Skip to comments.Benghazi Investigator Slams America and ‘Islamophobes’
Posted on 11/02/2012 6:08:08 PM PDT by bayouranger
America is a seething hotbed of Islamophobia, filled with ignorant racist rubes who irrationally fear the benign Muslim religion, according to the Obama administrations lead investigator into the Benghazi atrocities.
So said former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering in more polished, diplomatic language during an Oct. 23 panel discussion at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The talk was on what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia, a make-believe mental illness that Islamists would love to have listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Radical Islams stateside defenders frequently accuse anti-terrorism hawks of McCarthyism, hurling the epithet Islamophobe the same way American leftists use the word racist to shut down debate.
Pickerings pontifications came two and a half weeks after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named him to head a State Department Accountability Review Board tasked with examining the circumstances surrounding the deaths on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of 9/11, of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and security personnel Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
At last weeks panel discussion, Pickering piously but incorrectly invoked the Holocaust to argue that American Muslims were somehow in danger.
Im not great at quotations, he said, foreshadowing a misattribution to come.
Perhaps it was [German theologian and dissident] Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said of the Nazis, when they came for the Jews, I didnt speak up. I was not a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I didnt speak up, I was not a Catholic. When they came for us, no one spoke up. There was no one left to do so, Pickering said, paraphrasing famous, poignant verses actually spoken by Third Reich-era German pastor Martin Niemoller.
Pickering said that Americans lack of familiarity with Islam and not Islamic terrorist attacks on Americans fuels hostility toward Muslims.
Data shows that those Americans who do not know Muslims, who do not know much about Islam, are the ones who harbor the greatest feelings of prejudice, he said.
There is a strong, continuing, and perhaps, in an unfortunate way in some areas, growing, prejudice against Muslims and Islam, he said.
However, he added that veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have so far avoided embracing this anti-Islamic bigotry. Many of the soldiers are still serving and I think that also is helpful because they understand that as loyal Americans that kind of prejudice is not to be expressed.
Pickering urged what might amount to a zero-tolerance policy against so-called Islamophobes in American society. There are strong efforts as well that we must make to deal with opinion leaders who harbor these prejudices, who espouse them and spread them, he said.
Although the former envoy did not elaborate on what those strong efforts might consist of, his statement is worrisome. The Obama administration is openly hostile to the First Amendment.
After the Benghazi debacle, President Obama went before the United Nations General Assembly and apologized for Americas free speech protections. Pushing the false cover story that the attacks on U.S. missions this past Sept. 11 were prompted by an anti-Islam video virtually no one saw, the president said that the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Weeks before that, Department of Justice official Thomas Perez pointedly refused during a congressional hearing to rule out supporting Saudi-style anti-blasphemy laws.
Pickering wasnt the only panelist last week to describe ordinary Americans as a threat to Muslim inhabitants of the United States.
In a particularly revealing soliloquy, Arab American Institute president James J. Zogby, whose younger brother is renowned pollster John Zogby, passionately inveighed against his fellow Americans, and particularly Tea Party supporters, labeling them dangerous racist Islamophobes:
I think that theres a direct correlation between the president of the United States and Islamophobia. As we do our polling, we find that it is not the universal phenomenon. This hatred toward Muslims is largely concentrated with middle class, middle age, white people, and then it overlaps almost identically with the Tea Party. It is not a Republican thing. Its a generational thing.
And it is a phenomenon born of a simple set of conditions, collapse of home mortgages, foreclosures increasing, pensions in collapse when the stock market went down, unemployment doubling, the decline of the American dream. In our polling we always used, when wed say, are your children going to be better off than you, thats the American dream question, wed get two thirds saying yes. We now get two thirds saying no.
And in the midst of all of that this group of white middle aged, middle class men looked around and saw a young African-American, educated at Harvard with a middle name Hussein, and didnt like the president of the United States of America. It fueled this phenomenon and it opened the door for the wedge issue to operate and its operating simply among that demographic. Its not a universal phenomenon. Its not found among African-Americans or Asians or Latinos. Its not found among young white kids. Its not found among college educated professional women. Its found in that one narrow demographic. Thats where the bad numbers come from.
He continued: And I think that, if, we had, I have a lot of gripes with George Bush, but if he were president, he would be doing what he did, which is put his foot down and say stop. I think we would not be seeing the phenomenon growing as we see it growing. But the problem is is that if Barack Obama says stop they say, youre just the damn problem to begin with, youre not one of us anyway, Zogby said, affecting an accent that might be characterized as redneck or country.
There is an overlay between the racism and the Islamophobia that is being used as a wedge issue against President Obama, he said. Zogby also described controversial Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a Muslim and an extreme left-winger, as a gift to America and Congress, an extraordinary person who could not be better than he is.
It should be noted that Zogbys views are unremarkable in leftist circles. They are within the mainstream of the Democratic Party. He is a member of the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee. In 1984 Zogby was a senior advisor to the Rev. Jesse Jacksons presidential campaign.
Pickering said he agreed with Zogbys critique. Let me just go further, he said. Jim, I agree with what you say about both domestic politics and the wedge issue and the effect on the attitude towards the president. Im deeply concerned.
The fact that the U.S. has fought two long, difficult, and fruitless, in my view, wars against countries which are Islamic and in which that particular set of issues contribute to stereotyping, to phobia, to basically loose talk, jokes, and all the things that go to tend to make up bigotry and in a sense authorize it because we were at war, is, in my view, part and parcel of the phenomenon that we see now, he said.
Pickering also praised his fellow panelists American Association for Muslim Advancement executive director Daisy Khan, and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, as wonderful people whose hopes and aspirations we all, I believe, widely share.
Khan and Rauf are prime movers behind the proposal to build a victory mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. Khan becomes apoplectic when discussing those who question the wisdom of building a Muslim holy site so close to the place where nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in an Islamist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Asked in 2010 if America was Islamophobic, Khan replied that Its not even Islamophobia, its beyond Islamophobia its hate of Muslims.
Critics say Pickering is unfit to head any probe of what happened in Benghazi because he harbors sympathy for Islamism and is suspiciously cozy with Iran, the worlds leading state sponsor of terrorism. The former envoy has ties to the pro-Iran Islamist front group known as the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). NIAC recently lost an important defamation case in federal court in which it unsuccessfully argued the group was not a tool of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
NIAC is one of several Jihadist entities hostile to American interests, according to an influential report by Clare M. Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. NIAC is involved in a de facto partnership with its notorious Islamist ally the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other organizations serving as mouthpieces for the mullahs party line. CAIR is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood and was named by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 and 2008 Holy Land Foundation trials.
Pickering counsels against attacking Iran, arguing war with that country would be madness, and catastrophic for U.S. interests. He wants the U.S. to resume diplomatic relations with Iran, which were severed in 1980 after Iranian revolutionaries seized the U.S. Embassy and 52 Americans.
Pickering opposes proposed legislation that would make it illegal for any American diplomat to have any contact with an Iranian official. He supports a plan for a multinational uranium enrichment consortium in Iran, which is thought to be developing nuclear weapons.
The U.S. has had a trade embargo in effect against oil-rich Iran since 1995. Pickering desperately wants trade sanctions relaxed.
Composing an op-ed from a parallel universe in which Iran doesnt put homosexuals and religious dissenters to death, finance Islamofascist terrorism, or aspire to vaporize Israel, three months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Pickering argued that Iran was bursting with big opportunities for the United States.
Iran could become a stabilizing influence in a congenitally unstable region, he wrote Dec. 28, 2001, in the Washington Post.
Iran has attributes unique to the region: rudimentary but real politics based on free elections; a legitimate government; a history and culture all its own; and uncontested borders fixed by that experience, rather than imposed by other governments, Pickering opined. Iran has had its revolution and never come close to imploding. Support for the hard-line Islamist clerics who came to power in that revolution has dwindled. Iran is a largely moderate and pro-American society.
Meanwhile, the Obama administrations cover-up of its catastrophic failures in Benghazi continues to flounder.
On Oct. 31 Catherine Herridge of Fox News reported that Stevens personally begged for adequate security for the consulate in a classified cable sent to Secretary Clintons office on Aug. 16. There can be no doubt that this is really a cry for help from the people on the ground, Herridge said, referring to the cable as the smoking gun warning.
If you couple this with the fact that we were coming up with the 9/11 anniversary and if you couple this with the statements that a videotape was somehow responsible, what you see is that is completely undercut. This cable says that, The militias and al-Qaeda are here, we essentially think that we are next. So to take this attack and to suggest for such a long period of time that it was [an anti-Islam] video when you have a classified cable and the intelligence, it just doesnt match up, she said.
I cant think of anything that would be more specific than if these [terrorist] groups had emailed the State Department and said, Heres the time, heres the place, and heres the method of the attack, she said.
I think its important that the people who lost their lives have themselves honored with the facts and I think were starting to get the facts, Herridge said.
With Ambassador Pickering steering the official State Department investigation, those facts seem likely to be sacrificed to political expediency.
This filthy koranimal hates whitey. I think that theres a direct correlation between the president of the United States and Islamophobia. As we do our polling, we find that it is not the universal phenomenon. This hatred toward Muslims is largely concentrated with middle class, middle age, white people, and then it overlaps almost identically with the Tea Party. It is not a Republican thing. Its a generational thing."
There's much more at the link.
yeah I am afraid of Islam. get them all away from me and keep them all away from me.
Dear Mr Pickering,
Please view http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Qpy0mXg8Y which I think is the most touching and educational vid that all should watch, particularly yourself. Matter of fact, it should be required viewing in school curriculums.... and for ill-guided, mis-informed and messed up politicians
After I read the Koran several times and the Hadiths I came to the same conclusions as the fundamental Muslims who are trying to kill us. Subjugate, convert or kill anyone who doesn't believe there is only one God and Mohammed is his prophet.
As an Infidel I find that to be a threat that has to be addressed. - Tom
Following his retirement, the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program was renamed the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program to honor Pickering. Fellowships are funded by the U.S. Department of State, and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (WWNFF). Also, in May 2004, Bowdoin awarded Pickering the Bowdoin Prize, the highest award that the College bestows upon its graduates.
He serves on the board of directors for CRDF Global and the American Iranian Council, an organization devoted to the normalization of relations between Iran and America. He is currently a member of the Constitution Project’s bipartisan Liberty and Security Committee. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Henry L. Stimson Center board of directors as well as the Advisory Board of Eurasia Group, the political risk consultancy firm. He serves on the Guiding Coalition of the nonpartisan Project on National Security Reform.
Thomas Pickering, chairman of the international crisis group. Other notables on the board include George Soros, Sandy Berger, Wes Clark, Kofi Annan, Javier Solana, George J. Mitchell, Richard Armitage, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and many more.
Pickering is an absolute disgrace, not only as an American, but as a human being.
I watched a special recently with Zbigniew Brzezinski going to work on his moslem prayer beads subconsciously...they’re are too many converts working within the FedGov and they make up the worst types of traitors in our nation’s history.
Aaaaa, shaddap, ya freakin' commie!
Yup and they have lifelong political ties to far too many people on both sides of the aisle in our government.
“islamophobia” is a word in search of a proper definition. I have no “fear of islam.”
But, I do have a clear, unshakable understanding that islam is the enemy. Not “radical islam,” islam! If all the radicals were wiped out tomorrow, the following week one of the “moderates” would find the pertinent verses and begin radicalizing his “students.”
How many times has islam swept over neighboring peoples and “converted” them? Every time it has been repelled, it has been with the draining of enough islamic blood that they withdrew. Every time.
Lets just do the statistics, killed in the name of:
Dear Idiot Pickering :
Please avail yourself of the modern technology to refute false claims. The history of Islam and its barbarity is well documented.
I doubt even the Nazi machine had as many atrocities to their credit, spread worldwide, as this so-called Religion of Peace.
What a totally ignorant and willfully blind statement. The primitive, violent totally vicious culture bent on murder and mayhem, even among themselves, is recorded visually every day worldwide. One needs to live in a fantasy world to fail to see the obvious.
And there is one thing, also obvious, that joins the culture together.
As an agnostic, I have been told by Christians that they wish I would convert to their religion. On very rare occasions, I have been threatened with damnation if I dont convert; not much of a threat, as I have no belief in Hell, or even that I have a soul to be damned in the first place.
On the other hand, on the somewhat rarer occasions that Ive discussed the subject with Muslims, they without exception told me that as an unbeliever I would go to Hell (shrug...), and that my public profession of unbelief should be illegal. When pressed, some of them said my unbelief should be punished by death.
Christianity doesn’t threaten my well-being. Islam does.
In 1968 took a comparative religions class. Islam was the only religion that scared me. We, the infidels, should be aware of their lifes’ goal.
...former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering... during an Oct. 23 panel discussion... on "what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia," a make-believe mental illness that Islamists would love to have listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.The mystery is, why people with no religion or belief in an afterlife would be meeting in the National Cathedral.
The man is such an idiot, a dupe for the radical Islamists hell bent on enslaving people worldwide. He like many in Washington are just mere and useful idiot puppets.