Many in the media are condemning Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and four other congressmen who sent a letter to the State Department Deputy Inspector General, and the IGs of four other agencies, calling for investigations into the possible infiltration by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) of the State Department and other agencies. What’s gotten the most attention is the fact that the letter to the State Department singled out Huma Abedin, the State Department’s Deputy Chief of Staff, who has been a close aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton going all the way back to her time as First Lady, during the Clinton administration. Abedin is also the wife of the disgraced former congressman from New York, Anthony Weiner.
This has caused quite a ruckus, with charges of McCarthyism hurled at Rep. Bachmann, and a split among Republicans, including Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, plus Speaker of the House John Boehner, who have sharply criticized Bachmann and the letters she and the others have sent. The Left is having a field day, the conservatives and Republicans are scrambling to contain the issue.
But there is a bigger picture here. Should we care if indeed the Muslim Brotherhood has gained a foothold throughout the Middle East, and if they wield significant influence within the Obama administration? Or does that make us Islamophobic? What shouldn’t get lost in all this are the policies of the Obama administration that have helped facilitate the ascendency of the Muslim Brotherhood, particularly in Egypt. Investor’s Business Daily has made it abundantly clear that that is exactly what has taken place. In the editorial, titled “How Obama Engineered Mideast Radicalization,” they lay out the following timeline:
2009: The Brotherhood's spiritual leader — Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi — writes an open letter to Obama arguing terrorism is a direct response to U.S. foreign policy.
2009: Obama travels to Cairo to deliver apologetic speech to Muslims, and infuriates the Mubarak regime by inviting banned Brotherhood leaders to attend. Obama deliberately snubs Mubarak, who was neither present nor mentioned. He also snubs Israel during the Mideast trip.
2009: Obama appoints a Brotherhood-tied Islamist — Rashad Hussain — as U.S. envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which supports the Brotherhood.
2010: State Department lifts visa ban on Tariq Ramadan, suspected terrorist and Egyptian-born grandson of Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna.
2010: Hussain meets with Ramadan at American-sponsored conference attended by U.S. and Brotherhood officials.
2010: Hussain meets with the Brotherhood's grand mufti in Egypt.
2010: Obama meets one-on-one with Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who later remarks on Nile TV: "The American president told me in confidence that he is a Muslim."
2010: The Brotherhood's supreme guide calls for jihad against the U.S.
2011: Qaradawi calls for "days of rage" against Mubarak and other pro-Western regimes throughout Mideast.
2011: Riots erupt in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Crowds organized by the Brotherhood demand Mubarak's ouster, storm buildings.
2011: The White House fails to back longtime ally Mubarak, who flees Cairo.
2011: White House sends intelligence czar James Clapper to Capitol Hill to whitewash the Brotherhood's extremism. Clapper testifies the group is moderate, "largely secular."
2011: Qaradawi, exiled from Egypt for 30 years, is given a hero's welcome in Tahrir Square, where he raises the banner of jihad.
2011: Through his State Department office, William Taylor — Clinton's special coordinator for Middle East transitions and a longtime associate of Brotherhood apologists —gives Brotherhood and other Egyptian Islamists special training to prepare for the post-Mubarak elections.
2011: The Brotherhood wins control of Egyptian parliament, vows to tear up Egypt's 30-year peace treaty with Israel and reestablishes ties with Hamas, Hezbollah.
2011: Obama gives Mideast speech demanding Israel relinquish land to Palestinians, while still refusing to visit Israel.
2011: Justice Department pulls plug on further prosecution of U.S.-based Brotherhood front groups identified as collaborators in conspiracy to funnel millions to Hamas.
2011: In a shocking first, the State Department formalizes ties with Egypt's Brotherhood, letting diplomats deal directly with Brotherhood party officials in Cairo.
April 2012: The administration quietly releases $1.5 billion in foreign aid to the new Egyptian regime.
June 2012: Morsi wins presidency amid widespread reports of electoral fraud and voter intimidation by gun-toting Brotherhood thugs — including blockades of entire streets to prevent Christians from going to the polls. The Obama administration turns a blind eye, recognizes Morsi as victor.
June 2012: In a victory speech, Morsi vows to instate Shariah law, turning Egypt into an Islamic theocracy, and also promises to free jailed terrorists. He also demands Obama free World Trade Center terrorist and Brotherhood leader Omar Abdel-Rahman, a.k.a. the Blind Sheik, from U.S. prison.
June 2012: State grants visa to banned Egyptian terrorist who joins a delegation of Brotherhood officials from Egypt. They're all invited to the White House to meet with Obama's deputy national security adviser, who listens to their demands for the release of the Blind Sheik.
July 2012: Obama invites Morsi to visit the White House this September.
The Muslim Brotherhood's sudden ascendancy in the Mideast didn't happen organically. It was helped along by a U.S. president sympathetic to its interests over those of Israel and his own country.
This is what should be being debated, and investigated. Sure, some people will take issue with certain of the characterizations in the IBD timeline. But it is hard to deny the overall truth of it.
In March of 2011, in an AIM Report titled “Media Playing Crucial Role in Middle East Uprisings,” I wrote that “Maybe in the next presidential election, we will be debating ‘who lost Egypt.’ But preferably, we’ll be debating instead whether a thriving and peaceful democracy in Egypt should be credited to George Bush’s democracy agenda or to Barack Obama, for wisely guiding the transition.”
At the time, the MB claimed they were not going to run a candidate for president if Mubarak went away, but that turned out not to be true. While many in the media tried to convince us back then what a moderate force the Brotherhood was, it should be recalled that it is the oldest Islamist group, “founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, who became a great admirer of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime. Following an attempted assassination of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1954, the group was outlawed in Egypt.”
The man who was elected last year to head the MB in Egypt was Mohammed Badie. Here is what he said in a sermon in 2010: “Arab and Muslim regimes are betraying their people by failing to confront the Muslim’s real enemies—not only Israel, but the United States. Waging jihad against both of these infidels is a commandment of Allah that cannot be disregarded. Governments have no right to stop their people from fighting the U.S.”
The point is, the media are eager to use this story as another way to attack the GOP. That’s what they do. But let’s see if they’ll show some intellectual honesty and look also at the underlying issue: Should we care if the U.S. government maintains close ties with the MB, both internally and externally, and has supported their ascendancy in the Middle East?
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.