Monday, August 22, 2005

Pro-terror group silences Washington talk show host

A group whose leaders have expressed support for suicide bombers has silenced a Washington, DC talk show host for his views on Islamist terrorism.

Michael Graham, host of a live morning show on WMAL radio (AM 630), was suspended without pay after the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) pressured the management and the parent ABC/Disney organization to get him off the air. Not satisfied with the suspension, CAIR kept on the pressure, prompting WMAL to fire the rough-edged but passionate commentator.

CAIR has a long history of support for organizations that the US State Department has deemed "terrorist," including Hamas and Hezbollah. Several CAIR figures are serving long sentences in federal prisons for terrorism-related crimes.

Despite its documented terrorist connections and statements, CAIR has managed to pull itself off as a "civil rights" group.

In a statement about his firing, Graham said, "When CAIR is able to quell dissent and label every critic a "bigot," the chilling effect is felt far beyond ABC Radio and 630 WMAL. If anyone is owed an apology, it is the moderate, Muslim community who have been failed once again by the mainstream media."

Graham is right. WMAL, ABC Radio, and its owner the Walt Disney Company have caved into supporters of terrorism. CAIR has targeted conservative radio talk show hosts for quite a while now, and it's won its first victory.

Who's next?

WMAL responds. WMAL President and General Manager Chris Berry responded to this writer, who had sent a note prior to posting this entry. The text of Berry's response, an apparent form letter, appears below:

Typically we don't comment on personnel matters, but given the
misstatements being communicated by Michael, I want to set the record straight.

Some of Michael's statements about Islam went over the line - and this isn't the first time that he has been reprimanded for insensitive language and comments. In this case, as previously, Michael's on-air statements do not reflect the attitudes or opinions of station management. I asked Michael for an on-air acknowledgement that some of his remarks were overly broad and inexplicably he refused.

Michael has also tried to position this that we were pressured into taking disciplinary action against him. For the record we make our decisions independent of external pressures or third parties and we will not permit an employee to willfully violate our policies or disregard management direction.

Chris Berry
President, General Manager
News Talk 630 WMAL

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Note to Senator Hagel: Stop encouraging the enemy in Iraq

Senator Chuck Hagel may have some valid concerns about the strategy behind the war effort in Iraq, but he keeps voicing them in ways that only encourage the enemy.

Again this weekend, he compared Iraq to Vietnam and said we should "get out" instead of defeat the roadside bombers and al Qaeda terrorists there.

A decorated Vietnam veteran, Hagel's words have heft, but he seems to be suffering still from Vietnam syndrome. The terrorists' strategy is to wear us down with constant small attacks, hoping that we become demoralized and go home.

Senator Hagel has fallen into the trap.

The senator is showing the terrorists that their strategy is working: he's proving that their constant roadside bombings are causing people in Washington to lose heart and quit. Recently al Jazeera trumpeted Hagel's comments that the US was "losing" the war.

As a United States senator of the president's own party denouncing the conflict the way he has been doing, Hagel is giving political cover to the defeatists here at home. (Meanwhile Joan Baez is down in Crawford, celebrating the "huge" antiwar movement in formation.)

Chuck Hagel likes to think of himself as a thoughtful guy. Instead of sowing defeatism, he should be suggesting ways to accelerate a US-led victory in Iraq. That way our troops will come home more quickly - and triumphantly.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Swell public diplomacy idea: Set up gay support group in Baghdad

The State Department has approved a project that's sure to influence hearts and minds in Iraq.

It just gave the OK for a gay support group in Baghdad.

Iraqis, Muslims and Arabs in general and, well, a lot of people in the military and elsewhere frown quite strongly on the practice of sodomy (the term, by the way, originates from Sodom, the city in ancient Mesopotamia that is now part of Iraq), especially the in-your-face kind promoted by American activists.

But the Washington-based Gays & Lesbians In Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) says the State Department recently recognized a homosexual "support group" at the US Embassy in Baghdad.

State gave the thumbs-down to a June "gay pride" event in the Iraqi capital, reportedly for fear of offending US military personnel. But it later gave thumbs-up to permit homosexual activists to set up and promote a support group in the Green Zone.

And we wonder why so many people hate us.

After meeting with Chávez, Senator Specter tells Rumsfeld to stop telling truth

Senator Arlen Specter is concerned that US talk about the revolutionary Venezuelan regime's political subversion of other countries will provoke dictator Hugo Chávez not to cooperate on counternarcotics issues.

The Judiciary Committee chairman recently took Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to task for saying that Caracas and Havana have been "unhelpful" in the unfolding political chaos in Bolivia.

Visiting South America, Rumsfeld publicly voiced concerns that the Venezuelan and Cuban regimes have been busy fomenting trouble in Bolivia.

“There certainly is evidence that both Cuba and Venezuela have been involved in the situation in Bolivia in unhelpful ways,” Rumsfeld told reporters.

That was too much for Senator Specter, who had just returned from Caracas where he met with Chávez, who has threatened to cut off cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Chávez expelled US military advisers from Venezuela more than a year ago, and he is widely believed to be looking for ways to boot the DEA.

Specter immediately bit Chávez's bait. He wrote Rumsfeld: “I suggest it may be very helpful to US efforts to secure Venezuela's co-operation in our joint attack on drug interdiction if the rhetoric would be reduced.”

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Terrorist supporter to head House panel on Homeland Security?

An outspoken supporter of a terrorist organization is positioning himself to be the next chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security.

With the departure of Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Cal.), the chairmanship is open. One of the lead contenders is Rep. Peter King (R-NY). While King is better on many issues than at least one of the other prospective chairmen, he has a problem: he is a longtime backer of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA).

King is now calling on the IRA to abolish itself - no act of political courage by any means, and something his friends privately say he wanted to say for many years but never had the decency to do. Columnist Anne Applebaum is crediting King with helping "eliminate the climate of tolerance" among Irish-Americans for the IRA. She is very generous.

Congressman King didn't see the light after the IRA tried to assassinate Margaret Thatcher's entire cabinet, or after the FBI busted an IRA plot to smuggle antiaircraft missiles. He broke somewhere between the IRA's hard-core terror days and its more recent activity training the FARC narcoterrorists in Colombia.

That doesn't change the fact that the congressman supported a terrorist organization and collaborated with its illegal fundraising operations in the United States. That alone should disqualify him from the chairmanship. Surely there are more credible - and clean - members of the committee who would make a suitable chairman.

How Congressman King can help homeland security

Here's a way Congressman King can make a useful contribution to homeland security: He should set up a task force to work with American Muslim leaders to help them become intolerant of the extremists who are using their community for terrorists purposes.

He should work with them to root out extremists from their mosques and Islamic centers, just as some Irish-Americans rooted out IRA supporters from Catholic churches and ethnic communities. He has the inside experience to know how the system and the psychology works. He should now use it to benefit the country.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Congressman Moran to Pentagon: Don't treat al Qaeda terrorists as badly as I treated my wife

Congressman Jim Moran would never allow US forces to treat captured terrorists as badly as he treated his own wife or an 8 year-old black boy in his northern Virginia district.

Moran recently made a little-noticed visit to the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he expressed angst at the thought of American personnel getting tough with captured terrorists. On his return he showed general satisfaction with the conditions at Guantanamo (Americans are forbidden to war Christian crosses for fear of upsetting the detainees, who receive constant medical care and can choose their specially-prepared meals from a menu, among other amenities.) A local Washington radio station is reporting that Moran nevertheless might introduce legislation to protect the terrorists from roughness.

Too bad he didn't show so much care for his wife. Famous for his short temper and quick fist, Moran was so abusive that in 1999 his second wife had to call 911 for emergency help. The Washington Post reported at the time that police investigators took photos of bruises on Mary Moran's body, and that she called the police because she feared the congressman would become more violent. She did not file criminal charges, but immediately filed for divorce.

Moran denied he abused his wife and said he pushed her only because she was "coming toward" him.

In 2000 he roughed up an 8 year-old black boy who had been admiring his car. Moran said he was acting in self-defense because he thought the third-grader had a gun.

Back when he was a brand-new congressman, in early 1991, Moran grabbed this blogger in a hallway of the Longworth House Office Building, after taking offense at an observation about his "flip-flop" on the war effort to oust Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Moran chased the offender from the street and halfway down a hallway before grabbing him from behind and making a fist as if to punch him out. When the press got wind of the story, the lawmaker told a radio station that there was nothing to it, and that he was handling "just a couple of punks."

Meanwhile, Rep. Porter visits Gitmo to make sure we're not being too nice

One of the other lawmakers joining Congressman Moran on the single-day trip to Guantantmo was Rep. John Porter of Nevada. In contrast to Moran, he wanted to inspect the detention facility to make sure we we're not being too nice to the terrorists.

This blog shares the same concern.