Benghazi Investigator Slams America and ‘Islamophobes’

America is a seething hotbed of “Islamophobia,” filled with ignorant racist rubes who irrationally fear the benign Muslim religion, according to the Obama administration’s lead investigator into the Benghazi atrocities.

So said former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering in more polished, diplomatic language during an Oct. 23 panel discussion at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The talk was on “what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia,” a make-believe mental illness that Islamists would love to have listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Radical Islam’s stateside defenders frequently accuse anti-terrorism hawks of “McCarthyism,” hurling the epithet “Islamophobe” the same way American leftists use the word “racist” to shut down debate.

Pickering’s pontifications came two and a half weeks after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named him to head a State Department “Accountability Review Board” tasked with examining the circumstances surrounding the deaths on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of 9/11, of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and security personnel Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

At last week’s panel discussion, Pickering piously but incorrectly invoked the Holocaust to argue that American Muslims were somehow in danger.

“I’m not great at quotations,” he said, foreshadowing a misattribution to come.

“Perhaps it was [German theologian and dissident] Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said of the Nazis, when they came for the Jews, I didn’t speak up. I was not a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I didn’t speak up, I was not a Catholic. When they came for us, no one spoke up. There was no one left to do so,” Pickering said, paraphrasing famous, poignant verses actually spoken by Third Reich-era German pastor Martin Niemoller.

Pickering said that Americans’ lack of familiarity with Islam –and not Islamic terrorist attacks on Americans— fuels hostility toward Muslims.

“Data shows that those Americans who do not know Muslims, who do not know much about Islam, are the ones who harbor the greatest feelings of prejudice,” he said.

There is a “strong, continuing, and perhaps, in an unfortunate way in some areas, growing, prejudice against Muslims and Islam,” he said.

However, he added that veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have so far avoided embracing this anti-Islamic bigotry. “Many of the soldiers are still serving and I think that also is helpful because they understand that as loyal Americans that kind of prejudice is not to be expressed.”

Pickering urged what might amount to a zero-tolerance policy against so-called Islamophobes in American society. “There are strong efforts as well that we must make to deal with opinion leaders who harbor these prejudices, who espouse them and spread them,” he said.

Although the former envoy did not elaborate on what those “strong efforts” might consist of, his statement is worrisome. The Obama administration is openly hostile to the First Amendment.

After the Benghazi debacle, President Obama went before the United Nations General Assembly and apologized for America’s free speech protections. Pushing the false cover story that the attacks on U.S. missions this past Sept. 11 were prompted by an anti-Islam video virtually no one saw, the president said that “the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Weeks before that, Department of Justice official Thomas Perez pointedly refused during a congressional hearing to rule out supporting Saudi-style anti-blasphemy laws.

Pickering wasn’t the only panelist last week to describe ordinary Americans as a threat to Muslim inhabitants of the United States.

In a particularly revealing soliloquy, Arab American Institute president James J. Zogby, whose younger brother is renowned pollster John Zogby, passionately inveighed against his fellow Americans, and particularly Tea Party supporters, labeling them dangerous racist Islamophobes:

“I think that there’s a direct correlation between the president of the United States and Islamophobia. As we do our polling, we find that it is not the universal phenomenon. This hatred toward Muslims is largely concentrated with middle class, middle age, white people, and then it overlaps almost identically with the Tea Party. It is not a Republican thing. It’s a generational thing.

And it is a phenomenon born of a simple set of conditions, collapse of home mortgages, foreclosures increasing, pensions in collapse when the stock market went down, unemployment doubling, the decline of the American dream. In our polling we always used, when we’d say, are your children going to be better off than you, that’s the American dream question, we’d get two thirds saying yes. We now get two thirds saying no.

And in the midst of all of that this group of white middle aged, middle class men looked around and saw a young African-American, educated at Harvard with a middle name Hussein, and didn’t like the president of the United States of America. It fueled this phenomenon and it opened the door for the wedge issue to operate and it’s operating simply among that demographic. It’s not a universal phenomenon. It’s not found among African-Americans or Asians or Latinos. It’s not found among young white kids. It’s not found among college educated professional women. It’s found in that one narrow demographic. That’s where the bad numbers come from.

He continued: “And I think that, if, we had, I have a lot of gripes with George Bush, but if he were president, he would be doing what he did, which is put his foot down and say stop. I think we would not be seeing the phenomenon growing as we see it growing. But the problem is is that if Barack Obama says stop they say, you’re just the damn problem to begin with, you’re not one of us anyway,” Zogby said, affecting an accent that might be characterized as “redneck” or “country.”

There is “an overlay between the racism and the Islamophobia” that is “being used as a wedge issue” against President Obama, he said. Zogby also described controversial Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a Muslim and an extreme left-winger, as “a gift to America and Congress, an extraordinary person who could not be better than he is.”

It should be noted that Zogby’s views are unremarkable in leftist circles. They are within the mainstream of the Democratic Party. He is a member of the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee. In 1984 Zogby was a senior advisor to the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign.

Pickering said he agreed with Zogby’s critique. “Let me just go further,” he said. “Jim, I agree with what you say about both domestic politics and the wedge issue and the effect on the attitude towards the president. I’m deeply concerned.”

The fact that the U.S. has “fought two long, difficult, and fruitless, in my view, wars against countries which are Islamic and in which that particular set of issues contribute to stereotyping, to phobia, to basically loose talk, jokes, and all the things that go to tend to make up bigotry and in a sense authorize it because we were at war, is, in my view, part and parcel of the phenomenon that we see now,” he said.

Pickering also praised his fellow panelists American Association for Muslim Advancement executive director Daisy Khan, and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, as “wonderful people” whose “hopes and aspirations … we all, I believe, widely share.”

Khan and Rauf are prime movers behind the proposal to build a victory mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. Khan becomes apoplectic when discussing those who question the wisdom of building a Muslim holy site so close to the place where nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in an Islamist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Asked in 2010 if America was “Islamophobic,” Khan replied that “It’s not even Islamophobia, it’s beyond Islamophobia — it’s hate of Muslims.”

Critics say Pickering is unfit to head any probe of what happened in Benghazi because he harbors sympathy for Islamism and is suspiciously cozy with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. The former envoy has ties to the pro-Iran Islamist front group known as the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). NIAC recently lost an important defamation case in federal court in which it unsuccessfully argued the group was not a tool of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

NIAC is one of several “Jihadist entities hostile to American interests,” according to an influential report by Clare M. Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. NIAC is involved in “a de facto partnership” with its notorious Islamist ally “the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other organizations serving as mouthpieces for the mullahs’ party line.” CAIR is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood and was named by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 and 2008 Holy Land Foundation trials.

Pickering counsels against attacking Iran, arguing war with that country “would be madness, and catastrophic for U.S. interests.” He wants the U.S. to resume diplomatic relations with Iran, which were severed in 1980 after Iranian revolutionaries seized the U.S. Embassy and 52 Americans.

Pickering opposes proposed legislation that would make it “illegal for any American diplomat to have any contact with an Iranian official.” He supports a plan for a multinational uranium enrichment consortium in Iran, which is thought to be developing nuclear weapons.

The U.S. has had a trade embargo in effect against oil-rich Iran since 1995. Pickering desperately wants trade sanctions relaxed.

Composing an op-ed from a parallel universe in which Iran doesn’t put homosexuals and religious dissenters to death, finance Islamofascist terrorism, or aspire to vaporize Israel, three months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Pickering argued that Iran was bursting with “big opportunities” for the United States.

“Iran could become a stabilizing influence in a congenitally unstable region,” he wrote Dec. 28, 2001, in the Washington Post.

Iran “has attributes unique to the region: rudimentary but real politics based on free elections; a legitimate government; a history and culture all its own; and uncontested borders fixed by that experience, rather than imposed by other governments,” Pickering opined. “Iran has had its revolution and never come close to imploding. Support for the hard-line Islamist clerics who came to power in that revolution has dwindled. Iran is a largely moderate and pro-American society.”

Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s cover-up of its catastrophic failures in Benghazi continues to flounder.

On Oct. 31 Catherine Herridge of Fox News reported that Stevens personally begged for adequate security for the consulate in a classified cable sent to Secretary Clinton’s office on Aug. 16. “There can be no doubt that this is really a cry for help from the people on the ground,” Herridge said, referring to the cable as “the smoking gun warning.”

“If you couple this with the fact that we were coming up with the 9/11 anniversary and if you couple this with the statements that a videotape was somehow responsible, what you see is that is completely undercut. This cable says that, ‘The militias and al-Qaeda are here, we essentially think that we are next.’ So to take this attack and to suggest for such a long period of time that it was [an anti-Islam] video when you have a classified cable and the intelligence, it just doesn’t match up,” she said.

“I can’t think of anything that would be more specific than if these [terrorist] groups had emailed the State Department and said, ‘Here’s the time, here’s the place, and here’s the method of the attack,’” she said.

“I think it’s important that the people who lost their lives have themselves honored with the facts and I think we’re starting to get the facts,” Herridge said.

With Ambassador Pickering steering the official State Department investigation, those facts seem likely to be sacrificed to political expediency.

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  • Steve Jones

    "Benign Muslim Religion". Is this a joke? Their number one goal on this planet is to kill everyone who is not Muslim. Give me a break.

  • BDnSC

    Based on Pickering's polluted logic, I guess Grand Kleagal Senator Byrd and all of his Klansmen were simply misunderstood too?

  • statesrightsNOW

    none dare call it TREASON

  • Willy Rho

    Ask the author and Marine Chris Kyle. Ask what he thinks of the recorded Sniped Moo Slims he killed at record distances: 255, with 160 confirmed. He said, "They are 7th Century Barbaric Savages". And he could not kill enough of them. He only regretted not being able to save more innocent people murdered by the Muslims. He said they are lower than Dogs. They kill, maim and beat women and children and others mercilessly. They are EVIL. Buy his book about his Tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Willy Rho

    You want some Pillorying about Obama, Benghazi, Cowardice, Treason, Murder, Kidnapping? Try this.

    A report by WCJ; White House insider, says Obama planned with Morsi to draw down Consulate at Benghazi's security to allow Amb Stevens to be kidnapped to trade with Al Qaeda/Al Sharia the person of the Blind Sheik for Amb Stevens.

    Question: Does anything done by Obama Admin make sense, except he intended to trade Stevens for the Blind Sheik as requested by Egypt President Mohamed Morsi.

    A few questions about events that don't make sense except in the frame of ref mentioned above.
    1. Did Obama want to release the Blind Sheik, but had no justifiable reason to do so?
    2. Why were 3 MST and 1 SST security details removed from Libya?
    3. Why did Hillary request/demand more security, but Obama denied more security, several times?
    4. Why were Doherty and Woods told to stand down 3 times?
    5. Why did Obama tell the CIA to NOT help defend the Consulate.
    6. Why did Obama and his minions watch live video of the attack and not act?
    7. Why was an American Drone flying over the consulate recording video before the attack began?
    8. Predator Drones carry Hell Fire Missiles, why were none fired?
    9. Why were the Seals Lazing a Target, giving away their position and no Hell Fire missiles were fired?
    10. Why did Obama blame it on a video that no one (only 17 views on YouTube) had ever seen?
    11. Why did Obama fire General Ham for moving to assist the Consulate.
    12. Why was an AC-130 Gunship, 90 minutes away, not sent to aid the Consulate.
    13. Why were the F-16's only 20 minutes away not sent to help the consulate.
    14 Why is Obama Delaying, Obfuscating and Lying?
    15. What happened to Obama's October surprise?
    16. Why did the Al-Qaida/Ansar al-Sharia try to save Stevens by taking him to a Hospital/Emergency Room.
    17. Why did Ansar al-Sharia surround the Hospital where Ambassador Steven's body was taken and not let anyone in or out?
    18. Why was a Libyan Military person photographing the Consulate before the Attack?
    19. Why could the President not get an interview by the with a participating Terrorist for weeks when Senator Lindsey Graham got Tunisia to let the FBI interview the terrorists within 24 hours of the request?
    20. Why were Senior counter terrorism personnel cut out of the Loop, the Foreign Emergency Security Team was not called.

    Hillary has thrown herself on Obama's sword and you know how Biden trumpeted how big it is.
    Hillary Clinton should turn States Evidence and save herself from Murder and Treason Charges just like John Dean did for the Water Gate Impeachment Trial.
    She had rather die than harm the DemoNaziCommie (DNC) Party. And it is possible that she could literally achieve that!

    The Not Known Unknown; a Fly in Obama's Treason Plans; Two Brave American Heroes, Navy Seals.
    They should both receive, posthumously, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented by Mitt Romney during Obama's Hanging for Murder and High Treason.

    All of the pieces of the puzzle fit.
    Complicit to Murder, Treason, High crimes and Misdemeanors.

    This is Treason and a Capital/Hanging offense.

  • Willy Rho

    Front Page Mag: you should pay that "SlowMotionAndMindedGuy" to comment. I come here just to see what MoonBeam he is in a trance about and riding to the End of The Rain Bow today. What a comic, love his ID.

    • Mary Sue

      Schlomo is being paid by somebody to troll here, but by whom, I don't remember who he said it was.

  • Willy Rho

    Has anyone thought about the "Billy With the Blue Dress" POTUS and how he attacked a Christian Nation to give some of its territory to the Radical Muslims from Albania? They even built a statue to Bill Clinton in Kosovo to thank him for attacking the Christians to take away the Serbs Old Homeland and Give it the The Ethnic Albanians (What is an Ethnic Albanian? It is a Muslim from Albania that took the Traditional Homeland from the Serbians that had owned it since 1385AD (about).

  • CurmudgyOneJr

    People don't become Islamothropic (vs Islamophobic) for nothing. Not only do some of the mosques in the US provide support and sympathy for Islamist movement, they also recruit. The so-called "religion" of Islam is based on false teachings, a false prophet, violence, mysogyny, a corrupt and inhuman set of laws, and false beliefs. Other than that, it's fine.