While we can certainly appreciate the passion and sentiment of Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) when it comes to being outraged by the Obama administration’s record on counterterrorism, the congressman’s attempt to use the previous administration as the benchmark displays a bit of naivete on his part.
First, here’s the video, via the Weekly Standard:
While Cotton may be well-intentioned, he’s avoiding one of the most obvious Jihad attacks during the Bush administration.
Anyone remember the D.C. Snipers John Allen Mohammad and Lee Boyd Malvo? They murdered ten innocent people but the truth about them being Muslim was suppressed and not really brought to light until years later.
During the days and weeks that followed, the national media made no mention of “Islam,” “Muslim,” or “terrorism.” They rather presented the Muhammad as “an ex-soldier,” “a former, Army combat engineer,” and “a Gulf War veteran who was an expert Army marksman,” and Malvo, an illegal alien from Jamaica, as either as a misguided youth or clueless dupe.
Such portraits were in keeping with the following dictate from Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). “Police reports indicate the suspects acted alone, based on their own motivations. There is no indication that this case is related to Islam or Muslims. We therefore ask journalists and media commentators to avoid speculation based on stereotyping or prejudice. The American Muslim community should not be held accountable for the alleged criminal actions of what appear to be troubled and deranged individuals.”
Of course, the reason for this suppression had to do with a Bush administration policy to show solidarity with individuals like the aforementioned Awad, whom Bush stood shoulder to shoulder with on 9/17/01 – just six days after the 9/11 attacks – inside a Washington, D.C. mosque:
And, of course, one of the five jihadists referred to by Cotton was Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter. Apparently lost on him is that the men credited with corresponding with / inspiring Hasan was none other than Anwar Al-Awlaki. The Bush administration allowed Al-Awlaki to leave the country in 2002, despite there being an arrest warrant for him. Al-Awlaki was also invited to – and attended – a plush luncheon at the Pentagon just a few months after the 9/11 attacks.
If, as many suspect, Al-Awlaki had a role in inspiring Hasan to murder 14 and injure 32, Cotton’s 5 – 0 scorecard is little more than a partisan attempt to score a political victory.
However well-intentioned Cotton may be, when he makes these kinds of arguments, he demonstrates that he doesn’t understand that while the counterterrorism policy under Obama has been deplorable, contrasting it with the Bush administration is not nearly as simple as it seems.
Many of the problems in existence today relative to counterterrorism tie directly back to the seeds of political correctness the Bush administration planted and protected.
The solution is for Cotton and his colleagues to do what Reps. Michele Bachmann and four other congressmen attempted to do last year in the form of five letters to various Inspectors General but received little to no support – ask hard questions about Muslim Brotherhood influence in the U.S. Government. Bush went out of his way to avoid doing that.
The solution is to shine a spotlight on all Muslim Brotherhood groups in the U.S., something that the Bush administration never did and something the Obama administration seems intent on preventing.