In this week’s Human Events column I discuss some of the many implications of the Nada Nadim Prouty espionage case (news links in the original):
An espionage case has come to light in Detroit that has a little of everything: besides espionage, there’s an illegal immigration angle, a Keystone Kops angle, and even involvement of major presidential candidates. It would make a great movie — if this kind of thing doesn’t kill us first.
Nada Nadim Prouty is a Lebanese Muslim who has been employed by both the FBI and the CIA. She has admitted that she searched FBI files for information on investigations of Hizballah — although, according to her plea agreement, she “was not assigned to work on Hezbollah cases as part of her F.B.I. duties and she was not authorized by her supervisor, the case agent assigned to the case, or anybody else to access information about the investigation in question.”
Cases she sought information about included those of two accused Hizballah operatives in the U.S. — namely, her sister and brother-in-law. She also searched the files to see what information the Feds had on herself. Some believe she was actually a Hizballah informant. Prouty is, meanwhile, an illegal immigrant: she has also admitted to paying an American citizen to entering into a sham marriage with her so that she could obtain U.S. citizenship. She is currently married to a longtime State Department official who has held important positions in the Egyptian and Pakistani embassies.
The Keystone Kops angle revolves around the fact that not only did the Detroit-area FBI hire her despite her sham citizenship — later, while working for the CIA, Prouty had access to key Al-Qaeda detainees in Iraq. What on earth was the FBI and the CIA thinking when they gave this woman sensitive jobs? They were almost certainly thinking about how good it was to have a Muslim on staff, to deflect criticism from the likes of the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council that their anti-terror efforts were anti-Muslim.
With such criticism taken seriously by the mainstream media, no one would have dreamed of asking Prouty questions about where she stood on the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism. Why, you”re automatically a bigot just for thinking that such questions should be asked. But when you don’t ask, of course, and make no effort to investigate in any other way, you don’t get answers.
Nor is that all. Several weeks ago I wrote about La Shish, a restaurant chain owned by Talal Chahine, who has fled the country to escape indictment for evading taxes and sending the restaurant money to Hizballah (to the tune of $20 million). La Shish was one of the sponsors of the Arab American Institute’s recent conference, where Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards addressed the crowd via video, while Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich and Republican candidate Ron Paul attended in person.
The candidates were falling all over themselves to condemn “racial profiling” — anti-terror efforts be damned — and grovel for the Arab vote. Did they know that one of the conference’s principal sponsors was under indictment for funding a terrorist group?
Talal Chahine, meanwhile, is Nada Nadim Prouty”s brother-in-law — the one she was rifling FBI files to get information about. If the information about the Nada Nadim Prouty had come out before the AAI conference, would any of the candidates have hesitated to be there? Would they have spoken out as strongly as they did against the alleged hardships that Arab Americans have suffered since September 11, 2001 because of anti-terror efforts?
We may never know the answers to these questions, because no one with access to the candidates is asking them. The Prouty case has received only perfunctory attention in the mainstream media, and no one seems particularly interested in drawing out its implications. Several CIA officials, meanwhile, have praised Prouty as a great agent and expressed interest in hiring her again. Even if they don’t, however, the official unwillingness or inability to face the causes of this debacle, and the common-sense remedies for it, only ensure that there will be many more Nada Nadim Proutys.