Troubling developments at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Pamela Geller, founder, editor and publisher of the popular and award-winning weblog AtlasShrugs.com.. She has won acclaim for her interviews with internationally renowned figures, including John Bolton, Geert Wilders, Bat Ye’or, Natan Sharansky, and many others, and has broken numerous important stories — notably the questionable sources of some of the financing of the Obama campaign. Her op-eds have been published in The Washington Times, The American Thinker, Israel National News, Frontpage Magazine, World Net Daily, and New Media Journal, among other publications. She is the co-author (with Robert Spencer) of the soon to be released, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America (forward by Ambassador John Bolton).
FP: Pamela, welcome back to Frontpage Interview.
I would like to talk to you today about some troubling developments that occurred at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Let’s begin by you telling us about your own event there.
Geller: Good to be here again Jamie, thank you.
Last Friday, Robert Spencer and I hosted a standing-room-only event at CPAC. It was standing room only, despite the fact that we were off to the side and were going against Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Congressman Steve King, Congressman Mike Pence, Grover Norquist and several other panels.
Our conference was designed to speak the truths that others will not speak. First to speak was Wafa Sultan, the ex-Muslim who shot to international fame after she stood up for human rights against Sharia on Al-Jazeera in a debate with an Islamic cleric on a famous viral video, and the author of A God Who Hates. She spoke of Islam’s war against the West. Then Steve Coughlin, the former Pentagon Islamic law specialist who was making his first public appearance after being fired from the Defense Department after pressure from those who didn’t like his truth-of-the-matter stance on jihad. He gave a bit of his controversial presentation to the Pentagon, showing how the Defense Department is ignoring the true nature of the jihad threat, to our great detriment – which is the title of his lengthy thesis on this problem.
Then in the second hour our speakers showed the next phases of the advance of jihad and Sharia. While Coughlin was fired for telling the truth about Islam and jihad, human rights activist Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is being prosecuted for “hate speech” in Austria for the same truth telling. After her came Anders Gravers of Stop the Islamisation of Europe, who has been physically assaulted for standing up for freedom in Denmark. Then Simon Deng, a former slave in Sudan and a leading human rights activist against jihad and Islamic supremacism, showed what life is like for the subjugated, enslaved Christians of southern Sudan – the fourth phase of Sharia encroachment. Finally, the war hero and Congressional candidate Lt. Colonel Allen West gave a stirring speech calling us all to the defense of freedom.
FP: It’s a great sign that CPAC hosted an event like this, right?
Geller: Well Jamie, it’s not really what happened. The truth of the matter is that our event was at CPAC, but it was an independent event, not a CPAC event. And the truths that our speakers told were not aired at any other event at CPAC.
FP: Ok, just a second, let me get something straight: we are facing a deadly enemy in this current terror war, and that enemy is Islamic jihad -- based on Islamic theology. CPAC had how many panels about it?
And it was an exercise in misinformation.
FP: Are you kidding me?
Geller: Not at all. The single panel was:
“You’ve Been Lied To: Why Real Conservatives are Against the War on Terror Delaware Ballroom
Sponsored by Campaign for Liberty (60 minutes)
Speakers: Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Karen Kwiatkowski and Jacob Hornberger, President of FFF
Open to All CPAC Attendees”
The message there was that “real conservatives” don’t support the war on terror because it is a creation of the “Israeli lobby” -- which coalesces with the left-wing’s new anti-Semitism against neoconservatives. Karen Kwiatkowski is a darling of both the leftist Huffington Post and the anti-Semitic paleocon site Antiwar.com.
FP: Tell us some more about Kwiatkowski.
Geller: Well, let’s put it this way: in a 2006 article, she described John Bolton as “that blubbering bundle of self-righteousness.” She also wrote:
“Many in America oppose the U.S. knee-jerk, unquestioning support for Israel. Many more worry that the Israeli lobby is unusually influential in Washington, while remaining hidden and unaccountable to average Americans. Still others are alarmed that Israel’s constant war mentality has become our new American model, and that Iraq and our own borders have become our own occupied territories, teeming with terror and constituting a never-ending threat to our lives, prosperity and value system.”
Kwiatkowski is a retired military officer. Is this really the type of thinking prevalent in the military? Me thinks not. So why on earth was she given a platform at CPAC? Doing can only undermine those who are now serving. Having different points of view presented is one thing, but by hosting this event, CPAC explicitly endorsed this fringe, anti-American thinking.
That panel was, of course, a reflection of Ron Paul’s perspective. There were no counter-jihadists, no Robert Spencer, no Ibn Warraq on any CPAC panel, but they had room for this well-funded “Campaign for Liberty” presentation. The same group also had a co-sponsor booth. No expense was spared -- they were everywhere. At the event Jacob Hornberger said that there were four reasons why real conservatives should be against the war on terror: because it is too costly, because it makes us less safe (he said Americans were less secure because American troops kill children and mothers and people who are simply defending their country against invaders, and have even, he said, killed a bride at her wedding), because it violates Constitutional principles, and because it is a threat to liberty.
Nothing was said about the Islamic doctrine that shows that jihadists would be waging war against the U.S. even if we did end all actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The panel agreed with Obama, that Muslims are angry with us because of our actions, and will stop being angry with us if we change our foreign policy. This view is naïve and reflects ignorance of Islamic doctrine. And consider this: if Ron Paul were as anti-Islam as he is anti-Israel, he would not have been in CPAC, and his perspective would not have been represented. Instead of coming together on our basic core values and circling the wagons on the fundamentals -- national security, small government, low taxes, and the freedom of speech -- the CPAC leadership had a circus of the fringe.
FP: This is mind-boggling. This is a conservative conference and one would think conservatives are interested in national security and protecting our liberties and American lives. Why do you think this happened?
Geller: I think CPAC’s agenda in 2010, as well as 2009 and before that, reflects the influence of Grover Norquist, the conservative powerhouse and kingmaker. He is a board member of the ACU, and from the looks of CPAC's covered topics and omission of discussion of jihad, it looks as if he exerts enormous influence over David Keene, the ACU’s nominal leader. Norquist and his ally Suhail Khan seem to be in charge at CPAC -- no CPAC event goes on that doesn’t reflect their perspective.
FP: Expand a bit on what perspective Norquist represents.
Geller: Jamie, Grover Norquist’s troubling ties to Islamic supremacists and jihadists have been known for years. He and his Palestinian wife, Samah Alrayyes, who was director of communications for his Islamic Free Market Institute until they married in 2005, are very active in “Muslim outreach.” Just six weeks after 9/11, The New Republic ran an expose explaining how Norquist arranged for George W. Bush to meet with fifteen Islamic supremacists at the White House on September 26, 2001 -- to show how Muslims rejected terrorism. Wrote TNR author Franklin Foer:
Unfortunately, many of the leaders present hadn’t unambiguously rejected it. To the president’s left sat Dr. Yahya Basha, president of the American Muslim Council, an organization whose leaders have repeatedly called Hamas “freedom fighters.” Also in attendance was Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, who on the afternoon of September 11 told a Los Angeles public radio audience that “we should put the State of Israel on the suspect list.” And sitting right next to President Bush was Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of North America, who last fall told a Washington crowd chanting pro-Hezbollah slogans, “America has to learn if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come.”
It was Norquist who ushered these silver-tongued jihadists into the Oval Office after the worst attack ever on American soil. Don’t you think that the likes of Ibn Warraq, Bat Ye’or, and Wafa Sultan should have been advising the President instead of Hamas, Hizballah and the Muslim Brotherhood? But that wasn’t to be. So at that September 26 meeting Bush declared that “the teachings of Islam are teachings of peace and good.” It was a critically important, historic moment. What should have been the most important teaching moment of the long war became a propaganda tool for Islam. A singular historic opportunity was squandered, and the harm that has resulted is incalculable.
FP: Why did Bush do that?
Geller: Because he trusted Norquist, who vouched for these Muslim leaders. Yet “the record suggests,” wrote Foer, “that Norquist has spent quite a lot of time promoting people openly sympathetic to Islamist terrorists.” And this continued for years. In December 2003, David Horowitz wrote that Norquist:
“has formed alliances with prominent Islamic radicals who have ties to the Saudis and to Libya and to Palestine Islamic Jihad, and who are now under indictment by U.S. authorities. Equally troubling is that the arrests of these individuals and their exposure as agents of terrorism have not resulted in noticeable second thoughts on Grover’s part or any meaningful effort to dissociate himself from his unsavory friends.”
Horowitz wrote this in an introduction to a detailed expose by Frank Gaffney here in Frontpage showing how Norquist had given Muslims with jihad terror links access to the highest levels of the U.S. government.
Grover Norquist was on the jihad payroll before and after the carnage and death of September 11. Gaffney revealed Norquist’s close ties to Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is now serving twenty-three years in prison for financing jihad activity. In 2000, Alamoudi said at a rally, “I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas. Anybody support Hamas here?...Hear that, Bill Clinton? We are all supporters of Hamas. I wished they added that I am also a supporter of Hizballah.” Alamoudi was at that time head of the now defunct “moderate” group known as American Muslim Council (AMC), and was active in other Muslim groups in the U.S. that showed sympathy or support for jihadists. And Alamoudi, according to Gaffney, gave $50,000 to the lobbying group Janus-Merritt Strategies, which Norquist cofounded.
His money bought influence. Gaffney wrote back in 2003: “It seems unlikely that even in Alamoudi’s wildest dreams he could have imagined the extent of the access, influence and legitimacy the American Muslim Council and allied Islamist organizations would be able to secure in Republican circles, thanks to the investment they began in 1998 in a relationship with Norquist.”
Alamoudi also helped found Norquist’s Islamic Institute with a $10,000 loan and a gift of another $10,000. The founding director of the Islamic Institute was Khaled Saffuri, a Palestinian Muslim who had previously been active in Islamic groups in Bosnia, where Islamic jihadists from all over the world gathered “to establish,” says Gaffney, “a beachhead on the continent of Europe.” Gaffney adds that Saffuri “has acknowledged personally supporting the families of suicide bombers – even though, in public settings, he strenuously denies having done so.” Saffuri also denounced Bush’s shutdown of the Holy Land Foundation, which was funneling charitable contributions to Hamas.
Norquist has also carried water for Islamic supremacist efforts to weaken anti-terror efforts. Gaffney reveals that:
“Norquist was also a prime-mover behind efforts to secure one of the Islamists’ top pre-9/11 agenda items: the abolition of a section of the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act that permits authorities to use what critics call ‘secret evidence.’…Norquist was an honoree at an event held by Sami Al-Arian’s National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom in July 2001, two months before 9/11. The award was for being a ‘champion of the abolishment movement against secret evidence.’”
Al-Arian in 2006 pleaded guilty “conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds to or for the benefit of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.” Palestinian Islamic Jihad is even worse than Hamas, celebrates the killing of Israeli civilians and calls repeatedly for the destruction of Israel.
Scott Johnson of the Powerline blog noted shortly after Gaffney’s article appeared that Norquist’s reponse to this exhaustively documented expose was:
“personal and evasive. He attacks Gaffney as racist and bigoted; not a trace of evidence in the public record supports these charges. I heard Norquist respond to Gaffney in this manner at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington this past January. He did not deign to respond to Gaffney’s remarks in substance.”
Norquist also introduced Nihad Awad, cofounder and executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, to President Bush. CAIR is one of the foremost Islamic supremacist hate sponsors in the U.S. Terror expert Steve Emerson wrote that “CAIR, which touts itself as America’s premier Muslim civil rights organization, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Terror trial.” He noted that CAIR cofounders Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad attended “a 1993 Philadelphia meeting where the HAMAS members and supporters discussed a strategy to kill the Oslo Peace Accords, which threatened to marginalize HAMAS. The group also discussed ways to improve HAMAS fundraising in America.”
Emerson also reveals that according to the testimony of an FBI agent, “CAIR was listed as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee.” The Palestine Committee is dedicated to jihad for the destruction of Israel. Emerson reveals that a 1992 memo seized from a jihadi’s home explains that “Palestine is the one for which Muslim Brotherhood prepared armies – made up from the children of Islam in the Arab and Islamic nations to liberate its land from the abomination and the defilement of the children of the Jews and they watered its pure soil with their honorable blood which sprouted into a jihad that is continuing until the Day of Resurrection and provided a zeal without relenting making the slogan of its children ‘it is a Jihad for victory or martyrdom.’” Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad were also listed as members of the Palestine Committee.
Robert Spencer added this about CAIR:
“CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Honest Ibe Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements. CAIR has warred against free speech in the past.”
These are Grover Norquist’s bedfellows. Abusing his power and access, he introduced Islamic supremacists who advocate the overthrow of the government to those who have an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, and advocated for their cause. The enemy’s strategy for winning is by subverting our senior leaders. Norquist made that possible.
FP: Is Norquist still doing all of this?
Geller: Yes, Jamie. Grover Norquist has continued his activities on behalf of the jihad: in 2008 journalist Paul Sperry revealed Norquist’s sponsorship of Muslim candidates with shadowy ties to terrorists, and wrote that Norquist had a “wicked project to dress Islamists up as patriotic Republicans so they can infiltrate the government.” Norquist sponsored Kamal Nawash’s unsuccessful bid to become Republican party leader in Virginia; Nawash was Abdurahman Alamoudi’s attorney. Norquist also aided previous failed political runs by Nawash – including Nawash’s 2003 Virginia state senate bid, to which Saffuri gave money.
Norquist also aided Faisal Gill’s failed run for the Virginia state legislature in 2007. Gill, like Nawash, was an associate of Alamoudi. During his run he took $3,000 in contributions from the pro-jihad Safa group.
FP: Final words?
Geller: It is no surprise that CPAC 2010, like CPAC 2009, had nothing addressing the war we are actually engaged in. This is due to the influence of Norquist, Keene, and Suhail Khan, a CPAC board member. According to Gaffney, Khan “has repeatedly been a featured speaker at MSA, ISNA and CAIR events” – that is, Muslim Students Association, Islamic Society of North America, and Council on American-Islamic Relations, three groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, the international Islamic organization dedicated to establishing the rule of Islamic law and the subjugation of infidels worldwide.
Grover Norquist single-handedly ushered into America’s highest levels of government Islamic supremacist leaders, subversives, the Islamic fifth column. Grover gave them unparalleled access. Why didn’t Gaffney’s revelations, and those that preceded and followed his expose, end Norquist’s influence among conservatives? Why does he still have so much power?
Grover Norquist should be a pariah, not a kingmaker.
FP: Pamela Geller, thank you for joining us.