Thursday, June 29, 2006

Jeff Jacoby: A Press Storm Over Secrets

Jun 29, 2006
The Boston Globe
Jeff Jacoby ( bio archive contact )

T.F. Boggs is a 24-year-old sergeant in the Army Reserves serving his second tour of duty in Iraq, where he helps to provide security for a military base in Mosul. He is also an occasional blogger, venting his views at On Sunday, those views took the form of a letter to Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times. Two days earlier, the Times (along with The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times) had exposed the existence of a top-secret government effort to monitor the international movement of funds between Al Qaeda and its financial collaborators.

"Your recent decision to publish information about a classified program intended to track the banking transactions of possible terrorists is not only detrimental to America but also to its fighting men and women overseas," Boggs wrote. "Terrorism happens here every day because there are rich men out there willing to support the . . . terrorist who plants bombs and shoots soldiers. . . . Without money, terrorism in Iraq would die because there would no longer be supplies for IED's, no mortars . . . and no motivation for people to abandon regular work in hopes of striking it rich after killing a soldier. Thank you for continually contributing to the deaths of my fellow soldiers."

Boggs isn't the only angry soldier the Times has heard from. Lieutenant Thomas Cotton, a Harvard Law School graduate who practiced law in Washington before becoming an infantry officer, wrote from Baghdad (in a letter posted on the influential Powerline website) about the roadside explosion that recently "killed one soldier and severely injured another from my 130-man company." Cotton, too, underscored the fact that terrorism runs on money. The people trying to kill him and his men "require financing to obtain mortars and artillery shells, priming explosives, wiring and circuitry, not to mention for training and payments to locals willing to emplace bombs . . . You may think you have done a public service, but you have gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis here."

It obviously didn't come as news to the editor of the Times that money is crucial to terrorism, or that Al Qaeda will be a threat until its financial supply lines are choked off. The Times had made that point itself in a strong editorial less than two weeks after 9/11. "Washington and its allies must also disable the financial networks used by terrorists," the editorial said. "The Bush administration is preparing new laws to help track terrorists through their money-laundering activity. . . Much more is needed, including . . . greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities. There must also be closer coordination among America's law enforcement, national security, and financial regulatory agencies. . . . If America is going to wage a new kind of war against terrorism, it must act on all fronts, including the financial one."

It was just such reasoning that led the Treasury Department to develop the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program that last week's stories exposed. As even those stories made clear, the program was legal, disclosed to members of Congress, carefully limited to prevent abuse, and -- above all -- effective. Among other successes, administration officials told the Times, it led to the capture of the Indonesian terrorist who masterminded the horrific 2002 bombing of a Bali resort. For what reason would any responsible media outlet want to sabotage such a program? If not out of sheer political animus -- contempt for the Bush administration and opposition to the war -- then why?

Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet said yesterday that he "felt that the legitimate public interest in this program outweighed the potential cost to counterterrorism efforts." Keller, of The New York Times, said much the same thing last week. (The Times is owned by the New York Times Co., which also owns The Boston Globe.) But neither has explained just how the public interest is advanced by deliberately compromising a crucial counterterrorism tool. Once upon a time, mainstream journalists would have been aghast at the revelation of national security secrets in wartime. Apparently only some of us still feel that way.

The media may not be the most detested institution in America, but it is surely a contender for the title. A Harris poll in March found that only 14 percent of American adults express a "great deal" of confidence in the press, while 34 percent -- one American in three -- have "hardly any" confidence in it.

The nation's most trusted institution, by contrast, is the military. According to Harris, 47 percent of Americans have a "great deal" of confidence in the armed forces. Only 14 percent have "hardly any." No doubt it is just a coincidence that the small fraction of the public that disdains the military is equal to the small fraction that greatly admires the media. But at a time when prominent newspapers are running stories that are apt to get more soldiers killed, I'll bet Sergeant Boggs and Lieutenant Cotton don't think so.

Jeff Jacoby is an Op-Ed writer for the Boston Globe, a radio political commentator, and a contributing columnist for

Michael Fumento: Killing the Passive Smoking Debate

Jun 29, 2006
Michael Fumento ( bio archive )

“Secondhand smoke debate ‘over.” That’s the message from the Surgeon General’s office, delivered by a sycophantic media. The claim is that the science has now overwhelmingly proved that smoke from others’ cigarettes can kill you. Actually, “debate over” simply means: “If you have your doubts, shut up!”

But you definitely should have doubts over the new Surgeon General’s report, a massive 727-page door stop. Like many massive reports on controversial issues, it’s probably designed that way so nobody (especially reporters on deadline) will want to or have time to read beyond the executive summary. That includes me; if I had that much time I’d reread "War and Peace". Twice. But the report admits it contains no new science so we can evaluate it based on research already available.

First consider the 1993 EPA study that began the passive smoking crusade. It declared such smoke a carcinogen based on a combined analysis (meta-analysis) of 11 mostly tiny studies. The media quickly fell into line, with headlines blaring: “Passive Smoking Kills Thousands” and editorials demanding: “Ban Hazardous Smoking; Report Shows It’s a Killer.”

But the EPA’s report had more holes than a spaghetti strainer. Its greatest weakness was the agency’s refusal to use the gold standard in epidemiology, the 95 percent confidence interval. This simply means there are only five chances in 100 that the conclusion came about just by chance, even if the study itself was done correctly.

Curiously, the EPA decided to use a 90 percent level, effectively doubling the likelihood of getting its result by sheer luck of the draw.

Why would it do such a strange thing? You guessed it. Its results weren't significant at the 95 percent level. Essentially, it moved the goal posts back because the football had fallen short. In scientific terminology this is known as “dishonesty.”

Two much larger meta-analyses have appeared since the EPA’s. One was conducted on behalf of the World Health Organization and covered seven countries over seven years. Published in 1998, it actually showed a statistically significant reduced risk for children of smokers, though we can assume that was a fluke. But it also showed no increase for spouses and co-workers of smokers.

The second meta-analysis, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2002, likewise found a statistical significance when 48 studies were combined. Looked at separately, though, only seven showed significant excesses of lung cancer. Thus 41 did not.

Meta-analysis, though, suffers from such problems as different studies having been conducted in different ways – the apples and oranges conundrum. What was really needed was one study involving a huge number of participants over a long period of time using the same evaluation.

We got that in the prestigious British Medical Journal in 2003. Research professor James Enstrom of UCLA and professor Geoffrey Kabat of the State University of New York, Stony Brook presented results of a 39-year study of 35,561 Californians, which dwarfed in size everything that came before. It found no “causal relationship between exposure to [passive smoke] and tobacco-related mortality,” adding, however “a small effect” can’t be ruled out.

The reason active tobacco smoking could be such a terrible killer while passive smoke may cause no deaths lies in the dictum "the dose makes the poison." We are constantly bombarded by carcinogens, but in tiny amounts the body usually easily fends them off.

A New England Journal of Medicine study found that even back in 1975 – when having smoke obnoxiously puffed into your face was ubiquitous in restaurants, cocktail lounges, and transportation lounges – the concentration was equal to merely 0.004 cigarettes an hour. That’s not quite the same as smoking two packs a day, is it?

But none of this has the least impact on the various federal, state, and city agencies and organizations like the American Lung Association for a very good reason. They already know they’re scientifically wrong. The purpose of the passive smoking campaign has never been to protect non-smokers, but rather to cow smokers into giving up the habit.

It’s easy to agree with the ultimate goal, but inventing scientific outcomes and shutting down scientific debate as a means is as intolerable as it was when Nazi Germany “proved” the validity of eugenics.

Michael Fumento is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., the author of BioEvolution.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Michelle Malkin: The terrorist-tipping Times

Jun 28, 2006
Michelle Malkin ( bio archive contact )

The New York Times (proudly publishing all the secrets unfit to spill since 9/11) and their reckless anonymous sources (come out, come out, you cowards) tipped off terrorists to America's efforts to track their financial activities.

Guess what? It isn't the first time blabbermouth journalists have jeopardized terror-financing investigations since Sept. 11, according to the government.

I remind you of the case of the Treason Times, the Holy Land Foundation, and the Global Relief Foundation. As the New York Post reported last September, the Justice Department charged that "a veteran New York Times foreign correspondent warned an alleged terror-funding Islamic charity that the FBI was about to raid its office -- potentially endangering the lives of federal agents." Times reporter Philip Shenon was accused of blowing the cover on a Dec. 14, 2001, raid of the Global Relief Foundation.

"It has been conclusively established that Global Relief Foundation learned of the search from reporter Philip Shenon of The New York Times," U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald wrote in an Aug. 7, 2002, letter to the Times' legal department.

Shenon's phone tip to the Muslim charity (which occurred one day before the FBI searched the foundation's offices), Fitzgerald said, "seriously compromised the integrity of the investigation and potentially endangered the safety of federal law-enforcement personnel." The Global Relief Foundation (GRF) wasn't some beneficent neighborhood charity sending shoes and Muslim Barbie dolls to poor kids overseas. It was designated a terror-financing organization in October 2002 by the Treasury Department, which reported that GRF "has connections to, has provided support for, and has provided assistance to Usama Bin Ladin, the al Qaida Network, and other known terrorist groups."

The Muslim charity had "received funding from individuals associated with al Qaida. GRF officials have had extensive contacts with a close associate of Usama Bin Ladin, who has been convicted in a U.S. court for his role in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania." Moreover, the Treasury Department said, "GRF members have dealt with officials of the Taliban, while the Taliban was subject to international sanctions."

Shenon's then-colleague, Judith Miller, had placed a similar call to another Muslim terrorist-front financier, the Holy Land Foundation, a few weeks before Shenon's call to the GRF. She was supposedly asking for "comment" on an impending freeze of their assets. According to Fitzgerald in court papers, Miller allegedly also warned them that "government action was imminent." The FBI raided the Holy Land Foundation's offices the day after Miller's article was published in the Times.

The Times' reporters -- surprise, surprise -- refuse to cooperate with investigators trying to identify the leakers. The government is appealing a ruling protecting the loose-lipped reporters' phone records. Which side are they on? Actions speak louder than words.

Oh, and while they continue to sabotage terror-financing investigations, the blabbermouths of the Times should be reminded -- as the conservative bloggers Bill Keller despises so much are doing -- of their own call in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 for vigorous counterterrorism measures to stop the bankrolling of terror:

"The Bush administration is preparing new laws to help track terrorists through their money-laundering activity and is readying an executive order freezing the assets of known terrorists. Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities. There must also be closer coordination among America's law enforcement, national security and financial regulatory agencies."

"Much more is needed?" Right. And when the Bush administration came through, the Times stabbed them, and us, in the backs. The lesson is clear. When terror strikes, don't believe a word the know-it-all Times prints. They are opportunistic, hindsighted hypocrites who endanger us all.

Michelle Malkin is a syndicated columnist and maintains her weblog at She has also authored books such as Unhinged and In Defense of Internment.

Daniel Pipes: How Muslims Think

Daniel Pipes
June 28, 2006

How do Muslims worldwide think?

To find out, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press carried out a large-scale attitudinal survey this spring. Titled “The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other,” it interviewed Muslims in two batches of countries: six of them with long-standing, majority-Muslim populations (Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey) and four of them in Western Europe with new, minority Muslim populations (France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain).

The survey, which also looks at Western views of Muslims, yielded some dismaying but not altogether surprising results. Its themes can be grouped under three rubrics.

A proclivity to conspiracy theories: In not one Muslim population polled does a majority believe that Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The proportions range from a mere 15 percent in Pakistan holding Arabs responsible, to 48 percent among French Muslims.

Confirming recent negative trends in Turkey, the number of Turks who point the finger at Arabs has declined from 46 percent in 2002 to 16 percent today. In other words, in every one of these ten Muslim communities, a majority views 9/11 as a hoax perpetrated by the U.S. government, Israel, or some other agency.

Likewise, Muslims are widely prejudiced against Jews, ranging from 28 percent unfavorable ratings among French Muslims to 98 percent in Jordan (which, despite the monarchy’s moderation, has a majority Palestinian population). Further, Muslims in certain countries (especially Egypt and Jordan) see Jews conspiratorially, as being responsible for bad relations between Muslims and Westerners.

Conspiracy theories also pertain to larger topics. Asked, “What is most responsible for Muslim nations’ lack of prosperity?” between 14 percent (in Pakistan) and 43 percent (in Jordan) blame the policies of the U.S. and other Western states, as opposed to indigenous problems, such as a lack of democracy or education, or the presence of corruption or radical Islam.

This conspiracism points to a widespread unwillingness in the umma to deal with realities, preferring the safer bromides of plots, schemes, and intrigues. It also reveals major problems adjusting to modernity.

Support for terrorism: All the Muslim populations polled display a solid majority of support for Osama bin Laden. Asked whether they have confidence in him, Muslims replied positively, ranging between 8 percent (in Turkey) to 72 percent (in Nigeria). Likewise, suicide bombing is popular. Muslims who call it justified range from 13 percent (in Germany) to 69 percent (in Nigeria). These appalling numbers suggest that terrorism by Muslims has deep roots and will remain a danger for years to come.

British and Nigerian Muslims the most alienated: The United Kingdom stands out as a paradoxical country. Non-Muslims there have strikingly more favorable views of Islam and Muslims than elsewhere in the West; for example, only 32 percent of the British sample view Muslims as violent, significantly less their counterparts in France (41 percent), Germany (52 percent) or Spain (60 percent). In the Muhammad cartoon dispute, Britons showed more sympathy for the Muslim outlook than did other Europeans. More broadly, Britons blame Muslims less for the poor state of Western-Muslim relations.

But British Muslims return the favor with the most malign anti-Western attitudes found in Europe. Many more of them regard Westerners as violent, greedy, immoral, and arrogant than do their counterparts in France, Germany, and Spain. In addition, whether asked about their attitudes toward Jews, responsibility for 9/11, or the place of women in Western societies, their views are notably more extreme.

The situation in Britain reflects the “Londonistan” phenomenon, whereby Britons preemptively cringe and Muslims respond to this weakness with aggression.

Nigerian Muslims have generally the most belligerent views on such issues as the state of Western-Muslim relations, the supposed immorality and arrogance of Westerners, and support for bin Laden and suicide terrorism. This extremism results, no doubt, from the violent state of Christian-Muslim relations in Nigeria.

Ironically, most Muslim alienation is found in those countries where Muslims are either the most or the least accommodated, suggesting that a middle path is best – where Muslims do not win special privileges, as in the U.K., nor are they in an advanced state of hostility, as in Nigeria.
Overall, the Pew survey sends an undeniable message of crisis from one end to the other of the Muslim world.

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Mr. Pipes ( is director of the Middle East Forum and author of Miniatures (Transaction Publishers).

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Concert Review: Bruce Springsteen in Holmdel, N.J.

Running on all cylinders
Springsteen, Seeger Sessions Band in top form at second PNC show
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 06/27/06

In strange and dangerous times, under threatening skies, Bruce Springsteen brought his traveling medicine show and tent revival to the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel on Sunday night.

The second of two homecoming shows (and the final shows of the tour for now) saw Springsteen and a full comport of the Seeger Sessions Band in top form, tighter than at the tour's Asbury Park rehearsal shows a few months back.

For much of his career, Springsteen's music and stage shows have been about the political and the personal, and the two are bound together, especially when informed by faith.

And that's still the case, and it's present even when the music isn't playing. Representatives from both the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty were on hand, and Springsteen exhorted the audience to check them out.

But now, with this tour, Springsteen makes history a central part of the equation by reaching back over the last two centuries for folk tunes that speak to and for this day's troubles.
The show opened with a recent addition to the set list, "American Land," a song done by Pete Seeger and rewritten by Springsteen as a song about the immigrant experience.

The gothic shadows of "Long Black Veil" and the devastation of "My City of Ruins" both had their place, alongside a big band-style "Open All Night" and a salesman-rap "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)."

The endearing corny schtick that Springsteen uses as a replacement for flashpots and laser shows has been a mainstay of many Springsteen tours, and these non-E Streeters do their part to keep the tradition going, from horn player Richie La Bamba's wild leap off his riser to the stage floor to Springsteen's Jimmy Swaggart-like exhortation that "there is no free beer in heaven — You've got to earn it!" to the tuba player having to be pulled offstage at the end of "Pay Me My Money Down."

Both PNC Bank Arts Center shows were sold out, unlike a few on the U.S. leg of this tour, and Springsteen thanked the crowd for taking a chance on this genre-bending musical history tour. With the huge Seeger Sessions Band, the whole Phil Spector "wall of sound" thing has to take on new meaning.

And the one-two punch of the Depression-era "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" and "Jacob's Ladder," a question-and-answer pair of songs that still seem to form the emotional center of the show, seems to prove once again that song order matters in a Springsteen concert.

What fans who took a flier on this strange new direction got was a mature artist surrounded by darn fine musicians, playing music that matters to them and having a high old time doing it.

Kandra and Rob Vuono of Wall have seen Springsteen maybe a half-dozen times during the last decade or so in various incarnations. But this time was something different, something special.

"I think we had a good time because Bruce seemed to be having such a good time," said Kathy.

"Only Bruce Springsteen could get away with this," said Rob, "and make it so good."

Jeff Jacoby: In an Islamist America

Jun 26, 2006
The Boston Globe
Jeff Jacoby ( bio archive contact )

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it became a cliche that if we didn't do X, Y, or Z -- usually some normal peacetime activity -- then "the terrorists will have won." That was the claim of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which decided to proceed with the 2001 Academy Awards on the grounds that "if we give in to fear, if we aren't able to do these simple and ordinary things, the terrorists have won the war." Similarly, members of the Frank Scott Bunnell High School marching band in Stratford, Conn., insisted on accepting an invitation to the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, despite the possible risks. "I understand why some parents are worried," one student told The New York Times, "but we can't let the terrorists win."

In truth, though, most Americans have never thought about what it would mean if the terrorists really did win -- if militant Islamists were to succeed in their quest for political control of the United States. It isn't something that elites in academia, government, or the media generally like to talk about, for fear of being branded racist or "Islamophobic." American Islamists themselves are usually careful not to speak too candidly about their supremacist goals, but as Daniel Pipes has documented, the mask sometimes slips. For example, Siraj Wahaj, imam of the Taqwa Mosque in Brooklyn and board member of the Islamic Society of North America, has said that if Muslims were better organized, they could replace the American government with a Islamic caliphate: "If we were united and strong, we'd elect our own emir and give allegiance to him. . . . [T]ake my word, if 6-8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us."

Life in an Islamist United States would be largely unfree and intolerant, if the experience of countries where radical Muslims have achieved power -- Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, and Afghanistan -- is any guide. But what would that mean in American terms? That's the question a remarkable new novel sets out to answer.

"Prayers for the Assassin", Robert Ferrigno's latest thriller, is set 35 years in the future, when most of the United States has been transformed into the Islamic Republic of America. Under the new regime, America is a country in which university professors can lose their jobs for being "insufficiently Islamic," cellphone cameras are illegal, and men can only dream of "loud music, cold beer, and coed beaches." There is still a Super Bowl, but the cheerleaders are all men. Mt. Rushmore still exists, but the presidential faces on it have been blown up.

Ferrigno has said he spent two years researching Islam, and it shows in the level of detail with which the Islamic Republic has been conceived. In one scene, for example, a cabbie tunes his radio to a popular call-in show called "What Should I Do, Imam?" As Ferrigno's heroine listens from the back seat, a caller asks whether there are any kinds of music that one can enjoy without running afoul of Muslim law.

"Good question, my daughter," the imam answers. "The Holy Qur'an is quite clear that music is forbidden. One of the messengers of Allah said, 'There will be a nation who will make music their lot, and one day, while enjoying their music and alcohol, they will awake with their faces transformed into swine.' In fact, this messenger said he was sent to destroy all musical instruments. . . . Instead of music, rather listen to the Holy Qur'an." Ferrigno invented the scene, but the severe Islamist reply has been taken almost verbatim from, the online advice site of the South African Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

In a Muslim America, Christians are "dhimmi" -- tolerated, but only as second-class citizens, barred from the best jobs and housing. Others, especially Jews and homosexuals, are not tolerated at all; many flee for their lives along a new underground railroad into Canada.

Life is especially hard for women, who may not leave their homes without written permission from a male relative, and even then risk being whipped by the "Black Robes" -- the Sharia-enforcing religious police -- if a lock of hair slips out from beneath their head scarves, or they neglect to keep their ankles covered. Repression is at the heart of fundamentalist Islam, and Ferrigno's portrayal of that repression in American terms is a vivid reminder of what is really at stake in the war against the jihadists.

But "Prayers for the Assassin" is no screed. If its villains are Muslims, so are its heroes; Ferrigno is quite aware that moderate and liberal Muslims have the most to fear from an Islamofascist victory.

He is also quite aware of Islam's appeal. Many converts to Islam find comfort and reassurance in its moral certainty and firm standards, and Ferrigno underscores the point. "Don't tell me about the old days, girl, I lived through them," says one character, a top government official. "Drugs sold on street corners. Guns everywhere. God driven out of the schools and courthouses. Births without marriage, rich and poor, so many bastards you wouldn't believe me. A country without shame. Alcohol sold in supermarkets. Babies killed in the womb, tens of millions of them. . . . We are not perfect, not by any measure, but I would not go back to those days for anything."

The war we are in is a spiritual no less than a military one, a point too many of us are apt to ignore. "Prayers for the Assassin" -- in addition to being a great read -- is an admonition to stop ignoring it. Unless, that is, we want the terrorists to win.

Jeff Jacoby is an Op-Ed writer for the Boston Globe, a radio political commentator, and a contributing columnist for

Cam Edwards: Day One of the UN Gun Ban Summit

Jun 27, 2006
Cam Edwards ( bio archive contact )

They’ve gathered in New York City, the best and brightest minds in the global gun ban movement. Oh, they don’t want you to think for a second that they’re actually interested in your guns. Kofi Annan as much as said so yesterday, when he told the attendees of the Small Arms Review Conference, “This Review Conference is not negotiating a ‘global gun ban’, nor do we wish to deny law-abiding citizens their right to bear arms in accordance with their national laws.” Got it, gun owners? There’s nothing to fear from the UN when it comes to your guns.

It’s too bad for Kofi that many of the countries attending the summit didn’t get his memo. Yesterday’s speeches were full of calls for expanding the current agenda to include the civilian possession of firearms. Hans Winkler, speaking on behalf of the European Union, called the current Program of Action “the key starting point for further action on small arms”. The ambassador from Australia, Robert Hill, spoke glowingly of his country’s gun laws that “require the registration and licensing of all firearms owners, prohibit a range of automatic and semi-automatic long arms and handguns, and mandate minimum firearms safety training and storage requirements.”

The statement from Indonesia’s representative was perhaps the clearest example of what these countries are aiming for.

“We believe that no armed group outside of the State should be allowed to bear weapons. We also believe that regulating civilian possession of Small Arms/Light Weapons will enhance our efforts to prevent its misuse. In our view, the issue of ammunition should also be addressed in the context of the Program of Action because in the absence of ammunition, small arms and light weapons pose no danger.”

Not every country is as transparent as Indonesia. When looking at the statements of the various representatives, what isn’t said is just as important as the words we actually hear. Take, for example, the comments by Brazilian representative Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg. He told the summit, “this Review Conference should not limit ourselves to renewing our commitment to the full implementation of the Program of Action. It should rather be taken as an opportunity to address the Program’s shortcomings, by means of the adoption of substantive aimed at strengthening and complementing its mechanisms.” In other words, what we’ve got right now doesn’t go far enough. This comes from a country that tried to ban civilian ownership of firearms outright (the referendum failed last fall).

The anti-gun summit continues for the next two weeks, and you can get daily updates from Executive Editor Ginny Simone every afternoon on “Cam and Company”, heard on the aforementioned and Sirius Satellite Radio. Coming up on Tuesday, the United States issues its opening statement.

Cam Edwards is the host of “Cam and Company” on and Sirius Satellite Radio. A veteran talk show host and political analyst, he blogs at in addition to his daily talk show. Cam lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and five children.

Copyright © 2006

CAIR Fifth Columnists and Multiculturalists

By Joe Kaufman
June 27, 2006

In the realm of terrorism, the threat to America is not just concerning dirty bombs and terror cells. It’s not just about planes flying into buildings or suicide vests. No, the threat is a lot greater than that – a solid infrastructure finely cultivated into our society, paid for, at least in part, by Saudi royalty. It was created not to promote the values of our nation, but, instead, to impose Islamic law. A large part of that infrastructure is the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR. On one fine spring day this month, two institutions that we as Americans rely on – one from each of America’s coasts – gave CAIR the things that it so ardently craves and needs to survive -- cover and legitimization.

The date was June 5, 2006. A South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial that morning, entitled ‘Muslims: Group encourages volunteer work,’ began as follows: “To their great credit, many Muslim organizations in the United States have been working to counteract negative views of their religion resulting from the terrorism of Islamic extremists. One of the foremost of these groups is the Council on American-Islamic Relations…”

The piece was attributed to the Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board. The Board is made up of eleven individuals, the majority of which are accomplished writers with a vast amount of knowledge and experience in the widest range of subjects. That being the case, why would this distinguished group lavish praise on such an insidious organization as CAIR?

Was the Sun-Sentinel aware of the fact that CAIR, since its inception in 1994, had lost four of its officials, all linked to al-Qaeda and/or Hamas, all of which who’ve been either convicted or deported for their crimes? Or that one of its national advisory board members, Siraj Wahhaj, found his name placed on the list of potential co-conspirators to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center?

Did the newspaper know that, just prior to 9/11, CAIR had solicited funds for two terrorist charities related to Al-Qaeda and Hamas, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and the Global Relief Foundation, both shut down after 9/11?

Did the Sentinel recognize the fact that CAIR’s Executive Director, Nihad Awad, in March of 1994, had publicly stated his support for Hamas, saying that “after I researched the situation inside and outside Palestine, I am in support of the Hamas movement…”?

Did the paper realize that CAIR had criticized the prosecution of the spiritual leader of the ’93 bombing, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, listing the trial as an “incident of anti-Muslim bias and violence”?

It seems none of this was taken into account, when the Board sat down to write its literary illusion. And anyway, it was only two weeks earlier that the Sentinel printed an op-ed written by the Executive Director of CAIR-Florida, Altaf Ali. Ali, exactly one month after 9/11, on a local radio show, derided this author for being Jewish and repeatedly refused to answer the question of whether he believed the people that perished during the World Trade Center attacks were innocent. Ali’s op-ed was about Daniel Wultz, the American boy that was murdered by a suicide bomber in Israel. The attacker was from Palestinian Islamic Jihad, one of the terrorist groups that CAIR has its roots in.

The same day the Editorial Board put out its puff piece, CAIR received another unwarranted stroke of good fortune, as a representative from the FBI showed up to take part in one of the group’s events.

On June 5th, the Los Angeles chapter of CAIR sponsored a community town hall meeting at the Islamic Center of Irvine (ICOI), a mosque that propagates venomously anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric. In a Khutbah (sermon) given at the ICOI last month, entitled ‘The Abuse of a Religion to sustain a Racist State,’ the ICOI’s Director of Religious Affairs, Sadullah Khan, stated, “Jews who came [to Israel] brought with them a Western arrogance…” In the sermon, which is found on the ICOI website, Khan liberally quoted alleged neo-Nazi William Baker and described Zionism as “racist,” “diabolical” and “sinister.”

Participating at the CAIR event was CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. Ayloush’s appearance at ICOI makes sense, as he, himself, has been known to exhibit an extreme hatred towards the state of Israel. According to Dr. Daniel Pipes, whom Ayloush has likened to “a KKK person,” he (Ayloush) has repeatedly used the term “Zionazi,” when discussing Israelis. He has referred to Zionism as “a political ideology whose tentacles are rooted in racism,” and he has stated that the violent Intifada (Uprising) that was twice perpetrated by the Palestinians against the Israelis “really indicates standing up against injustice.”

Ayloush has complained of the United States’ treatment of the terrorist group Hamas, who recently had members voted into power in the “Palestinian territories.” During a Khutbah speech he gave at the Islamic Institute of Orange County (IIOC), last May, entitled “Don’t Be Pessimistic,” Ayloush stated: “Compare your situation to the situation of our brothers and sisters in Palestine… They were starved, they were pressured and threatened with embargo, if they don’t have democratic elections. And then, when they have the democratic elections, because we don’t like the results, now they are being starved again, embargoed and punished.”

In addition, Ayloush has jumped to defend the likes of Wagdy Ghoneim, a radical Egyptian imam from IIOC. Ghoneim, who was deported from the United States, had been videotaped calling for suicide bombings and had referred to Jews, at a 1998 CAIR co-sponsored Brooklyn rally, as “descendants of the apes.” Ayloush lauded Ghoneim as a “highly regarded religious scholar” and a “worldwide, well known scholar.”

Ayloush has also defended the terrorists held in Guantanamo Bay. On June 15, 2006, CAIR placed on its national website an “ISLAM-OPED” written by Ayloush, calling for the Guantanamo Bay prison’s closure, entitled ‘Shut Down the Gitmo Gulog.’ The next day, the article was published by the Al Jazeerah Peace Information Center, a website that acts as a propaganda machine for Hamas. In the piece, Ayloush suggests that at least some of the individuals being detained are “innocent.” However, according to a statement issued by the United States military just prior to the op-ed’s release, the inmates “are enemy combatants being detained because they have waged war against our nation and they continue to pose a threat.”

Accompanying Hussam Ayloush as a participant at the June 5th CAIR event was the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI field office in Los Angeles, Stephen Tidwell. Tidwell, apparently, was there to quell concerns that the FBI was actively eavesdropping on local Muslims.

Like the Sun-Sentinel and its printing of Altaf Ali’s op-ed, the Los Angeles FBI had been down this road before. In fact, the L.A. FBI even created an entity, the Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee (MCAC), in which CAIR is one of the sitting members.

Did Assistant Director Tidwell, in joining the event, take into account that CAIR was created by a front for overseas terrorist organizations called the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), whose founders include the number two leader in Hamas today, Mousa Abu Marzook, and the former North American head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Sami Al-Arian?

Did he understand that this front, the IAP, had been found liable for the murder of a young American boy, David Boim, whose life was taken during a Hamas terror operation in Israel?

Did Tidwell recognize that CAIR, itself, is currently the defendant in a lawsuit charging that the group played a role in the murder of former chief of the FBI’s counter-terrorism section, John O’Neill, on September 11th? One of his own. Or that Steven Pomerantz, former FBI assistant director and chief of the FBI's Counter-Terrorism Section, has stated, “CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups”?

None of the above can be disputed, yet many have chosen to ignore it. Unfortunately, those ignoring the information are also responsible for supplying us with our daily take on the news and providing us with our safety and security here at home. June 5, 2006 was indeed a great day for CAIR; but for all those that worry about the future of the United States, it will be yet another day that will live on in infamy.

Nearly five years after 9/11, we still don’t get it.

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Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the host of The Politics of Terrorism radio show.