Rashad Hussain is not a liar if you ignore the evidence.
Daveed Gartenstein-Ross posted a piece at the Long War Journal today claiming that Rashad Hussain, Obama’s new Muslim Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, did not say what he admitted to having said after Josh Gerstein unearthed damning audio evidence. Gartenstein-Ross has been making the case, I believe in good faith, that Rashad Hussain was, in fact, misquoted, therefore he did not lie. At least one moonbat at Foreign Policy is ecstatic.
Hussain was alleged to have made two controversial statements at a 2004 Muslim Students Association conference: that Sami al-Arian was the victim of “politically motivated persecutions,” and that prosecutions of domestic terrorists such as al-Arian have been “used politically to squash dissent.”
Gartenstein-Ross at first ruled out the possibility that Hussain could have made the second statement, which Gerstein points out was not on the tape, which cuts off before the question and answer period of the speech. He then updated his post, admitting that since the tape is incomplete, Hussain may very well have said it. I am inclined to believe that he did, since Shereen Kandil, the author of the scrubbed Washington Report on Middle East Affairs article which quoted Hussain as making the controversial statements, was the only honest player in the whole ordeal before the tape was released. If anyone should get the benefit of the doubt in this matter it is Shereen Kandil because she is the only one involved (including the White House) who still maintains even the slightest shred of credibility. In any event, one can not rule out the possibility that he said it, as Gartersteen-Ross now admits.
Gartenstein-Ross then claims that Hussain was misquoted as saying that al-Arian was the victim of “politically motivated persecutions,” and that he actually said that al-Arian was the victim of “politically motivated prosecutions,” which is a valid distinction to make. Hussain, however, was absolutely not misquoted. He did say that al-Arian was the victim of “politically motivated prosecutions.” He said it twice, around the 36 second mark in the video below and around two minutes, thirty-six seconds. But he also said that he was the victim of “politically motivated persecutions” at the 56 second mark, in the same sentence as the first reference to “politically motivated prosecutions.”
Rashad Hussain is, in fact, a liar, as even he admits.
Gartenstein-Ross closes his post by congratulating himself for his patience and diligence in investigating the three-minute tape:
I waited quite a while to weigh in on whether Hussain was lying. And I’m glad I did, because when I carefully read through all the available information, it seems that the case that he clearly lied is the least sustainable. I hope that objective readers will likewise come to realize this.
Next time, maybe wait another fourteen seconds or so before weighing in. The “case that he clearly lied” is absolutely irrefutable.