Archive for Joe Lieberman

Rep. King’s Fourth Muslim-American Radicalization Hearing to Focus on Military

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by loonwatch
Peter KingPeter King

The former IRA Terrorist supporter, Peter King is holding his fourth hearing on “Muslim-American Radicalization,” this time focusing on the “military.” Expect it to be an Islamophobiapalooza.

Rep. King’s fourth Muslim-American radicalization hearing to focus on military

By Jordy Yager

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is hoping his panel’s hearing on the radicalization of Muslim-Americans within the U.S. military will reveal how the armed services can better protect itself against homegrown attacks.

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) is holding a joint hearing on Wednesday, along with Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), as the next stage in his series of efforts to address the radicalization of American Muslims.  Pointing to the 2009 shootings at the Fort Hood military base in Texas and at a military recruiting station in Arkansas, which killed a total of 14 people and wounded more than two dozen, King said the issue of radicalization within military communities is one that is grossly under the radar.

“There is an attempt by Islamists to join the military and infiltrate the military, and it’s more of a threat than the average American is aware of right now,” said King in an interview with The Hill on Monday.

Lieberman said his committee has held 13 hearings over the past five years on the issue of violent Islamic extremism and, based on what he has learned, the military is an increasingly large target for attacks.

“Clearly, the threat of homegrown terrorism has increased dramatically, and clearly, members of the armed services are a high-value target,” Lieberman said in a statement.

The issue was brought to the front burner for King after it was raised by Paul Stockton, the assistant secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs. King said he feels the Obama administration is just as concerned with the issue as he is, and hopes to develop a working partnership to address some of the inadequacies that will come up at Wednesday’s hearing.

“I think more can be done,” he said. “But this is not going to be any attempt to bash the administration, necessarily. From my perspective it’s going to be a productive hearing and it’s not going to turn into a partisan fight.”

King gave several examples of issues that need more attention, such as whether the military needs to provide more security for recruiting centers and bases in the U.S. or whether local and state law enforcement should play a larger role in coordinating security with the military.

He said he also hopes to address the minutiae of radicalization on military bases. He used an example of how he has heard of at least one instance in which a copy of the radical Islamic magazine Inspire — which has been used as a recruiting tool for terrorist groups — was found in a barracks and allowed to remain. But Confederate flags are rightfully banned, he said.

“I’m using that as an example about whether or not we need to be more aggressive in facing up to the reality. It’s Islamic terrorism. It’s not just a nondescript, anonymous type of terrorism.”

King has held three hearings so far this year on the issue of radicalization of Muslim-Americans within the U.S. The first one drew the most scrutiny, as nearly 100 members of Congress asked him to cancel it or widen the breadth of the radicalized groups he was probing. King lauded the hearing as a success, saying that it brought attention to a taboo subject that is a serious and growing security concern.

The other two hearings focused on the terrorist group al-Shabbab’s influence within the U.S., and the radicalization of Muslim-Americans within U.S. prisons.

Carlos Bledsoe is serving life in prison for waging a shooting spree in 2009 at an Arkansas military recruiting center that killed Army Pvt. William Long.

Bledsoe’s father — who testified before King at a previous hearing, saying that his son was influenced by radicalized Muslim ideals — is planning to be at Wednesday’s hearing, where the slain soldier’s father, Daris Long, is slated to testify. King said each knows the other will be at the hearing and that Bledsoe is attending to show his support for Long.

Also expected to testify are Jim Stuteville, an Army senior adviser for counterintelligence operations and liaison to the FBI, and Lt. Col. Reid Sawyer, the director of Combating Terrorism Center at the West Point military academy.

King is planning to unveil a committee report on the issue at Wednesday’s hearing and another joint report with the Senate panel afterward.

He said his next hearing will likely be next year and focus on the use of certain mosques by al Qaeda and Iran in their efforts to radicalize people within the U.S.

Lieberman: Obama’s concern with offending Muslims is hurting the war effort

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on September 7, 2011 by loonwatch
Joe LiebermanJoe Lieberman

Sounds like something Pamela Geller might say.

Lieberman: Obama’s concern with offending Muslims is hurting the war effort

By Jordy Yager – 09/01/11 02:03 PM ET

The Obama administration’s fear of offending Muslims will hurt the U.S. war against terrorism, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Thursday in a speech blasting the president’s new counterterrorism strategy.

Lieberman said that Obama’s strategy, which was released in June, “was ultimately a big disappointment,” and while it successfully identified the core of the domestic radicalization problem, it did not establish a clear plan of attack to deal with the growing issue.

The four-term senator and one-time presidential candidate said one of the key problems with the Obama administration’s strategy was that it continues to call terrorism that aims to harm the U.S., “violent extremism” instead of “violent Islamist extremism.”

“The administration still refuses to call our enemy in this war by its proper name: violent Islamist extremism,” Lieberman said, speaking at a National Press Club event hosted by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).

“To call our enemy ‘violent extremism’ is so general and vague that it ultimately has no meaning. The other term used sometimes is Al Qaeda and its allies. Now that’s better but it is still too narrow and focuses us on groups as opposed to what I would call an ideology, which is what we’re really fighting.”

Lieberman, who as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has held numerous hearings on the issue of Islamic extremism, said that Obama needs to stop being afraid of offending the overwhelmingly large portion of law-abiding and well-intentioned Muslims with his rhetoric.

“I assume the refusal of the administration to speak honestly about the enemy is based on its desire not to do anything that might feed into al Qaeda’s propaganda that we’re engaged in a cold war against Islam,” he said. “But that is so self-evidently a lie that we can and have refuted it and I think we’ve done so effectively.”

The issue of singling out Muslims in the U.S.’s war against terrorists came to a head earlier this year when Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) held the first in his series of hearings on American-Muslim radicalization.

Nearly 100 Democratic lawmakers wrote to King, who is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and asked him to expand the scope of the hearing to include other radical extremists groups, such as white supremacists, environmental extremists, and animal-rights activists. King declined to expand the hearing’s scope and heralded it as a success for drawing attention to an issue that lawmakers and government officials avoid too often.

Lieberman referenced these sentiments on Thursday, saying that though they are extremist groups, they do not constitute the threat the U.S. currently faces.

“We’re not in a global war with those [groups],” he said. “We’re in a global war that affects our homeland security with Islamist extremists.”

The U.S.’s successful war against terrorists depends on the administration’s ability to correctly identify who its enemy is, Lieberman said.

“To win this struggle, it’s vital that we understand that we’re not just fighting an organization al Qaeda,” he said. “We are up against a broader ideology, if you will, a politicized theology, quite separate from the religion of Islam, that has fueled this war.

“Success in the war will come consequently not when a single terrorist group or its affiliates are eliminated but when the broader sets of ideas that are associated with it are rejected and discarded. A reluctance therefore to identify our enemy as violent Islamist extremism makes it harder I think to mobilize effectively to fight this war of ideas,” Lieberman said.

Joe Lieberman Says U.S. Should Cut Social Security To Pay For Fighting ‘The Islamist Extremists’

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , on August 9, 2011 by loonwatch

Joe Lieberman Says U.S. Should Cut Social Security To Pay For Fighting ‘The Islamist Extremists’

This past April, right-wing war hawk John Bolton suggested during an interview on Fox News that the United States should cut Social Security and Medicare to finance the defense budget.

During debate over the debt deal today on the Senate floor, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) appeared to endorse this call. Lieberman explained that he is working with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) on a Social Security spending reduction plan and that “we can’t protect these entitlements and also have the national defense…to protect us…with Islamist extremists”:

LIEBERMAN: I want to indicate today to my colleagues that Senator Coburn and I are working again on a bipartisan proposal to secure Social Security over the long term, we hope to have that done in time. To also forward to the special committee for their consideration. So, bottom line, we can’t protect these entitlements and also have the national defense we need to protect us in a dangerous world while we’re at war with Islamist extremists who attacked us on 9/11 and will be for a long time to come.

Watch it:

As ThinkProgress’s Ben Armbruster notes, the Bolton-Lieberman plan is “is basically a reverse Robin Hood scheme: robbing the poor to pay the rich, or really, the Military Industrial Complex on steroids.” As Ambruster points out, a “recent Reuters poll found that Americans would rather cut defense spending than raid social services in order to solve the debt and deficit problems.” Americans do not appear to have the priorities of these two war hawks.
Original post: Joe Lieberman Says U.S. Should Cut Social Security To Pay For Fighting ‘The Islamist Extremists’

Daniel Pipes’ Unhealthy Obsession with the Hijab

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2009 by loonwatch
Daniel Pipes: Bizarre Fixation on HijabDaniel Pipes: Bizarre Fixation on the Hijab

(Read an UPDATE here)

In a running column entitled, “Hijab on Western Political Women,” failed academic turned zaney anti-Muslim blogger, Daniel Pipes, sets out to (in his own words):

For fun, how about collecting those instances when female political leaders, especially leftist ones, don the hijab (Islamic headscarf)?

(What normal person sitting before a computer thinks up of such a bizarre thing to do when trying to “have fun” anyway? Welcome to the world of Pipes I guess. )

Pipes then includes photos of princess Diana, queen Elizabeth, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Angelina Jolie, among others, wearing a Hijab when at various mosques.

This caused us to wonder, surely Mr. Pipes is not sexist. Surely, he would invite the same scrutiny to the men in their lives: princess Diana’s husband and queen Elizabeth’s son (prince Charles, heir to the British throne), Laura Bush’s father-in-law and husband (George H.W and George W., both U.S. Presidents), Chelsea Clinton’s dad and Hillary Clinton’s husband (Bill Clinton, U.S. President) and Angelina Jolie’s dad (actor Jon Voight). Surely Mr. Pipes would not want to give those men a pass, especially given all of them (but the last) are far more important politically than their women.

Well since Daniel Pipes is not very good at holding a mirror up to his face, we here at loonwatch volunteered to do that for him. Seeing that Mr. Pipes is Jewish, we put together the following photo display (true to a Daniel Pipes style presentation) – one that is relevant to his own religion not someone else’s – to see what he thinks of it and what he reckons it signifies.

So “for fun”, Mr. Pipes, how about  collecting those instances when Western (and Eastern) male political (and non-political) leaders, especially leftist (and rightist and centrist) ones, don the kippahor yarmulke (Jewish skullcap)?

We start with the most politically powerful men on the planet, U.S. presidents:

President Bill Clinton wearing a yarmulkeU.S. President Bill Clinton wearing a yarmulke

President George Bush wearing a yarmulkeU.S. President George Bush wearing a yarmulke, flanked by Israeli ministers Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert

President Barack Obama wearing a yarmulkeU.S. President Barack Obama wearing a yarmulke while praying at the Western Wall

President George Bush the father wearing a yarmulke as he kisses the Western WallU.S. President George Herbert Bush (the father) wearing a yarmulke as he kisses the Western Wall

President George Bush wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western WallU.S. President George Bush wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western Wall

President George Bush wearing another yarmulkePresident George Bush wearing another yarmulke

American Senator Joe Lieberman puts a yarmulke on the head of former presidential candidate senator John McCainAmerican senator Joe Lieberman puts a yarmulke on the head of then presidential candidate, senator John McCain

And other politically powerful world leaders:

British prime minister, Gordon Brown, wearing a yarmulkeBritish prime minister, Gordon Brown, wearing a yarmulke

Then British prime minister Tony Blair wearing a yarmulkeThen British prime minister Tony Blair wearing a yarmulke

French president Nicolas Sarkozy wearing a yarmulkeFrench president Nicolas Sarkozy wearing a yarmulke

Then Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western wallThen Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western wall

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin wearing a yarmulkeRussian prime minister Vladimir Putin wearing a yarmulke

Prince Charles of Wales, regent to the British crown, wearing a yarmulkePrince Charles of Wales, regent to the British crown, wearing a yarmulke

And other American political men:

"America's Mayor" Rudi Giuliani, mayor of New York City, wearing a yarmulke“America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York City, wearing a yarmulke as then Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon looks on

Clinton's Special Middle East Coordinator Dennis Ross wearing a yarmulkeClinton’s Special Middle East Coordinator Dennis Ross wearing a yarmulke

US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, wearing a yarmulke, not in a temple but at the Republican National ConventionUS ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, wearing a yarmulke – not in a temple but at a Republican National Convention

And to match Angelina Jolie, how about some entertainers including her own father:

Evangelical Christian actor Stephen Baldwin wearing a yarmulke not at a temple but at a Republican National ConventionEvangelical Christian actor Stephen Baldwin wearing a yarmulke – not at a temple but at a Republican National Convention

Actor Jon Voight holding up his yarmulke at a Republican National ConventionActor Jon Voight (Angelina’s dad) holding up his yarmulke at a Republican National Convention

Michael Jackson wearing a yarmulkeThe king of pop, Michael Jackson, wearing a yarmulke

And how about other world faith leaders:

His holiness, the Dalai Lama, wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western WallHis holiness, the Dalai Lama, wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western Wall

And speaking of political mixing with religious:

The "Mccippah", a play on "McCain" and "Kippah" which means yarmulke, a feature at the Republican National Convention 2008 The “Mccippah”, a play on “McCain” and “Kippah” (yarmulke), a feature at the Republican National Convention 2008

Now, we have a few simple questions to ask Mr. Pipes:

First let’s get real: clearly, Mr. Pipes is not interested in some irrelevant, uneventful “fun” on that merry temple of love and good times of his, danielpipes.com. Everything he writes and puts on there he does so with a purpose in mind. It seems that his “little fun” hijab photo display was yet another sorry attempt to cry “Islamization” and “dhimmi” and all of the favorite concepts he and his friends love to evoke.

So here goes the questions:

1. Do you believe that non-Muslim Western women who wear a hijab when visiting mosques or other Islamic religious settings are doing it as a sign of respect, or a sign of capitulation and a consequence of Islamization?

If the former then what’s the point of your running photo display? And if the latter which more logically seems to be the case, then:

2. Do you believe that non-Jewish Western men who wear a skullcap when visiting a temple or other Jewish religious settings are doing it as a sign of respect, or a sign of capitulation and a consequence of Judaization?

If the former, then why the double standard? And if the latter then why haven’t you sounded the alarm to save the West from Judaization.

More questions:

3. What would you say and how would you react if Western political women not only wore the hijab at the mosque but prayed there while they are at it? Would you see it as a lovely sign of camaraderie, an expression of tolerance, a sign that we all share a common God? Or would you cry “dhimmi”? Justcurious.

(If the latter then kindly educate us: what is the “dhimmi” equivalent of a Western political man – a head of state no less – who does the same but within the context of Judaism rather than Islam?)

4. You seem to gloat about the reporter who took off the “Chador” (a traditional Islamic dress worn in conservative Iran) and threw it at Imam Khomeini whom she was interviewing. Now, I personally believe that Khomeini was a loony Imam. But I am just curious, would you also gloat if a reporter threw a yarmulke at some loony rabbi like say, Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef or Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiraor Rabbi Jon HausmanJust curious.

5.  Are you aware that Eritrea is not an Islamic country and that it has as many Christian citizens as it does Muslim. Are you aware that Hillary Clinton is not necessarily wearing a hijab in the photo of her in Eritrea, but a traditional Eritrean loose shawl worn by both Muslims and Christians there? Are you aware that every other American woman in that photo (and there are at least three) are not wearing a similar shawl clearly proving that it is Hillary’s choice not some enforced evil Islamic spell on Western women as seems to be implied. Q: So if it’s neither enforced, nor a hijab to begin with, why do you use that photo. A: expediency. Typical of Mr. Pipes.

6. Lastly, if some blog put up a display like the one above with the insinuation that there is some insidious force at play, would you not cry anti-Semitism? SO, given your photo display and the accompanying shady commentary, aren’t readers then well within their rights and the bounds of reason to cry Islamophobia? Just curious.

Mr. Pipes, we await your response to our questions. For the rest of our dear readers, this has been a little peek inside the  paranoid mindset of an Islamophobe and the convoluted, often petty, ways in which it processes our world.

(For the record, LoonWatch, unlike Mr. Pipes, takes the consistent position that both non-Muslim women wearing hijabs in Islamic religious settings and non-Jewish men wearing yarmulkes in Jewish religious settings is a sign of respect and nothing more. And that wearing them outside religious settings is indeed strange but a personal choice that is no cause for alarm or geopolitical analysis).

– Zingel


Author’s Note: Daniel Pipes makes a lame attempt to address the hijab/yarmulke comparison in a 2008 addendum to his article in which he “rejects” the comparison altogether, stating in typical Pipesian delusional style that such a comparison is irrelevant, and positing that the “tallit” the Jewish prayer shawl is instead more comparable to the Hijab.

This is nonsense.

The tallit is not worn in public everyday life the way Muslim women wear the Hijab in daily public activity (for Hijabis); however, Jewish skullcaps are worn in daily public living (for Jewish Orthodox men). The yarmulke, not the tallit, is the closest Jewish analogy to the Hijab.

He also implies that half the pictures of Western women wearing the Hijab is not in a mosque while most Western men who wear the skullcap are in a temple. Not true, they are exactly analogous and proportional. Most of the pictures of the Western women wearing a Hijab is in fact in a mosque or mosque setting and it is usually a simple headscarf not some full body chador as he implies but even his collection of pictures clearly contradict (Iran, a conservative theocracy, being the exception not the norm). On the flip side, our photo display has photos that debunk his insinuation that Western men wear yarmulkes only in temples.
READ AN UPDATE HERE