At a House Judiciary committee hearing, FBI Director Robert Mueller fielded questions about the purging of training materials that related directly to counter-terrorism efforts. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) pressed Mueller on the issue. In particular, Ghomert wanted to know why seemingly innocuous statements that included the words, “Jihad” and “Islam” were removed. He also wanted to know the names of the people responsible for purging the materials.
In this exchange, Gohmert demonstrates he understands the real threat and calls out the FBI on its meetings with people like Abdurahman Alamoudi and Sami al-Arian in the past. The congressman used that information as a foundation to request that Mueller release the names of the five individuals allegedly responsible for purging the documents. Again, based on history, the US Government doesn’t have a good track record of trusting the right people when it comes to things like this. Gohmert wanted answers. Mueller wouldn’t provide them at the hearing but said he would consider releasing them to members of the committee if confidentiality could be maintained.
This exchange gets a bit testy at the end.
Gohmert tried again during another round of questioning. Mueller admitted that two of the five experts were from other agencies but no new information was learned about the other three. Again, based on the track record of the US Government, Gohmert is rightfully concerned.
The Washington Examiner reported that Mueller denied that political correctness had anything to do with the purging of the training materials:
A recent purge of FBI training documents came because some of the materials that were being used relied on inaccurate information or stereotypes linking Muslims to terrorism, Mueller told members of the House Judiciary Committee.
Several committee members raised concerns that the bureau was sacrificing national security for politically correct considerations, citing the overhaul of the counter-terror training curriculum as a source of particular worry.
Mueller provided few details as to what standards were used to determine which documents would be scrapped. He refused to identify the outside Islamic experts the bureau relied on to judge whether training materials accurately reflected Islamic beliefs and Muslim behaviors.
“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,” Mueller said.
“It does us no good to have personnel who are trained with inadequate materials or misguided materials. Political correctness had nothing to do with it,” he said.
The Examiner goes on to report that Mueller met with the head of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) – a Muslim Brotherhood group – last February.
Giving the FBI the benefit of the doubt would require accepting a premise that says it’s following a ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ philosophy. If that’s the case, it definitely has deadly shortfalls, especially in light of reports that indicate Anwar al-Awlaki may have been an FBI informant. If it’s not true, we have far greater concerns for the security of the country.
Here is a video from October 2010 in which Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who once referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as being “largely secular,” and FBI Director Mueller were caught flat-footed by educated reporters, including the Examiner’s Diana West. Note at the 6:10 mark that Mueller asserts that 99.9% of Muslims in America are “patriotic.” Comments like these are demonstrably false and do NOT instill confidence in Americans who understand the real threat.
Ben Barrack is a talk show host and author of the upcoming book, Unsung Davids