Peter King McCarthyist Hearing LiveBlog
Bennie Thompson gets permission for Andre Carson and two other Reps to sit on the hearing. People often forget that Carson, like Keith Ellison, is Muslim.
King accuses those who oppose the form of this hearing of hysteria. “To back down would be craven abdication to political correctness.”
King: “No equivalency of threat between al Qaeda and Neo-Nazis. Only Al Qaeda part of intl threat to our country.”
Bennie Thompson: Raises yesterday’s Spokane arrest and notes the suspect has ties to same group as Tim McVeigh. “A narrow focus lacks clarity.” Then says that we all come to this hearing from our history, alludes to King’s background in a country split by religion, an implicit reference to King’s material support for terrorism.
Thompson: I cannot help but worry that propaganda about this hearing will be used to inspire new suicide bombers.
John Dingell up. Note he represents Dearborn, the most Arab city in the US–though Conyers actually represents the side of the city with the heavy Muslim and Arab population (though of course his district has changed over the years).
Dingell: I kept a picture of Joe McCarthy on the wall so I knew what I did not want to be. I would beg you, Mr Chairman, to see to it that as we go into these matters we do not blot the good name of Arabs or Muslims or other Americans en masse. There will be plenty of rascals that we can point at and say these are real dangers to our country.
Keith Elliison up. Ellison introduces mother of son who died trying to rescue people on 9/11.
Ellison: This approach contrary to the best of American values. Need increased engagement to keep America safe.
Ellison: We need to conduct fair hearings and do no harm.[emphasizes reference to Muslim community in title of hearing] These are individuals not the entire community. [mentions people like Nidal Hasan and al-Awlaki] When you assign their violent actions, you assign collective blame to an entire group. Demanding a community response asserts entire community bears responsibility. All communities are responsible for combating violent extremism.
Ellison calls KKK “America’s oldest terrorist organization”
Ellison ends his testimony by describing how Hamdani–the Arab-AMerican who died trying to save people in 9/11–was vilified after the attacks until they found his remains. He described his football uniform, singing Messiah in the choir. By the end, Ellison was weeping. During it, CSPAN broke away to an image of the Twin Towers burning.
Frank Wolf claims the violation of Muslim-American rights is the exception, not the rule.
Wolf talks about the danger of ignoring radicalization in this country. Of course, this hearing is premised on ignoring the threat of ignoring the radicalization of white people.
Wolf is now going on a rant against CAIR. The Republicans in this hearing have been using a poster the SF CAIR group used–and was scolded for by CAIR national–as evidence that CAIR as a whole opposes cooperation.
Here’s the Ellison testimony on Mohammed Salman Hamdani:
Let me close with a story, but remember that it’s only one of many American stories that could be told. Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a 23-year-old paramedic, a New York City police cadet and a Muslim American. He was one of those brave first responders who tragically lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks almost a decade ago. As The New York Times eulogized, “He wanted to be seen as an all-American kid. He wore No. 79 on the high school football team in Bayside, Queens, where he lived, and he was called Sal by his friends… He became a research assistant at Rockefeller University and drove an ambulance part-time. One Christmas, he sang in Handel’s Messiah in Queens. He saw all the Star Wars movies, and it was well known that his new Honda was the one with “Yung Jedi” license plates.
Mr. Hamdani bravely sacrificed his life to try and help others on 9/11. After the tragedy some people tried to smear his character solely because of his Islamic faith. Some people spread false rumors and speculated that he was in league with the attackers only because he was Muslim. It was only when his remains were identified that these lies were fully exposed.
Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a fellow American who gave his life for other Americans. His life should not be defined as a member of an ethnic group or a member of a religion, but as an American who gave everything for his fellow citizens.
As I said, he was weeping by the time he was done.
Zuhdi Jasser claims that non-Muslims can’t solve Muslim radicalization. If so, then shouldn’t white people like Peter King focus on white radicalization?
Here’s a description of Zuhdi Jasser, who is testifying right now.
Melvin Bledsoe is describing the radicalization of his son. Key point is that the last part of radicalization happened in a jail in Yemen. If so, wouldn’t the jailing and beating of Gulet Mohamed be the worst possible thing the FBI could have done?
Abdirizak Bihi now describing opposition in Somalia-American community over finding children in Somalia.
King interrupts Bihi for going over on time. Finally stops his testimony. Then turns to Sheriff Leroy Baca, and says, “your time will not be limited.” So the white guy interrupts the black Muslim–in the middle of criticizing his own community and saying he will not be silenced–and then turns to law enforcement and tells him he can speak as long as he wants.
Lee Baca starts by comparing numbers of Muslim plots versus white extremism.
Jasser now ranting about mosques where they support Muslim law over American law. Me, I’m going to rant about our leaders who call to support Military law over the Constitution.
King to Bledsoe: “What is your opinion of this hearing.” Hmm, maybe not the right person to ask.
Thompson smartly asks King’s witnesses whether they advocate profiling, whether they advocate more mosques. Jesser wants to add something and asks King for more time. King goes to give it to him. SOmeone interrupts–“regular order.” King realizes it was Thompson’s time. Backs down.
Dan Lungren now trying to claim this is not about profiling. Then analogizes this hearing w/hearings investigating continuing presence of German Nazi war criminals (that is, people who ALREADY committed crimes), as well as hearings on the KKK (that is, hearings on one particularly terrorist organization).
Bihi now talking about intimidation by Muslim community.
Loretta Sanchez: As a minority, I would advocate they should have attorney present when talked to by FBI. Why should ANY minority waive that? Jasser says he has nothing to fear.
Mike Rogers, a white dude from AL, is trying to refute Loretta Sanchez’ point that minorities ought to have attorneys present when they talk to the cops.
Sheila Jackson Lee: We have two Muslims here cooperating, which is what this hearing suggests doesn’t happen.
Michael McCaul quotes from a Joe Lieberman letter to John Brennan–arguing he had to call it a threat from Islamic extremism–to justify his own bigotry. (Joe Lieberman, with us on everything but the war)
Laura Richardson talks about being born in the 60s, seeing films of McCarthy hearings. “The only difference between this hearing and the 60s is that those films were in black and white, and this one is in color.”