In FrontPage I discuss the latest Obama administration willful ignorance:
Relax. After reports surfaced last month that dozens of private airline employees may have had terror ties, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson this week set the record straight: “It’s not that they’re suspected terrorists. It’s that they hadn’t been vetted through all available databases. We have since corrected that problem and the cases have been resolved.” There is just one problem: this is not really a problem that can be corrected.
This came after the Cox Washington News Bureau reported that there were no fewer than 73 airport workers with possible terror ties, working at airports including Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Logan Airport in Boston, Orlando International Airport in Florida, Memphis International Airport in Tennessee, and others. But Johnson boasted: “We’re doing a better job of consulting all of the right databases when it comes to airport security and a host of other things.”
Is that so? How reassuring. Presumably Johnson and his team have consulted their extensive database of card-carrying Islamic State members, and have diligently compared it to their list of airport employees, and have removed those who appeared on both lists. The only problem with this scenario, of course, is that there is no such database, or anything comparable to it. There is simply no database that Johnson could consult that would enable the Department of Homeland Security to remove everyone with terror ties from airport jobs.
The impossibility of doing this is compounded by the fact that the Islamic State deliberately recruits people who have no criminal records, and instructs its operatives to blend in with the larger society, not wearing caftans or carrying around Qur’ans or even going to mosque – in other words, to obscure any possible information that might show up on DHS databases.
Compounding the impossibility of screening out people with terror ties from airport jobs is the fact that the Obama administration is bound as a matter of policy to ignore and deny the terrorists’ motivating ideology – so how can it vet for it? This goes back to October 19, 2011, Farhana Khera of Muslim Advocates, wrote a letter to John Brennan, who was then the Assistant to the President on National Security for Homeland Security and Counter Terrorism. The letter was signed not just by Khera, but by the leaders of virtually all the significant Islamic groups in the United States: 57 Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations, many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, including the CAIR, ISNA, MAS, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Relief USA; and MPAC.
The letter denounced what it characterized as U.S. government agencies’ “use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims and Islam,” and emphasized that this was an issue of the utmost importance: “The seriousness of this issue cannot be overstated, and we request that the White House immediately create an interagency task force to address this problem, with a fair and transparent mechanism for input from the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities, including civil rights lawyers, religious leaders, and law enforcement experts.”
The task force was needed because “while recent news reports have highlighted the FBI’s use of biased experts and training materials, we have learned that this problem extends far beyond the FBI and has infected other government agencies, including the U.S. Attorney’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Councils, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Army. Furthermore, by the FBI’s own admission, the use of bigoted and distorted materials in its trainings has not been an isolated occurrence. Since last year, reports have surfaced that the FBI, and other federal agencies, are using or supporting the use of biased trainers and materials in presentations to law enforcement officials.”
Khera complained that my books could be found in “the FBI’s library at the FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia”; that a reading list accompanying a powerpoint presentation by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Communications Unit recommended my book The Truth About Muhammad; and that in July 2010 I “presented a two-hour seminar on ‘the belief system of Islamic jihadists’ to the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Tidewater, Virginia,” and “presented a similar lecture to the U.S. Attorney’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council, which is co-hosted by the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office.”
These were supposed to be terrible things because I was bigoted and hateful. But many of the examples Khera adduced of “bigoted and distorted materials” involved statements that were not actually bigoted and distorted at all, but simply accurate. What was distorted was Khera’s representation of them. For instance, Khera stated,
A 2006 FBI intelligence report stating that individuals who convert to Islam are on the path to becoming “Homegrown Islamic Extremists,” if they exhibit any of the following behavior: