Archive for Trent Franks

House GOP Seeks Congressional Hearings on American Muslims

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2010 by loonwatch
Sue Myrick wrote the foreward for Muslim Mafia

Sue Myrick, John Shadegg, Paul Broun and Trent Franks, all Republican Representatives are attempting to rekindle the anti-Muslim conspiracy theory they advanced not too long ago about“Muslim spy interns.” They did this in tandem with David Gaubatz, who has been exposed as not only virulently anti-Muslim but also a liar.

From the Right-wing Washington Times,

A group of House Republicans is calling for an investigation into whether a leading American Muslim advocacy group tried to “spy” on congressional offices by placing interns on key security committees.

Rep. Sue Myrick, North Carolina Republican, cited an internal January 2007 memo in which the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) discussed placing Muslim interns on Capitol Hill to “focus on influencing congressmen responsible for policy that directly impacts the American Muslim community.”

The memo was unearthed by David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry, authors of a book titled “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.” Mrs. Myrick, a founder of the House Anti-Terrorism Caucus, wrote a forward for the book and was given an advance copy. A CAIR spokesman, dismissing the Wednesday morning Capitol Hill news conference as “a book launch for Muslim bashers,” said the memo constitutes stolen property, as it was obtained by the son of an author who posed undercover inside the advocacy group.

“They had a spy in our organization for months, stole our property and the most they can come up with is that we placed interns on Capitol Hill? I wish we had placed more interns,” spokesman Ibrahim Hooper cq said. He added that the group has filed a police report on the matter.


Top Conservatives Support anti-Muslim Inquisition

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on September 17, 2010 by loonwatch

Michele Bachmann Endorses Call for Anti-Muslim Inquisition

by Daniel Luban

I wrote earlier for IPS about the new Center for Security Policy report “Shariah: The Threat to America,” authored by a team billing itself as “Team B II” (in reference to the 1970s  Team B notorious for its alarmist and now-discredited estimates of Soviet military capabilities). The group that produced the report featured a number of the right’s nuttier Islamophobes, including Frank Gaffney, Andy McCarthy, and David Yerushalmi. Given that this sort of thinking is making inroads among congressional Republicans — the report was endorsed by Reps. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), Trent Franks (R-AZ), and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — it’s worth taking a closer look at some of the report’s prescriptions to see just how extreme it is.

The central problem with the report is that the authors identify “sharia” with the most literalistic and brutal versions of sharia, and therefore fail to understand what the term might actually mean to the bulk of Muslims worldwide. (When Matt Duss asked Gaffney at Wednesday’s press conference to name any Muslims scholars or theologians who had been consulted in the writing of the report, Gaffney was unable to produce any names.) As a result their prescriptions would amount in practice to a criminalization of virtually any form of Islam.

Here are some of their policy recommendations (p. 143 of the report):

“…extend bands currently in effect that bar members of hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan from holding positions of trust in federal, state, or local governments or the armed forces of the United States to those who espouse or support shariah.”

“Practices that promote shariah – notably, shariah-compliant finance and the establishment or promotion in public spaces or with public funds of facilities and activities that give preferential treatment to shariah’s adherents – are incompatible with the Constitution and the freedoms it enshrines and must be proscribed.”

“Sedition is prohibited by law in the United States. To the extent that imams and mosques are being used to advocate shariah in America, they are promoting seditious activity and should be warned that they will not be immune from prosecution.”

“Immigrations of those who adhere to shariah must be precluded, as was previously done with adherents to the seditious ideology of communism.”

I am not a scholar of Islam, but any competent one will tell you that sharia is a far broader term than the “Team B” authors seem to think it is – it basically refers to Islamic religious precepts in general, to the point of being virtually synonymous with Islamic religious practice. As a result any practicing Muslim, no matter how moderate or extreme, will consider himself or herself to be “sharia-compliant” according to their own understanding of what sharia requires. This does not, of course, mean that they will endorse the brutal hudud penalties that have become the most notorious symbols of sharia to non-Muslims, that they will seek to impose these precepts on others, or that they will seek to make them the law of the land. But to demand that a practicing Muslim to renounce sharia is tantamount to demanding that they renounce Islam itself.

This is precisely what the report’s recommendations demand, whether or not it’s what the authors intend. Any Muslim who “espouses” or “adheres to” sharia – that is, any practicing Muslim – will thereby be banned from government or military service, prohibited from immigrating to the country, and even opened to prosecution for sedition. The only Muslims immune from this witch-hunt are those “who are willing publicly to denounce shariah” – a surefire recipe for the creation of conversosand crypto-Muslims, but hardly one consistent with the First Amendment.

We might be charitable to the “Team B” authors and argue that they’re simply ignorant: not understanding what sharia actually means, they have identified it with its most extreme manifestations, and therefore wrongly believe that by asking Muslims to renounce sharia they are simply asking them to renounce radical Islam. A less charitable explanation would be that they know exactly what they’re doing, and are seeking to outlaw Islam itself.

[Cross-posted at Lobelog.]


Muslim Mafia Scribe: How I “Toyed” with TPM

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2009 by loonwatch
Gaubatz and RVGaubatz and RV

The David Gaubatz saga gets more and more sillier. Now the “gum shoe detective” claims he is “toying” with TPM which has been doing an excellent job following the follies of Gaubatz and the four Republican backers of his anti-Muslim book.

Muslim Mafia Scribe: How I “Toyed with TPMmuckracker

Muslim Mafia author Dave Gaubatz says in a new interview that his open call for a Winnebago, a pair of motorcycles, and $25,000 to conduct counterterrorism research in North Carolina was “bait” designed to draw attention away from real field research he was conducting elsewhere.

“While Elliot [sic] and like terrorist supporters were focused on my ‘alleged’ research in NC, I was hundreds of miles away conducting research in other locations,” Gaubatztells FrontPageMag, a Web publication edited by David Horowitz.

We’ve been following Gaubatz ever since his book was embraced by several congressional Republicans alleging that Muslim intern “spies” may have infiltrated Capitol Hill. After the Fort Hood killings, Gaubatz made, then retracted, a call for a backlash against the Muslim community.

The blog post on the North Carolina research said that the project would begin Dec. 5, and that one lucky donor could tag along as a member of the investigative team. We even interviewed Gaubatz over e-mail, and he told us that his “Muslim researchers [would be] attending prayer and lectures.”

But not so fast. As Gaubatz now tells it, the blog post, which was pulled after it went up, was an elaborate ruse:

I would like to end Jamie by asking Americans to be careful who and what ‘self described’ investigative journalists they take as being true journalists. An example is TPMmuckraker’s Justin Elliot. TPMMuckraker is simply a group of tabloid liberals who have no clue how to conduct investigative journalism. Recently I ‘toyed’ with Elliot to prove this point. For years I have informed people in my various writings that my blog articles are primary [sic] used to ‘bait’ people like CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper and poor journalists like Elliot.Last week I put a small article on my blog about conducting field research in NC and describing the resources required. Elliot took the bait and ran. …

While Elliot and like terrorist supporters were focused on my ‘alleged’ research in NC, I was hundreds of miles away conducting research in other locations. On the other hand I am thankful for the Elliot’s and Ibrahim Hopers because they make my research much easier.

Got that? Gaubatz put up a blog post announcing research to begin Dec. 5 in order to distract terrorist supporters while he was conducting separate research in November. So is the North Carolina Winnebago project still on? Only time will tell.

He also accuses us of ignoring underlying issues about CAIR, which, as we’ve noted, has been defended by an 87-member Congressional caucus that described CAIR as a “civil rights group.”


Congressional Caucus Denounces anti-Muslim McCarthyist Lawmakers

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by loonwatch

Congressional Caucus Condemns anti-Muslim Lawmakers

Minority Caucus
Minority Caucus

87-Member Minority Congressional Caucus call the actions of the four GOP leaders a hunt that smacks of the McCarthy era.

In a strongly-worded statement today, the Congressional Tri-Caucus, which represents three minority caucuses, denounced a call by four GOP lawmakers for an investigation into whether Muslim “intern spies” have infiltrated the Hill.

“These charges smack of an America of sixty years ago where lists of ‘un-American’ agitators were identified,” said Reps. Michael Honda (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY). They are the chairs of the Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Black Caucus, and the Hispanic Caucus, respectively.

The statement names the four Republican members who yesterday filed a formal request with the sergeant at arms to look into whether the Council on American Islamic Relations, which they claim is tied to Hamas, has planted interns on national security committees. The charge is based on a book called Muslim Mafia, written by a man who the Tri-Caucus labels “an anti-Islamic activist.”

The Tri-Caucus statement says: “The idea that we should investigate Muslim interns as spies is a blow to the very principle of religious freedom that our founding fathers cherished so dearly.”

Here’s the full statement, which was released on behalf of the entire caucus:

Four of our colleagues, Reps. John Shadegg (AZ), Paul Broun (GA), Trent Franks (AZ) and Sue Myrick (NC) recently requested that the House Sergeant at Arms to launch an investigation of the civil rights group CAIR, or Council on American-Islamic Relations, to determine whether it was placing staff and interns in key Congressional offices who they fear are acting as “spies.”This proposed investigation coincides with the launch of a book by Dave Gaubatz, an anti-Islamic activist and author of the book “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that’s Conspiring to Islamize America.” It features an introduction by Rep. Myrick, and was written after Gaubatz posed as an intern at CAIR in an effort to “infiltrate” the group.

These charges smack of an America of sixty years ago where lists of “un-American” agitators were identified. We should be affirming the importance of diversity and tolerance for all interns and staff who serve in Congress without suspicion of being identified as “spies.”

The idea that we should investigate Muslim interns as spies is a blow to the very principle of religious freedom that our founding fathers cherished so dearly. If anything, we should be encouraging all Americans to engage in the U.S. political process; to take part in, and to contribute to, the great democratic experiment that is America.

We all have experienced the sting of discrimination and we know that there will be challenges ahead. But our message should be firm that the America we believe in welcomes people of all backgrounds to the U.S. Congress.

We ask these charges be disavowed and we issue a hearty welcome to interns and staff of all creeds, color, ethnicities and sexual orientation.

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.

GOP Lawmakers Team up with anti-Muslims for Inquisition

Posted in Loon Blogs, Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by loonwatch
Sue Myrick wrote the foreward for Muslim Mafia
Sue Myrick wrote the foreward for Muslim Mafia

Dave Gaubatz, who we reported on previously while covering a story on Tawfiq Hamid has surfaced again. This time teaming up with Paul Sperry (another Islamophobe) to write a book, Muslim Mafia which claims to uncover the secret, nefarious plot by CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) to supposedly “Islamize America.” This conspiracy theory is related to the kooky Eurabia theory which we debunked, and is another clear manifestation of anti-Muslim Islamophobia.

This time a few far right-wing GOP lawmakers (Sue Myrick, John Shadegg, Paul Broun, and Trent Franks) have used the book to call for a McCarthyist inquisition into Muslims who worked as interns in the Capitol to find out  if they were “planted” by CAIR. They rely on a CAIR memo obtained by Gaubatz’s son who claimed to convert to Islam and then interned with CAIR. The memo doesn’t say anything extraordinary but rather lays out a pretty straightforward PR and advocacy agenda. The key portion that is ringing the Islamophobia bell is, “we will develop national initiatives such as a lobby day and placing Muslim interns in Congressional offices.” So what’s wrong with that you may ask, isn’t that what every advocacy group does in Washingtion DC? Well, the message from the GOP lawmakers seems to be it’s okay as long as you’re not Muslim.

This hysterical McCarthyist drama is being fed to these lawmakers by Dave Gaubatz and Paul Sperry. These two make Orly Taitz of the Birther movement look like a paragon of rationality and senility. Gaubatz claims to have uncovered WMD’s in Iraq, calls Obama our “Muslim leader,” a “crack head,” he was also a member of SANE which stands for Society of Americans for National Existence and is in fact a supremacist organization which has stated amongst other things that “blacks are predisposed to violence,” and that “adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the US.”

Some lawmakers have already condemned this most recent disgusting, hysterical and kooky initiative from the GOP. John Conyers, Loretta Sanchez and Andre Carson have all condemned this Islamophobic attack on American Muslims. Hopefully many more, including the leaders of both parties will speak out. Continue reading