Sadly, this won’t surprise many folks. East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert is one of five Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives who are facing sharp criticism from their colleagues for demanding an investigation into unfounded charges that Muslim extremists are infiltrating the U.S. government.
Two years ago Gohmert warned that pregnant foreign terrorists are breeding baby terrorists in America. Now he has joined Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and three other members of Congress in the latest example of anti-Muslim hysteria, and an aide to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has become a smear target. From a CNN story:
Among the issues they raise is a claim that long-time aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, has three family members connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, and is at risk of being influenced by her family members. The members of Congress want to know how she holds a high level security clearance.
“The concerns about the foreign influence of immediate family members is such a concern to the U.S. Government that it includes these factors as potentially disqualifying conditions for obtaining a security clearance, which undoubtedly Ms. Abedin has had to obtain to function in her position,” Bachmann wrote in a letter defending the request. ”For us to raise issues about a highly-based U.S. Government official with known immediate family connections to foreign extremist organizations is not a question of singling out Ms. Abedin. In fact, these questions are raised by the U.S. Government of anyone seeking a security clearance.”
Congressman Gohmert claims that the Obama administration is allowing Muslim extremists to undermine the nation’s security:
“Evidence indicates that this administration continues to bow before groups associated with the goal of ‘destroying Western civilization from within,’ and about whom the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has found that there is plenty of evidence indicating that they support terrorism. For departments of this administration to continue meeting with such groups and agreeing to further blind our government agents charged with looking for enemies wanting to destroy us is at best foolhardy. At a minimum, we need an independent inspection regarding the role, the roots and the results of such destructive groups within this administration. Our enemies have been identified; now we need to know what they have done to our ability to protect ourselves.”
These outrageous charges, especially against Abedin, appear to offended even other Republicans in Congress, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. Yesterday Sen. McCain sharply criticized the charges made by Gohmert and his four colleagues and by Bachmann in her separate letter:
“To say that the accusations made in both documents are not substantiated by the evidence they offer is to be overly polite and diplomatic about it. It is far better, and more accurate, to talk straight: These allegations about Huma, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant. …
Ultimately, what is at stake in this matter is larger even than the reputation of one person. This is about who we are as a nation, and who we aspire to be. What makes America exceptional among the countries of the world is that we are bound together as citizens not by blood or class, not by sect or ethnicity, but by a set of enduring, universal, and equal rights that are the foundation of our constitution, our laws, our citizenry, and our identity. When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it.
Our reputations, our character, are the only things we leave behind when we depart this earth, and unjust attacks that malign the good name of a decent and honorable person is not only wrong; it is contrary to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
Speaker Boehner weighed in on the issue today:
“I don’t know Huma, but from everything I do know of her, she has a sterling character. And I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.”
Anti-Muslim hysteria clearly has become the new McCarthyism in America. It’s unfortunate, to say the least, to see a Texas congressman helping feed that hysteria.