by Bob Bennett
The ecstatic reaction to Deputy AG Rosenstein’s choice of former FBI director Robert Mueller to be the special counsel in the Russia investigation may be justified, to the extent of Mueller’s bipartisan credibility. Many have gushed that he presided over the FBI’s development into an agency of counterterrorism after 9/11. But, these statements omit the fact that he also presided over the subsequent hobbling of the FBI in carrying out that mission.
Though it would not bear upon his acting as special counsel, before we beatify him altogether, we should recall that during his time as FBI director, Mr. Mueller permitted an appalling partnership between the FBI and the enemy itself, in the form of Islamist advocacy groups the DOJ had identified as fronts for Hamas during the Holy Land trial, in 2007-8. The federal judge in the case “stated in one ruling that ‘the Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations with CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with … HAMAS.’” (p. 14-15)
The Global Jihad Movement scored its greatest win against the U.S. in 2011 when, as Patrick Poole wrote in TheBlaze, then–FBI director Mueller’s work with these groups had the result of hindering the agency’s fight against radical Islam.
Following a series of articles in September 2011 by “far-left blogger Spencer Ackerman at WIRED Magazine that claimed counter-terrorism trainers and materials used by the FBI were promoting ‘Islamophobia,’ a letter signed by fifty-seven U.S. Islamic groups, including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was sent to Obama’s then–counterterrorism czar, John Brennan.” He’s the man who once referred to Jerusalem as “al Quds.”
The almost immediate result was the Obama White House’s compelling the FBI and other agencies to purge all federal government training materials of “biased” materials—content linking Islam with terror.
On February 8, 2012, FBI Director Mueller met with representatives of some of the Islamic groups that had signed the demand letter, “including representatives from ISNA and MPAC.” Their intent was to check the progress of their demands for a ‘purge’ (the term they used) of the bureau’s counter-terrorism training materials…. They were told that more than 700 documents and 300 presentations had been purged from the FBI’s training.”—TheBlaze
Poole also noted that “In one Justice Department filing, prosecutors noted that ‘numerous exhibits were entered into evidence establishing … ISNA’s … intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood,’” and “MPAC as an organization has been criticized for publications defending terrorist organizations and equating Islamic suicide attacks with Patrick Henry and ‘American freedom fighters.’”
A report on ISNA’s website reflected that “more than 160,000 pages of documents were reviewed by subject matter experts multiple times. Consequently, more than 700 documents and 300 presentations of material have been deemed unusable by the Bureau and pulled from the training curriculum.” [Emphasis added.]
Just who were these experts? When members of Congress asked for the names of the “subject matter experts” who had reviewed the training materials, the FBI actually classified their names, said Patrick Poole.
TheBlaze reported that on March 23, 2012, a meeting took place “between a representative from the FBI responsible for purging the counter-terrorism training materials, and attorneys and staffers with the House Judiciary Committee.”
“A document the FBI presented to the congressional staffers … was represented as the ‘guiding principles’ by which [training] materials were reviewed. But a review of the … document show[ed] a … shocking shift in U.S. government policies:
Training must clearly distinguish between constitutionally protected statements and activities designed to achieve political, social, or other objectives, and violent extremism….
This distinction includes recognition of the corresponding principle that mere association with organizations that demonstrate both legitimate (advocacy) and illicit (violent extremism) objectives should not automatically result in a determination that the associated individual is acting in furtherance of the organization’s illicit objective(s).
Patrick Poole writes that “a congressional staff attorney” explained to him that:
The FBI is clearly saying here that if you support a designated terrorist organization or group that engages in violence, but that same organization engages in some kind of non-violent activity, like religious or ideological instruction, your support for that terrorist organization is deemed by this administration as constitutionally protected.
As for exactly what was purged, a study done by terrorism expert Stephen Coughlin for Rep. Louis Gohmert revealed that certain words—some of which were used hundreds of times in the 9/11 Commission Report—had vanished from the FBI’s Counter-Terrorism Analytical Lexicon.”
For example, according to Gohmert, the 9/11 report mentioned the word “Islam” 322 times. However, Gohmert declares that the FBI training manual no longer contains the terms: “Islam,” “Muslim,” “jihad,” “Muslim Brotherhood,” “Hamas,” “Hezbollah,” “al-Qa’eda,” “caliphate,” “Sharia law,” even “enemy.” [See video at 22:40.]
Yet, then–FBI director Mueller told members of the House Judiciary Committee in 2012 that “I can say absolutely and with certainty that political correctness played no role in the efforts I undertook to make certain that we will give the best training to our personnel.”
Some might think that Mueller should have resigned before allowing this travesty.
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.