Not the King: Democrats Expose King’s Hearing

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.


Peter King and Joseph McCarthy: More than Just Wishful Thinking.

Joseph Raymond McCarthy.

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The connection between McCarthy and Peter King (R-NY) goes further than just the idea of this hearing. As a lawyer in his younger days, Peter King worked with Roy Cohen,  the counsel that helped Joseph McCarthy prepare for his infamous trails.

So is King channeling McCarthy?

That depends entirely what side of the fence you sit on.

Fox News and other right-wing propaganda spewers are feverishly trying to promote the hearings as just “part of Kings job”, which also denies the existence of right-wing extremism and responds to reports of their rising in anger, ridicule, or downplays the situation.

Other outlets on the other hand aren’t exactly quick to point out the similarities and connections of King and McCarthy, but they at least attempt to recognize that there is probable cause for concern.

And lastly there are bloggers who are quick to tie King to McCarty to sink him, which is precisely what congress and the media should be doing.

Peter King is trying to sell the existence of a new brand of Red Scare, a sale that’s gone over pretty easily in the realm of the right, especially with the help of Fox, Glenn Beck and the rest of the bigot crew and it is something that is easily noticeable upon visiting the comment sections of any right-wing catering sites and the many bigoted fear mongering post on the Blaze and Fox Nation.

Kings actions are also something to be concerned with. If this trial really is about the threat of terrorism then why is he refusing to investigate other groups such as the “Sovereign Citizen” movement, which has recent violent activities which have been tied not only to this movement, but to Beck’s 9/12 movement as well.

Moreover, King’s plan for this hearing is to use only Muslim’s at witnesses so the media “cannot attack the Muslim messenger“, but I think it is far more likely it’s being done to railroad these witnesses as McCarthy railroaded his witnesses. This is a calculated attempt to demonize people and create a false cause for oppression.

Lastly, King’s own words speak louder than anything. He is fear mongering and pushing the myth’s of radical Islam in the same way that McCarthy did during the Big Red Scare, the only difference here is that it is a religion and color of skin instead of a political ideology. It is intentional dehumanization and fear mongering to create a sense of fear and urgency of the invisible boogie man who is always probing for ways to end your way of life.

And this is precisely what McCarthyism was all about.

Guantanamo Bay is Still a Problem

Detainees at Camp X-Ray Original caption: Deta...

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Why is it that the GOP and Obama don’t seem to want to try the people who have been locked up for years?

Yesterday Obama announced that Guantanamo would resume military tribunals for detainees; however he also signed an executive order that would continue indefinite detention for detainees.

While I am not exactly comfortable of the idea of military trials, the executive order is a much larger problem and as we all know there are many who have been detained far beyond reason as well as many that have faced mistreatment and even torture.

A 2010 report stated that there are 240 detainees that were subject to review. The break down on these individuals:

  • 36 listed under active cases and investigations.
  • 30 listed under “conditional” detention.
  • 126 approved for transfer.
  • 48 that cannot be tried but deemed by their holders as “too dangerous” to be released.

There are no numbers on exactly how many detainees they are actually holding by the Pentagon, but we do know that there are at least 48 people who are being detained more than likely for life with out a trial and convection and 6 other who are were up for the review, but are not included in any of the categories.

The primary concern here is the individuals classified under indefinite detention. There are many who argue that this is “best for the safety of America” because these people are “dangerous terrorists and criminals”; however, they lack sufficient evidence to get a conviction and thus won’t be tired. If there is no evidence to get the conviction how can one say with any reason or logic that they are dangerous or terrorists?

28 House Members and Not a Single Republican: Islamophobia is Partisan

No racism

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Earlier this week I posted about how several GOP representatives are taking a horrific and racist moves against Muslim (and those they believe to be) Muslim individuals both at the national and state levels.

During the last month many republican controlled states have moved to ban Sharia law. Last week Orange County hosted a “Patriotic Rally” in response to a Muslim fund-raiser at which several members of the republican party spoke at. This rally produced some of the most disturbing, vile, and gut-wrenching footage of racism on the right in my lifetime and has been largely cast off by the right as acceptable behavior or an attack on Christianity.

This week GOP representative Peter King (R-NY) will hold a “hearing” for radical Islam. Democratic members, Pete Stark and John Dingell, have started an effort to urge King to reconsider his actions as they are entirely unfounded, utterly racist and completely unnecessary. So far there are 28 co-signers on this letter and not a single republican name appears.

The names:

Baldwin (D-WI), Blumenauer (D-OR), Chu (D-CA), Conyers (D-MI), Edwards (D-MD), Frank (D-MA), Fudge (D-OH), Grijalva (D-AZ), Gutierrez (D-IL), Hirono (D-HI), Holt (D-NJ), Honda (D-CA), Jackson (D-IL), Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Kucinich (D-OH), Lee (D-CA), McCollum (D-MN), McDermott (D-WA), Meeks (D-FL), Moran (D-VA), Polis (D-CO), Rush (D-IL), Schakowsky (D-IL), Scott (D-VA), Serrano (D-NY), and Waters (D-CA)

And the full letter:

Dear Chairman King:

We are writing regarding the Homeland Security Committee’s upcoming hearings, which you have stated will focus exclusively on radicalization among Muslim Americans and homegrown terrorism. We agree that Congress and all levels of government have a duty to protect America from terrorism, whether from abroad or homegrown. We are, however, deeply concerned that the stated narrow scope and underlying premises of these hearings unfairly stigmatizes and alienates Muslim Americans. We ask that you reconsider the scope of these hearings and instead examine all forms of violence motivated by extremist beliefs, rather than unfairly focusing on just one religious group.

We believe that the tone and focus of these hearings runs contrary to our nation’s values. Muslim Americans contribute to our nation’s wellbeing in many professions including as doctors, engineers, lawyers, firefighters, business entrepreneurs, teachers, police officers and Members of Congress. Their hard work helps to make our country exceptional.

Furthermore, casting a negative light on an entire community — rather than focusing on actual dangerous fringes will only strain community relationships and trust that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have worked hard to develop. Muslim Americans are an integral part of our larger American society and should be treated as such, not viewed with suspicion.

The choice between our values of inclusiveness and pluralism and our security is a false one.

If you wish to examine violent extremism, we ask that you do so by examining violence motivated by extremist beliefs in all its forms. Singling out one religious group and blaming the actions of individuals on an entire community is not only unfair, it is unwise– and it will not make our country any safer.


Pete Stark John Dingell
Member of Congress Member of Congress

CC: Ranking Member Bennie Thompson

I’m just out of words. This is truly heart breaking for to witness. Haven’t we, after all every one this country has oppressed, tormented, murdered for not having the same religion, the same color of skin or didn’t “fit in” in some minuscule way, learned nothing from history?

Same story; different color. Same words; different religion.

Can you give any example in the history of humanity where this has ever ended in anything other than tragedy?

GOP Idiot Round Up!

Republican Party (United States)

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  1. Michele Bachmann:  On Meet the Press this weekend she talked about how she was “hopeful” the government shutdown would be avoided, stating “Well, I’m hopeful, I don’t think anyone wants to see the government shutdown.” However, like most GOP clowns, she opposed a bill to extend funding because it didn’t remove funding for Planned Parenthood. Message:  It’s my way or no way and I am trying to appease the Tea Party and Moderates to hold on to my seat. (source)
  2. John McCain:  “I would also point out that if you’d emptied that house there, if you’d left a computer there or an iPad or an iPhone, those are built in the United States of America.” Message: I am a fossil who refuses to admit almost nothing is made in the US any more. (source)
  3. Sylvia Allen and Arizona:  State Representative Sylvia Allen wants to give Jan Brewer permission to create her own personal army at any time and for what ever reason she wants. Message:  We really don’t like Mexicans. (source)
  4. Governor John Kasich: Removes two opposing GOP members to pass SB5 through committee for House vote. Message: What you want doesn’t matter. (source)
  5. Governor Scott Walker:Reducing Medicaid while increasing funeral funding for poor, blackmailing dems to come home by threatening layoffs, and being childish. Message: You need to come home and pass my bill the longer you stay gone the longer people have to look at it and the less chance it will be passed. Also; I am a cry baby. (source)
  6. John “jobs” Boehner:  Helped create the Job and Recovery Killing Act of 2011 (HR1), seems to think that jobs can be found in the anatomy of females and in the gay community, and wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. Message: I’m clueless and I have no intention of creating jobs. (source)
  7. Fred Upton and Jim Inhofe:”So let’s dispel a myth: air quality and public health will not be harmed or affected in any way by efforts to slow and then stop EPA’s expansive global warming agenda under the Clean Air Act. . . . . So we can stop the EPA from imposing cap and tax and the Clean Air Act will continue to make our families and communities healthier places. So let’s listen to the facts: this issue is not about air quality and public health, it’s about jobs.” Message: Right now Koch Industries (among others) is giving up an obscene amount of money and that money is more important than your health. (source)
  8. Representative Austin Scott:  “They told him essentially that if he wanted to argue with them that they’d fine him $30,000 per house; those are Gestapo tactics.” Message: Landlords should have the right to poison you and your children with lead paint. We know you secretly love it.
  9. The Orange County Hate Brigade: Representative Gary Miller said to the crowd of anti-Muslims “I’m proud of you, I’m proud of what you’re doing.” Representative Ed Royce said to the same crowd “multiculturalism has paralyzed too many of our citizens to make the critical judgment we need to make to prosper as a society.”  Message: Yes we are racist, but we are still going to deny it. (source)
  10. Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly: She didn’t want be out done by the fascist racist representatives at the Orange County “Patriotic Rally”. Her statement to the crowd and the attendees of the Muslim fundraiser; “[The fundraiser] is pure, unadulterated evil. I don’t even care if you think I’m crazy anymore. I have a beautiful daughter, I have a beautiful 19 year old son who is a United States marines. As a matter of fact, I know quite a few marines who will be willing to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.” Message: I am a terrible person and an unapologetic proud racist. (source)