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Al-Arian’s pressure campaign was clearly designed to strengthen the hand of the man who had taken this MB agenda item with him from Capitol Hill to the White House: Suhail Khan. Evidently, it worked. President Bush was scheduled to fulfill this promise in a meeting attended by Grover Norquist and representatives of the various Ikhwan fronts. (Sami al-Arian could not attend in person, but was supposed to call in.) As it happened, the chosen day was September 11, 2001.
After the attacks that morning, the White House complex was closed and the invited MB representatives decamped to the conference room the Center for Security Policy shared at the time with ATR – a meeting I observed was attended by Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan. Shortly thereafter, President Bush started repeating the Muslim Brotherhood line: “Islam is a religion of peace”; “terrorists are trying to hijack Islam”; “jihad is a personal struggle, not holy war”; etc.
President Bush was also induced in the days that followed to receive a Koran in a private meeting with a senior Muslim Brother, Muzzamil Siddiqi, who had taken over Mahboob Khan’s mosque in Orange County. Siddiqi was subsequently invited to be the Muslim imam at the ecumenical national 9/11 memorial service on September 14, 2001. (Charles Krauthammer caustically noted that Siddiqi on that momentous occasion could not even bring himself to condemn terrorism.) Mr. Bush also paid a highly publicized visit to the Saudi mosque in Washington where he was photographed surrounded by prominent Muslim Brotherhood operatives, including Nihad Awad of CAIR and Khaled Saffuri.
One thing George Bush did not do on 9/11, however, was prohibit the use of secret evidence in deportation and criminal proceedings – a tool that became all the more necessary to law enforcement in the wake of that day’s murderous attacks. Shortly thereafter, Suhail Khan left the White House and was given a political appointment in the office of the Secretary of Transportation. His relocation followed the San Francisco Chronicle report tying al-Zawahiri to Mahboob Khan’s al-Noor mosque in Santa Clara. The article described how “two confessed members of a Silicon Valley terrorist cell say they brought Osama bin Laden’s top aide to the Bay Area several years ago to raise money for terror attacks.” (The Chronicle has never retracted this investigative report.)
Suhail Khan spent the rest of the Bush administration in the Department of Transportation, ultimately serving as the Assistant to the Secretary for Policy. In that capacity, as was emphasized in his e-mail to the ACU Board, he had access to classified information. Given the Department’s portfolio and his responsibilities, that would presumably have included secrets concerning: the policies and operations governing the Transportation Security Administration, port, rail, waterway and highway security, the movement of nuclear weapons and other hazardous materials, etc. As recent experience with the Obama administration’s “czars” made manifest, the background investigations and vetting process for individuals whom political superiors wish to have cleared cannot always be relied upon to screen out all those who should not have access to sensitive information and facilities.
That is true in spades for individuals who were granted meetings with the President and other senior officials at the behest of a gatekeeper like Suhail Khan. Indeed, the Secret Service was publicly rebuked by President Bush after it had Sami al-Arian’s son, Abdullah, removed from a White House meeting on 28 June 2001, evidently over security concerns arising from his dad’s ties to terrorism. Mr. Bush personally called the mother of the young man he had dubbed “Big Dude” and promised that nothing like that “would ever happen again.” The message thus sent to the intelligence and homeland security communities was chilling.
5) Khan’s Recent Activities and Influence Operations
In recent years, Suhail Khan and his patron, Grover Norquist, have been seeking to influence conservative groups and meetings in ways that serve the interest of our enemies and help in the name of “unity” to fracture the conservative movement. Illustrative examples include:
* While a member of the Bush administration, Khan was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Conservative Union. At the time, I warned publicly against such a step in the aforementioned article in FrontPage Magazine. He would have you believe that the ACU’s voting membership carefully considered the arguments presented and found them unpersuasive or unfounded. Informed sources report, however, that most of the electors were actually unaware of those arguments. In the absence of such knowledge, those who have for years promoted Khan as an authentic conservative – notably, Grover Norquist – had little difficulty securing the necessary support for his candidacy.
* Khan’s ACU credentials have enabled him to “burrow in” and lay claim to more and more prominent roles in conservative circles. For example, he has been cast as the “moderator” on several CPAC panels, including a program in 2007 in which he precluded one of the nation’s foremost non-Muslim experts on Islam, Robert Spencer, from having equal time and his fair say in a debate with Dinesh D’Souzah.
* In 2009, Suhail presided over a panel on what defines a “conservative foreign policy” on which I turned out to be the only one who favored Ronald Reagan’s strategy of “peace through strength.” One can infer from comments he made to various left-wing media outlets/blogs following publication of the aforementioned article in World Net Daily that he has used his influence at the ACU to preclude me from having a speaking role at CPAC this year.
* Such blacklisting efforts certainly paid off when Geert Wilders – the courageous anti-shariah parliamentarian in the Netherlands who has been prosecuted by his government for “offending” Muslims – was supposed to receive at CPAC 2009 an award for his courage in defense of freedom. In the end, however, he was blocked from doing so and was relegated to making a presentation on the margins of the meeting. The question-and-answer session planned for the capacity crowd assembled to see him was abbreviated when several individuals associated with an ostensibly conservative Islamic organization styling itself “Muslims for America” were deemed by Wilders’ security detail to pose a possible threat.
* According to Seeme Hasan, the mother of Ali Hasan – a 2010 Republican candidate for State Treasurer of Colorado who announced in December that he was becoming a Democrat because of the “racism and bigotry” in the GOP, and whose family foundation provides the financial backing for Muslims for America – Suhail Khan will be representing her son’s organization at the upcoming CPAC 2011 conference.
* Thanks largely to Grover Norquist’s sponsorship, Khan has also been able to infiltrate other conservative circles. In addition to attending for years Norquist’s Wednesday meetings, he has recently been treated as a “conservative leader” by dint of his chairmanship of something called “the Conservative Inclusion Coalition,” which meets at the Americans for Tax Reform offices. He has taken to convening periodic meetings with young congressional staff members, some of whom work for legislators in positions of leadership.
* Since departing the Bush administration, Suhail has also tapped into the Brotherhood’s highly successful “interfaith dialogue” strategem for coopting and influencing the clerical leaders of other faiths. He has an affiliation with the increasingly Saudi-funded Institute for Global Engagement, on whose board serves John Esposito. Esposito is a prominent apologist for the Islamists, a stance that has been rewarded with his installation as the founding director of the $20 million-plus MB dawa (proselytizing) operation known as the “Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding” at Georgetown University.
As Khan noted in his e-mail to the ACU Board, this tie-in has afforded him an opportunity to cultivate relations with prominent and well-meaning evangelicals and clerics of other denominations, as well as one or more wealthy conservative philanthropist(s). One such occasion entailed an excursion he led to Auschwitz and Dachau in which Jewish and Christian clergy were accompanied by an assortment of Muslim Brotherhood operatives, including notably Muzzamil Siddiqi. He claims that the purpose of the trip was to bring attention to the scourge of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.
As there are few more assiduous practitioners of anti-Semitic behavior and Holocaust-denying than shariah-adherent Muslims, it is clear to all but the most naïve that this exercise – like the rest of the MB’s “bridge-building” – is actually about dawa and more effective influence operations, not weaning Suhail’s “cohort” from their immoderate views and toxic shariah practices. In fact, the Brotherhood’s revered spiritual guide, Sayyid Qtub, wrote in Milestones that “the chasm between Islam and [the unbelievers] is great and a bridge is not to be built across it so the people on the two sides may mix with each other but only so that [the unbelievers] may come over to Islam.”
* In recent months, Khan has also been permitted to attend weekly lunches previously chaired by the late Paul Weyrich. I personally observed him use one such occasion for an influence operation on a congressional staff member for a senior Republican leader. After I showed an ad describing the history of triumphalist mosques built over the sacred ground of conquered peoples and the explicit ambition of the imam who wants to build one by Ground Zero to bring shariah to America, Khan quietly told the staffer that he knew Faisal Abdul Rauf, that the imam is actually a moderate and that I was falsely describing him and his agenda. Khan’s effort to run interference for Imam Rauf, by misrepresenting him as other than an MB operative, is a perfect example of the Ikhwan’s civilization jihad.
The Bottom Line
The foregoing litany comprises but a partial rendering of the problem we confront. Yet, it illustrates what a sophisticated, sustained influence operation looks like in an open society like ours. At a minimum, I hope you agree that it provides ample grounds for the American Conservative Union to “worry” about the extent to which it has been penetrated and manipulated by Suhail Khan and his enablers.
These individuals are now increasingly brazen in their aggressive pursuit of the Muslim Brotherhood’s overarching goal – eliminating and defeating our civilization from within, by our own hands. Such a divide-and-conquer strategy is certainly evident in, and being advanced by, campaigns these so-called “conservatives” have been mounting on behalf of initiatives that are anathema to most bona fide conservatives. For example, they seek to:
* close Guantanamo Bay and bring its detainees to the United States;
* bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to civilian trial in New York;
* repeal the Patriot Act;
* repeal the ban on homosexuals in the military;
* build the Ground Zero mosque;
* leave our borders insecure and promote amnesty for illegal aliens;
* cut defense spending;
* and bring the troops home from Afghanistan forthwith and without regard for conditions on the ground.
I respectfully suggest that such policy prescriptions and their predictable, destructive consequences require the American Conservative Union – as part of the soulsearching and reorganizing that has been necessitated by other issues in recent days – promptly to reach the necessary conclusion: For the good of the organization and the movement, this influence operation must be terminated at the earliest possible moment.
In addition, its perpetrators must be removed from the Board of Directors and any other positions of responsibility they currently hold.
I appreciate that this recommendation is one few members of the ACU – or for that matter most other conservatives – relish contemplating, let alone acting upon. After all, it necessitates confronting and breaking fellowship with individuals who have been colleagues, and perhaps friends. For such reasons, my warnings about this danger have gone unaddressed by our community for over a decade, even as it has continued to metastasize.
Whenever I confront a hard problem like this, I think of my old boss and ask: What would Ronald Reagan do? In this case, we can be certain of the answer. As an actor and union leader, Mr. Reagan confronted Communists who by the post-war era had thoroughly penetrated the American film industry and were seeking to undermine America through the influence Hollywood exercised. Mr. Reagan stood up to the Communists and their allies – despite enormous pressure to look the other way, the damage to friendships and no small risk to his own personal safety and that of his family.
Thanks in part to his inspiring example, conservatives across the country took it upon themselves to expose Soviet efforts to penetrate not only Hollywood but the nation’s politics by infiltrating Communist agents into various private sector institutions and the government. Back then, conservatives took the lead in educating the public and pillorying those who tried to excuse the problem away, or to attack the messenger.
Today, American institutions are being infiltrated by a different foreign but no less totalitarian enemy – adherents to shariah led by the Muslim Brotherhood. We can no longer ignore the fact that the conservative movement is one of those targeted institutions. Ronald Reagan and a generation of conservatives were vigilant and effective against the Communists. We must do no less now against the Ikhwan.
I would welcome a chance to discuss this matter with you, either individually or
with other Directors.
In the meantime, thank you for taking this information aboard – and, I pray, to
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