There seems to be a minor tete-a-tete going on between Newt Gingrich and Christian Whiton, a man who worked on the former House Speaker’s presidential campaign; Whiton also worked at the State Department from 2003 – 2009. In an interview yesterday, Whiton asserted that Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan was ‘unfortunate’ due to Ryan’s lack of foreign policy experience.
Here is the video, via MediaIte:
Note how Whiton defers to Dick Cheney’s standard for selecting a Vice President. While it’s true that Cheney has eight years of experience as Vice President under his belt, he has quite a few blemishes when it comes to his dealing with the real Islamic threat after 9/11, as was identified by William Murray in the days after 9/11.
Consider a Washington Post article dated February 22, 2003. It had been learned that Sami Al-Arian, who would later be convicted of charges relating to financing terrorism, was one of 160 members of a delegation from the American Muslim Council (AMC) who attended an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House on June 22, 2001.
None other than Karl Rove – the man who earned the moniker known as ‘Bush’s Brain’ – was on hand to convey Bush’s “faith-based” agenda. AMC, to include Abdurahman Alamoudi, a man who worked at the State Department under Clinton and who was convicted in 2004 of charges related to financing terrorism, was also in attendance. Keep in mind that Rove spoke at this event, attended by Alamoudi nearly one year after the AMC member stood in front of the White House and pledged support for Hamas and Hezbollah:
Cheney was scheduled to speak to the AMC at that June 22, 2001 meeting. The Washington Post article explains what happened:
The meeting was controversial within the White House even before it took place. The group that included Al-Arian was scheduled to be briefed by Vice President Cheney, but Cheney canceled. That morning, the Jerusalem Post had run a front-page article headlined, “Cheney to host pro-terrorist Muslim group.”
Several pro-Israel and conservative activists had warned administration officials not to meet with the American Muslim Council contingent because the group had courted controversy for years, knowledgeable sources said.
The inference is that Cheney canceled because of the Jerusalem Post article but let’s assume the two incidents were mutually exclusive. Why was Cheney scheduled to speak to the group at all??
To be fair to Whiton, he wasn’t working at the State Department at the time of this fiasco involving Rove and Cheney.
This leads us to Gingrich’s appearance on Face the Nation today. Note that his argument is in support of the Romney/Ryan ticket and that “it is an advantage that they’re not part of the current mess”. Based on the decision-making of Cheney’s handlers in the anecdotal example from June of 2001 alone, Newt has a strong point.
When talk turns to the subject of the State Department in general, Gingrich advocates for ‘distrust’ of it.
Is that a reference to Huma Abedin and her potentially ill-gotten security clearance?
For the record, I reached out to Whiton to get his take on the Huma Abedin controversy; my inbox still contains no emails from him.
Again, via MediaIte: