Archive for August 16, 2017

The Anti-Semitic Jewish Media

August 16, 2017

The Anti-Semitic Jewish Media, Gatestone Institute, Bruce Bawer, August 16, 2017

Almost everyone in a position to do something is a coward. Politicians continue to recite the mantra that “Muslims are today’s Jews,” even though in Europe today Muslims are far more often the tormentors than the tormented, and Jews lead the list of victims of public abuse.

Needless to say, the immigrants Trump wants to keep out of the U.S. are precisely the type who, in Europe, are currently Jew-bashing people like Stephen Miller — and Rob Eshman. But Eshman doesn’t want to think about this ticklish fact, which challenges his own simplistic, self-righteous pontifications.

Linda Sarsour is the very personification of stealth Islamization and an obvious anti-Semite. But as Davidson himself noted, she’s acquired plenty of Jewish allies and defenders, “including Jeremy Ben-Ami, Mark Hetfield, Rabbi Jill Jacobs and Brad Lander.”

For years now, Jews across western Europe have been the targets of harassment by Muslims. Police officers stand guard outside of synagogues. Recently, when I stayed in the Jewish Quarter in Rome, I couldn’t help notice the presence of multiple police kiosks, each manned by an armed cop. Many Jews in European cities have long since ceased wearing yarmulkes or Stars of David. Jewish kids are instructed by their parents to avoid identifying themselves as Jews at school lest they be beaten up by their little Muslim friends.

Meanwhile, almost everyone in a position to do something is a coward. Politicians continue to recite the mantra that “Muslims are today’s Jews,” even though in Europe today Muslims are far more often the tormentors than the tormented, and Jews lead the list of victims of public abuse. Police prefer not to prosecute Muslim perpetrators for fear of being called “Islamophobes.” Teachers don’t want to deal with Muslim bullies in their classes for the same reason.

Yet you would hardly know this to read much of America’s Jewish media. On August 2, the Jewish Journal ran a piece slamming Trump adviser Stephen Miller for dismissing (quite properly) the suggestion by CNN’s Jim Acosta that the new immigration bill favoring English-speakers violated the “spirit” of Emma Lazarus’s Statue of Liberty poem, “The New Colossus,” and emphasizing, as if it had anything to do with the issue, that Miller himself is the great-grandson of Jewish immigrants. This was not the first time the Jewish Journal had gone after Miller for being a Jew who supports immigration reform. In March, another piece in that publication, headlined (I kid you not) “From Hebrew School to Halls of Power,” noted that Miller was “a principal author of Trump’s draconian immigration measures, including the executive order the president signed in late January targeting immigrants from Muslim-majority countries,” even though “[t]hese politics are generally reviled in the liberal circles of his Jewish upbringing.”

The big hit-job, however, came a year ago, when the editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal, Rob Eshman, sneered at Miller for the way in which he “froth[ed] the mob” at Trump rallies over immigration. Eshman professed shock at the news that Miller is Jewish. How, he asked, could “this young anti-immigrant leader” be “the descendent of immigrants”? Eshman looked into Miller’s family tree, and discovered that his maternal great-grandfather, seeking to escape persecution by Cossacks, fled Antopol (in present-day Belarus) and settled in Pennsylvania, where he founded a thriving business. And yet, thundered Eshman, Miller dares to serve as “Trump’s anti-immigrant avatar.” Imagine: “The great-grandson of a desperate refugee can grow up to shill for the demagogue bent on keeping desperate refugees like his great-grandfather out.”

Stephen Miller, Senior Advisor to the President for Policy, talks to reporters about President Donald Trump’s support for creating a “merit-based immigration system”, August 2, 2017. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Needless to say, the immigrants Trump wants to keep out of the U.S. are precisely the type who, in Europe, are currently Jew-bashing people like Stephen Miller — and Rob Eshman. But Eshman doesn’t want to think about this ticklish fact, which challenges his own simplistic, self-righteous pontifications. No, better to demonize Miller as “an American Jew [who has] turn[ed] on immigrants,” who has “tak[en] the side of people who… would have met your own great-grandparents at the docks with stones and spitballs,” and who is “stoking anti-immigrant fear and hate, by calling for a ban on an entire religion.”

As it happens, Trump has never sought to enact a ban on an entire religion, although the present situation in Europe certainly makes a good argument for such a ban (with ample room for sensible exceptions, of course).

On August 3, over at the Forward, formerly the Jewish Daily Forward, one Steven Davidson actually served up one of the most idiotic articles of the year, entitled “19 People Jews Should Worry About More Than Linda Sarsour.” Sarsour, of course, is the devout, hijab-wearing, sharia-loving, Israel-boycotting Muslim who, since her high-profile appearance at the Women’s March on the day after Trump’s inauguration, has become a hero of feminism and of the left generally. Linda Sarsour is the very personification of stealth Islamization and an obvious anti-Semite. But as Davidson himself noted, she’s acquired plenty of Jewish allies and defenders, “including Jeremy Ben-Ami, Mark Hetfield, Rabbi Jill Jacobs and Brad Lander.”

As for Davidson, while finding some of her language “coarse and insensitive,” he insists that criticism of her has “no basis in reality.” In his piece, he encouraged readers to move from Sarsour and focus their concerns instead on 19 other people, including Louis Farrakhan, David Duke, the Ayatollah Khamenei, and the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m capable of hating all these other people while still having enough hate left for Linda Sarsour. (I’m also capable of noticing that nobody in the American mainstream is celebrating most of these other creeps, while Sarsour, under a Hillary Clinton administration, would probably have been in line for a Presidential Medal of Freedom.)

Also on the list, however, are White House counter-terrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka, whom Davidson smears as “a member of a far-right group founded by Nazis”; Trump strategist Steve Bannon, formerly of Breitbart, which “spew[s] xenophobic hate”; Milo Yiannopoulos, who although half-Jewish “disseminat[es] Jewish conspiratorial tropes”; and President Trump himself, whose crimes against the Jewish people, according to Davidson, include “[r]efus[al] to mention Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day.” Never mind that he has a Jewish daughter and grandchildren; we are supposed to believe that it is Trump, not Sarsour, who threatens Jews. Perhaps Davidson should have a little chat with some of the growing number of European Jews who are heading straight to Trump’s America to escape Sarsour’s coreligionists who, in countries run by politicians of whom Davidson doubtless approves, are being allowed to turn Europe once again into a place from which Jews feel compelled to flee.

Twelve Memorials that Must Be Removed if Democrats Are Serious About Erasing Racism

August 16, 2017

Twelve Memorials that Must Be Removed if Democrats Are Serious About Erasing Racism, BreitbartAwr Hawkins, August 16, 2017

(I don’t think any artifacts of American history should be removed. They represent our history — good, bad and indifferent. To the extent that we extinguish them we rewrite our history. Our so-called “institutions of higher learning” are already trying to do that. Without accurate perceptions of our history, how will we guide our future? — DM) 

AP/Hillery Smith Garrison

If Democrats are serious about weeding out monuments tied to racist history, the 12 monuments which honor the above mentioned Democrats ought to be first on the list.

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If Democrats seeking the removal of historical memorials tied to racist history are serious, they should be tripping over one another to get in front of a camera and call for the removal of memorials and namesakes to Presidents Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Sen. Robert C Byrd.

These five men had two things in common–all had a penchant for racism to one degree or another, and all were Democrats.

Some of the memorials to them are monuments, some are groves, others are highways, bridges, colleges, and even cemeteries. Of course, the cemeteries ought not be disturbed, but they should be renamed if the Democrats are serious about rooting out the vestiges of racism.

What follows is a short description of each of the Democrats and the memorials and/or namesakes in their honor:

President Andrew Johnson–Abraham Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson as his running mate in 1864 because Lincoln’s reelection hopes hinged on being able to attract some Democrat voters to his side. Lincoln was a Republican, Johnson a Democrat. The plan worked and Lincoln was reelected. However, following Lincoln’s assassination the oversight of post-Civil War policy for the South fell to Johnson, who believed the South ought to be able to make its own course. During his administration, post-Civil War Democrats enacted the Black Codes in the South, which were precursors to the Jim Crow laws they would implement in the 20th century. The Black Codes served to prevent freed slaves from actually experiencing the fullness of freedom. Johnson is honored with The Andrew Johnson National Historic Site and National Cemetery in Greenville, Tennessee.

President Woodrow Wilson–President Woodrow Wilson appeared tolerable of blacks and interested in their plight when running for election, but he made little effort to help better the condition of blacks as the 20th century hit its second decade. In fact, in The Warrior and the Priest, John Milton Cooper, Jr., wrote, “Wilson believed blacks were not innately inferior to whites and would, in two or three centuries, achieve a measure of economic and political, if not social, equality in America.” However, Cooper explained that these views had little impact on Wilson’s behavior as president of Princeton, a position he held prior to being President of the United States. At Princeton, Wilson “maintained the university’s long-standing ban on admitting blacks” and as President of the U.S. he “sanctioned” attempts to instill “segregation into federal departments.” Princeton honors Wilson with a college named The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt–FDR ordered the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. In other words, Japanese Americans were rounded up and held in captivity. History.com reports that FDR instituted internment by “[signing] the War Department’s blanket Executive  Order 9066” in February 1942. FDR is honored with the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington DC.

President Lyndon Baines JohnsonMSNBC put it bluntly, “Lyndon Johnson said the [n-word] a lot.” While “discussing civil rights legislation with men like Mississippi Democrat James Eastland, who committed most of his life to defending white supremacy, [LBJ’d] simply call it ‘the [n-word] bill.’” LBJ is honored with the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd–Prior to being a Democrat Senator in West Virginia, Byrd was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. When Byrd died in 2010, the Washington Postprinted an eulogy which said, in part, “As a young man, Mr. Byrd was an ‘exalted cyclops’ of the Ku Klux Klan. Although he apologized numerous times for what he considered a youthful indiscretion, his early votes in Congress — notably a filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act — reflected racially separatist views.” On June 26, 2010, the Cumberland Times-News reported that Byrd was honored by at least eight highways and/or bridges throughout West Virginia. The Times-Newslisted the memorials as “the Robert C. Byrd Expressway and Robert C. Byrd Bridge in Ohio County; Robert C. Byrd Highway (Corridor H); Robert C. Byrd Appalachian Highway System (also Corridor H); Robert C. Byrd Appalachian Highway System (Corridor G/U.S. 119); Robert C. Byrd Bridge in Huntington; Robert C. Byrd Interchange at Birch River; [and the] Robert C. Byrd Appalachian Highway System (Corridor L/I-77).”

If Democrats are serious about weeding out monuments tied to racist history, the 12 monuments which honor the above mentioned Democrats ought to be first on the list.

FBI Reopens Conservative Group’s FOIA Case on Loretta Lynch-Bill Clinton Meeting

August 16, 2017

FBI Reopens Conservative Group’s FOIA Case on Loretta Lynch-Bill Clinton Meeting, Washington Free Beacon, August 16, 2017

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch / Getty Images

The FBI has reopened a conservative organization’s request for information about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s meeting with President Bill Clinton after denying last year that there were any relevant records to disclose.

The American Center for Law and Justice’s Jordan Sekulow said Wednesday he has received a letter this week from the FBI’s chief of records management saying that the agency had determined that there may be “responsive” FBI records to the group’s Freedom of Information Act request last July and so he had reopened the case.

The agency told the ACLJ in October of last year, when the FBI was still under the direction of James Comey, that it had no records related to the infamous meeting between Lynch and Clinton on the Phoenix tarmac.

The letter reopening the FOIA dated Aug. 10 came after Sekulaw pointed out in an appearance on Fox and on the ACLJ’s website that it had recently received documents from the Department of Justice (DOJ) showing that FBI emails and other agency documents exist about the tarmac meeting.

Critics of Comey’s handling of the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email abuses point to the tarmac meeting as a turning point in the probe. After the late June meeting created a media firestorm questioning whether Lynch could remain impartial in the probe, Lynch announced that she would accept Comey’s determination on whether or not to indict Clinton based on the FBI’s email findings.

Just days later, Comey held a press conference announcing that the investigation determined that Clinton had been grossly negligent but her actions were not criminal.

“It is clear that there were multiple records with the FBI responsive to our request and that discussions regarding the surreptitious meeting between then-AG Lynch and the husband of the subject of an ongoing of an ongoing FBI criminal investigation reached the highest levels of the FBI,” Sekulow wrote on this website.

He also said the FBI’s claim last year that no responsive documents existed is a “direct contravention to the law” and the group will continue its legal fight to “hold the FBI’s feet to the fire and demand an expeditious and thorough search for all documents responsive to our request.”

“We know they exist, and we’re willing to go to court to get them if necessary,” he said.

The Justice Department documents the group received include several emails from the FBI to the DOJ officials concerning the tarmac meeting. One with the subject line “FLAG” is a conversation between FBI officials and DOJ officials concerning a media report about a “casual, unscheduled meeting between former President Bill Clinton and the AG.”

In the email string, the DOJ official tells an FBI press official to “let me know if you get any questions about this” and provides “[o]ur talkers [DOJ talking points] on this.”

The talking points are redacted.

Another email to the FBI contains the subject line: “security details coordinate between Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton?”

Additionally, on July 1, 2016, a DOJ email chain under the subject line, “FBI just called,” indicates that the FBI is looking for guidance in responding to media inquiries about news reports that the FBI had prevented the press from taking photos of the Clinton-Lynch meeting.

An hour later, Carolyn Pokorny, Lynch’s deputy chief of staff, said in one email, “I will let Rybicki know.” Jim Rybicki was Comey’s chief of staff. The information in the email that was provided to him was redacted, along with several other documents in the DOJ email cache the ACLJ received with notes that the redactions were requested “per FBI.”

NAACP President Opposes Confederate Statue Removal

August 16, 2017

NAACP President Opposes Confederate Statue Removal, The Point (Front Page Magazine), Daniel Greenfield, August 16, 2017

While the Charlottesville counterprotests were, on paper, associated more with African-American groups, the protesters overall tended to be white leftists. Black people have a variety of views on the subject ranging from opposition to apathy to support. For some, it’s a symbol of hate. For others, a part of history that has no effect on the present. And it’s removal just stirs up racism and violence.

Here’s a view from Bethlehem, PA.

“I think it’s all senseless. All senseless,” begins Bethlehem NAACP President Esther Lee.

Lee says the images that she’s seen over the last few days, have been tough to watch.

Lee says violence is still violence. She doesn’t agree with the vandalism of Confederate monuments in Baltimore or condone the actions of those who tore down the statue in North Carolina, either.

“You know that’s history. That was in that point in time. You can’t eliminate what history is. So I disapprove with young people pulling down those statues,” she says.

Lee then adds, “A young woman died. Two officers were murdered in a plane crash and all for what? Because somebody in their mind decided, “we don’t need to look at that anymore.”

“It shouldn’t be,” she says softly.

While Lee doesn’t agree with President Trump on everything, she does think that history should be left to stand and advises others to join her in praying for the president.

“I would pray that he would gain the strength to do what’s necessary in the job, at least for these four years,” she says.

Lee says maybe things aren’t what they should be. But that doesn’t mean hate and hurt need to win.

It’s a different point of view that isn’t being represented on the national stage.

The debate about Confederate statues in Dallas intensified on Monday as a group made up of predominantly African Americans called for the monuments to remain standing.

Several cities across America have now begun to remove or talk about removing Confederate markers shortly after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville turned deadly.

Former city council member Sandra Crenshaw thinks removing the statues won’t help.

“I’m not intimidated by Robert E. Lee’s statue. I’m not intimidated by it. It doesn’t scare me,” said Crenshaw. “We don’t want America to think that all African Americans are supportive of this.”

Crenshaw, along with some Buffalo Solider historians and Sons of Confederate Veterans are coming together to help protect the Confederate markers from toppling over in Dallas.

They feel the monuments, like the Freedman’s Cemetery, tell an important story and help heal racial wounds.

“Some people think that by taking a statue down, that’s going to erase racism,” said Crenshaw. “Misguided.”

Well I rather doubt that they do think that. They’re out to engage in a radical transformation of America. And their goal is to conduct radical social change and touch off clashes like these. When they’ve gone through the Confederate statues and the statues of Columbus, they will at some point move on to George Washington.

More arrests as terror stalks Jerusalem again

August 16, 2017

More arrests as terror stalks Jerusalem again, DEBKAfile, August 16, 2017

Finding the UAE funding Hamas terror was somewhat of a shocker to Israel.  After all, the emirate formally joined the anti-terror coalition that US President Donald Trump created during his visit to Riyadh and later to Israel in early April.

Obviously, Israel’s sovereign presence on Temple Mount, which is holy to three monotheistic faiths and claimed by Muslims, is an abidingly explosive issue. Last month’s crisis centering on the shrine, appears to have abated – but only on the face of it. The embers of the conflagration continue to simmer under the surface of the site and the city.

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Three major Israeli counter-terror operations in a week (Aug.10-16) are a measure of the intensity of terrorist plots for the commission of mass-casualty strikes in Jerusalem.

On Aug. 10, a combined effort of the Shin Bet, the police and the IDF, led to five Palestinians from Hebron being intercepted in the Palestinian Jerusalem neighborhood of El Azaria on their way to an attack. No details of this plot were released. But it was obvious that the five terrorists, armed with guns and explosives, were only stopped at the last minute from reaching the center of Jerusalem, just 15 minutes drive from El Azaria, and conducting a major attack.

Then, on Saturday, Aug. 12, a Palestinian woman knifed a man on Suleiman Street in East Jerusalem, mistaking him for a Jew. He turned out to be a local Arab Christian and was not badly hurt, before a police patrol nabbed the woman.

On Sunday, Aug. 13, a suspect was shot in the foot while resisting arrest at Bet Tsafafa, in southern Jerusalem . The police later reported they acted on a Shin Bet tipoff that the suspect, a resident of the mixed Abu Tor neighborhood, was primed for a terror operation.

On Monday, Aug. 14, indictments were filed at the Jerusalem district court against three residents of East Jerusalem on charges of plotting a shooting attack, as well as targeting police forces and persistent rock attacks on traffic – all in Jerusalem. They were also accused of planning to loose gunfire and explosive devices on vehicles using the Nablus bypass. This group therefore harbored ambitions for a widespread terrorist offensive in and outside Jerusalem.

Although Israel’s security authorities are cagey with the information they release on the mostly covert war they wage on Palestinian and Israeli Arab terror, three geographical areas may be marked out as significant: They are metropolitan Jerusalem including Bethlehem; Hebron – the city and mountain district; and the Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, northeast of Tel Aviv, which was the home town of the three gunmen who shot dead two policemen on Temple Mount on July 14.

Each location occupies a special place on the terror map.

The terrorist networks of Hebron and its environs are mostly tied ideologically and operationally to the extremist Palestinian Hamas. In the past fortnight, Hamas was found to be receiving large sums of money, most of it coming from sources in the United Arab Republic in the Persian Gulf. Some of the cash was funneled to Judea and Samaria and provided those networks with an extra incentive to go into action.

Finding the UAE funding Hamas terror was somewhat of a shocker to Israel.  After all, the emirate formally joined the anti-terror coalition that US President Donald Trump created during his visit to Riyadh and later to Israel in early April.

The terrorist cells operating in Jerusalem mostly belong to Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, or its militia, the Tanzim. Most are fringe groups that are not directly associated with their leaders. But the fact that they are free to perform acts of violence against Israelis is worrying Israeli security authorities.

The networks of Umm al-Fahm and its rural villages appear to be ideologically inspired by the outlawed Northern Branch of the Israeli Arab Muslim Movement (which is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood), or directly tied to the Islamic State command center in Syria.

At least 20 Israeli Arabs are known to have crossed into Syria to fight in ISIS ranks, some of them from Umm Al-Fahm.

Last Friday, Aug. 11, an indictment was filed against two residents of the town, who were preparing to leave for Syria and join the Islamic State. They were being helped by a former resident who had already reached Syria and was fighting with ISIS. One of the accused belonged to the same Jabarin clan as the murderers of police officers on Temple Mount.

Then, on Tuesday, Aug. 15, police arrived at the Umm Al-Fahm home of Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the banned Northern Branch of the Israeli Muslim Movement, with a warrant for his arrest. He was accused of publicly inciting to violence and terror and membership of an illegal organization.

Salah has been in and out of Israeli prisons for years over his fiery hate-filled sermons, which regularly call on his followers to “fight for the liberation” of Al Aqsa. Last year, he was locked up for calling on Israeli Arabs to join a Palestinian uprising against the state of Israel.

However, this time, the wide publicity given to his arrest so soon after the Temple Mount clashes – in an attempt to press charges serious enough to keep him behind lock and key for the long term – has brought the firebrand sheikh solid sympathy among sections of the Israeli Arab populace.

Obviously, Israel’s sovereign presence on Temple Mount, which is holy to three monotheistic faiths and claimed by Muslims, is an abidingly explosive issue. Last month’s crisis centering on the shrine, appears to have abated – but only on the face of it. The embers of the conflagration continue to simmer under the surface of the site and the city.

Charlottesville Protest Leads To Call For Expansion of Hate Crime and Terrorism Laws

August 16, 2017

Charlottesville Protest Leads To Call For Expansion of Hate Crime and Terrorism Laws, Jonathan Turley’s Blog, Jonathan Turley, August 16, 2017

Fields is already charged with murder in Virginia, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions moved quickly to open an investigation for possible hate crime charges on the federal level. Such a charge could rekindle concerns over the expansion of both hate crime and terrorism laws, particularly in conflict with free speech principles.

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Below is my column in USA Today on the calls for hate crime and terrorism charges against James Fields and possibly others.  The response is understandable, but the expansion of these laws raise serious free speech concerns that should be considered before prosecutors move beyond the current murder charge.

In a rare moment of unity in our country, leaders of both major parties joined in their call for investigations and prosecutions following the deadly protests in Charlottesville, Va. Officials have called for hate crime and terrorism charges against James Alex Fields Jr., 20, who is accused of mowing down counter-demonstrators and killing Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal.

It was a sickening act that came after a day of violence near the statue of Robert E. Lee. Fields is already charged with murder in Virginia, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions moved quickly to open an investigation for possible hate crime charges on the federal level. Such a charge could rekindle concerns over the expansion of both hate crime and terrorism laws, particularly in conflict with free speech principles.

Hate crime laws

The first challenge for a hate crime prosecution will be to determine if this was an act of specific hate from general rage. The hate crimes statute covers an attack that was motivated not by unfettered fury but particularized hatred of a victim’s race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Fields may indeed have targeted people on that basis, but there would be serious questions over the applicability of the statute. There is no indication that he waited for particular people to enter the street, but mowed down everyone in his path.

While Fields is reportedly an admirer of Adolph Hitler and some of his victims were black, Heyer was white and the crowd was a mix of races and genders and religions. The Justice Department could argue that Heyer was killed in an act targeting blacks, but it will have to show that Fields was attacking counter-demonstrators generally. This is the long-standing objection of civil libertarians that hate crimes tend to be dangerously fluid and subjective — as opposed to the more concrete murder charges.

There is a more general provision under the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and Section 245 of Title 18 that makes it a federal crime to use force to willfully injure or intimidate any citizen “participating lawfully in speech or peaceful assembly” directed at opposing the denial of civil rights to other people. That provision, however, is more often directed at acts like the denial of voting rights. It has not been applied to a case like this.

There was violence on both sides of this demonstration with people showing up with shields, clubs and other weapons. Fields certainly seems to easily fulfill the hate aspect of a hate crime, but his prosecution could raise the question of whom or what he hated so much as to cause him to speed down a crowded street in Charlottesville.

Terrorism laws

National security adviser H.R. McMaster took the calls for prosecution into a different direction on ABC’s “This Week” and insisted that “anytime that you commit an attack against people to incite fear, it is terrorism.” As with the statement of Attorney General Sessions, the strong language from McMaster was commendable in assuring Americans that we will not stand for such acts of savagery in this nation. However, McMaster’s call to “extinguish” acts of hatred through terrorism laws triggers a predictable response for those of us in the civil liberties community.

While Fields cannot be charged with domestic terrorism under these facts, people, including CNN legal analyst Page Pate, have called for the expansion of the law. Lisa Monaco, President Obama’s homeland security adviser, echoed McMaster’s sentiments and said that “kind of violence, committed for seeming political ends, is the very definition of domestic terrorism.” The question again will be Fields’s “seeming political ends” in plowing his car into a crowd of people on a street.

Civil libertarians have objected for years over the expansion of terrorism laws after 9/11. Under the USA Patriot Act, a violation of federal or state criminal law qualifies as “domestic terrorism” if it is intended to coerce or intimidate a civilian population or to coerce the policy of the government. As with the hate crime provision, there are obvious concerns about the use of such a law in the context of a political demonstration.

The First Amendment sees no distinction based on viewpoints. They are all protesters and cloaked in the same constitutional protections — and subject to the same criminal laws for violence. Indeed, the demonstrators had recently succeeded in going to court to enjoin the denial of free speech by the Charlottesville City Council in refusing them a permit.

There are calls for the demonstration by white supremacists and nationalists to be investigated as part of the terroristic act (or under the Ku Klux Act). That raises the specter that violence by demonstrators would be subject to terrorism investigations more readily than the violence of counter-demonstrators. For example, the racist organizer of this event was assaulted the following day when trying to speak to the media. Was this terrorism by a person acting with “seeming political ends”?

Obviously, this is not the time when it is popular to raise such concerns. At a time of national rage, such constitutional concerns can appear precious or even disloyal. However, we have much to lose if we allow crimes like terrorism to expand dramatically into areas of unpopular but protected speech. What Fields allegedly did was not speech, it was murder. As we legitimately investigate a possible hate crime, we need to be careful not to lose that distinction.

MB Groups Increasingly Open in Endorsing Anti-Sisi Violence

August 16, 2017

MB Groups Increasingly Open in Endorsing Anti-Sisi Violence, Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, August 16, 2017

 

A group of exiled Morsi-era Muslim Brotherhood politicians based in Istanbul has posted on Facebook a blueprint for overthrowing Egypt’s military regime. The Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC) reposted several videos on July 31 that it had released on Facebook over the past month offering strategies for violently toppling the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

Sisi rose to power in 2013, after the military ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government.

Until now the ERC, which met with Obama administration officials and liberal think tanks in 2015, has largely been involved in lobbying against Sisi’s government. An Arabic hashtag saying, “Preparing for the Revolution#,” appeared on the ERC’s Facebook page. The attached videos contain PowerPoint-type presentations with recommendations for Muslim Brotherhood revolutionaries in Egypt.

A July 1 ERC video asks, “How do we prepare for the revolution?” Egypt’s military holds all of the tools of power, so the video calls for Brotherhood supporters to block military movement to hinder it from suppressing any revolt.

“What do we do with the Army?? Like the Turks did,” the video says. “Determine the sites of all military units and the roads they use, and the locations of gates to hinder and cripple their movement when they think they are going out to confront the revolution.

“Like the Turks did using huge vehicles and deflating their tires to block the roads. We can use heavy oil on the roads to prevent the passage of [armored personnel] carriers like they did in Venezuela.”

Another video recommends targeting regime military airfields, ground defense units, pilot barracks, spare part warehouses, radar sites, and air defense installations. It emphasizes getting soldiers who either secretly belong to the Muslim Brotherhood or are sympathetic to the group to collect intelligence on pilots and navigators to keep them away from their aircraft. It also suggests gaining intelligence on the types of aircraft used by the Egyptian military and getting information about their takeoff schedules.

“The airfields must cease operating in the time of the revolution,” a slide says. “Blockading the pilots and preventing them form reaching the airfields is half the victory in the battle.”

The ERC enjoys little influence or name recognition within Egypt, but its turn toward endorsing violence puts egg on the faces of the Obama administration officials and the liberal intellectuals who embraced them, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Samuel Tadros told the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

“Even the fronts created to talk to the West are now using the language of violence,” Tadros said. “The mask has fallen; there’s no need to pretend any longer.”

ERC members used talking points about democracy and the rule of law while speaking in English during their 2015 visit, Tadros said, but those points were noticeably absent when they spoke in Arabic.

Other exiled Muslim Brotherhood leaders also have called for violence recently on social media.

Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Ashraf Abdelghaffar called on Brotherhood members to return to the jihadist traditions of the movement’s founder, Hasan al-Banna. A “Mujahid Brother” – a Muslim Brotherhood member who wages violent jihad – held the highest place of honor in the movement, Abdelghaffar argued in an Aug. 5 Facebook post.

“The only weakness that shall humiliate us is the love of this world and hating death,” Abdelghaffar wrote. “Therefore we have prepared your souls for great action. Strive for death – and life will be given to you. Know that there is no escaping death, and it will happen only once, and if you carry it out for the sake of God, there will be profit in this world and reward in the Afterlife, and nothing will harm you except what Allah has decreed. Work for an honorable death, you will be thus granted full happiness. May God provide us and you, the honor of achieving the martyrdom.”

This thinking, he wrote, reflected Al-Banna’s instructions.

“Imam Al-Banna talks about elevating the word of Allah and liberating the homelands,” Abdelghaffar wrote. “The summit of Islam is Jihad in the Way of Allah.”

Muslim Brotherhood-linked terrorist groups, such as the Revolutionary Punishment Movement (RPM), Popular Resistance Movement (PRM) and the Hassm Movement, have carried out attacks across Egypt since 2014 – sometimes in conjunction with ISIS Sinai Province. RPM and PRM were founded by Mohamed Kamal, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau who was killed last October in a gun battle with Egyptian police.

Kamal’s faction of the Muslim Brotherhood executive committee, also known as the “new guard,” decided to back away from the group’s prior public policy of endorsing peaceful resistance to the Sisi regime, George Washington University Muslim Brotherhood expert Mokhtar Awad noted in a July 26 Hudson Institute article.

The Brotherhood’s Shariah Committee published a book on a file sharing website in January 2015, The Jurisprudence of the Popular Resistance to the Coup, that offered a religious justification for a campaign of violence against the Sisi regime. The book acknowledged that the Muslim Brotherhood’s touted public support for non-violence was tactical rather than a matter of principle, Awad said, citing this passage:

“Peacefulness is not a fundamental of Islam or the group [Muslim Brotherhood], and special operations work does not mean total confrontation,” the book’s authors wrote. “‘May God grant us and you the honor of martyrdom’ … the Jihadi tendency settled as a doctrine in the foundation of Imam al-Banna’s methodology and the acculturation of the Muslim Brotherhood. Until it became a slogan they repeat day and night and on every occasion: ‘God is our objective, the Prophet is our leader, the Quran is our constitution, Jihad is our way, and dying in the way of God is our greatest hope.”

The Jurisprudence of the Popular Resistance to the Coup appeared around the same time as the Brotherhood’s official Arabic website, Ikhwanonline, posted a communiqué calling for “a long, unrelenting jihad.”

Peacefulness isn’t a fundamental tenet of Islam or the Brotherhood and that things can change. Magdy Shalash, one of Kamal’s top Muslim Brotherhood deputies, told the Turkish-based pro-Brotherhood channel Mekameleen TV. The Brotherhood leadership’s espousal of a non-violent slogan after the military toppled President Morsi did not apply to self-defense, he said.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s old guard, headed by Acting Supreme Guide Mahmoud Ezzat, still talks about peace, but the proliferation of violence and violent rhetoric shows it is losing control of the movement.