If one starts from the premise that Rep. Michele Bachmann, et. al. is right to question the background of Huma Abedin, there are a lot of people who are wrong. The latest Huma-defender is the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who attempts to do so by smearing the most prominent voice to call her background and affiliations into question – Andrew McCarthy.
There are frequent bouts of McCarthyism in the capital, but the latest version has the special touch of being delivered by a guy named McCarthy.
This McCarthy isn’t your average Joe: Andrew McCarthy’s work is providing the intellectual underpinnings — such as they are — for Rep. Michele Bachmann’s outrageous suggestion that Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
McCarthy gave a 90-minute talk at the National Press Club on Wednesday morning sponsored by the conservative Center for Security Policy, which was the source cited by Bachmann (R-Minn.) in her letter challenging Abedin’s loyalty. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and other top Republicans justifiably blasted Bachmann, but McCarthy defended the congresswoman and went her allegation one further — drawing a twisted line from Abedin all the way to al-Qaeda.
Uh, Dana, Bachmann’s letter didn’t challenge Abedin’s loyalty; it questioned her background and asked for more information about how she was given a security clearance based on that background. As McCarthy rightly pointed out (he’s a bit more than slightly qualified), a security clearance is a privilege, not a right. Milbank’s assertion that the line from Huma to al-Qaeda is “twisted” is an interesting perception since Huma and al-Qaeda financier Abdullah Omar Nasseef served on a Board together for at least seven years.
Then again, we are dealing with a liberal media that had no problem with Barack Obama serving on a Board with Bill Ayers.
Millbank’s apologist screed continued…
If Abedin is in fact a Muslim Brotherhood plant spreading sharia law in the United States, she’s using unorthodox methods: posing provocatively for a Vogue spread, then marrying and having the child of a Jewish congressman who sent out a photo of his genitals on Twitter. As Clinton’s personal aide, helping her boss with suits and handbags and logistics, she has not been in an ideal position to advance the alleged cause. Even McCarthy admits that she’s “not a policymaker.”
Then why go after her? It’s hard to escape the suspicion that it has something to do with the way she looks and how she worships.
That last sentence is an attempt by Millbank to play the ‘Islamophobia’ card, something that McCarthy addressed at the Presser. The notion of Islamophobia, says McCarthy, originated with the Muslim Brotherhood as a way of intimidating those who ask questions. Millbank is either a useful idiot or complicit in that intimidation.
Then, as smear merchants who are losing a debate are wont to do, Millbank goes on a tangent:
Events of the past few days make that happy chatter four years ago about a “post-racial” America seem especially naive. On Sunday, a white supremacist killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. On Tuesday, Mitt Romney began to attack President Obama as soft on welfare, an issue charged with race. On Wednesday, the Romney campaign hosted a conference call in which Newt Gingrich, who once leveled the racially loaded accusation that Obama was the “food-stamp president,” perpetuated the welfare accusations. And, at about the same time, Abedin’s accusers were getting to work at the press club.
Uh, nice job Dana. Drawing a connection between very legitimate questions about how Huma Abedin was vetted in light of her associations, the Sikh temple shooting, welfare, and food stamps before circling back to create a conspiracy theory that involves all of that and Huma Abedin is quite interesting to consider. Perhaps you can get a gig on the Alex Jones show.
Millbank circles back to his ‘guilt by association’ charge against McCarthy:
The core of McCarthy’s charge is guilt by association: Abedin’s mother, brother and late father, all academics, were active in the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, which McCarthy alleges was created by Abdullah Omar Naseef, “a major Muslim Brotherhood figure involved in the financing of al-Qaeda.” To that, he adds the charge that “Abedin is directly connected” to Naseef because her mother, the editor of the institute’s quarterly journal, listed her as an “assistant editor” between 1996 (when she was 20) and 2008.
That last sentence is a microcosm of Millbank’s bias. Note how he focuses on Abedin’s age when she joined the IMMA (20) but neglects her age when she left (32).
There is a firewall in Millbank’s brain that apparently prevents him from understanding a very simple concept; guilt by association in a criminal case, for example, is not applicable. Associations when applying for a security clearance most certainly are.
Lame Dana, lame.