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Evidence of 'undesirable influence'(asks Rove)
Center for Security Policy ^ | June 20, 2003

Posted on 06/19/2003 10:50:58 PM PDT by Ooh-Ah

'No there there'? Islamic Jihad supporters in US have 'undesirable influence' on policy

"'What's the evidence' of undesirable evidence?" White House political chieftain Karl Rove told the Wall Street Journal, when asked about how some of his favored Muslim and Arab-American groups are improperly influencing the administration's counterterrorism policy. Said the otherwise perceptive Rove, in direct response to the Center for Security Policy's private and public warnings, "There's no there there."

Actually, the evidence of undesirable influence is unmistakable to anyone willing to look for it, as the Center has documented for the past two years.

The problem is that Republican political campaign experts who know or care little about national security have latched on to groups whose leaders openly support organizations that the Bush Administration itself identifies as terrorist. Indeed, the campaign strategists bully and intimidate their own longtime friends and allies who criticize the relationship, denouncing them as racists and bigots, threatening to send lawyers after them, and falsely claiming they're out to undermine the president.

Mr. Rove asked, for the first time on record, for evidence of undesirable influence. Here's a sample from a larger list:

During the 2000 presidential campaign, those groups successfully pressed then-Gov. Bush to speak out against crucial antiterrorism laws that allowed federal prosecutors to use classified information in going after foreign nationals suspected of terrorist activity in the United States. That is undesirable influence.

Even as President Bush stresses his opposition to such terrorist organizations as Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, the terrorists’ advocates and/or apologists in this country with ties to Saudi Arabia's radical Wahhabi sect (dubbed the "Wahhabi Lobby") are routinely turned to when the Administration seeks to reach out to Muslims. Worse yet, such "outreach" has excluded those representing the majority of Muslims who are not Islamist sympathizers. That is undesirable influence.

When the Bush administration presented a legislative package of legal tools our counterterrorist forces needed to hunt down the terror networks within the borders of the United States, many of the very groups in the White House outreach program lobbied aggressively to defeat the president’s proposed laws. That is undesirable influence.

FBI Director Robert Mueller, in a horrifying strategic lapse of judgement amid strong White House political pressure, has similarly cultivated Islamist organizations with a view to mitigating complaints about racial profiling and other forms of alleged official harassment of Muslims. As a result, these same radical groups are conducting "sensitivity training" for new FBI agents. Tom Reynolds, chief of the Bureau's civil rights division, has responded to the Wahhabi Lobby's demands by signaling a willingness to establish with them a "national Muslim and Arab working group" – without anyone in the administration ever urging those groups, in public, to help create a climate to urge their members and supporters to cooperate fully with the FBI in rooting out terrorist infrastructures from American mosques and Muslim communities. That is undesirable influence.

What is more, Islamist sympathizers are using their access to the Bush Administration as a shield to establish ominous bona fides. For example, an individual once courted by the Bush team as part of its efforts to woo Muslims -- Sami Al-Arian, the godfather of the campaign against "secret evidence" -- is now in federal custody awaiting trial on fifty charges related to his leadership in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. At a recent bail hearing, a number of individuals from organizations also dubiously cultivated for Bush "Muslim outreach" appeared as character witnesses for Al-Arian. Without exception, they cited their involvement with the Administration to demonstrate their standing in pleading for the accused to be sprung. That is undesirable influence.

The question occurs: Could the President's recent decision to pursue a "road map" for Mideast peace that is, in important respects (notably with respect to the need for a new Palestinian leadership "untainted by terror," the dismantling of Palestinian terrorist infrastructure and an end to Palestinian incitement as preconditions to U.S. recognition of a state of Palestine) -- at odds with the "vision" he enunciated last June also be a product of the undesirable influence of the Wahhabi Lobby? The far-reaching changes were reportedly the subject of major internal fights between top Administration officials - and, according to Middle East News Line, were vetted by Rove.

If the report of his foreign policy vetting true, it represents an improper interference in the U.S. decision-making chain – the very interference of which Republicans correctly accused the Clintons in the 2000 presidential campaign.

Has political pressure from the Wahhabi lobby, via campaign strategists, affected the United States' Middle East strategy, the same way, perhaps, that Rove in 2001 led a misguided bid to attract Latino voters that undermined US Navy capabilities by forcing the shutdown of the training range in Vieques?

The Vieques decision was made due to undesirable influence then, and the Center called the White House on it. Any pressure on Mideast policy - to say nothing of policy on the War on Terror - by domestic supporters of terrorism would be undesirable influence now.

Let's hope that Rove looks seriously at the evidence and that he cleans house -- quickly, before the president's enemies make it an issue in the upcoming campaign.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: muslim; rove; terrorism; wahhabilobby

1 posted on 06/19/2003 10:50:59 PM PDT by Ooh-Ah
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: Ooh-Ah
Let's hope that Rove looks seriously at the evidence and that he cleans house -- quickly, before the president's enemies make it an issue in the upcoming campaign.

Is it to much to ask, that maybe, and I might sound crazy here, but maybe Rove really doesn't run the white house, maybe he is not really the secret president. Anytime I see an article that fingers him and makes it all look like he is in charge, that article automatically reduces credibility.

LIberals just can not stand that fact that Bush is not an idiot, its always got to be Karl Rove does this, Karl Rove does that, Karl Karl Karl, there more infatuated with this guy then Marx.

3 posted on 06/20/2003 12:39:05 AM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: Ooh-Ah
The best page in the liberal playbook is to get the far right livid at the Bush administration. Multiple posts here on FR have been made that somehow demonize Karl Rove and seek to put pressure on the administration to minimize his influence. All by conservatives. Use your better judgment, figure out where the greatest cause of concern is, and direct your attention accordingly.
4 posted on 06/20/2003 12:49:40 AM PDT by jagrmeister
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