Archive for Capitol Hill

Peter King Defends NYPD Monitoring, Plans More Hearings on Islam

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2012 by loonwatch

This should come to no surprise that Peter King will defend the NYPD monitoring. He must be really proud.

Peter King Defends NYPD Monitoring, Plans More Hearings on Islam

by George Zornick

Appearing on WCBS in New York this morning, Representative Peter King offered a strong defense of NYPD’s spying on mosques and Muslim businesses and student groups in several states. Criticism of the recently revealed program has intensified in recent days, but King said he was proud of the police department.

“[Police Commissioner] Ray Kelly and the NYPD should get a medal for what they are doing,” he said. “This is good police work. If you are going after radical Muslims you don’t go to Ben’s Kosher Deli.”

This is perhaps not surprising coming from the man who held highly controversial Capitol Hill hearings into Muslim Americans last year, which many people saw as essentially profiling by public relations; his colleague, Representative Keith Ellison invoked the specter of Joe McCarthy in criticizing King’s efforts and said they served to “vilify” Muslims.

But, alas, King announced last week that he would hold more hearings into domestic radicalization among Muslim Americans in the coming year. “The series of radicalization hearings I convened last March has been very productive,” King said in a statement. “I will definitely continue the hearings in 2012.”

This is a good time to flag a recent study by Charles Kurzman, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina and member of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. His comprehensive examination of crime statistics found that terrorism-related incidents by Muslim Americans has declined markedly, and that Muslim-Americans represent “a minuscule threat to public safety.” He wrote:

The limited scale of Muslim-American terrorism in 2011 runs counter to the fears that many Americans shared in the days and months after 9/11, that domestic Muslim American terrorism would escalate. The spike in terrorism cases in 2009 renewed these concerns, as have repeated warnings from U.S. government officials about a possible surge in homegrown Islamic terrorism. The predicted surge has not materialized.

Repeated alerts by government officials maybe issued as a precaution, even when the underlying threat is uncertain. Officials may be concerned about how they would look if an attack did take place and subsequent investigations showed that officials had failed to warn the public. But a byproduct of these alerts is a sense of heightened tension that is out of proportion to the actual number of terrorist attacks in the United States since 9/11.

If King calls Kurzman to testify at his hearings I’ll eat my hat, but it’s possible Democrats on the committee could arrange for his appearance. He would provide a substantive counterweight to King’s typically anecdote-driven hysteria. Last week the FBI foiled a plot in which a Moroccan man wanted to bomb the US Capitol—you can bet King will give that episode a prominent role at his hearings.

GOP Lawmakers Delaying Inquisition, What’s the Hold up?

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by loonwatch

GOP Lawmakers Delaying Inquisition

Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz
Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz

TPM, which has been all over the story about the GOP pushing an anti-Muslim witch hunt based on a book by loons, David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry has reported that the lawmakers have still not contacted the Sergeant of Arms for an investigation into this “threat to our national security.” They also haven’t given a reason as to the delay.

GOP Lawmakers “Dawdle”

Four Republican lawmakers have not submitted a request to the House sergeant at arms to investigate a threat that one of the four described as a terrorist-linked group possibly “running influence operations or planting spies in key national security-related offices.”

A spokesperson for the sergeant at arms told TPMmuckraker this morning that the office was aware of the charge by GOP members at a press conference Wednesday that the Council on American-Islamic Relations planted Muslim intern spies on the Hill for purposes of subversion. But, says spokesperson Kerri Hanley, the office hasn’t received a request for an investigation, and it wouldn’t launch any probe until such a request is made.

“We don’t have any information to form any kind of opinion to decide whether an investigation is warranted,” Hanley says.

The charges made by Reps. Paul Broun (R-GA), John Shadegg (R-AZ), Sue Myrick (R-NC), and Trent Franks (R-AZ), are based on the new book Muslim Mafia, which is co-authored by a man who has labeled President Obama “Muslim.”

They demanded that the sergeant at arms investigate the possibility of a security breach by Muslim intern spies.

As Franks put it at the press conference five days ago:

“We live in a post-9/11 world where the coincidence of nuclear proliferation and Islamic terrorism pose a very dangerous combination and real threat to America’s national security. … . I take the charges levied against CAIR and laid out in this book very seriously because they affect our national security.”

Myrick’s office told TPMmuckraker Friday it would be submitting requests for investigations in the next few days, but did not explain the delay.

The offices of three of the four Republicans did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the national security risk of waiting to launch an investigation.

Sara Mueller, deputy press secretary for Shadegg, told us: “Unfortunately, the congressman can’t comment on that at this time. ”

Meanwhile, the (supposed) cabal of Muslim intern spies can continue to ply their trade in still more sinister (but as yet undefined) ways.