Archive for Luis Gutierrez

Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Chief, Pledges No NYPD-Esque Spying On Muslims

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2012 by loonwatch

(H/T: BBK)

Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Chief, Pledges No NYPD-Esque Spying On Muslims

(The HuffingtonPost)

OAK BROOK TERRACE, Ill. — For the first time in public, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy promised his department will never conduct blanket surveillance of Muslims like the New York Police Department did in Newark, N.J., when he was chief there.

McCarthy addressed hundreds of Muslims on Saturday at the annual banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Chicago, a civil rights organization. He said police would follow leads in criminal cases, but the department “does not and will not conduct blanket surveillance and profiling of any community in the city of Chicago.”

“We are deeply committed to respecting the civil rights of all Chicagoans,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have tried to reassure Chicago-area Muslims since The Associated Press revealed the NYPD’s spying in Newark. The AP reported last month that in 2007, the NYPD’s secretive Demographics Unit fanned out across Newark, photographing mosques and eavesdropping on Muslim businesses. Earlier, the AP reported that the department was conducting similar surveillance in New York, building databases showing where Muslims live, shop and pray.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vigorously defended the operations, saying police only follow up on allegations. But civil rights advocates and other critics say the NYPD’s 60-page report on the Newark operations showed Muslims were targeted solely because of their religion.

McCarthy, who was also a top officer in the NYPD at one point, told the AP that his former colleagues in New York notified him as a courtesy that they were sending plainclothes officers to Newark, but none of his officers participated in the operation. New York police say Newark leaders cooperated with the effort.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly defended his department’s operations again Saturday in a speech at Fordham Law School, as about 60 protesters marched outside. Addressing New Jersey officials’ complaints that the NYPD overstepped its bounds by not fully informing them of officers’ activities, Kelly noted 746 Garden State residents were killed in the 9/11 attacks.

“If terrorists aren’t limited by borders and boundaries, we can’t be either,” Kelly said. “It is entirely legal for the Police Department to conduct investigations outside of city limits, and we maintain very close relationships with local authorities.”

McCarthy met privately last week with community leaders in Chicago to discuss the issue, but he hadn’t stated publicly whether he supported the NYPD’s tactics.

He was warmly received at Saturday’s banquet, held in a Chicago suburb. CAIR Executive Director Ahmed Rehab praised McCarthy for his “heartfelt” sincerity and taking the initiative to attend, and the audience applauded when the chief said police need to work with the city’s communities to prevent crime and terrorism.

“We are focused on our mission of making Chicago the safest city for every resident in every neighborhood, but we can’t do it alone,” McCarthy said. “We must have a positive relationship with the wonderfully diverse communities that comprise Chicago and that make this great country of America as strong as it is today.”

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat and immigration advocate, also addressed the group, lashing out at the NYPD’s spying methods.

“It makes no sense and is not sensible law enforcement,” Gutierrez said.

McCarthy wrapped up his remarks by saying he is a 9/11 survivor, who was in a command post near the World Trade Center until the towers fell. He told the audience that 13 of the 23 officers lost by the NYPD were personal friends.

“And I want to tell you this,” he said. “In the 10-plus years since that horrific event, which has affected me to my core, I have never once thought ill of the religion of Islam.”

Sue Myrick’s Hearing on the Muslim Brotherhood Threat

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2011 by loonwatch
Sue Myrick wrote the foreward for Muslim Mafia

Rep. Sue Myrick held her House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence hearing to examine the history, beliefs and positions of the Muslim Brotherhood internationally and in Egypt. It is the third hearing that in some measure has dealt with the American Muslim community and Islam. First it was Rep. Peter King and his McCarthyesque  hearings on “the Radicalization of the Muslim American community,” then New York State Senator Greg Ball held a hearing on “Security and preparedness since 9/11″ which included such anti-Muslim bigots as Nonie Darwish and Frank Gaffney.

Myrick’s hearing didn’t contain the high profile loons that the other two hearings did, but the theme or intent was still to cast a pall of suspicion over American Muslims. The witnesses consisted of Robert Satloff, Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Lorenzo Vidino, a representative of the RAND corporation, Ahmed S. Mansour, a Quranist who claims to be a Muslim scholar, Tarek Masoud, an academic and assistant professor at Harvard University and Nathan Brown, a professor of Political Science.

The charge was leveled either implicitly or directly that some American Muslims may be a “fifth column” considering a 1991 memo written by a Muslim Brotherhood member from Egypt named Mohammed Akram. This is the same memo that Islamophobes and anti-Muslims such as Robert Spencer and co. often use to forward the idea that Muslims are trying to take over.

Tarek Masoud took this issue head on during questioning from the intrepid Rep. Luis Gutierrez,

Chairman Myrick, you mentioned this 1991 explanatory memorandum, Lorenzo mentioned it as well, this document that was written by this Brotherhood guy named Mohammed Akram. So I got it and I read it, it seemed to be a document where this Brotherhood member in the United States is writing to his people back home, trying to encourage them to try and make the United States a priority for proselytization, for political activism, for all kinds of things. And the page in that document that has caused the most controversy is the page that lists all of these organizations, that Lorenzo called Muslim Brotherhood front organizations. My question, if you look at the title of that page, it says “there are the organizations of us and our friends in America,” second line says in brackets “imagine if they all marched together,”and I thought to myself, what a really odd thing for an organization like the Muslim Brotherhood to be saying. If these were really the arms of the Muslim Brotherhood octupus then why would he need to whimsically think, “if only one day all these organizations could work together,” and this is important because it seems to me that that list is an aspirational list, it may include movements or groups that emerged out of the Brotherhood, I’m not making a factual statement, but based on interpreting that document, I am surprised that we jumped to saying that these are Muslim Brotherhood front organizations because it seemed to me to be a list of Muslim organizations that the Brotherhood would like to organize and coordinate. I would like to find out if there is some information there that some folks like me don’t have?

Gutierrez also asked a very interesting question to the panelists beforehand, “what are the intelligence gathering methods or apparatuses which you used? And do you fear that the government’s broad intelligence gathering efforts have been duped?” This question was a slap in the face of Sue Myrick who penned a forward to a book called “Muslim Mafia” which argued that nefarious Muslims have infiltrated our government through a network of spy interns. This belief was voted one of the “worst conspiracy theories” of 2009 by Newsweek.

Lorenzo Vidino, the RAND corp. representative said he wouldn’t use the word “duped” but instead that they have been “inconsistent.” Rep. Gutierrez told him, “inconsistency” is not the same as “fear,” and asked him whether or not we should “fear” that our security agencies have been compromised or “hoodwinked?” Vidino seemed to answer “no” to that question.

There were other highlights during the testimony, like the near incoherence of Ahmed S. Mansour who had the WTF comment of the Day: “Make America the biggest, most superpower of the war of ideas in the world” and something about “create an agency dealing with the war of ideas.” At times it seemed Mansour was trying to get America to back his sect of Islam by bringing up how “successful” his group has been in proselytizing to other Muslims.

At the end of the day the GOP is trying to use Islam/Muslims and buzzwords such as Sharia’ to further promote hatred and bigotry and their own twisted brand of populism. Fear-mongering about a looming Muslim threat feeds well into their base of support and also highlights the immense hypocrisy on the Right. In reality, the biggest threat today to our Constitution comes from the rabid Right-Wing, which is shot through and through with theocrats and theocratic sympathizers.

One only has to look at Rep. Myrick’s own shoddy associations to se what we mean,

Rep. Myrick supports the work of The National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools whose goals are clearly in opposition to the first amendment of the U.S.

Rep. Myrick is listed as a sponsor on the website of Capitol Ministries, along with Todd Akin, Michele Bachmann, Paul Broun, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert,  Mike Pence, Tom Price, Lamar Smith, Joe Wilson and various others.  (Read more on Capitol Ministries here)

Rep. Myrick believes that Osama Bin Laden and his ilk – “are acting in accordance with Islam”.

Rep. Myrick and Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan sent a letter that attacked the Justice Department for sending envoys to an ISNA convention because, the lawmakers said, the Islamic Society of North America was a group of “radical jihadists”

Rep. Myrick launched a YouTube video series. In the first video, called Beyond Terrorism: The Whole Story, she warns that extremists live in our midst, “even in positions in our government.” But the wide-eyed Myrick tells the camera: “You’re not being told the whole story… This is something that nobody ever tells you.”

Rep. Myrick supports Brigitte Gabriel’s ACT for America, and put out a letterenthusiastically endorsing them.  It was reported in February that Hal Weatherman, longtime chief of staff for Sue Myrick, is leaving to join the staff of ACT for America.  (Read about Brigitte Gabriel and ACT for America here.)

Rep. Myrick wrote the forward to Dave Gaubatz’ Muslim Mafia book.  (Read more about Gaubatz and this book here)

Rep. Myrick is reported as saying:  “I believe Hezbollah and the drug cartels may be operating as partners on our border.” That department’s spokesman replied that the U.S. “does not have any credible information on terrorist groups operating along the Southwest border.”  (Read more on this charge and responses to it here.)

Rep. Myrick and Rep. Peter King were among the lead sponsors of a bill introduced by Rep. Frank Wolf [R-VA]  to create a panel of outside experts – fresh eyes – to help develop new strategies to combat the violent Islamic jihad as well as its stealth component.