By Ben Barrack
The lobbying powerhouse that is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce signed a pact with a terror state in 2010 when its Executive Vice-President and COO David Chavern traveled to Qatar and officially commissioned the American Chamber of Commerce there (AmCham Qatar). Two years later, the U.S. Chamber would become the largest influence peddler by more than three times its number two competitor.
After an extremely disturbing relationship between the nation of Qatar and the Brookings Institute – a prominent U.S. think tank – was confirmed by the New York Times, this even more disturbing partnership may warrant heightened attention. Chavern inaugurated the partnership at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum (US-IWF) in Doha.
Watch the video Barack Obama did specifically for the 2010 US-IWF Conference HERE, which was viewed via satellite by participants.
Chavern took part in the signing ceremony. An excerpt from the press release about the partnership read as follows:
“The U.S. Chamber and AmCham Qatar are dedicated to promoting and strengthening the relationship with both the business community and the government of Qatar,” said Chavern. “This AmCham represents another concrete example of positive U.S. engagement with the Muslim world.”
As Shoebat.com has reported, the US-IWF is an annual forum co-sponsored by the Qatari government and Brookings. This is very problematic because Qatar supports terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, and Muslim Brotherhood-linked Hamas, even harboring its leaders. Muslim Brotherhood representatives are typically in abundance at these forums. There is mounting evidence Qatar supports ISIS terrorists in Syria as well, though Brookings coincidentally has played this down, as Shoebat.com has reported.
As for the significance of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s involvement with Qatar, two things immediately jump out. First, as a 501(c)(6), the U.S. Chamber’s donors can remain anonymous. That wouldn’t be nearly as disconcerting if not for the second thing; it accepts foreign contributions.
It’s already been reported that Qatar is paying $14.8 million to Brookings over four years and that this buys things such as favorable portrayals from the think tank in reports and lobbying U.S. politicians to push its agenda (allegations the New York Times published). Based on what happened at the 2010 US-IWF, the U.S. Chamber – the largest lobbying outfit around – is looking out for Qatari interests as well.
Another individual who joined Chavern on the panel was Farah Pandith, Special Representative for Muslim Communities for the U.S. State Department. Pandith has extensive connections to various Muslim Brotherhood front groups and when she was sworn in by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, used a Qur’an.
One year after Chavern’s appearance at the US-IWF in 2010, the U.S. Chamber was represented again in 2011, though that forum was held in Washington, DC for the first time. In a video featuring the highlights of that forum, the U.S. Chamber’s Vice President of Middle East and North Africa Affairs Lionel Johnson was featured. He stated:
“What we need not only from the U.S. business community but the indigenous private sectors in each one of these countries need is an operating environment, an investment environment that is conducive to wealth creation and growth. Transparency, accountable governance, that’s good for the operating of a democratic society but it’s enormously important for business to succeed and to create the jobs that all of these young people deserve.”
Here is the video, cued up to start with Johnson’s comments. If you watch all the way to the end, you will see Senator John McCain – another establishment Republican – champion the Arab Spring:
One year later, in April of 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt sent a delegation to the U.S. As Shoebat.com has reported, it the delegation visited the White House and met with mid-level Obama administration officials. However, it also met with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
How can U.S. Chamber Further Qatar’s Agenda?
When it comes to electoral politics, the U.S. Chamber is known for no fewer than two things; it supports amnesty and establishment Republican candidates. Earlier this year, as members of Congress who epitomize the Republican establishment equivocated on the issue of amnesty, U.S. Chamber President Tom Donohue quipped:
“If the Republicans don’t do it, they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016.”
How would these things benefit a State Sponsor of Terrorism (unofficially) like Qatar?
Well… when it comes to amnesty, not only does that facilitate the travel and legal residence of would-be terrorists into the U.S. but it also dilutes the more conservative voters in the U.S. who are most informed about Islamic terrorism and fundamentalism. As for establishment Republicans, when do you ever hear any of them discuss issues like Muslim Brotherhood infiltration? When is the last time you saw any stand with the few politicians who do? Consider the Michele Bachmann vs. Huma Abedin issue ignored by so many Republicans.
The U.S. Chamber backed Mitt Romney in 2012 and seems to be spearheading a push to have him be the nominee in 2016. It is noteworthy that Romney went out of his way to avoid the issue of Huma Abedin on the 2012 campaign trail. It was brought up once and his response to the question was incoherent:
Did you catch that? Romney said, “Those are things that are not part of my campaign.” Why wouldn’t they be? For starters, Qatar most certainly wouldn’t want that becoming a campaign issue and if Qatar wouldn’t, the U.S. Chamber wouldn’t and if the U.S. Chamber wouldn’t, Romney wouldn’t.
Another vested interest Qatar has is in not letting the truth about Benghazi come out. As both a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was quite heavily represented in the Benghazi attack, and a player in the weapons trafficking operation run out of Benghazi to arm the Syrian rebels (ISIS), Qatar has a stake in keeping the truth suppressed.
In the infamous third debate between Romney and Obama, much to everyone’s shock, Romney punted on the Benghazi issue. Would this not have furthered the Qatari agenda? No proof? Please scroll up and take another look at Chavern after signing a deal with the devil in Doha.
Take a look at this video from last year in which Geraldo Rivera brings up the very issue of Romney not going after Obama on Benghazi in that debate. His flawed theory involving Petraeus notwithstanding, Geraldo does speak about how the truth regarding Benghazi would have exposed Qatar’s role in the weapons trafficking operation to Syria:
Perhaps one of the best embodiments of the establishment Republican class is Karl Rove, who heads the American Crossroads PAC. The relationship between Rove’s Crossroads and the Chamber is well known. Open Secrets explains:
Steven Law, former general counsel of the Chamber, was instrumental in coming up with the idea to create the Crossroads groups, and Law became their president. The Chamber and Crossroads have been in regular contact about political strategy.
“…major donors and advocacy groups, such as the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads, are preparing an aggressive effort to groom and support more centrist Republican candidates for Congress in 2014’s midterm elections.”
Introducing Qatar into this equation changes the calculus.
Then of course, last year it was revealed by Breitbart that in 2012, Rove’s Crossroads SuperPAC enriched stealth jihadist sympathizer Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) organization:
On its 2012 tax return, Barker reported, the biggest grant Rove’s Crossroads GPS gave to anybody was a $26.4 million grant it gave to Norquist’s ATR for “social welfare.”
As Shoebat.com reported at the time, this made no sense in light of the fact that by all appearances, Norquist duped the Bush administration in the days after 9/11 by convincing them to engage leaders of Muslim Brotherhood front groups. Why would Rove’s PAC reward someone like Norquist?
What much of this means is that highly suspicious and questionable positions taken by the U.S. Chamber relative to issues like immigration and backing establishment politicians may have to do with a bit more than just cheap labor.