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Posted at 1:05 PM ET, 03/ 7/2011

Pete King admission undermines his own case for anti-Muslim hearings

By Adam Serwer

Is Pete King backing away from his own stated reasons for holding hearings on Muslim radicalization this week?

On CNN this weekend, King seemed to quietly do just that, making an interesting admission in an exchange with Dem Rep. Keith Ellison. They were debating King's decision to focus his hearings solely on Muslims, and King's argument contained a telling walkback:

"We're talking about al Qaeda," King said. "There's been self radicalization going on within the Muslim community, within a very small minority, but it's there and that's where the threat is coming from at this time."

On the eve of his own hearings, King is finally acknowledging that only a "very small minority" of Muslims actually pose a danger to the U.S. But this statement is exactly the opposite of what King has been saying all along. Recall that King first justified holding these hearings on the basis of a fabricated statistic that "80 percent" of American mosques are radicalized, and that "the Muslim community does not cooperate [with authorities] anywhere near to the extent that it should." In 2007, he called American Muslims "an enemy living amongst us." Now he's saying it's "a very small minority" that he's worried about.

Robert Costa obtained the list of witnesses for King's hearings, and, tellingly, King isn't calling anyone who will be able to corroborate his years of outrageous allegations, or even the argument he gave for holding the hearings in the first place:

National Review Online has obtained the list of witnesses set to appear at Rep. Peter King's hearings on radicalization within the American Muslim community: Abdirizak Bihi, the brother of Burhan Hassan's mother; Melvin Bledsoe, the father of Carlos Bledsoe (Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad); Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, an Arizona physician and military veteran; Lee Baca, the sheriff of Los Angeles County; Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.); Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.).

Carlos Bledsoe shot up a military recruiting center in 2009, killing one recruiter and wounding another, and Burhan Hassan died in Somalia after being recruited by extremist group Al-Shabaab, which has a disturbing track record of being able to recruit American citizens.

The only law enforcement officer on the witness list, however, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, is being called by the Democrats -- Baca has said that "have been pivotal in helping to fight terrorism." So despite calling the hearings on the basis that American Muslims are full of radicals refusing to cooperate with law enforcement, King isn't calling a single member of the law enforcement community to corroborate that claim. 

There's probably a reason for that -- according to the Triangle Center on Terrorism at Duke University, 40 percent of domestic terror plots have been foiled with the aid of the Muslim community. That number is as much a sign of cooperation from Muslims as it is an indication of how relatively few domestic terror attacks there have been in comparison to the attention they receive. While domestic radicalization is a serious issue worthy of Congress's attention, King's own history of support for violent extremism in the context of Irish nationalism and his record of making broad, unsupported negative generalizations about American Muslims makes him a poor candidate to lead that examination.

As Greg noted this morning, at an event in Virginia over the weekend, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough emphasized this record of cooperation, stating that "The bottom line is this -- when it comes to preventing violent extremism and terrorism in the United States, Muslim Americans are not part of the problem, you're part of the solution." There's a remarkable level of agreement among real counterterrorism experts on this point. Last year former Bush Homeland Security official Charles Allen told me that "the only way I think you're going to counter" domestic extremism is through cooperation with the Muslim American community.

That relationship though, is harmed by King's efforts to put an entire religion on trial for the actions of a few.

UPDATE 3:33 p.m: The McDonough event was in VA, not Texas. My mistake.

By Adam Serwer  | March 7, 2011; 1:05 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, House GOPers  
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Comments

It is important to follow the links on this one.

Mr Serwer's statement is:"according to the Triangle Center on Terrorism at Duke University, 40 percent of domestic terror plots have been foiled with the aid of the Muslim community."

but the report itself says this:"Tips from the Muslim American community provided the source of information that led to a terrorist plot being thwarted in 48 of 120 cases involving Muslim Americans."

Note the unclear language here. 40% of domestic plots were resolved with help. Were the others resolved at all? Does that mean that 60% of the plots were resolved without any help from the muslim?

If 48 plots were thwarted thanks to the muslims, we can conclude that there were 72 plots in which the muslims offered no help at all.

Why? did the muslims no nothing of the plot or did they know and say nothing?

I also love this:
"Eleven Muslim Americans have successfully executed terrorist attacks in the United States since 9/11, killing 33 people. This is about 3 deaths per year. There have been approximately 150,000 murders in the United States since 9/11. According to the FBI there were approximately 15,241 murders in the United States in 2009."

the intent here is clear: the muslim inspired murders are not a problem because the murders rates are already so high. The muslims are just incremental killers so we shouldn't worry.

But let's look at the difference. First, we have to be right every time, the muslim madmen only need to get through once. Next, we don't have any means of protecting ourselves from random muslim inspired violence. Madmen could up fire in any crowded mall, tree lighting ceremony, virtually anywhere that we infidels gather in numbers.

Even if the deaths thus far aren't of importance to the left, a single attack could skew our murder stats for years to come and no rational person could say otherwise. Destroy a tunnel under the Hudson in the middle of rush hour and suddenly the muslims are again rocketed to the top of the murder charts.

Also, who is killing whom in America? Most people are murdered by someone they know. The case of muslim terror, it is just a random act DESIGNED to be as destructive as possible. How, exactly, does an individual America protect against that? Never be in a crowd again? Never go to a mall or even to work?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 7, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

picking up on a post I made this morning, I'd love to know how the authorities define "cooperating" with law enforcement.

Also -- TSA is patting down people *after* their trips.

http://gizmodo.com/#!5768805/tsa-harasses-9+yo-boy-and-other-train-passengers-after-their-trip

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 7, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

This will be remembered in history the same as we remember internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. It's not that Muslim extremism and the violence it breads is a non-threat; the problem is we are casting too wide a net. My father's office was destroyed at the Pentagon on 9/11 (he survived), and one of his office-mates was pulled off a plane weeks later because he was a Muslim boarding a domestic flight (this is a soldier, mind you). He was good-natured about the whole thing, but it illustrates the point that paranoia breeds irrationality.

If we villify whole segments of our society for the actions or desires of a "small minority" (I'd say infinitesimally small minority), then the hate-mongerers we fear have already won. American supremacy and security at the expense of liberty is no victory.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 7, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kings investigation is a very sad event. This county is ravaged by hate ,so lets pour on gasoline. We do need to investigate the radicalization of religion ALL OF THEM not just Islam. Religious Extremism in this country is the result of the failure to enforce the US Constitution which calls for the separation church and state. A democracy can not live when religion replaces secular law. We are self destructing

Posted by: xxx5640 | March 7, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kings investigation is a very sad event. This county is ravaged by hate ,so lets pour on gasoline. We do need to investigate the radicalization of religion ALL OF THEM not just Islam. Religious Extremism in this country is the result of the failure to enforce the US Constitution which calls for the separation church and state. A democracy can not live when religion replaces secular law. We are self destructing

Posted by: xxx5640 | March 7, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"picking up on a post I made this morning, I'd love to know how the authorities define "cooperating" with law enforcement.

Also -- TSA is patting down people *after* their trips.

http://gizmodo.com/#!5768805/tsa-harasses-9+yo-boy-and-other-train-passengers-after-their-trip

Posted by: NoVAHockey"

Happened to me a few times when I was a little kid. I've gotten the full pat-down in between flights. Of course, I fit the profile of a terrorist, so it's understandable why there is an uproar over this kid, but nothing when it happened to me.

And I hope everyone who complains about the body scan get's a nice body cavity search from a TSA Agent named Bruno. Those things have made my life easier since I am no longer subject to..."random"...searches.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 7, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

mobrien's comment reminds me of something that happened to a friend of mine shortly after 9/11: he was flying home to Puerto Rico on a direct flight from San Diego. His flight was delayed and he couldn't get a hold of his wife, so he called a friend of his in PR who doesn't speak English. As he was explaining what was going on to his friend, he was approached by the pilot and a cop and ordered to get off the plane--turns out the man behind him was concerned that he was a terrorist because he was speaking Spanish. . . on a DIRECT FLIGHT TO PUERTO RICO. We've gotten stupid about security. And stunts like Rep. King's "hearings" don't help any.

Posted by: Michigoose | March 7, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

no one is villifying anybody. We're seeing to the physical safety of the American citizens. That's what a government is supposed to do.

the liberals don't see this as the government's role at all. To them the government exists to take money from people they don't like and give it to people they do.

for a dramatically different perspective on this, obtained without leaving this web site, I suggest Jen Rubin's blog post on the hearings.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 7, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Mr. King needs to be asked that, at a time when Muslims in the Middle East are risking their lives for democracy, does this democracy really need to be putting on legislative show trials to hype the danger posed by a small percentage of Muslims?

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | March 7, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

All, Organizing for America is gearing up for the budget fight:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/03/ofa_gop_budget_could_mean_loss.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | March 7, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The CIA estimates there are between 5,000 and 10,000 terrorists world-wide. There are 1.5 billion Muslims. So, that's between 150,000 to 300,000 to 1 odds any given Muslim is a terrorist, if all terrorists were Muslims. They aren't.

By contrast, the odds any given Catholic priest has been accused of child molestation is 1 in 20.

King's problem is, times have moved on. he's an old dog who only knows one trick. Terrorize the American voters to get elected.

Posted by: Marko117 | March 7, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

What factual support is there for this:
"Mr. King needs to be asked that, at a time when Muslims in the Middle East are risking their lives for democracy, does this democracy really need to be putting on legislative show trials to hype the danger posed by a small percentage of Muslims?"

What proof exists that the muslims want democracy? It seems that what they want, for the immediate term, is the deposition of their current rulers.

What follows from that is anybody's guess but the track record doesn't bode well for democracy and freedom in the region. Islam doesn't comport well with some of our more modern concepts that under pin our country.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 7, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Al-Qaeda would be a total failure if it wasn't for Republicans like King and FOX News who keep stoking fear for profit.

bin Laden understood and exploited our weaknesses perfectly.

Posted by: Marko117 | March 7, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Skip- Government is responsible for keeping us safe, within reason. As a conservative, I'm sure you recognize a number of limitations on how government ought to go about keeping us safe. Eliminating all dissent and private ownership of firearms, policies I oppose, would tend to make us safer.

The government should do what it can to eliminate extremism that tends toward violence, but identifying a group of people by their religion or ethnicity and singling them out for "lack of cooperation" sounds dangerously at odds with a number of the values that make this country great.

I concede that even a small chance of an incident where the degree of damage is incredibly severe warrants a strong response, but this isn't the appropriate way to go about it any more than the chance that Japanese Americans might support their former country during WWII warranted interning members of that population.

Americans who have died to protect our way of life didn't do so because they valued safety over liberty. Liberty is inherently dangerous, but free democracy is the worst form of government besides all the others.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 7, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

12 posts -- remind me again why I'm supposed to believe that liberals care about civil liberties. of course, their guy is in the White House, so i guess that makes it okay.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 7, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Terrorism only works if people stay terrorized.

Al-Qaeda owes a debt of thanks to people like Peter King and FOX News.

Posted by: Marko117 | March 7, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

All- have a good afternoon. May be on later.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 7, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The odds of an American citizen dying from a terrorist act are astronomically high. On the order of 1:600,000. Cancer? Not so high. 1:6.

I'd rather we spend some of this juicy anti-terrorism booty govt contractors salivate over and lobbyist kick back to politicians like King on cancer research.

Posted by: Marko117 | March 7, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"While domestic radicalization is a serious issue worthy of Congress's attention."

Ta da! Finally! That's all we've been saying all along.

Posted by: sbj3 | March 7, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Maybe King can simply convince Obama and Hillary to stop issuing millions of VISAs to radicals in third world Muslim nations as well as to drug cartel and gang members in Mexico and Central America.

It all starts with radical PC BS immigration policies - just ask Italy, Germany, France and the UK who have finally realized multi culturalism doesn't work when those you allow to immigrate refuse to assimmilate and demand YOU accept their laws and culture.

Posted by: Patriot12 | March 7, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"40 percent of domestic terror plots have been foiled with the aid of the Muslim community."

but the report itself says this:"Tips from the Muslim American community provided the source of information that led to a terrorist plot being thwarted in 48 of 120 cases involving Muslim Americans."

Duh do the freaking math. 48 divided by 120 is...wait for it...40%!!!!! Or maybe you'd prefer 4/10th! Jeebus!

"Does that mean that 60% of the plots were resolved without any help from the muslim?"

Again duh what's the freaking point. How many doctors have been murdered for performing a legal medical procedure...how many clinics have been bombed..how many health care workers have been threatened, intimidated and terrorized. Does every case that was solved without the help of Fundamentalist Christian Churches mean that all Fundies are abortion terrorists?

Change the rubber sheet in your bed skippy your bed wetting fears will ruin your mattress dude. I have read enough of your ignorant posts to realize that you are nothing more than a typical bigot. You hate Muslims and so you float all this wild BS. Shame on you for calling yourself a Christian you piece of hate.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 7, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Do we understand Islam and Muslim???

see CURRENT TRENDS IN ISLAMIST IDEOLOGY at http://www.currenttrends.org/ and http://www.jihadwatch.org/

Posted by: Rockvillers | March 7, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Wir arbeiten, um Amerika den Platz für weiße Amerikaner zu bilden. Wir werden eviserate die Moslems, dann, das wir nach den Juden und den illegalen Einwanderern gehen. Amerika wird eine reine arryan Nation.


Posted by: Maddogg | March 7, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

OIL PRICES HAVE RISEN 133% SINCE OBAMA TOOK OFFICE.

GAS PRICES HAVE RISEN 70.4% SINCE OBAMA TOOK OFFICE.

Yet, Obama, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Energy Secretary Steven Chu, CONTINUE TO PREVENT THE U.S. FROM DRILLING FOR OIL IN THE GULF OF MEXICO AND ALASKA.

Responding to political pressure and rising frustration from consumers, Salazar has issued ONE PERMIT TO DRILL, to Noble Energy's oil well off the coast of Louisiana.

ONE PERMIT.

That is not going to solve our problems and the Obama administration knows it!

Mideast destabilization is now driving up the price of crude, now over $100.00 per barrel. The excessive price of oil not only has a devastating impact on consumer goods, but on interest rates as well.

The United States is again, for the second time in less than three years, being reminded of its absurd dependence of foreign sources of energy, most notably, oil. The upheavals in the Middle East have driven up the cost of a barrel of oil into triple digits as it was in 2008. The increasing demands of countries such as China and India and the deliberate devaluation of the dollar by the Federal Reserve and the Obama administration are steadily pushing up oil prices in dollars.

The country's dependence of foreign sources has increased to 52% of the daily requirement as compared to 45% just 15 years ago. Over half of that amount comes from countries that are inherently unstable or ruled by despotic regimes whose interest it is to de-stabilize the United States.

Yet the United States is sitting on the world's largest untapped oil reserve. A natural resource that would not only mitigate the over $400 Billion sent overseas to other countries but could create untold millions of jobs and put the country on a sound financial footing.


We must end our dependency on foreign oil! Now, more than ever, we must put an end to the environmentalists holding our oil resources hostage.

Demand that Congress open up drilling to U.S. companies on the coastal waters of the United States!

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

ALSO:

From 1981 to 2008, Federal and local governments have collected half a TRILLION $$$$ more in oil tax revenue than oil companies made in profit. So WHO is really gouging you? After all this BIG government meddling in gasoline and debt it all means one thing: gas cost more than it should and Our children are going to pay for the drug addict addiction Our government has for spending.

Posted by: AJAX2 | March 7, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I fully agree that we should investigate and shine a bright light on violent religious extremists who are being quietly radicalized in our midst.

Whay are we not including these people in the hearings:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/us/30militia.html

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/03/christian-group-says-apocalypse-coming-on-may-21-2011/

???

Posted by: rwolf01 | March 7, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I fully agree that we should investigate and shine a bright light on violent religious extremists who are being quietly radicalized in our midst.

Whay are we not including these people in the hearings:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/us/30militia.html

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/03/christian-group-says-apocalypse-coming-on-may-21-2011/

???

Posted by: rwolf01 | March 7, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

What factual support is there for this:
"Mr. King needs to be asked that, at a time when Muslims in the Middle East are risking their lives for democracy, does this democracy really need to be putting on legislative show trials to hype the danger posed by a small percentage of Muslims?"

What proof exists that the muslims want democracy? It seems that what they want, for the immediate term, is the deposition of their current rulers.

What follows from that is anybody's guess but the track record doesn't bode well for democracy and freedom in the region. Islam doesn't comport well with some of our more modern concepts that under pin our country.

Posted by: skipsailing28
_______
Skip, yuo re pretty much 0 for II here on your posts. Look at the more than 50 countries across the world with majority muslim poulations and you will see democracty in action. Yes there are autoctracs and dictatorsips, but fundamentalism, lack of education adn poverty are teh real issues year, not villifying Muslims. There are 7 million Mulsims in America (Dr.s Attorneys, engineers,e tc who believe in democracy as well as seperation of church and state. Learn more about your Musilm neighbors.

Posted by: cadam72 | March 7, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

The fascist Tea Party is destroying this country that I love.

I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | March 9, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The fascist Tea Party is destroying this country that I love.

I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | March 9, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

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