Written by Tom Fitton
The Obama administration tends to take a “see no evil, hear no evil” approach to the problem of Islamic radicalism and terrorism.
In November 2009, when Maj. Nidal Hasan murdered 13 people and wounded dozens of others in a Fort Hood shooting spree, while repeatedly shouting “Allahu akbar,” most Americans realized at once that the faithful follower of the extremist imam Anwar al-Awlaki (the spiritual leader of a number of the 9/11 hijackers) was a radical Muslim. But not Barack Obama – whose administration misleadingly mislabeled the assault “workplace violence,” thereby depriving the victims of benefits commensurate with combat injuries.
On September 11, 2012, when al Qaeda terrorists stormed the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the Obama administration covered for the Islamic terrorists by blaming the incident on spontaneous reactions to a rudimentary Internet video critical of Islam. This false claim was repeated by both Ambassador Rice and Secretary Clinton in multiple public statements.
Weeks later, the lie was fully exposed when former CIA Director General David Petraeus reportedly testified before Congress that the initial “speaking points” produced by the CIA “stated there were indications the attack was linked to al Qaeda,” and suggested the terrorism reference was removed sometime during an interagency review process. Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against Obama’s Director of National Intelligence seeking access to records detailing the attack, including the speaking points Petraeus says were scrubbed. We’ll keep you posted.
More recently, on April 15, 2013, when Islamic terrorists attacked the Boston Marathon, killing three and maiming nearly 200 others, Obama refused to acknowledge their Muslim ties, instead admonishing the American people not to “rush to judgment — not about the motivations of these individuals.” Even after evidence gathered by the FBI proved conclusively that the Tsarnaev brothers were radical Islamists, Obama steadfastly refused to admit what was brutally obvious to the rest of the world.
None of this clear-cut evidence of the Obama administration’s dishonesty about Islamic terrorism will come as a surprise to supporters of Judicial Watch. In fact, however, as it turns out, it may be only the tip of the iceberg – the depths of which reach all the way down into this administration’s actual collusion with known Islamic terrorist fronts.
Many Weekly Update readers will recall that in late January, we sounded the alarm about a top Obama State Department official, Mark Ward, participating in a December 2012, conference sponsored by two groups — the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) – both with chillingly close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is known as the parent organization of Hamas and al Qaeda.
At the conference, Ward conducted a seminar focused on career opportunities for Muslim youth. Here is how the event was billed: “Besides being a citizenship duty, there are benefits that Muslims can add to the American Muslim community and the global Muslim world by joining the US Foreign Services. This session will shed light on the different career opportunities for Muslim youth in the US Foreign Services Department. It will also clear any concerns that many people have feared about pursuing in this career.”
Ward was joined at the Chicago, Illinois, by a number of speakers well known for advocating violent jihad. Among them was Kifah Mustapha, a fundraiser for the terrorist group the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). In November 2008, HLF was convicted on 108 counts of supporting international terrorism. The charges included funneling more than $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, providing material support to a foreign terrorist, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Also at the podium with Ward was MAS co-founder Jamal Badawi , who was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case against the HLF and who praised the jihad of Gaza terrorists during a speech titled “Understanding Jihad and Martyrdom.” With Ward and Badawi were Ayman Hammous and Oussama Jammal. Hammous is the Executive Director of the New York chapter of MAS and Jammal is the president of the Mosque Foundation, an extremist Islamist mosque in Bridgeview, Illinois, that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the HLF and other Islamic charities accused of financing terrorism.
As Deputy Special Coordinator of the State Department’s Middle East Transition office Ward apparently heads a secretive campaign, discovered in the course of a Judicial Watch investigation, to add Muslims to its foreign service roster. It appears to be part of the administration’s Muslim outreach effort, which includes a variety of controversial moves.
Among the moves are Department of Homeland Security (DHS) meetings with extremist Islamic organizations; sending mosque leader Feisal Abdul Rauf, who blames U.S. foreign policy for the 9/11 attacks, on a Middle Eastern outreach mission; and revamping the way federal agents are trained to combat terrorism by eliminating all materials that shed a negative light on Muslims. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even signed a special order to allow the reentry of two radical Islamic academics whose terrorist ties long banned them from the U.S.
So, it turns out that not only is the Obama administration providing cover, it is also working with known terrorists front groups to help them recruit their followers for key State Department positions. Judicial Watch is determined to get to the bottom of this unholy alliance. This past week, we filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking all records relating to a speech given by Ward, as well as all records of communication between any State Department employee and any representative of the Muslim American Society and/or the Islamic Council of North America regarding the Muslim recruitment conference. The administration is in full stonewall on this issue and once again we have to go to court to get “the most transparent administration in history” to obey the federal government’s main transparency law, the Freedom of Information Act.
Again, we will keep you posted as events unfold.
As we reported to you in a recent edition of the Corruption Chronicles, in late January, Judicial Watch launched an investigation into the Beyoncé presidential inauguration ceremony lip-sync “scandal.” The superstar delivered a powerful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, but reports quickly surfaced that she was actually faking it on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. A military spokeswoman subsequently confirmed that the United States Marine Band played live for every song except Beyoncé’s national anthem. So, since the bash had likely cost the taxpayers well over $100 million, Judicial Watch decided to find out the truth behind the petty lies.
In the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request we subsequently sent to the Pentagon, we asked for all recordings made in preparation for the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony, including those by Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor as well as the Marine Band. The request also asked for all documents relating to the use of recordings during the ceremony, including contingency plans for any of the singers to lip sync their performance. It was simple and to the point, no skullduggery or sleight of hand – except by the Obama administration.
Even with something as simple as a singing star’s lip-synching, Obama’s lieutenants couldn’t bring themselves to just tell the truth. It wasn’t a matter of national security and covert operations. It was simply a matter of technical issues and a sound track. Right? Wrong! To the “most open and transparent administration in history,” it was a matter of misdirection and obfuscation – beginning with the cover letter from the Department of Navy:
You will see that some information has been redacted. Specifically, names, telephone numbers, email address, and other personal data have been withheld pursuant to FOIA exemption (b)(6), which prohibits disclosure of personal information when an individual’s privacy interest in it outweighs any public interest.
To say that “some information has been redacted” is, perhaps, the understatement of the millennium. In the 172 pages of emails provided to Judicial Watch, there are approximately 10 to 20 redactions per page, bringing the grand total to well over 2,000 redactions in all, including absurd redactions of Beyoncé’s name! You’re not going to believe this but we were told that the Pentagon consulted with Beyoncé’s lawyers about the documents before it released them to Judicial Watch. So the government is now telling us that they can’t release the track recorded by the government by Beyoncé because it is not owned by the government!
The documents also show that members of the Marine Band were told to clam up if asked about the lip synch issue and that they were planning to lip synch weeks before Inauguration Day. So the idea that it was a last minute thing is complete fiction.
Simply put, this is ridiculous. This Obama administration can’t help but play games on the minutest of issues. The cover-ups now go all the way from the deaths in Benghazi to the depths of Beyoncé.
Please Note: We are reprinting the following article from our Corruption Chronicles blog as a timely update to the growing food stamp controversy ignited by Judicial Watch’s recent disclosure of documents documenting the Obama administration’s working with the Mexican government to promote food stamps for illegal aliens. The blog post, by Judicial Watch’s Irene Garcia, gained even more headlines about corruption in the food stamp program, which has been corrupted for decades:
For decades the U.S. government has knowingly given illegal immigrants food stamps, according to a former certification case worker who denounced the costly practice back in the 1980s but was essentially ordered to keep a lid on it.
The retired assistant case manager, Craig McNees, was in charge of vetting food-stamp applicants in north Florida and Indiana in the ’80s and says the program was infested with fraud and corruption that was perpetually ignored by management. “Illegals would come in by the vanload and we were told to give them their stuff,” McNees said. “Management knew very well they were illegal. It was so rampant that some employees would tell their illegal relatives to come get food stamps.”
McNees contacted Judicial Watch after reading documents obtained by JW from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) detailing how the agency is working with the Mexican government to promote participation by illegal aliens in the U.S. food stamp program. The effort includes a Spanish-language flyer provided to the Mexican Embassy by the USDA ensuring that Mexicans in the U.S. don’t need to declare their immigration status to get financial assistance from Uncle Sam.
The documents ignited outrage considering the nation’s food stamp program has exploded under President Obama, who claims there are too many “food insecure households” in America. To correct the problem the administration has spent millions on ad campaigns promoting food stamps and has rewarded states with multi-million-dollar bonuses for signing up recipients. It’s been quite effective because American taxpayers spent an astounding $80.4 billion on the program in 2012 and a record number of people—46 million and growing—get free groceries from Uncle Sam.
The retired case worker who contacted JW says in the three years he worked in a Sarasota food-stamp office, he found more than 500 cases of fraud but management ignored them all instead pushing a yearly quota. “They just said that if we don’t give out as many as last year, we don’t get our money,” McNees said. “It was crazy, like a three-ring circus; like the inmates were running the asylum.”
Decades later it seems little has changed as Obama promotes the program like there’s no tomorrow. In fact, last summer a federal audit revealed that many who don’t qualify for food stamps receive them under a special “broad-based” eligibility program that disregards income and asset requirements. That means American taxpayers are getting stuck with a multi-million-dollar tab to feed hundreds of thousands who can well afford to feed themselves.
Adding insult to injury, last spring the USDA Inspector General revealed that many food-stamp recipients use their welfare benefit to buy drugs, weapons and other contraband from unscrupulous vendors. Some trade food stamps for reduced amounts of cash, the USDA watchdog told Congress, disclosing that the fraud has cost taxpayers nearly $200 million. None of this surprises McNees, who claims he witnessed so much fraud as a food-stamp case worker that he “could write a book.”
Until next week…
Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. Through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation's public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach.