Friday, September 20, 2013

American Banana Republic


The decay of a free society doesn’t happen overnight, but we’re getting there. 

Longmire creator works to keep character, setting true


Deanna Darr Journal staff
http://rapidcityjournal.com
September 19, 2013



You'll never see Walt Longmire burying bodies in the backyard, selling drugs or enjoying a vacation on a cruise ship.
Staying true to his characters and writing honestly about the place he lives is always uppermost in the mind of author Craig Johnson, creator of the dedicated Wyoming sheriff who is the center of a series of best-selling books and a top-rated TV show on A&E.
"I don't want people throwing my books across the room," Johnson said in a recent phone interview from his ranch in Ucross, Wyo., population 25. "I tend to look at Walt as the living embodiment of those white-hat cowboys. He has a code that he lives by. I think that's one of the strengths of the books."
Johnson will appear at this weekend's South Dakota Festival of Books in Deadwood. He is part of a panel of authors who will discuss the "Western Crime Wave" at a box lunch at noon Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Deadwood Mountain Grand.
"It just seems that anytime you're working within a genre, it can kind of be a breeding ground for run-of-the-mill writing: The mountains are always looming; the gun barrel is always red-hot," he said. "You try and do something a little different within the genre. Don't write Louis L'Amour and Zane Grey. Don't try to repeat those past glories. Look at the genre and see what you can do differently."
Johnson has tried to do just that with his series of Longmire mystery novels. He wrote the first one, "The Cold Dish," about 10 years ago, intending it to be a stand-alone novel about a Wyoming sheriff who is a reluctant hero, but has his faults.
"I was just very fortunate," Johnson said of the success that quickly followed. "I kind of had that Cinderella kind of experience. I sat down and wrote that first draft, and it got passed on to a big agent, then Penguin."
The publisher talked him into doing a series, telling him that his characters and the setting had a lot to say. His books, including "Another Man's Moccasins," "The Dark Horse" and "Junkyard Dogs," have won a long list of awards and have appeared on the New York Times best-sellers list. The success continued when A&E called, wanting to create a television series around his characters. "Longmire," starring Australian actor Robert Taylor in the title role, just completed its second season. Johnson serves as a creative consultant on the show, which has become the network's top-rated original drama of all time.
"Every day, I'm reminded of just how stupid I was and how smart they are," he said.
Set in Wyoming, the books and the series show the good and the bad of living in the American West.
"I think you can get a little too precious when you talk about your area," he said. "I think the more specific you are about the American West, the more universal it becomes. Even though I'm writing about a place that's unique and people that are unique, I still want people to feel that they know them and get an honest portrayal. That's part of the job when you're writing about a place you love or that you live: You can't write about only the good; you have to have honesty."
Never underestimate the romance of the American West, Johnson said.
"It's wide open; we have a lot of space and a lot of characters. A lot of people live in the American West that couldn't live in other places. That makes for rich ground for writing novels," he said.
The complexities of the characters in the Longmire series are satisfying to the readers of today who are demanding more from the books they read, Johnson said.
"You've got to write it like literary fiction," he said. "There was a day when people were satisfied with a simple story. But readers are sophisticated these days. They want a fully developed story line and history. It raises the bar."
Here's more from Johnson:
On his ranch: "I got here 25 years ago. I was working for a rancher in Montana in my 20s and delivered some horses to this area," he said. He decided he'd like to live there, and put the time and money together to build his place.
Where he writes: "I write everywhere," he said. "I used to be a little more precious about it. I had to be here at the ranch, at my desk, with my coffee cup. Now I'm at a train station in Spain; I just open my laptop and go. I have to get the ideas down quick."
Where he gets his inspiration: "I collect newspapers wherever I go. I tend to look for social ills, some kind of problem that is currently being dealt with in the contemporary West."
Who is Walt Longmire? "He's kind of a conglomeration of people. The books are written in first person, so it's hard to separate him from me," he said. Walt is a character who is "over," Johnson said. "He's overweight, he's depressed, but he still gets up and gets the job done. I always wanted Walt to be a faulted hero. I didn't want him to be perfect. He's deeply faulted."
What he's working on now: His book for next year, called "Spirit of Steamboat," takes Walt back to 1988 in the early months of being sheriff. Already, the Wyoming Library Association has named it the state's inaugural One Wyoming One Read selection for 2014.
Working with A&E: "They've been pretty fantastic. They've had me in the loop from the get-go. They didn't know much about Wyoming or sheriffing, so they could either hire a bunch of people or just have me in the loop," he said.
Johnson gets a script synopsis, then is able to edit the script once it is submitted to him. That way, he can thwart plot points that could never happen, such as Walt arresting someone on the reservation or a character trying to get to Cheyenne and back in an hour.
The entire cast, including Taylor, Bailey Chase, Katee Sackhoff, Cassidy Freeman and Lou Diamond Phillips, recently came to Buffalo, Wyo., to celebrate Longmire Days.
"I don't think they were prepared for the crowd that showed up. That was kind of nice to get that support," he said. "I'm tickled to death. We're the highest-rated scripted drama in A&E history. It's great to get that response."
Contact Deanna Darr at 394-8416 or deanna.darr@rapidcityjournal.com


Meet the best novelist of the 20th century: Willa Cather

The Heart of the Heartland

The Selected Letters of Willa CatherEdited by Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout(Knopf, 752 pages, $37.50)
Willa Cather’s literary reputation is even now, nearly 70 years after her death, less than clear. In her day—born in 1873, she published her main novels and books of stories between 1912 and 1940—she was regarded as insufficiently modernist, both in method and in outlook. She was later found to be a poor fit for academic feminism, for she wrote about the great dignity of female strength and resignation in the face of the harshest conditions. Advocates of gay literature who inhabit universities under the banner of Queer Theory have attempted to adopt her, taking her for a lesbian—she never married and had no serious romantic relationships with men—but her lesbianism remains suppositious at best. The powerful critics of her day and of ours have never lined up behind her. All she has had is readers who adore her novels and stories.
I am among them, and if pressed I should say that Willa Cather was the best novelist of the 20th century. Not all of her novels were successful: One of OursLucy GayheartSapphira and the Slave Girl don’t really come off. But those that do—O Pioneers! (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915), My Antonia (1918), A Lost Lady (1923) The Professor’s House (1925), Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927), and Shadows on the Rock (1931)—do so with a grace and grandeur that show a mastery of the highest power. 
Willa Cather’s great subject was immigration to America, chiefly among northern Europeans, their endurance in the face of nature’s pitiless hardships, and what she calls “the gorgeous drama with God.” Her prose was confidently cadenced and classically pure, never—like that of Hemingway or Faulkner—calling attention to itself, but instead devoted to illuminating her characters and their landscapes. (No one described landscape more beautifully than she.) Snobbery, egotism, politics never marred her storytelling. She wrote with a fine eye for the particular without ever losing sight of the larger scheme of the game of life. 
Cather’s favorite of her own novels, Death Comes for the Archbishop, her account of two missionary French priests settling what will one day be New Mexico, strikes so exquisite a note of reverence that many people took its author for a Catholic. She wasn’t. Born a Baptist, she later became an Episcopalian. In one of the letters in the recently published collection The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, Cather writes to a sociologist at the University of Miami named Read Bain that she was not a Catholic nor had she any intention of becoming one. “On the other hand,” she wrote, “I do not regard the Roman Church merely as ‘artistic material.’ If the external form and ceremonial of that Church happens to be more beautiful than that of other churches, it certainly corresponds to some beautiful vision within. It is sacred, if for no other reason than that it is the faith that has been most loved by human creatures, and loved over the greatest stretch of centuries.” 
THAT WE HAVE The Selected Letters of Willa Cather at all is a point of interest in itself. Willa Cather intensely disliked having her private life on display. She carefully promoted her books, frequently chiding publishers for their want of effort at publicizing them and stocking them in bookstores. But she didn’t think that promoting and publicizing extended to promoting and publicizing herself. She eschewed writing blurbs for the excellent reason that “sometimes the best possible friends write the worst possible books.” She gave few interviews, and when she wrote something about another person in a letter, she not uncommonly asked that her recipient keep it in confidence. Like Henry James, she burned many of the letters sent to her.
“We fully realize that in producing this book of selected letters,” write the editors of The Selected Letters, “we are defying Willa Cather’s stated preference that her letters remain hidden from the public eye.” Their justification is that now, 66 years after her death in 1947, with her artistic reputation secure, “these letters heighten our sense of her complex personality, provide insights into her methods and artistic choices as she worked, and reveal Cather herself to be a complicated, funny, brilliant, flinty, sensitive, sometimes confounding human being.” The letters, in their view, flesh out in a useful way the skeletal figure of the pure artist that Cather preferred to project. 
Nothing in The Selected Letters touches directly on the vexed question of Willa Cather’s sexuality—on, that is, whether or not she was a lesbian. The reason is the paucity of the letters to the two women with whom Cather was closest during her adult life. The first was Isabelle McClung, in whose family’s house she lived while a journalist and high-school teacher in Pittsburgh. Isabelle later married a violinist named Jan Hambourg from a Jewish family of musicians, which was painful for Cather, who didn’t much care for him. When Isabelle died, in 1938, Cather felt it as a great subtraction. The second, Edith Lewis, with whom Cather shared apartments in New York and vacation homes in Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy and in Maine, worked in publishing and later as a copywriter. She assisted in innumerable ways, from proofreader to nurse during Cather’s many late-life ailments. Lewis survived Cather and wrote a rather anodyne memoir of her after her death.

Read more at: 

Administration's Benghazi Review Board Discredits Itself in Congressional Hearing

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Today's Tune: Dwight Yoakam - A Heart Like Mine

Spy vs. Spy for Grownups


Christopher Foyle’s New War is one you shouldn’t oppose.
By  on 9.19.13 
To the delight of his many American friends, Christopher Foyle returned to “Masterpiece Mystery” last Sunday. There will be further new episodes of Foyle’s War, which should probably now be called “Foyle’s Cold War,” over the next two Sundays. This is good news for fans of intelligent drama based around an admirable figure. Way too little of this available these days.
In the new series — all too short at only three episodes — former Detective Chief Superintendent Foyle of the Hastings police constabulary, played admirably by Michael Kitchen, is more or less dragooned out of retirement. Rather than thieves, murderers, arsonists, black marketeers, and other garden variety villains whose lives he inconvenienced during World War II, Foyle is now commissioned to disrupt the work of Soviet spies in post-war England. On the evidence of last Sunday’s episode, called “The Eternity Ring,” our Christopher will be as good at this as he was at jugging criminals in and about Hastings while the Allies fought fascism abroad.
Those who watched the first six seasons know that Foyle is smart, determined, responsible, and methodical, as any good detective must be. But his distinguishing features are his honesty and integrity, which he exercised unfailingly, without being priggish about it, through the challenges and temptations brought about by all-out war. He was no-nonsense in his work as a police officer, but hardly a Javert. He’s clear on the difference between the law and justice. And he knows when tolerance is called for, when to cut someone who has crossed the line just a bit of slack, as he did in last Sunday’s episode.
As much as I enjoyed Foyle in Hastings — I’ll go so far as to say Foyle’s War is one of the finest things I’ve seen on the large or small screen — I wondered how my favorite detective chief superintendent could maintain his moral center as an MI5 functionary in London (London regulars may quickly pick up on the fact that many of the London scenes are filmed in Dublin). Throughout the first six series, Foyle has had various run-ins with the secret squirrels, all of which demonstrated why he would not fit in as one of them.
It’s one thing to be the head knocker of the Hastings constabulary, where the work is transparent and the rules of engagement fairly clear. The chief super here can impose his will on his small organization. It’s quite another thing to operate in the murky, amoral world of spy vs. spy, all below the radar and much of it below the belt. It seems that in an outfit like this a Christopher Foyle would be crushed and spit out.
So far Foyle creator and writer Anthony Horowitz has pulled off the substantial trick of giving us a new enemy and a new environment but the same old Foyle. In “Eternity Ring” it is 1946 and the Soviets are hot to steal atomic secrets, a group of scientists in London being a tempting target in this regard. Hilda Pierce, whom Foyle ran across during the war when she worked for MI5’s predecessor intelligence service, half tricks and half drafts Foyle into helping MI5 sort and thwart Soviet spies and those who enable them.
As is the case in spy vs. spy drama, there is much misdirection, crossing and double-crossing. Individuals and things are often not what they seem. It takes almost Holmesian deduction to parse matters. Foyle does not disappoint. And those, like me, who have sworn off of spy fiction and drama because we don’t relish the world-weary nihilism that goes along with the genre, will find Foyle the anti-spy refreshing. None of your John le CarrĂ© spy noir (at least so far).
One of the hooks La Pierce uses to induct Foyle into her distinctly un-merry band is a photograph she has of Foyle’s war-time driver, confidant, and friend Samantha Stewart (played by Honeysuckle Weeks) with a known Soviet spy. The implication, which Pierce knows Foyle will not allow to stand, is that Sam is in cahoots with enemies of the crown. This episode is available for viewing now on the Masterpiece Mystery website, so I won’t reveal any plot details.See it yourself. But anyone who expects things to go badly between these two — who have almost a father/daughter relationship — will be disappointed.
The new series isn’t as homey as the Hastings episodes (hard to be homey in London, even when London is Dublin). Established Foyle hands may find the London and MI5 worlds, as one discerning viewer phrased it, “off-putting.” Hastings and the shooting war were better backdrops for these stories and a better stage for the character of Foyle. But it is so rare that television gives us a character who lives conservative values as thoroughly as Christopher Foyle does, and does so in such consistently excellent drama, that it would be almost conservative malpractice to pass up Foyle’s new war, no matter his new arrangements, and no matter who is on Sunday night football.

Crazier than Liberals


By Ann Coulter
September 18, 2013


There's been another mass shooting by a crazy person, and liberals still refuse to consider institutionalizing the dangerous mentally ill.

The man who shot up the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, Aaron Alexis, heard voices speaking to him through the walls. He thought people were following him. He believed microwave ovens were sending vibrations through his body. There are also reports that Alexis believed the Obamacare exchanges were ready to go.

Anyone see any bright red flags of paranoid schizophrenia? (Either that, or Obama's NSA is way better than we thought!)

But Alexis couldn't be institutionalized because the left has officially certified the mentally ill as "victims," and once you're a victim, all that matters is that you not be "stigmatized."

But here's the problem: Coddling the mentally ill isn't even helping the mentally ill. Ask the sisters of crazy homeless woman "Billie Boggs" how grateful they were to the ACLU for keeping Boggs living on the streets of New York City. Ask the parents of Aaron Alexis, James Holmes (Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooter), Jared Loughner (Tucson, Ariz., mall shooter) or Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech shooter) how happy they are that their sons weren't institutionalized.

Tellingly, throughout the last three decades, the overall homicide rate has been in free fall, thanks to Republican crime policies, from 10 per 100,000 in 1980 to 4 per 100,00 today. (You might even call them "common sense" crime policies.) But the number of mass shootings has skyrocketed from 4 per year, between 1900 and 1970, to 29 per year since then.

Something seems to have gone horribly wrong right around 1970. What could it be? Was it the introduction of bell-bottoms?

That date happens to correlate precisely with when the country began throwing the mentally ill out of institutions in 1969. Your memory of there not being as many mass murders a few decades ago is correct. Your memory of there not being as many homeless people a few decades ago is also correct.

But liberals won't allow the dangerous mentally ill to be committed to institutions against their will. (The threat of commitment is very persuasive in getting disturbed individuals to take their medicine.) Something in liberals' genetic makeup compels them to attack civilization, for example, by defending the right of dangerous psychotics to refuse treatment and then representing them in court after they commit murder.

Liberals won't even agree to take the most basic steps to prevent psychotics from purchasing guns -- yes, GUNS! -- because to allow the release of mental health information would be "stigmatizing." We're not talking about anorexic girls here. We just need shrinks to tell us if potential gun purchasers are paranoid schizophrenics.

The disastrous consequences of the deinstitutionalization movement is described in E. Fuller Torrey's book, The Insanity Offense: How America's Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens. Torrey's book reads like a compendium of America's most heinous murders since the early '70s -- all of which could have been stopped with involuntary commitment laws, and none of which could have been stopped even with a complete gun ban.

Here are a few:

-- "Mary Maloney had decapitated her infant daughter and year-old son. Her husband had tried to have her psychiatrically hospitalized prior to the crime, but she had not met the (legal) criteria for dangerousness."

-- "Charles Soper had killed his wife, three children, and himself two weeks after being discharged from Camarillo State Hospital because he failed to qualify as 'imminently dangerous.'"

-- "In April 1973 ... Edmund Kemper (who had been released from a mental hospital a few years earlier when the deinstitutionalization act became law) had been arrested after he bludgeoned his mother to death, then strangled her friend who came to visit. Kemper was also charged with the murders of six female hitchhikers."

Kemper had originally been institutionalized after murdering his grandparents at age 15 because "he tired of their company."

In 1972 and 1973, paranoid schizophrenic Herb Mullin went on a killing spree in California that left 13 dead, including a 72-year-old World War I veteran, a college coed, four teenaged campers and a mother with her two little boys, murdered as they played with marbles.

Mullin killed his victims with a baseball bat, knives, his fists, as well as with guns. How's your "high-capacity" magazine ban going to stop that, Democrats? How would piling on yet more gun control laws have helped the priest whom Herb Mullin beat, kicked and stabbed to death?

What about the elderly boarders that Dorothea Puente -- diagnosed with schizophrenia -- poisoned and buried in her backyard?

What additional gun restrictions would have helped the group of bicyclists Linda Scates intentionally drove her car into because voices were telling her to "kill the demons"?

In the decades since the deinstitutionalization movement began, more and more people kept being killed as a result of that movement -- including the deinstitutionalized themselves. According to Torrey, between 1970 and 2004, the mentally ill were responsible for at least 4,700 murders in California.

Increasing government spending on mental health programs is not going to stop the mentally ill from committing murder. Like liberals, these are people too sick even to know they need help. As Herschel Hardin, whose son was schizophrenic, wrote in the Vancouver Sun: "If you think you are Jesus Christ or an avenging angel, you are not likely to agree that you need to go to the hospital."

Liberals will pretend to have missed the news that the Washington Navy Yard shooter was a paranoid schizophrenic. They refuse to acknowledge that the mass murder problem -- as well as the homeless problem -- only began after crazy people were thrown out of institutions in the 1970s. They tell us crapping in your pants on a New York City sidewalk is a "civil right." They say that haranguing passersby on the street about your persecution by various movie stars is a form of "free speech."

Only after a mass murder committed by a psychotic with a firearm do liberals spring to life and suggest a solution: Take away everyone's guns.

Taking guns away from the mentally stable only makes us less safe: Even psychotics know enough to keep choosing "Gun-Free Zones" for their mass murders. If Americans are serious about preventing massacres like the ones at the Washington Navy Yard, Newtown, Tucson, Aurora and Virginia Tech, it's time to review our civil commitment laws.

After this latest shooting, will the left finally let us do something about the dangerously mentally ill?

COPYRIGHT 2013 ANN COULTER 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Navy Yard: Swat team 'stood down' at mass shooting scene



A tactical response team of the Capitol Police, a force that guards the US Capitol complex, was told to leave the scene by a supervisor instead of aiding municipal officers.
The Capitol Police department has launched a review into the matter.
Aaron Alexis, 34, killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.

"I don't think it's a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene," a Capitol Police source familiar with the incident told the BBC.
Assault weapons ready
A former Navy reservist, Alexis was working as a technical contractor for the Navy and had a valid pass and security clearance allowing him entry to the highly secure building in south-east Washington DC.
About 8:15 local time (12:15 GMT), Alexis entered Building 197, headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, which builds and maintains ships and submarines for the Navy, and opened fire.
Armed with a shotgun and a pistol he took from a guard he had shot, he sprayed bullets down a hallway and fired from a balcony down on to workers in an atrium.
He fired on police officers who eventually stormed the building, and was later killed in the shootout.
Multiple sources in the Capitol Police department have told the BBC that its highly trained and heavily armed four-man Containment and Emergency Response Team (Cert) was near the Navy Yard when the initial report of an active shooter came in about 8:20 local time.
The officers, wearing full tactical gear and armed with HK-416 assault weapons, arrived outside Building 197 a few minutes later, an official with knowledge of the incident told the BBC.
'A different outcome'
According to a Capitol Police source, an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Washington DC's main municipal force, told the Capitol Cert officers they were the only police on the site equipped with long guns and requested their help stopping the gunman.
When the Capitol Police team radioed their superiors, they were told by a watch commander to leave the scene, the BBC was told.
The gunman, Aaron Alexis, was reported killed after 09:00.
Several Capitol Police sources who spoke to the BBC asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal.
Capitol Police Officer Jim Konczos, who leads the officers' union, said the Cert police train for what are known as active shooter situations and are expert marksmen.
"Odds are it might have had a different outcome," he said of Monday's shooting and the decision to order the Cert unit to stand down. "It probably could have been neutralised."
Capitol Hill Police chief Kim Dine has ordered "a comprehensive, independent review of the facts surrounding the Capitol Police's response to the Navy Yard shootings".
The Capitol Police Board responded by establishing what it called a "Fact Review Team", led by Michael Stenger, a former assistant director of the US Secret Service.
Earlier, Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt Kimberly Schneider said its officers had "offered and provided mutual support and assistance at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday".
'A blind eye'
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terry Gainer, who oversees the Capitol Police department, confirmed officials were pulling radio logs from Monday's incident and interviewing the officers involved.
"It's a very serious allegation and inference to indicate that we were on scene and could have helped and were told to leave," he said. "It crushes me if that's the case."
Mr Gainer said that while the department's primary responsibility was to protect the Capitol complex, which houses the US Congress, that mission did not allow it to turn a "blind eye" when asked for help.
Gwendolyn Crump, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Department, which protects the city of Washington DC, said allegations that a Capitol Police Cert team was on scene and later stood down were "not true".
Alexis had a history of mental health problems, previous gun-related brushes with the law, and citations for insubordination.
On Wednesday, Alexis' mother apologised to the victims and said she was bewildered by what had motivated her son as everyone else.
"I don't know why he did what he did, and I'll never be able to ask him why," Cathleen Alexis told MSNBC from her home in New York.
"Aaron is now in a place where he can never do harm to anyone, and for that I am glad."
"To the families of the victims, I am so, so very sorry that this has happened. My heart is broken."
Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel acknowledged "there were a lot of red flags" in Alexis' background that had been missed in the security clearance process which ultimately resulted in his having access to the secure building where he undertook the attack.
"Why they didn't get picked up, why they didn't get incorporated into the clearance process, what he was doing, those are all legitimate questions that we're going to be dealing with," he told reporters.
Right call?
He said he had ordered the Pentagon to conduct a wide-ranging review of the physical security at all US defence installations across the world and of the security clearance process.
"Where there are gaps, we will close them," he said. "Where there are inadequacies, we will address them. And where there are failures, we will correct them."
A Capitol Police officer who heard the Cert request over the radio to engage the gunman reported colleagues within the department felt frustrated they were told to stand down.
The officer described a culture in which emergency responders are instructed to not extend themselves beyond the Capitol grounds for fear of discipline.
"They were relying on our command staff to make the right call," another Capitol Police officer said. "Unfortunately, I don't think that happened in this case."

The Clintons Employ Muslim Brotherhood Officials? You Can’t Be Serious …


By Andrew C. McCarthy
September 18, 2013

Gehad El Haddad, spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood (File Photo by Aaron T. Rose/DNE)

I don’t know who is more shocked about this, me or Huma Abedin, but it turns out that a former top Clinton Foundation official is also … a senior Muslim Brotherhood official who has just been arrested for – you’ll never guess – inciting violence in Egypt. Not to worry, I’m sure it was only moderate violence.
The Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo reports on Gehad [as in Jihad] el-Haddad:
A senior Muslim Brotherhood official who, until recently, had been employed by the William J. Clinton Foundation was arrested in Cairo on Tuesday and charged with inciting violence.
Gehad el-Haddad served as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s top communications officials until Egyptian security forces seized him as part of a wider crackdown on officials loyal to ousted former President Mohamed Morsi.
Before emerging as a top Brotherhood official and adviser to Morsi, el-Haddad served for five years as a top official at the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit group founded by former President Bill Clinton.
El-Haddad gained a reputation for pushing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda in the foreign press, where he was often quoted defending the Brotherhood’s crackdown on civil liberties in Egypt.
He was raised in a family of prominent Brotherhood supporters and became the public face of the Islamist organization soon after leaving his post at the Clinton Foundation. However, much of his official work with the Brotherhood took place while he was still claiming to be employed by the Clinton Foundation.
Funny how that works. As I’ve previously recounted, Ms. Abedin began working for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton while simultaneously (a) working at an Islamist journal with top al Qaeda financier Abdullah Omar Naseef (the funding device, a “charity” called the Rabita Trust, which Naseef ran with al Qaeda founder Wael Jalaidan, is a designated terrorist organization under U.S. law); and (b) serving on the executive board of the Muslim Students Association’s George Washington University chapter. (The Muslim Students Association is the first building block of the Brotherhood’s American infrastructure, and the late, unlamented al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki – an MSA alum, like MorsiJalaidan and Ms. Abedin – was the “chaplain” at the GWU chapter at the same time he was providing, er, spiritual advice to some of the eventual 9/11 suicide-hijackers).
Adam Kredo’s report goes on to explain that Gehad el-Haddad’s placement in the Morsi inner-circle was a natural because of family ties: el-Haddad’s father was a top foreign policy adviser to Morsi, the Brotherhood leader,America-basheranti-Semite, and now-ousted Egyptian president.
Small world: Ms. Abedin’s parents (her mother and late father) have also been prominent Brotherhood figures. In fact, besides running the journal founded by Naseef, Ms. Abedin’s mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, is reportedly a member of the Muslim Sisterhood … as is Morsi’s wife. Mrs. Abedin also runs a sharia promotion organization called the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC), which is part of another group, theInternational Islamic Council for Dawa and Relief (IICDR), that has been banned in Israel for providing material support to Hamas (the Brotherhood’s Palestinian terrorist branch). Both IICWC and IICDR operate under the umbrella of Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi’s Union of Good. Sheikh Qaradawi is the Brotherhood’s chief jurist and has issued fatwas endorsing suicide bombings in Israel and the killing of American troops in Iraq – and his Union of Good is a designated terrorist organization under U.S. law.
Adam also notes that el-Haddad was the Brotherhood official placed in charge of the “Renaissance Project” in February 2011, while he was still at the Clinton Foundation. The report describes the “Renaissance Project” as “a Brotherhood-backed economic recovery program.” Actually, that’s not the half of it. As I outlined in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy:
[In early 2011, just after Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badi announced that jihad was “the only solution against Zio-American arrogance and tyranny”] Khairat el-Shater … began making himself heard. Shater is the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Deputy General Guide.” He is a charismatic figure, revered as the “Iron Man” for his defiant refusal to buckle through two decades of repeated detention and prosecution by Mubarak’s regime[.]…He also brings intellectual heft: after Mubarak fell, it was to Shater that the Brotherhood turned to craft its comprehensive strategy for shaping Egypt’s future.
The Brothers have a name for this enterprise. It is called “the Nahda Project” – the Islamic “Renaissance.”
In April 2011, Shater delivered a lengthy lecture, “Features of Nahda: Gains of the Revolution and the Horizons for Developing.”… Shater’s instruction was remarkable. He emphasized that the Brotherhood’s fundamental principles and goals never change, only the tactics by which they are pursued. “You all know that our main and overall mission as Muslim Brothers is to empower God’s religion on earth, to organize our life and the lives of the people on the basis of Islam, to establish theNahda of the ummah and its civilization on the basis of Islam, and to subjugate people to God on earth.” Shater went on to reaffirm the time-honored plan of the Brotherhood’s founder, Hassan al-Banna, stressing the need for both personal piety and internal organizational discipline in pursuing the goal of worldwide Islamic hegemony.
The lecture dovetailed with a 93-page platform released by the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, under the guidance of its leader Mohammed Morsi, a Shater confidant. The platform proposed to put every aspect of human life under sharia-compliant state regulation. The document was unmistakably anti-Western and anti-Israeli: structuring civil society on the foundation of “Arab and Islamic unity”; making the “strengthen[ing] of Arab and Islamic identity” the “goal of education”; making treaties (think: Camp David Accord) subject to approval by the population (i.e., the same population that had just, by a landslide, adopted the Islamist position on constitutional amendments); and describing Israel, “the Zionist entity, [as] an aggressive, expansionist, racist and settler entity.”
But hey, nothing to see here. And no word yet on whether Senator McCain will be taking to the Senate floor once more to rail against this obvious smear campaign against a Clinton confidant with deep ties to Islamic supremacism.