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Peter King’s 4th anti-Muslim Hearing Focuses on “Threats” to US Military Communities

Rep. Peter King, an avowed supporter of the Irish terrorist organization, the IRA during the 80’s and 90’s held his fourth hearing targeting American Muslims along with Sen. Joe Lieberman, who has had thirteen such hearings. King is known for his animus toward Muslims, in the recent past he has said that , “there are too many mosques in the US,” that “80-85% of mosques are controlled by extremists,” and that “85 percent of American Muslim community leaders are an enemy living amongst us.”

These hearings are not only divisive in that they single out a particular group, they have been lambasted for not covering the spectrum of threats faced by this country (especially by the Right-wing), while at the same time inflating and exaggerating “homegrown terrorism” and “radicalization” from Muslims. The utilitarian argument has been employed to highlight that not only are these hearings  uninterested in a real problem or a real solution, they are wasting valuable time and tax-payer money. Recently, we published a piece highlighting the findings of Prof. Risa A. Brooks’s study, empirically and definitively proving that “homegrown terrorism is not a serious threat;” a conclusion echoed by others such as Charles Kurzman and Duke University.

We covered the past three hearings which were nothing more than GOP propaganda littered with non-specialists, self-interested Neo-cons, non-sensical neologisms such as prislam and Islamophobic banter. On the flip side there were also those courageous, articulate and well informed individuals who eloquently exposed the vapid logic inherent in the “McCarthy-esque” hearings.

So continued the charade this morning; Washington D.C. political theater at its finest or rather ugliest. The populist fear-mongering focused its eye on the “Muslim American threat” within, and to, our military.

We heard about Nidal Hasan and other attacks, but we didn’t hear about the main reason that these lone-wolfs are created: our foreign policy of bombing, invading and occupying Muslim majority nations. The Congress’ time would be better spent if they debated the ramifications of foreign policy rather than broadly generalizing a whole category of people as a possible “fifth column.”

One quite revealing episode was when Rep. Lungren asked the assistant secretary of Defense for the Department of Homeland Defense, “Is having ‘soldier of Allah’ on your card a behavioral indicator that would alert military leaders that there is a threat from a soldier?”

I wonder if Rep. Lungren would likewise ask if having “soldier of Jesus, or soldier of Yahweh, or soldier of Ram” on one’s card is a behavioral indicator worthy to raise red alerts? Certainly the unstable nature of Nidal Hasan, his rambling presentations were more of an indicator than “soldier of Allah?” This however gives one insight into the double standards and maligning of Islam/Muslims inherent in the thought process of individuals such as Rep. Lungren.

In what seemed the most common sense portion of the hearings, Rep. Laura Richardson (definitely one of the anti-loons of the year), asked “Is there a threat to military communities limited to Islamic extremists, yes or no?”

All three of those giving testimony answered “no” to the question. Lt. Col Sawyer answered that they have also seen a “proliferation of other movements outside the Islamic faith,” and then he mentioned how members have been targeted by “Christian movements and Identity movements.”

Rep. Richardson followed by saying that it has been mentioned that skinheads and White extremists were a threat in the 90’s, and asked if the panelists would consider them to no longer be a threat? All answered “no.”

She then went on to state that the reason she is asking those questions is because the topic today is “Homegrown terrorism: the threat to military communities inside the United States, it doesn’t say Islamic anywhere in here.” A crucial point considering that the actual hearing wasn’t as broad as the language would imply, and instead was solely focused on the “radical Islamic homegrown threat.”

For some much needed perspective on today’s hearings watch this “elbow from the sky” from Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks:

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  • amin

    since you said please… I will not say that it was nationbuilding. Though that is the main reason.

    It is also because we were so daft as to start another conflict before cleaning up and getting Afghanistan on its feet giving too much time to Taliban forces to harden themselves against a half butted effort under baby Bush.

  • Khushboo

    The US went to Afghanistan due to an attack on US soil”

    So could you please explain to me why they are still there? Please don’t tell me it’s “nation building”.

  • amin

    “Isn’t “Without these wars…there is NO Arab Spring” all we need to know about Amin?”

    Isn’t saying that one thing is “all we need to know about someone” called stereotyping and prejudging and the very thing this site is meant to avoid?

    I suppose you believe that the inability of corrupt useless Arab leaders to respond in any way, even a condemnation, to the war in Iraq despite popular opinion contributed in no way to the Arab Spring? I suppose you are saying I am wrong about that?

    How many in the Arab world watched Jazeera and the scenes of people beating pictures of Saddam with their shoes imagined doing the same for their presidents albeit without the invasion and simultaneous filled with anger that it was happening?

    We are all connected… If the occupy wall street movement has no connection to what happened in Tahrir square I will eat my shoe… the same goes for the cedar revolution… the war in Iraq and the Iranian revolt and subsequent government crackdown…. and finally the Arab Spring… How off balance do you have to be to scoff at their connection?

    As for King… his problem is that he probably believes disagreeing with American Foreign Policy makes one a traitor/extremist… What makes one a traitor or extremist is taking up violent illegal means because of those disagreements. King’s kind of absolutes are of course ridiculous… on the other hand automatically misjudging any American action overseas as nefarious is similarly foolish…

    Lets be realistic… if you believe what is happening in Syria is a zionist/American plot… you are more likely to automatically believe the USA is also always wrong…

  • bobby

    this dumbass is talking about threats to Americans that Muslims are doing and hes the one that was with IRA. “For years, beginning in the late 1960s, the IRA was considered one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world. In July 2002, on the thirtieth anniversary of the 1972 “Bloody Friday” bombings, the IRA startled its sympathizers and enemies alike by offering “sincere apologies and condolences” to the families of its civilian victims. The IRA has never been listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department,* but the British Home Office lists any group under the IRA name, as well as various splinter organizations, as proscribed terrorist groups. ”
    Enough Said!

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  • Averroes’ Ghost

    Isn’t “Without these wars…there is NO Arab Spring” all we need to know about Amin?

  • Amin

    The US hss neither a national policy of “Genocidal wars”
    Traitors like Hassan are the result of the extremism of al Qaeda and in his case the murtud terror commander Awlaki who is now dead.

    The US went to Afghanistan due to an attack on US soil. Zionism and an imaginary MIC had nothing to do with it.

    The removal of Saddam Hussein may have been short sighted and beneficial to Iran but had nothing to do with Islamophobia… zionism… or otherwise. Since the majority of the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are at the hands of insurgent and Taliban… it is disingenuous to accuse the USA of genocide rather than the market place bombing extremist opportunities who were preveiously ruling their countries in terror.

    Without these wars… there is NO Arab Spring.

  • Averroes’ Ghost

    It is unbelievable watching King and Lieberman chair these hearings. Hypocrisy thou name is Washington D.C.! The real threat to the US comes from loony Christian extremists and the political class that panders to them. I also don’t get the love affair with repressing the giant elephant in the room no one wants to talk about: yes, our freakin’ foreign policy.

  • Khushboo

    When will there be a trial on Cheney and friends who are responsible for so many countless crimes?! When will we get our money back for the 700 billion dollar bailout? What about those who stole from us? Why did they get bonuses and why are they still working? When will they be on trial Terrorist-linked petey?! Why not talk about the REAL FACTS, not made-up crap?!

  • Abdul-Rahman

    Putting aside that the problem is the military industrial complex and the genocidal wars the Zionist AIPAC lobby has pushed the US into, the fact that Peter King was a huge IRA supporter just makes anything he says about “terrorism” laughable!

  • DrM

    @Al,

    Well said.

  • corey

    and here I can only ask this same question why is a guy who himself has supported terrorists be having trials about other people supporting terrorists if this isnt a case of hypocricy then I dont know what is.

  • Nur Alia

    …if only 9/11 would have been treated as a crime, and justice brought to those who directly or indirectly participated in planning and carrying the attack out, rather than taking revenge on a group of people who didnt even know why they were being bombed.

  • Al

    The actual threat to the United States is the military itself and the people who sign off on its enormous, obscene budget. No military= no problem.

  • mindy1

    Nothing wrong with trying to protect military communities, but this paranoia is NOT the way to do it. Rather than targeting comunities, we should be trying to improve and refine intellegence gathering, so that we know who the ACTUAL threats are.

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