of North America is one of the organizations with whom Hasham Islam has encouraged Pentagon outreach. When Steve Coughlin refused to modify his assessment of the organization, Mr. Islam reportedly accused him of being "a Christian zealot with a pen." Such a description calls to mind the terms "racist" and "bigot" used to silence others who have raised alarms about efforts by the Muslim Brotherhood and its fellow-travelers to penetrate our government and society.
...it is not an isolated incident with this administration.
Karen Hughes, President Bush's close friend and, until recently, his point-person in the War of Ideas as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, reportedly considered as her "guru" a professor at Georgetown University whose program is underwritten by a $20 million grant from a Saudi prince.

• Unsurprisingly, Mrs. Hughes' first public appearance after assuming her responsibilities at State was an address to the annual ISNA conference in 2005. While there, she told the organization's members she considered them "the front-line in public diplomacy because you are more credible than I am." Interestingly, a survey of her "frontline" troops, found that, by a 3-to-1margin, ISNA's members believe the U.S. government had advanced knowledge of the September 11, 2001, attacks and allowed them to happen.

• Muslim chaplains and lay leaders for the U.S. military were recruited, trained and credentialed by an organization that the Wall Street Journal described as "part of Saudi Arabia's state-run university system." At the time, that institute was operated by Aburahman Alamoudi, the godfather of the Islamist apparatus in America who is now serving a 23-year prison sentence for terrorism financing and related charges.

• FBI personnel continue to receive "sensitivity training" from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, even though the Justice Department has also designated it an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case.
That is just the start. Read it all.

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