By Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack
The American people are supposed to trust Republicans appointed to investigate Benghazi but as it turns out, the Executive Director appointed to the House Select Committee on Benghazi – Philip Kiko – is a lobbyist for the Smith-Free Group, in which his clients include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the radical environmentalist group the Sierra Club, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), National Council of La Raza “the Race” (NCLR), and the National Organization for Women (NOW), NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (NLDEF) and others.
And it even gets worse, it also turns out that he lobbied for a group with strong connections to Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the U.S.
This constitutes a major problem.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. When it comes to Benghazi, the attackers all resided under the Muslim Brotherhood umbrella.
Kiko, appointed by Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, has been a lobbyist for Smith-Free Group since 2013. One of Smith-Lee’s clients is the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a consortium of racial and liberal organizations that includes the highly suspect Muslim Advocates (MA). There also appears to be a connection to Wisconsin politicians. The head of MA used to work for U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Kiko for Rep. James Sensenbrenner as Deputy Chief of Staff from 2001 – 2007. Sensenbrenner is credited with authoring the Patriot Act.
MA’s President and Executive Director Farhana Khera worked directly for Feingold for six years and was Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Ironically, a primary focus of Khera has been to water down the Patriot Act to protect Muslims. The degree to which she was successful can be seen in both how politically correct the law is as well as Feingold being the only U.S. Senator to vote against the law.
Khera represented the Muslim Students Association (MSA) in the U.S. and Canada in a suit filed against the City of New York over the surveillance of the Muslim community. MSA is a known Muslim Brotherhood front group and Khera is clearly a pro-Muslim activist who has argued that sting operations lead to “anti-Muslim sentiment”.
In 2010, Khera spoke at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention. In her speech, Khera tipped off Muslim leaders about law enforcement surveillance techniques. ISNA is also a Muslim Brotherhood front.
Perhaps one of Khera’s most prized accomplishments was a letter she received from then-Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan, who is currently the Director of the CIA. Brennan’s letter was in response to a letter sent by Khera and 57 Muslim organizations requesting that training materials offensive to Muslims be purged from counter-terrorism manuals. Brennan expressed agreement with Khera in his response.
When it comes to other Muslim Advocates members advocating for terrorist organizations, at a 2007 Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) convention, Muslim Advocates counsel Akil Vohra vouched for the Holy Land Foundation, insisting that it was not connected to terrorism. One year later, the HLF was found guilty on all charges related to terrorism.
When former Deputy Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton Huma Abedin found herself at the center of controversy after Rep. Michele Bachmann raised questions about Abedin’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, at least one Muslim Advocates member expressed support for Abedin. Board member Amber Khan sent out the following tweet about Abedin’s attendance at the White House iftar dinner in 2012:
Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim U.S. Congressmen, was one of Abedin’s staunchest of defenders against Bachmann. Ellison responded to Bachmann’s questions with an incoherent two-page letter that was rebuked with a 16-page letter from Bachmann; it would be her last public words on the matter.
Ellison also has a connection to Muslim Advocates. The organization’s Director of Program to Strengthen Muslim Charities, Mohamed Sabur, was once an employee of Ellison.
Sabur is also credited with founding The Qunoot Foundation. This organization is a partner with CAIR. Muslim Advocates is identified as a kind of offshoot from the Muslim Brotherhood front. In fact, their advocates work with CAIR. In fact, on CAIR’s official website, an application was accepted for a CAIR / Qunoot Fellowship.
Other figures on the Muslim Advocates website that warrant further scrutiny are Deputy Director Naheed Qureshi and Board Asifa Quraishi-Landes. As we have learned, the Qureshi name (can be spelled differently) is quite prominent within the Muslim Brotherhood. Suheir Qureshi was identified by Shoebat.com as one of the 63 Muslim Sisterhood leaders. Naheed joined other Muslim Brotherhood figures at the 2010 White House Iftar Dinner, to include Huma Abedin’s mother Saleha Abedin.
Here is a promo video on the Muslim Advocates website, the organization under the LCCR umbrella Kiko has has registered to lobby for. The video features Sabur, Khera, and Ellison:
Foley and Lardner
Another potentially noteworthy aspect to Kiko’s background is his time with Foley and Lardner as Of Counsel. One of the partners of this firm is Cleta Mitchell, who inexplicably defended Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan in the face of overwhelming evidence of their complicity in the Muslim Brotherhood agenda.
The evidence against both Norquist and Khan is incontrovertible. Yet, Mitchell chose to vehemently defend them while smearing those who pointed out their Muslim Brotherhood connections, as Shoebat.com reported. The extent of Kiko’s relationship with Mitchell is unclear but it is noteworthy that both Mitchell and he have either advocated for or defended individuals or groups with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. As a partner with Foley, Mitchell would have been senior to Kiko, who was listed as ‘Of Counsel’.
Kiko Should Recuse Himself
Shortly after Speaker John Boehner appointed Trey Gowdy to head the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Gowdy appointed Kiko. To what extent Boehner may have had a hand in Gowdy’s naming of the longtime DC lobbyist is not known but Boehner sure seemed pleased with the appointment immediately after it was announced, saying:
“Phil Kiko is a man of unquestioned integrity with a record of distinguished service to the House and the American people. His appointment today is further proof of Chairman Gowdy’s commitment to an investigation that is serious, fact-based, and professional. The American people deserve the full truth about what happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, and there is no better person to help lead this effort than Phil.”
Like Sensenbrenner, Boehner was one of the handful of Republicans who defended Abedin against Bachmann, as Shoebat.com reported.
Let’s face it, Congress has a poor track record with the American people. It’s a place where corruption thrives like weeds in a garden that needs constant tending. Despite this, there is an industry in Washington, DC that is viewed with even more contempt, perhaps the most unprincipled profession in the nation’s capital – lobbying. Often, the extent to which any one lobbyist’s principles – or lack thereof – can be known are by looking at his clients.
When doing this with Kiko, it becomes apparent that he should recuse himself from the Benghazi investigation. Boehner, Gowdy and every member of the House Select Committee should demand it.
Alana Cook contributed to this report.
**UPDATE on May 27, 2014 at 8:49am ET**
To provide further clarity… As a lobbyist for Smith-Free Group, Kiko registered to represent the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), which includes Muslim Advocates. As such, he registered to represent MA. The LCCR is wrought with far left-wing groups (mentioned above). Muslim Advocates is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.