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Publication that erased evidence of Obama envoy’s support for jihad terrorist now claims it was all a mistake

Posted By Robert Spencer On February 16, 2010 @ 11:24 pm In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

Rashad Hussain defended jihad terror leader Sami Al-Arian in the jihad-enabling Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. But when Hussain was appointed Obama’s special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, suddenly the evidence of his defense of Al-Arian went down the memory hole. But there was no cover-up! It was all a mistake, you see: according to the Washington Report now, Laila Al-Arian actually said the words that were attributed to Rashad Hussain.

But this doesn’t make sense, since the article was altered just to remove the quotes, not to change the name of the person quoted. Also, the author of the original story contradicts the Washington Report’s explanation.

Did Obama know about this cover-up?

An update on this story. “Publication Denies Cover-Up on OIC Envoy, Implies Anti-Muslim Bias Lies Behind Story,” by Patrick Goodenough for CNS News, February 16:

(CNSNews.com) – A Washington-based publication said Tuesday that it incorrectly quoted President Obama’s newly-appointed envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference as saying in 2004 that an American who aided a Palestinian terrorist group was the victim of “politically motivated persecutions.”The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) was responding to queries about why an archived story quoting Rashad Hussain as making the controversial comments was altered years later.

WRMEA news editor and executive director Delinda Hanley denied there was a “cover-up,” and implied that anti-Muslim discrimination was behind the fact this was now being raised.

Yeah, it’s just “anti-Muslim discrimination” to be concerned about Rashad Hussain’s support for Al-Arian, a vicious suicide-bombing supporter who chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” and was a leader of the bloody terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

At the time of the quoted remarks Hussain was a Yale law student. Last year he was appointed White House deputy associate counsel and Obama at the weekend named him as special envoy to the OIC, the 57-member bloc of Islamic states.Cybercast News Service reported earlier that Hussain was quoted in a November 2004 WRMEA article as telling a Muslim students’ event in Chicago that the situation facing Sami al-Arian – a university professor then in custody and later convicted and jailed for conspiring to aid a Palestinian terrorist group – was “politically motivated” and a means “to squash dissent.”

It was also reported that the WRMEA article was amended – at least three years later, according to an Internet archive site – with the paragraphs quoting Hussain removed. (see the original and revised pages).

Responding to queries first sent on Sunday, Hanley said Tuesday that the comments attributed to Hussain were actually made by another person attending the event in Chicago, Sami al-Arian’s daughter, Laila al-Arian.

Hanley said an “intern” who attended the event and wrote the story had made an “error.” When this was discovered the quotes were deleted, she said.

But the writer, contacted by email on Tuesday, denied this.

“When I worked as a reporter at WRMEA, I understood how important it was to quote the right person, and accurately,” Shereen Kandil said. “I have never mixed my sources and wouldn’t have quoted Rashad Hussain if it came from Laila al-Arian.”

“If the editors from WRMEA felt they wanted to remove Rashad Hussain from the article, my assumption is that they did it for reasons other than what you’re saying,” she said. “They never once contacted me about an ‘error’ they claim I made.”

After looking further into the matter, Hanley said several hours later that the WRMEA web master thought the archived story had been altered on February 5, 2009, although it was also possible that the change had been made “when our Web site began an ongoing redesign.”…

Clearly they’ve been caught, and they’re scrambling.


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