Last week, Newt Gingrich interviewed with POLITICO and defended Michele Bachmann’s efforts to investigate Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. Government in general, and the background of Huma Abedin, who has close access to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in particular. Gingrich has followed that up with an eight-page Op-ed.
Unlike the Cold War, the primary focus of concern in government today is not espionage but influence. In the Cold War, there was value to learning secrets. The right spy at the right place could give one side or the other a big advantage.
This long war with radical Islamists is a very different struggle. There are many nuances and long-term developments. Much of the struggle involves ideas and language alien to most American leaders and unknown even to most of the State or Defense Department professionals.
So the right or wrong adviser can be enormously powerful. Getting the right advice can be everything.
Therefore, whose advice we rely on becomes central to national security. Asking who the advisers are, what their prejudices are and what advice they give is a legitimate — indeed, essential — part of any serious national security system.
It was this question that the National Security Five focused on. They were right to do so and it weakens national security for them to be attacked for simply asking basic questions.
One clear example of the Obama administration’s indefensible bias is its decision to co-sponsor the Global Counterterrorism Forum, which explicitly excluded Israel.
Launched on Sept. 22, 2011, by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, this forum brought together 29 countries and the European Union. Yet it excluded the country that has been the most frequently attacked and has the most experience defeating terrorism.
On June 7, 2012, Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) condemned the U.S. government for giving in to demands to exclude Israel.
To make matters worse, Maria Otero, the undersecretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights, gave a speech “in which she notably failed to mention Israel and Israelis as victims of terrorism.”
Isn’t it legitimate to ask: Who advised Clinton to launch a counterterrorism initiative that excluded Israel?
Isn’t it also legitimate to ask: Who advised Otero to give a major speech on terrorism and ignore the attacks on Israel and Israelis?
Of course, by asking these questions, Gingrich is leaving open the possibility that Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin, could have been such an adviser.
Regular readers to this blog know where we come down on this issue. There is more than sufficient evidence to raise bold red flags when it comes to Huma Abedin. One of them is the fact that for twelve years, Abedin served on the Board of an organization (IMMA) that was founded by Abdullah Omar Naseef – a man with more than tangible connections to Al-Qaeda – and left to work for Hillary at the State Department.