Congress

Congress must defend 9/11’s sacred ground and expose the Islamist imams

Office of the Honorable John Boehner
United States Congressman, 8th Congressional District (Ohio)

Office of the Honorable Mitch McConnell
United States Senator, Kentucky

June 21, 2010
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Dear Congressman Boehner and Senator McConnell,

Thank you in advance for your time. I would like to ask if you will review and share with your congressional colleagues the following information which includes, but is not limited to, a collection of quotes and documented activities pertaining to a number of Islamic preachers (Imams) in America.

It is important to know that for them, being truthful to Americans would place their agenda in jeopardy; and when confronted, their strategy is to maintain that their words have been “taken out of context,” to dismiss critics as fringe groups who irrationally fear Islam, and to throw out accusations of “anti-Muslim bigotry” and “intolerance”.

They falsely play victim and have no legitimate defense; for it is their prejudices, religious intolerance, and ideological dogma that can threaten safety and civil society.

When the audience is the American public, these particular ideologists will speak of peace, dialogue and inclusiveness. When they are in front of their co-religionists, the conversation changes.

AG Holder, Senate Judiciary Committee showdown abruptly postponed

Attorney General Eric Holder was to appear this morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee. CNN is reporting that, all of a sudden, Holder is not available and the hearing was postponed:

Holder is out of town on travel the rest of this week, and Congress is out the following week, so no new hearing date is scheduled. The last-minute delivery of Justice Department responses to questions asked by the Republicans more than four months ago appeared to fuel an already agitated group of senators from the staunchly partisan Senate judiciary panel.

GOP staff members were scrambling to go through the documents in advance of what they expected would be Holder’s scheduled 9:30 a.m. appearance before the committee. If the hearing had taken place, it would have marked Holder’s first appearance before the Senate panel since November, a few days after he proclaimed his decision to try the alleged 9/11 conspirators in New York City.

Republican sources say the minority side was prepared to bombard Holder with what they see as inconsistencies and errors. They said Justice Department officials acknowledged in Monday’s last-minute dump of documents that they can not provide the details to back their assertion that 300 terrorists have been successfully tried in civilian courts.

Republicans also prepared to attack Holder on other fronts, including his failure to disclose seven legal briefs he had written in support of positions in federal court cases.

Maybe Holder is just off practicing his next “Nation of Cowards” speech, while avoiding Congressional oversight.

Update: Word is the hearing is rescheduled for April 14. As Holder said last week that a decision “is weeks away” on where the 9/11 trials will be conducted, I suspect the administration worked out a deal with Senator Pat Leahy to avoid his testifying before an announcement on that is made.

Adam Kokesh ‘runs’ for Congress; is an antiwar activist seeking to return Ben Lujan to the House?

Ben Lujan (D) — Tom Mullins (R) — Adam Kokesh (?)

Incumbent U.S. Congressman Ben Lujan (D-NM, 3) was once considered ‘safe’ to win reelection to Congress. Yet Lujan voted for bringing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed here for federal trial, the health care bill, Cap and Trade, and the TARP bailout. In the only recent poll, a Democrat pollster now finds Lujan’s lead over main Republican rival Tom Mullins has narrowed to within the margin of error, 40 to 36.

Adam Kokesh running as a Republican in the primary against Mullins and his trailing Lujan only 40 to 32 are both far harder to explain.

Is Kokesh a grass roots fiscal conservative or an antiwar activist masquerading as a conservative-libertarian to deceive the people of New Mexico? Before voters there decide, perhaps they should review his multiple arrests — including for smuggling home a firearm — in addition to his anti-war protests while in uniform, anti-military recruitment actions, and travel to an allied nation to encourage U.S. soldiers stationed there to go AWOL.

According to the Washington Examiner, Kokesh was busted after his tour in Iraq;

He was supposed to go to Iraq a second time, but was demoted from sergeant to corporal and not allowed to return after it was learned that he brought a pistol back after his first tour in 2004. [Hat tip to This Ain’t Hell.]

On September 1, 2007, Kokesh called for help from Veterans For Peace with an upcoming antiwar “die-in” in Washington, D.C. Kokesh was arrested there on September 6, 2007 for defacing public property (here is the video). On September 15, while 10,000 of so A.N.S.W.E.R.-led students “died” on the Capitol’s west lawn, Kokesh was again arrested when he, Code Pink, and perhaps thirty more crossed the police line.

In mid-May 2007, Kokesh traveled to Germany where he and another Inactive Reservist brought an unauthorized civilian onto a U.S. military base. He then entered a crowded dining facility. Kokesh himself recounted the “IVAW German Expeditionary Team … base action” and his reading aloud a letter from “the people of Ansbach” to soldiers there, many of whom who would soon deploy to Iraq:

If any of you should decide to leave the Army while in Germany and throw down your arms, the people of Ansbach will support you and do our best to provide you with aid, comfort, and sanctuary. We wish to build a new relationship between the people of Germany and the people of America on the basis of peace, reconciliation, and understanding. [Unfortunately, someone at IVAW no longer wants New Mexico to see the video they once so proudly posted on YouTube. Kokesh’s Iraq Veterans Against the War post is reprinted here, his original post is here [Note June 2, 2011: The orginal narrative by Adam Kokesh has been changed to unrelated commentary] and I have the screen shots just in case they decide to hide it as well.]

Two weeks later, Kokesh was back in D.C. acting nothing like a new-age founding father:

[T]he Marines have launched investigations of three inactive reservists for wearing their uniforms during antiwar protests and allegedly making statements characterized as “disrespectful” or “disloyal.” Two of them were part of the guerrilla theater squad of 13 Iraq Veterans Against the War who roamed Capitol Hill and downtown Washington in March, clad in camouflage and carrying imaginary weapons, to mark the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war. A Washington Post story about that protest is part of the evidence gathered by Marine lawyers. … Upon learning he was being investigated for wearing his uniform during the mock patrol, Kokesh wrote an e-mail to the investigating officer, Maj. John Whyte. The combat veteran discussed his service and his critique of the war, and asked this officer assigned to look into his “possible violation” of wearing his uniform: “We’re at war. Are you doing all you can?” He concluded with an obscene recommendation about what Whyte should go do. This earned him the count for a “disrespectful statement.” [Kokesh was discharged ‘under general conditions‘.]

Over the Columbus Day weekend 2007, Kokesh and six other students tacked up racist anti-Islamic posters around the campus of George Washington University with “Brought to you by Students for Conservativo-Fascism Awareness” across the bottom. GWU was “dismayed” at the “satire” to mock the sponsors of Conservative Awareness Week 2007.

Band of Mothers founder and Blue Star mom Bev Perlson has witnessed Kokesh’s anti-recruiting and antiwar efforts:

I remember Kokesh when he brought a whole busload of members of World Can’t Wait, ANSWER, SDS, to disrupt the recruiting station at 14th & I Street in Washington, DC. They ran around in circles out in front of the recruiting station that day yelling silly slogans against our Soldiers and the War. Their antics caused about 7 members of the Metro Police to have to stand guard out in front of the station for hours. How’s that for how he disrupts the recruiters, the city and wastes our tax dollars. I remember Kokesh when he tried to stage a re-enactment of the Winter Soldier testimony of the traitor John Kerry days! We disrupted both of these events and the Winter Soldier nonsense was a debacle. Adam Kokesh is a phony who reinvents himself yearly.

Ron Paul can’t let a denouncement of Kokesh by a Tea Party group go unanswered:

Adam Kokesh under fire on Glenn Beck’s 9/12 site (updated)

Liberty candidates are under fire on all fronts. Even from groups that claim to be for liberty and the Constitution. On the main page of the 9/12 Project’s website, and again in its New Mexico forum are topics named “A Traitor in Sheep’s clothing trying to deceive the Voters” … This is a hit piece on Adam Kokesh and needs to be slapped down. The thread on the New Mexico is worse than the one on the front page, but they both need to be countered. Update: For those that want to see what the attack is before going to the site, here it is.

We are writing to you to express our grave concerns about Adam Kokesh, who is aspiring to become the Republican nominee for US Congress from New Mexico’s 3rd district. Mr. Kokesh has an extensive, and well-documented history of affiliations with radical leftist groups. In concert with these groups he has engaged in numerous anti-America and anti-military demonstrations and protests. Moreover, Mr. Kokesh does not appear to have any personal qualifications that would recommend him for serious consideration as a candidate for the Republican Party. He has a significant history suggestive of poor character and judgment, and he has notable incidents of direct activism against Republican office holders. [READ THE REST yet note The Daily Paul re-posted it from 9/12’s site forum. The original is here.]

Retired U.S. Army senior NCO and combat infantry veteran Jonn Lilyea writes, “I’m not sure that Kokesh doesn’t think he’s a Republican. The Paulians are convinced that they can change the party and I think that’s what his real goal is.” Makes perfect sense to me. Yet even if Kokesh loses the June 1 primary, he can register as an independent candidate, be on the ballot in November, and attempt to bleed support away from Tom Mullins so Ben Lujan returns to Congress.

I don’t know Mullins from Adam yet perhaps voters in New Mexico’s 3rd District will soon sort out the saints from the sinners in that race.

Update, March 10, 2010: Michelle Malkin linked over from her post today, ‘Adam Kokesh: An anti-war smear merchant in “Republican” clothing.’

Obama administration misleads and repeats intelligence failures of the past

The Obama administration apparently never made or discovered a mistake not worth repeating.

Counter-terror chief John Brennan incredibly states the four Members of Congress he briefed on Christmas Day should have assumed Flight 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab was read Miranda warnings. Yet the administration has given mixed signals on if and when terrorists will be provided a right to remain silent and a lawyer. For example, during his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on November 18, 2009, in response to a question by Senator Amy Klobuchar, AG Eric Holder said:

“The people in the field have been making determinations about giving Miranda warnings or not for some time now. They have had thousands of people come into their custody; only a small number of them have been given Miranda warnings.”

Minutes before that, Holder refused to offer a clear opinion to Senator Lindsay Graham on whether custody begins (for the purpose of civilian trials and Miranda warnings) at the same time a terrorist is captured.

Congressman Pete Hoekstra is disputing John Brennan on both the facts and his presumptions:

Brennan told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Hoekstra and other top Congressional Republicans were told on Christmas Day that the Detroit bomber was in FBI custody, and should have known that he would therefore be read his rights according to Miranda.

But Hoekstra tells National Review Online that it would have been unreasonable to infer any such thing from his phone call with Brennan, which was brief and carried over an unsecured line.

“He never brought this stuff up,” Hoekstra says, adding that the FBI was the natural choice to hold Abdulmutallab until a detainment and interrogation strategy could be settled. “No, I wouldn’t expect the military to be at Detroit Airport waiting to arrest somebody,” Hoekstra adds, but he thought the administration would carefully investigate alternatives and consult with national security principals before moving forward with Miranda rights and other criminal procedures.

Abdulmuttalab was not read Miranda warnings until approximately 11 PM Eastern time and it is likely Brennan briefed the four well before that time. While it is not clear Brennan then told them whether Abdulmuttalab had provided intelligence during his initial interrogation, we now know that he was not initially read the warnings. President Barack Obama has acknowledged that some number of agencies and personnel failed in their responsibilities prior to the Christmas Day attack and Abdulmuttalab stopped providing intelligence when read “his” rights. (AG Holder directed that he be Mirandized prior to the FBI’s clean team attempting to question him further.)

In addition, we know that on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, the White House Press Secretary’s Office intentionally leaked “on background” sensitive information to the media that Abdulmuttalab was now cooperating:

Gibbs explained that the White House felt the need to provide background briefings about what Abdulmutallab was now saying in order to “contextualize” the information after receiving inquiries from reporters.

In other words, the Obama administration was getting pounded for providing a foreign terrorist Constitution rights not afforded them in that document. The White House felt the need to push back politically. They leaked secrets, made the intelligence we are now getting from Abdulmuttalab less valuable, and then falsely implied that Senator Kit Bond had disclosed the information.

Stupid is as stupid does, that Richard Reid was read “his” rights was a poor example to follow; that too was an intelligence failure.

Reid was arrested not three months into our invasion of Afghanistan, while the hunt was still under way in Tora Bora, and several months before Jose Padilla, Binyam Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, and Ramzi Binalshibh were captured. Bush 43 could have ordered Reid turned over for military detention as his November 13, 2001 Military Order proscribed and yet he at least seemed to learn from his mistake; he ordered Padilla turned over for military detention and the rest eventually ended up at Gitmo.

After leaving Afghanistan, Reid traveled separately through several countries in the Middle East. His interrogation would likely have provided valuable intelligence on both al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the contacts he made during those travels. Only through the interrogations of other detainees was Reid’s accomplice, Saajid Badat, discovered and arrested, in England in November 2003. Ten months after Reid pled guilty, British police found Badat’s still armed shoe-bomb when they searched the home of his parents. Badat did not use his bomb for he had had a change of heart, immediately confessed to police, told them how to disarm the device, and pled guilty. Richard Reid was (and is) a committed jihadist who we should have interrogated.

Update, February 9, 2010: Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com reports that John Brennan is at it some more, in USA Today:

Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda. Terrorists are not 100-feet tall. Nor do they deserve the abject fear they seek to instill. They will, however, be dismantled and destroyed, by our military, our intelligence services and our law enforcement community. And the notion that America’s counterterrorism professionals and America’s system of justice are unable to handle these murderous miscreants is absurd.

Ed also has a link there to Byron York’s deconstruction of Brennan’s op-ed.

Moving danger? So what if Obama is reconsidering moving 9/11 trials

“In what communities in the United States of America are children required to walk by military conveys and snipers on a daily basis on their way to school?” — unidentified lower Manhattan resident, addressing New York City’s Community Board 1 meeting, January 27, 2010, just before the Board voted 42 to 0 to ask the Obama administration to move the 9/11 trials.

Be very skeptical of reports saying the Obama administration is “strongly” considering moving the 9/11 trials out of lower Manhattan. Otherwise, this CBS report fairly describes what is going on. (My fellow co-founders of the 9/11 Never Forget Coalition, Debra Burlingame in cameo and Tim Brown briefly interviewed, appear within it):

Taking on the task of hosting the 9/11 terror trials and housing indefinitely detained terrorists in Newburgh, NY and Thomson, IL, respectively, outwardly appear as economic boons to those desperate economies. Why should the danger just be shifted from Chinatown and lower Manhattan to somewhere else? It would not solve the national security risks of a federal trial. It moves the danger to ill-equipped rural civilian populaces. It does nothing to lower the billion dollar cost for both the trial and detention. (The annual operating cost of the detention facility at Gitmo is $100 million.)

Congress must fix the law. It must restore national security solely to the elected branches, remove judges from the conduct of war, prosecute war criminals while protecting our secrets, detain captured enemies for as long as necessary, and isolate detainees from any civilian populace. Those are the things an overwhelming majority of Americans want done.

Barring those steps being codified in statute, terror trials and detentions should remain at Guantanamo. This is not a pipe dream yet it will not get done if America is lolled back to sleep thinking “we won” because the Obama administration is reportedly “strongly” considering moving the trials. To put it another way, I’ll remind you of an old Army axiom to troops: Stay alert; stay alive.