Friday, July 01, 2016 6:01 AM
Watching Sen. Cruz question DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson about the absence of the word, "jihad," the enemy threat doctrine of our "homeland's" most lethal enemy, in the latest government security and strategy documents, I am struck anew by how very long this official effort to suppress the facts about Islam (not, not, not "Radicalislam") has been going on -- throughout the Obama administration, of course, but long before it began. This battle of suppression was already being waged when on September 17, 2001 President George W. Bush told the nation, "Islam is peace." Soon he would send armies into that Islamic world of peace to do battle, wholly ignorant of Islamic war, or jihad.
All these years later, the campaign is still a success -- if, that is, the point is to protect Islam, not the "homeland" from Islamic attack.
When it comes to Big Lies about Islam, nothing much has changed except the administrations.
How this could be is a question that has driven much of my writing career, first, at the time of 9/11, as an editorial writer and columnist at the Washington Times, and later as author of The Death of the Grown-Up and American Betrayal (2007 and 2013, both from St. Martin's Press.).
Here is an excerpt from American Betrayal on this exact same subject -- Where's the jihad? -- raised by Sen. Cruz in the Senate this week.
Once upon a time, about a decade ago ...
... in this long-drawn-out post-9/11 era, this admiral received a lengthy, extensively documented briefing on the Islamic doctrine of jihad (Islamic war) from Maj. Stephen C. Coughlin, U.S. Army Reserves. Coughlin is an expert on the legal-religious doctrine that Islamic terrorists claim as the justification for campaigns of violence against infidels and rival Muslims.3 His briefings, which I’ve attended multiple times, are legendary in security circles in Washington and elsewhere for their comprehensive, if not overwhelming, compilation of factual, Islamic-sourced evidence, which demonstrates, for example, that Islamic terrorists are not “hijacking” Islamic law (sharia) when they engage in jihad. On the contrary, they are executing it. Nor are they “twisting” the foundational principles of Islam as codified in each and every authoritative Islamic source. They are exemplifying them.
For reasons that should become clearer over the following pages, this briefing on these basic facts of jihad doctrine is typically our top military leaders’ first exposure to what is known in Pentagon parlance as the “enemy threat doctrine.” I am not exaggerating. Years of battle—even worse, years of battle planning—have passed without our leadership having studied, or even having become acquainted with, the principles and historic facts of Islamic war doctrine. Four years into the so-called war on terror, then–Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace even pointed this out in a speech at the National Defense University on December 1, 2005.4
Notwithstanding Pace’s concern, the study and analysis of Islam and jihad remained de facto forbidden in policy-making circles inside the Bush White House, which even codified a lexicon in 2008 to help government officials discuss Islamic jihad without mentioning “Islam” or “jihad.”5 The Obama administration would carry this same see-no-Islam policy to its zealous limit, finally mounting a two-front assault on the few trainers and fact-based training materials that were sometimes (sparingly) used by law enforcement agencies and the military to educate personnel about Islam and jihad. What history should remember as the Great Jihad Purges of 2012 began at the Justice Department, affecting domestic law enforcement agencies, and spread to the Pentagon, affecting the entire U.S. military.
First, the FBI eliminated hundreds of pages of “anti-Islam” educational material from its own training programs and those of other law enforcement agencies. Several Muslim advocacy groups applauded these purge results at the briefing at the bureau on February 15, 2012, “unexpectedly” attended by FBI Director Robert Mueller himself.6 Next, on April 24, 2012, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey ordered a similar scrub, calling on the entire U.S. military to “review” its educational and training classes, files, and rosters of instructors to ensure that no members of the armed services were studying material “disrespectful of the Islamic religion.”7
What exactly does the U.S. government and its Muslim advisers consider “anti-Islam” or “disrespectful,” or, as a Pentagon spokesman put it on Al Jazeera TV, “warped views”?8 One trophy of this so-called Islamophobia that made it into Wired.com (whose reportage seems to have energized if not triggered these government purges) was a PowerPoint slide created by Stephen C. Coughlin about the “permanent command in Islam for Muslims to hate and despise Jews and Christians and not take them as friends.”9
Pretty disrespectful and warped for sure—but only if Coughlin’s premise and supporting documentation were untrue. The statement and the documentation, however, are incontrovertible. There is a permanent command in Islam for Muslims to hate and despise Jews and Christians and not take them as friends. The slide in question includes citations of the most authoritative Islamic texts, the Koran and the hadiths (the sayings and deeds of Mohammed, which Muslims hold sacred) to document its veracity.10
Veracity is not the issue here, though. Evidence is not the issue here. Reality is not the issue here, either. The issue is a commandment from on high in government—“Islam is a religion of peace.” It is the Big Lie that is the basis of the prevailing ideology, and, above all, the Big Lie must live. No one in the leadership contradicts it “because then,” as Hans Christian Andersen tells us, he would be “unfit for his job or very stupid.”
Admiral X certainly didn’t want anyone to think that. So what did he make of his Coughlin briefing, an introduction to the central Islamic doctrine of jihad and its role in driving global jihad? How did he react to the spectacular if not shattering array of information contained in the authoritative Islamic texts and books of authentic, mainstream Islamic jurisprudence before him, which shattered the Islam-is-peace mantra?
He said, and I quote, “I’ll have to check with my imam on that.”
I was staggered when I first heard this story, and, in a way, I still am. Was the admiral kidding? Did he not have the wit to make up his own mind based on the ample, annotated, inconvenient evidence before him? Witlessness, however, wasn’t the admiral’s problem, just as witlessness wasn’t the problem in the Justice and Defense Departments. If the admiral was announcing that he would be deferring to “his imam”—in other words, to an Islamic interpreter of things Islamic—on the matter of Islamic war-making doctrine, there was a reason for this, and it had nothing to do with IQ. Similarly, if FBI Director Mueller and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Dempsey were deferring to the wishes of an array of Muslim advocacy groups—including groups designated by the U.S. government as Muslim Brotherhood front groups11—regarding education about Islam, something else had rendered them, and countless others like them in military, security, and civilian leadership, incapable of assessing facts and passing judgment.
What was it?
This is the leading question that guided the research going into this book. What, in a nutshell, throughout eight years of George W. Bush and four years of Barack Obama, caused our leadership to deny and eliminate categorically the teachings of Islam from all official analysis of the global jihad that has wracked the world for decades (for centuries), and particularly since the 9/11 attacks in 2001? This omission has created a scrupulously de-Islamized, and thus truly “warped,” record for future historians to puzzle over. What will they make, for example, of a 2007 ninety-slide briefing on “the surge” in Iraq presented by counterinsurgency guru David Kilcullen that failed to mention Islam (let alone jihad war doctrine) once? Instead, the militarily, politically, and academically elite audiences for whom the presentation was created were asked to “think of the [Iraqi] environment as a sort of ‘conflict ecosystem.’ ”12 How will they explain Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s 2009 “assessment” of the war against Islamic jihadists in Afghanistan, which, in sixty-six pages, contained not one discussion of Islam, jihad, or how they fit into both the Taliban struggle and the Afghan people’s antipathy for Western forces? How will they explain why “everyone” agreed to fight blind?
To be fair, there is one passing reference to Islam in the McChrystal assessment. Calling for an improved communications approach, the commander demanded that insurgents and jihadist militias be “exposed continually” for their “anti-Islamic” use of violence and terror. The report elaborates, “These include their causing of the majority of civilian casualties, attacks on education, devel- opment projects, and government institutions, and flagrant contravention of the principles of the Koran” (emphasis added).13
It would be easy to toss off a derisive quip at this point and move on, but it’s well worth mulling over how it could be that eight years after 9/11, a West Point–trained, battle-hardened, and by all accounts capable commander fighting jihad forces in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan could assume the role of an apologist for Islam rather than an expert analyst of holy war as waged against his own forces. Flagrant contravention of the Koranic principles of jihad? Au contraire. Between the Koran’s teachings against befriending Christians and Jews (noted above) and its teachings that it is a “grave sin for a Muslim to shirk the battle against the unbelievers,” as the scholar and critic Ibn Warraq explains (“those who do will roast in hell”), it is also perfectly Islamic to wage jihad against any and all infidel “education, development projects,” not to mention against Muslims not actively fighting or supporting jihad.14
Don’t just take my word for it. Back in 2003, the man who used to be described as Osama bin Laden’s “spiritual guide” castigated President Bush along similar lines, and rightly so. In response to Bush’s repeated slander of the religion of jihad as the “religion of peace,” Abu Qatada said, “I am astonished by President Bush when he claims there is nothing in the Koran that justifies jihad or violence in the name of Islam. Is he some kind of Islamic scholar? Has he ever actually read the Koran?”15
If Bush, or McChrystal for that matter, ever did crack the book, he read only the “good parts”—the 124 verses of tolerance—that are rendered meaningless according to the rule of “abrogation.” The rule of abrogation is the key that Islamic scholars use to resolve contradictions within the Koran. By means of this doctrine, Koranic passages are “abrogated,” or canceled, by any subsequently “revealed” verses that convey a different meaning. In other words, when there is a contradiction (e.g., don’t kill the infidel vs. yes, kill the infidel), whatever was “revealed” to Islam’s prophet, Mohammed, more recently trumps whatever was “revealed” before it. This technique comes from Mohammed himself at the Koran’s sura 2:105: “Whatever verses we [i.e., Allah] cancel or cause you to forget, we bring a better or its like.”
It’s a simple concept, unforgettable once taught—but our elected officials, our military and other security providers, our pundits and other public voices seem never to have learned it, much less explained it to the rest of us. Or worse, they are ignoring it on purpose. In this ignorant morass, then, We, the People are left on our own to make sense of misinformation and disinformation. Why? Why haven’t they sought and told the truth?
There are reasons. In his book What the Koran Really Says, Ibn Warraq explains that while abrogation resolves the abundant contradictions to be found in the Koran, it “does pose problems for apologists of Islam, since all the passages preaching tolerance are found in Meccan (i.e., early) suras, and all the passages recommending killing, decapitating and maiming, the so-called Sword Verses, are Medinan (i.e., later).” His conclusion: “‘Tolerance’ has been abro- gated by ‘intolerance.’”16 Just to be clear: Islamic tolerance in the Koran has been canceled by Islamic intolerance in the Koran.
Like Coughlin’s slides and presentations, this fact contradicts the Big Lie at the root of the prevailing ideology: “Islam is a religion of peace.” Therefore, our leaders don’t want us to know it. They also don’t want to know it themselves. So they don’t, as the Kilcullen “surge” presentation and the McChrystal Afghanistan “assessment” demonstrate. Such knowledge would collapse their deceitful balloon of “universal” values, which rises on the hot air of “Kum-bay-a”-interchangeable sameness. Such a collapse would, in turn, doom the relativism, moral and cultural, that currently drives these same utopian fantasists to undermine liberty in their quest to order or even rule our world and beyond.
Suppression of the facts, then, becomes the only way to keep this enterprise of lies buoyant, something for which there is ample precedent in our past, as the pages ahead will show. Under both the Bush and Obama administrations, then, any fact-driven discussion of Islamic religious, legal, and historical imperatives to make holy war until the world is governed by Islam threatened this same enterprise and had to be, in effect, outlawed and later officially forbidden. “Cultural sensitivity” had to become the name of the game. Thus, as Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey wrote in April 2012, U.S. military programs must “exhibit the cultural sensitivity, respect for religion and intellectual balance that we should expect of our academic institutions.”17 In plain English: Whitewash Islam or else.
Why? And how did the whitewashing of Islam become the business of the United States government? This is another question that inspired this book. It is also a question which, true confession, has driven me to distraction for more than a decade. Sometimes I despair. Sometimes I play it for laughs, or at least revel a little in the absurdity. You have to. Imagine the following scenario coming across your desk: Kifah Mustapha, a known Hamas operative and unindicted coconspirator in the landmark Holy Land Foundation trial, gets invited into the top secret National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and then to the FBI’s training center at Quantico.18 The auspices were a six-week “Citizens’ Academy” hosted by the FBI in 2010 as part of the agency’s “outreach” to the Muslim community.
You look at the story and rub your eyes. A Hamas operative? An unindicted coconspirator? Must they “reach out” quite so far? Here we see the U.S. offi- cials charged with fending off the jihad that Mustapha’s activities supported (as laid out in court documents filed by federal investigators) flinging open the doors to this man on their own terror watch lists. How could this even be happening?
“The plugs had to be pulled” on the watch system just to get Mustapha in the NCTC door, Patrick Poole wrote online at PJ Media, quoting a Department of Homeland Security official. After all, “the NCTC has Kifah Mustapha on the highest watch list we have.”19
Unbelievable. So who pulled those plugs? Wouldn’t it be great to get a bunch of national security pooh-bahs into one room and ask them?
It would be—and so it was. In September 2010, at a Washington conference on domestic intelligence, I took the opportunity to ask as many of these officials as possible this very question. First up was James Clapper, director of national intelligence, who would later make history, or, rather, antihistory, by proclaim- ing the Muslim Brotherhood to be a “largely secular organization.”20 During a question-and-answer session, I asked him about FBI “outreach” to Mustapha. “I think the FBI will be here later,” Clapper boldly punted (laughter in the room). Meanwhile, he continued, there is “great merit in outreach, to engage as much as possible with the Muslim community.” Subtext: Bringing a Hamas op into a top secret security installation is no big deal.
Between panels, I buttonholed panelist Sean Joyce, a senior official with the FBI. What did the FBI executive assistant director for national security think about the Mustapha incident?
“We don’t comment on individuals,” he told me.
OK. How about commenting on a blanket policy regarding FBI tours of sensitive installations for unindicted coconspirators and terrorist group operatives?
“Again, we don’t comment on individuals.”
It’s not every day that you notice a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency standing around, so I asked Michael Hayden for his overall opinion of the speak-no-Islam policy that let jihadists through the door. “People I trust”—uh-oh—”say to be careful not to use the term ‘jihadist’ because it does have a broader use across the Islamic world,” he said, referencing the definition of jihad as “inner struggle.”
Oh, please. This is another Grand Pulling of Wool over Infidel Eyes. Why? There is precisely one explicit reference in the Koran to jihad (“ja-ha-da”) “as an inner, spiritual phenomenon, not as an outwardly (usually military) phenomenon.” So writes Tina Magaard, a Sorbonne-trained linguist specializing in textual analysis. “But,” she continues, “this sole reference does not carry much weight against the more than 50 references to actual armed struggle in the Koran (and even more in the Hadith).”21
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a Magaard cheat sheet with me when I happened on the former CIA director, so I just erupted, politely: So what? That doesn’t affect the accuracy of “jihadist” as a description of the enemy!
Then again, not using the word “Islamic,” he continued, “obfuscates the is- sue (and) neuters our understanding” of Islamic terrorism “however perverted it might be.” Hayden continued, meaningfully: “This is in no way a comment on the Islamic faith.”
Heaven forfend. The Islamic faith can inflict censorship, death for leaving Islam, marital rape, polygamy, and slavery on the world, but please, none of the above is in any way a comment on the Islamic faith. Or so the American “intelligence” community has determined. What we inadequately label “political correctness” has obfuscated and neutered fact-gathering and conclusion- drawing powers to the point where the “political correctness,” too, is obfuscated. To wit: NCTC Director Michael Leiter next took the podium to address the conference and declared “there was no PC-ness” on his watch. “If someone is inspired by Islamic ideology—” he began, then stopped. “Let me rephrase that: al Qaeda ideology . . .”
Later, I had an opportunity to ask Leiter what he thought about the FBI bringing Mustapha into NCTC. “Ask the FBI,” he suggested helpfully.
Isn’t NCTC your shop? I asked.
“Actually,” he explained, “the building isn’t owned by us. Three organiza- tions have offices there.”
When I picked myself up off the floor, he was still talking. “It’s more complicated—talk to the FBI. They’ve got a lot more information than I do.”
The FBI better be good, right? They should be prepared, anyway. Indeed, on taking my Mustapha question, FBI Director Robert Mueller, the confer- ence’s final speaker, said he’d been briefed to expect it. His response? “I’m not sure I agree with the predicate of your question, and we’re not going to debate it here.”
He continued discussing the Citizens’ Academy program, which he described as “exposing the FBI to a variety of communities.”
“Exposing” is right.
He, too, wouldn’t discuss individuals, he said, but added, “We do look into the individuals that we invite into the Citizens’ Academies.” The man who pulled the plugs had spoken, but he explained nothing. Soon, the FBI director would make his way out of the conference hall, his security detail in tow. And he drew himself up more proudly than ever, while the chamberlains walked behind him, bearing the train that wasn’t there. ...
The above excerpt is from American Betrayal (St Martin's Press).