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…
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.”
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.
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.”
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:
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
“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.”