This week Peter King had his radicalization hearing despite the warnings from other House members. During the 4 1/2 hour hearing King tried again to spread falsehoods, smear Muslim Americans and stir up more fear and hate in the ranks of the right.
From Think Progress:
King’s own words at the hearing were full of misstatements and outright lies. In his opening statement to the committee, King claimed that the reason he decided to single out Muslim Americans is because the threat from them was particularly unique. He explained, “Indeed, by the Justice Department’s own record, not one terror-related case in the last two years involved neo-Nazis, environmental extremists, or anti-war groups.” King’s statement would be surprising to residents of Fall River, MA. This past December, white racist and neo-Nazi sympathizer Justin Vieira “broke a natural gas line and threatened to blow up a three-decker” house and was arrested shortly after by police. Additionally, there have been at least four other neo-Nazi or neo-Nazi sympathizer terror plots since September 2009. Throughout the hearing, King’s Democratic colleagues — including Reps. Bennie Thompson (MS), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), and Laura Richardson (CA) — brought up the fact that the congressman said in 2007 that there are “too many mosques in this country,” prompting him to say that he “never said” such a thing, a clear lie as ThinkProgress documents in a video fact check.
Thankfully this doesn’t seem that it will be going too much further. King failed to drum up support for his cause and the left in combination with some of his witnesses exposed it as a witch hunt before it progressed further. At least someone was thinking.
Peter King’s action was base purely on xenophobia and racism; his goal was to create a climate that he could label any one he chose a threat and get away with it. If he were successful we would be seeing a new era of people being arrested for speaking out against the right-wing hate machine.
Lastly, there are always going to be threats to the United States. Focusing on one group based on bias is not only foolish; it is dangerous as well as it will lead to individuals and potentially state departments ignoring larger threats from other groups.