As you may have heard, failed GOP presidential candidate/Minnesota Congresswoman
/fagala-phobic madwoman Michele Bachmann has launched a McCarthy-esque witch hunt into several Muslim employees of the federal government whom she decided could potentially be working as spies for Islamist terrorist groups.
One of the targets of Bachmann’s bat-shittery is Huma Abedin — a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and wife of shamed former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner — who happens to be Muslim.
Last week, just to get it on the record that Bachmann’s a lunatic and that Abedin’s not a terrorist, Arizona Senator John McCain gave a lengthy speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate in support of Abedin’s patriotism, and criticizing Bachmann’s being a fear-mongering nutjob.
Now, because McCain doesn’t think that being Muslim necessarily means Abedin is a terrorist, a group of Tea Party sand-billies in McCain’s home state is trying to get him booted from office.
Before we go any further on how crazy/par-for-the-course for Arizona this is (we lived there for seven years — trust us, we know), a little more on the gentlewoman from Minnesota…
In June, Bachmann sought the help of inspectors general in the State, Homeland Security, Defense and Justice Departments, asking them to investigate “policies and activities that appear to be the result of influence operations conducted by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Bachmann later noted on a radio show that “It appears that there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood.”
When asked by fellow Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison to provide “a full accounting of the sources you used to make the serious allegations against the individuals and organizations in your letters,” Bachmann provided precisely jack shit.
As evidence, she pointed to Abedin’s late father, Professor Syed Z. Abedin, and a 2002 Brigham Young University Law Review article about his work. Bachmann points to a passage saying Abedin founded an organization that received the “quiet but active support” of the the former director of the Muslim World League, an international NGO that was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe in the 1970s through 1990s. So, to connect Abedin to the Muslim Brotherhood, you have to go through her dead father, to the organization he founded, to a man who allegedly supported it, to the organization that man used to lead, to Europe in the 1970s and 1990s, and finally to the Brotherhood.
So, because Bachmann claims Abedin’s a terrorist for no apparent reason, and McCain spoke out about it (in a speech you can read in its entirety below), the far-right-wingers in Sand Land want him booted from office.
As first reported by the Arizona Capitol Times, Wes Harris, the founder and chairman of the Original North Phoenix Tea Party, says McCain is an “embarrassment” and should be recalled. He goes on to say that it’s impossible for a Muslim to be loyal to the U.S. because their faith in Islam comes before everything else (Note: Harris did not respond to our request for comment. A spokesman for the Tea Party did get back to us, though, and we told him we wanted to speak with Harris. We’re yet to hear back).
“Have you ever read the Quran? I suggest you do so, because anyone that is a Muslim is a threat to this country, and that’s a fact,” Harris says in an email to the Times. “There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. If they are Muslim they have to follow the Quran. That’s their religion and that’s their doctrine.”
Because of their allegiance to Islam, Harris says Muslims should not be allowed to serve at the State Department.
“Is [Abedin] a Muslim? Is she an active Muslim?” Harris asks. “I rest my case. That’s all she needs to be.”
Harris concludes his (ahem) eloquent email with “Go to hell, Senator, it’s time for you to take your final dirt nap” (and if you were wondering why the Tea Party often is seen as a group of knuckle-dragging hillbillies, there it is).
For context, the hatred of McCain amongst Arizona’s far-right is nothing new. He is loathed by Conservatives in the state because he’s sided with Democrats in the past and is perceived to be soft on Arizona’s issue-Du-jour: immigration. There’s also a current recall craze in the Grand Canyon State after voters ousted former State Senate President Russell Pearce, the man behind Arizona’s controversial immigration bill, in a recall election last year, outraging his Conservative supporters like Harris.
In any event, a few things are clear: Huma Abedin’s not a terrorist, John McCain’s not getting recalled, and Arizona Republicans continue to make themselves the laughing stock of the entire country.
See McCain’s entire speech in support of Abedin below:
“Mr. President: Rarely do I come to the floor of this institution to discuss particular individuals. But I understand how painful and injurious it is when a person’s character, reputation, and patriotism are attacked without concern for fact or fairness. It is for that reason that I rise today to speak in defense of Huma Abedin.
“Over the past decade, I have had the pleasure of coming to know Huma during her long and dedicated service to Hillary Rodham Clinton, both in the United States Senate and now in the Department of State. I know Huma to be an intelligent, upstanding, hard-working, and loyal servant of our country and our government, who has devoted countless days of her life to advancing the ideals of the nation she loves and looking after its most precious interests. That she has done so while maintaining her characteristic decency, warmth, and good humor is a testament to her ability to bear even the most arduous duties with poise and confidence.
“Put simply, Huma represents what is best about America: the daughter of immigrants, who has risen to the highest levels of our government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and her abiding commitment to the American ideals that she embodies so fully. I am proud to know Huma, and to call her my friend.
“Recently, it has been alleged that Huma, a Muslim American, is part of a nefarious conspiracy to harm the United States by unduly influencing U.S. foreign policy at the Department of State in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes. On June 13, five members of Congress wrote to the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of State, demanding that he begin an investigation into the possibility that Huma and other American officials are using their influence to promote the cause of the Muslim Brotherhood within the U.S. government. The information offered to support these serious allegations is based on a report, ‘The Muslim Brotherhood in America,’ produced by the Center for Security Policy.
“To say that the accusations made in both documents are not substantiated by the evidence they offer is to be overly polite and diplomatic about it. It is far better, and more accurate, to talk straight: These allegations about Huma, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant.
“The letter alleges that three members of Huma’s family are ‘connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.’ Never mind that one of those individuals, Huma’s father, passed away two decades ago. The letter and the report offer not one instance of an action, a decision, or a public position that Huma has taken while at the State Department that would lend credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-American activities within our government. Nor does either document offer any evidence of a direct impact that Huma may have had on one of the U.S. policies with which the authors of the letter and the producers of the report find fault. These sinister accusations rest solely on a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations of members of Huma’s family, none of which have been shown to harm or threaten the United States in any way. These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need to stop now.
“Ultimately, what is at stake in this matter is larger even than the reputation of one person. This is about who we are as a nation, and who we aspire to be. What makes America exceptional among the countries of the world is that we are bound together as citizens not by blood or class, not by sect or ethnicity, but by a set of enduring, universal, and equal rights that are the foundation of our constitution, our laws, our citizenry, and our identity. When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it.
“Our reputations, our character, are the only things we leave behind when we depart this earth, and unjust attacks that malign the good name of a decent and honorable person is not only wrong; it is contrary to everything we hold dear as Americans.
“Some years ago, I had the pleasure, along with my friend, the Senator from South Carolina, Senator Lindsey Graham, of traveling overseas with our colleague, then-Senator Hillary Clinton. By her side, as always, was Huma, and I had the pleasure of seeing firsthand her hard work and dedicated service on behalf of the former Senator from New York – a service that continues to this day at the Department of State, and bears with it significant personal sacrifice for Huma.
“I have every confidence in Huma’s loyalty to our country, and everyone else should as well. All Americans owe Huma a debt of gratitude for her many years of superior public service. I hope these ugly and unfortunate attacks on her can be immediately brought to an end and put behind us before any further damage is done to a woman, an American, of genuine patriotism and love of country.”