Bush Presidential Library: August 2008 Archives
Some Bushies - if there are any left - may see this Ken Timmerman column as the final straw, or the death throes of a once bold, courageous, visionary presidency. But this sort of thing was a charter plank of the White House "war on terror" policy dating clear back to the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks:
A longtime adviser and close confidant of President Bush funneled millions of dollars in U.S. government grants to radical Islamist organizations, many of whose leaders have been convicted or indicted in terrorism cases in the United States, respected terrorism expert Steven Emerson told Congress last week.
“When Ms. [Karen] Hughes was appointed as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, she set the tone to continue a disastrous policy of outreach with Islamist partners,” Emerson told the House International Relations Committee.
Among the recipients of the State Department grants actively championed by Hughes was Ahmed Younes, formerly an official with the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a group that has “publicly challenged the designation of Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations” and whose leaders “have made extreme statements defending terrorist organizations,” Emerson said.
Another beneficiary of Hughes’ outreach program to American Muslims was Aly Abuzaakouk, the executive director of the American Muslim Council (AMC) and a former director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIHT).
The North Virginia-based IIHT “is suspected of being a pivotal cog in the Muslim Brotherhood’s high command in America," according to federal law enforcement records newly released to Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism under the Freedom of Information Act.
Hughes' Islamophilia wasn't limited to subsidizing its domestic front organizations, either:
In addition to the grants to known Islamist organizations, Hughes brought Islamist leaders to Washington, D.C., and personally attended conferences held by anti-American organizations, Emerson said.
The outreach policy championed by Hughes “legitimizes Islamism to the world and sends mixed messages to our allies,” while “sending a terrible message to moderate Muslims who are thoroughly disenfranchised by the funding,” said Emerson.
Annnnd, just to assuage any lingering doubts that Undersecretary Hughes may just be freelancing without the President's notice....:
When Coburn learned last year that the State Department was funding radical Islamist entities, he requested a meeting with Goli Ameri, who at the time was the nominee to become the assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, the bureau that issues and manages the grants.
“During the discussion of her nomination,” the senators wrote, “Ms. Ameri promised Senator Coburn that the State Department would stop funding these entities once she was confirmed.”
And yet, shortly after Ameri was confirmed, one of the groups cited by the senators and by Emerson for its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood announced that it had just received fresh funding from the State Departtment office that was now under Ameri’s control.
The new funding was awarded as a subgrant to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), “a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organization, [which] was an unindicted co-conspirator in last year’s terrorist financing trial against the Holy Land Foundation," Emerson told Congress.
Mr Emerson summed up his congressional testimony with a very salient and fundamental question:
Why should the State Department spend U.S. taxpayer dollars to work with Islamists who actively oppose the foreign policy goals of the United States and subscribe to a supremacist, oppressive ideology?”
Because Islam is "a religion of peace," that's why. President Bush said so before the WTC towers had finished collapsing. Ostensibly this was to try and isolate the Islamic fundamentalists that finance, animate, and operate terror networks like al Qaeda and Hamas and Hezbollah from the rest of "moderate, peaceful" Islam by bending over backwards not to alienate the latter while we battled the former. But all it showed was a fundamental misunderstanding of Islamic doctrine, and the fact that the difference between jihadis and the "moderates" that support them is a lot smaller than the Administration had wishfully thought - and still refuses to accept.
Naturally, an appeasenik policy like that, turned loose in an already Arabist Foggy Bottom, was going to degenerate into just such a debacle as rightfully Mr. Emerson laments.
Bush's war rallying cry has always been, "We're gonna fight the terrorists over there so they can't attack us over here." When the truth was, "We're gonna half-fight the terrorists over there while we're bowing the knee to their not-so-deep cover front groups over here."
Now even that half-war is prematurely sputtering to a close. But the knee-bending is roaring stronger than ever.
And after this November, will have only just begun.