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Huma Abedin and Form 86

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the handful of House Republicans, led by Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who sent letters in June to inspectors general at five government departments, asking them to investigate evidence of Muslim Brotherhood influence on U.S. government policymaking. The Muslim Brotherhood is a global Islamic movement engaged, according to the group's own internal document, on a "grand jihad" in North America to destroy "Western civilization from within." To date, the inspectors general haven't responded.

Form_86_Security_ClearanceNonetheless, Bachmann and her colleagues -- Trent Franks of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Tom Rooney of Florida and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia -- have focused attention on the disastrous policy of bringing members of known Muslim Brotherhood fronts and their associates into Uncle Sam's policymaking chain. The representatives' letters went to inspectors general at State, Justice, Defense, Homeland Security and the Office of the National Intelligence Director. These government nerve centers are increasingly advancing policies American leaders once would have excoriated for supporting the enemies of this country.

Is it by chance, for example, that director of national intelligence James Clapper, reading from prepared notes, absurdly described the Muslim Brotherhood to the House Intelligence Committee last year as a "largely secular" organization? Is it an accident that in June the State Department issued a visa to Hani Nour Eldin of Egypt to meet with senior White House officials? Eldin is a member of Gama'a al-Islamiyya, a terrorist organization once led by Omar Abdel Rahman, "the blind sheikh" convicted of the first attack on the World Trade Center. In the person of Rahman's successor, Refai Ahmed Taha, the group is one of the five signatories of Osama bin Laden's February 1998 "World Islamic Front Statement Urging Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders." Isn't it imperative to review the policy mechanism that permitted a member of bin Laden's jihad front into the White House?

According to our elected officials, the answer is no. Not one House member, Democrat, Republican or tea party, has come out in solidarity with the National Security Five. Typically, the mainstream media have reacted not by digging up facts themselves (what are they, journalists?), but rather by throwing mud on Michele Bachmann. "Stop 'witch-hunting' Huma Abedin, top aide to Hillary Clinton," is the war cry from CNN to USA Today. Many conservative outlets, such as Fox and The Washington Examiner, are strangely silent.

To be sure, one of the Bachmann letters notes the case of Huma Abedin -- a confidante of the secretary of state whose family has dense ties to Muslim Brotherhood organizations. She has become the human face used to distract from the overarching national security issue. Honest answers to the wide array of questions the House members have asked would expose high elected officials in both parties as dupes of our enemies, at best. The American people would find out how Uncle Sam came to support al-Qaida in Libya; Muslim Brothers in Egypt; and, now, al-Qaida and Muslim Brothers in Syria. An honest investigation would spotlight the internal process that led Uncle Sam to sponsor a new international counterterrorism organization without Israel. The shameful fact is, our power-elites don't want these questions answered because the answers would threaten their hold on power.

Bachmann & Co. haven't alleged wrongdoing on Abedin's part. Rather, their question turns on the process that permitted a person with close family ties to an array of world Islamic movements and figures hostile to the United States to gain the security clearance Abedin requires to serve alongside the secretary of state.

I looked over the lengthy Form 86 that federal employees fill out to apply for national security positions.

One portion is devoted to an applicant's relatives (bold added) with a question about relatives' affiliations with any "foreign movement." If Abedin answered fully -- and there are stiff penalties for failing to do so -- she would have noted, for starters, that her mother, Saleha Abedin, belongs to the Muslim Sisterhood (the Brotherhood's auxiliary, primarily for relatives of prominent Brothers) and serves on the board of the International Islamic Council for Dawah and Relief, a group banned in Israel for supporting Hamas. Saleha Abedin has been a representative of the Muslim World League, whose affiliates have been charged by the U.S. government with funding terrorism. Any ensuing investigation would turn up Saleha's work with the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, where she edits the journal that Huma, too, worked on for a dozen years. That same institute was founded by Huma's father in Saudi Arabia with the assistance and long-term involvement of Abdullah Omar Naseef. Naseef was secretary-general of the Muslim World League and also founded the Rabita Trust, a U.S.-designated international terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaida.

There's more, but just imagine the light dawning on the background-checker: So, Ms. Abedin, let me get this straight: Your folks, and you, too, worked with a guy who founded a terrorist organization linked to al-Qaida, your mom's on the board of a group banned in Israel for supporting Hamas, and you want top-secret clearance to work for the secretary of state.

Then what happened?

Diana West is the author of The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization. Her arttcle archive and blog are here.

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