The Left’s War on Michele Bachmann

The Left’s War on Michele Bachmann



In June 2012, five Republican lawmakers (most prominently, Michele Bachmann) sent letters to the inspectors general at the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Defense, and State—and to the director of National Intelligence—asking that they investigate Obama administration “policies and activities that appear to be the result of influence operations conducted by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.” The Brotherhood is the ideological wellspring from which such terrorist outfits as al Qaeda and Hamas first emerged.

One letter, for instance, noted that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s closest aide—her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin—“has three family members … connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.” Specifically, her father, Syed Z. Abedin, was a professor in Saudi Arabia who founded the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), a Saudi-based Islamic think tank supported by the Muslim World League, a Brotherhood organization. And her mother, Saleha Mahmoud Abedin, is a member of the Muslim Sisterhood, the Brotherhood’s adjunct organization for women. Moreover, Huma Abedin herself spent 12 years working for the IMMA, whose agenda, as journalist Andrew C. McCarthy explains, is “to grow an unassimilated, aggressive population of Islamic supremacists who will gradually but dramatically alter the character of the West.” For details about this agenda, click here.)

A number of prominent Republicans swiftly disavowed the concerns expressed by Bachmann and her fellow legislators. Senator John McCain, for instance, indignantly declared in a statement from the Senate floor: “These sinister accusations rest solely on a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations of members of Huma’s family, none of which have been shown to harm or threaten the United States in any way. These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need to stop now.”

Bachmann, however, explained the legitimacy of her position: “The concerns about the foreign influence of immediate family members is such a concern to the U.S. Government that it includes these factors as potentially disqualifying conditions for obtaining a security clearance, which undoubtedly Ms. Abedin has had to obtain to function in her position. For us to raise issues about a highly-based U.S. Government official with known immediate family connections to foreign extremist organizations is not a question of singling out Ms. Abedin. In fact, these questions are raised by the U.S. Government of anyone seeking a security clearance.”

By September 2012, Bachmann, because of her leadership in exploring the possibility of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration into the U.S. government, was in the crosshairs of the Left. The Credo Super PAC, for instance, depicted the congresswoman as the “Queen of Crazy.” Credo’s president, community organizer Becky Bond, charged that Bachmann “has said more hateful and downright crazy things than just about anyone else in Congress.”

In January 2013, shortly after Bachmann had been reassigned to the House Select Committee on Intelligence, People For the American Way (PFAW)—which had previously (in 2012) launched an unsuccessful petition drive to have the congresswoman removed from that same Committee—decided to revive that effort as part of its all-out war against Bachmann. On January 21, PFAW presented House Speaker John Boehner with a petition bearing some 178,000 signatures of people demanding Bachmann’s removal. According to PFAW president Michael Keegan, Rep. Bachmann’s warnings amounted to nothing more than a “smear campaign” of “baseless conspiracy theories” designed to ruin “the reputations of honorable public servants.” PFAW spokesman Drew Courtney accused Bachmann of engaging in “reckless extremism” aimed chiefly at “making headlines and pandering to the Tea Party.” And PFAW’s online strategy manager, Ben Betz, derided Bachmann’s “Islamaphobic fear mongering” and her “disregard for honesty.” These accusations were entirely consistent with PFAW’s previous claims that “right-wing anti-Muslim activists,” filled with “anti-Muslim paranoia,” routinely “demoniz[e]” and “vilif[y]” members of the Islamic faith in an effort to stoke Americans’ “irrational fears.” Such conservative activists, said PFAW, “sanction and encourage [the] persecution” of Muslims while aiming to “prevent” them from “freely worshiping and practicing their religion.”

Notwithstanding the criticism and ridicule aimed at Bachmann, in December 2012 corroboration of her allegations came from an unlikely quarter: Egypt’s Rose El-Youssef magazine, which asserted that six highly-placed Muslim Brotherhood infiltrators within the Obama administration had transformed the United States “from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.” (A translation of the article is available from the Investigative Project, here.)

According to the Investigative Project, “the six named people include: Arif Alikhan, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for policy development; Mohammed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Rashad Hussain, the U.S. special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [formerly known as the Organization of the Islamic Conference]; Salam al-Marayati, co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); and Eboo Patel, a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.”

These were precisely some of the individuals and groups about whom Bachmann had raised concerns. For example, Bachmann’s June 2012 letter  to the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security stated that Elibiary had “extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood” and “sympathy for Islamist causes,” and accused him of “gain(ing) access to classified documents.” Bachmann had also raised concerns about the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, to which Rashad Hussain was the ambassador, and about Mohamed Magid’s Islamic Society of North America. Thus the Egyptian article stood as vindication of her concerns, and showed that her request that an investigation of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration be opened was entirely reasonable.

This summary is adapted from: “Huma Abedin and the Muslim Brotherhood: Bachmann vs. McCain,” by Robert Spencer (July 19, 2012); “People For the American Way Smears Michele Bachmann,” by John Perazzo (January 16, 2013); “Vindicated Bachmann Under Attack,” by Robert Spencer (January 15, 2013); “Alinskyite Super PAC’s Crusade to Take Down Michele Bachmann,” by Matthew Vadum (September 7, 2012); and “The Left’s New Campaign to Destroy a Friend of Israel’s: Michele Bachmann,” by Caroline Glick (January 22, 2013).

Additional Resources:

Huma Abedin and the Muslim Brotherhood: Bachmann vs. McCain
By Robert Spencer
July 19, 2012

Vindicated Bachmann Under Attack
By Robert Spencer
January 15, 2013

The Left’s New Campaign to Destroy a Friend of Israel’s: Michele Bachmann
By Caroline Glick
January 22, 2013

Alinskyite Super PAC’s Crusade to Take Down Michele Bachmann
By Matthew Vadum
September 7, 2012

People For the American Way Smears Michele Bachmann
By John Perazzo
January 16, 2013


Letters to the Departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security, & Justice, and to Director of National Intelligence, Rep. Keith Ellison, and John Brennan

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