Hold it! Don’t drop last week’s controversial headlines regarding U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and four other GOP House members who said that President Barack Obama’s administration has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood so fast.
After Bachmann and other GOP congressmen suggested that there are Muslim Brotherhood supporters in the United States government, 2008’s GOP presidential candidate and current Arizona Senator John McCain as well as the GOP House Leader John Boehner cried foul on their own party members. Many followed the two heavyweight Republican’s lead and poured on the criticism. But now, it appears as though those quick cries of foul play and snappy denouncements of Bachmann and her letter-writing crew may have come too fast and very misdirected.
The criticism of Bachmann’s and the others’ letters requesting an investigation were based on an suggestion that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin – who is also the wife of the disgraced X-rated photo-tweeting former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner of New York – used to be involved with the Muslim Brotherhood.
All the letters asked U.S. federal agencies to do was to make sure that persons, including Abedin, be properly vetted federal workers. One of the Bachmann posse, Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, is now crying foul from the letter writers’ side of the controversy. He says that the focus of the media and the politicians’ criticisms was totally based on the mentioning of Clinton’s highly-respected and popular deputy chief of staff in only one sentence of one of the letters. Franks believes this was done by the media and the politicians to change the subject of the serious matter.
Additionally, U.S. Representative Tom Rooney of Florida echoed Franks’ concern by saying that the letters requesting that some Obama administration-connections be checked out for the sake of national security. Rooney makes the excellent point reminding everyone of the Palestinian-American’s radical Islam link to the Fort Hood tragedy of 2009.
Up to now, none of the letter-writing GOP House members are apologizing or backing down from their suggestion that federal employees linked closely to the White House should be checked out more thoroughly. While some of them have said they are sincerely sorry that the media chose to highlight Abedin in the story, they say their requests stand because they are valid concerns and suggestions.
So, if it’s only a cautionary check for national security’s sake, what are all these politicians so upset about? They shouldn’t be. While John Boehner called Bachmann’s letter’s assertion “dangerous”, what’s really dangerous is when someone in Boehner’s position tries to intimidate elected officials from suggesting methods of checking for irregularities in our government’s personnel.
Granted, it would have been better if Huma Abedin wasn’t singled out in one of the letters. That was clumsy, but Bachmann and her group insist that no actual accusation was made against her or anyone else.
Apparently, this story is going to get more heated up before it cools down – or before it should cool down – as a publication entitled the “Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs” (IMMA) has been posted online since this story broke last week. The posted online publication shows that Huma Abedin was an Assistant Editor of the IMMA according to Independent Sentinel. Independent Sentinel says Abedin was in that position from December 2002 to September2008. It also says that some of her family members are still involved with IMMA.
While being connected to the IMMA may not be of concern at face value, it can be of concern when scrutinizing other names associated with the publication. The most striking connection is that Huma Abedin and Abdullah Omar Naseef reportedly served on the board of IMMA together for a year. Naseef is reportedly running the Rabita Trust, a charity which has allegedly been a front for al-Qaeda. This organization, allegedly, was founded by one of al-Qaeda’s three founders.
Need anyone continue with the personal connections of people before the correctness of Bachmann’s letter is finally understood and accepted?
While none of these connections mean that Abedin and her family are a danger to the United States, it does justify Bachmann’s and the other GOP politicians’ letters requesting a further background check of government workers. And that’s all they have done. They made a suggestion as opposed to an accusation for the sake of national security.
The government inconveniences the public with TSA checks at airports and security checks that slow down entrance to highly-attended events from coast to coast across the U.S., but they stop at checking inside the Obama administration’s personnel – possibly only because the suggestion came from Bachmann. All of these security checks – including the ones Bachmann has suggested – should be done after what we experienced on September 11, 2001.
About Scott Paulson
Scott Paulson writes political commentary for Examiner.com and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.