The Washington Times - March 10, 2011, 06:30PM



Congressman Al Green, Texas Democrat, found himself in a heated debate with Republican members on the Homeland Security Committee on Thursday over whether or not the Ku Klux Klan should be considered a terrorist organization. Rep. Peter King, New York Republican and chairman of the committee said, “There is no equivalency of threat between al Qaeda and Neo-Nazis, environmental extremists, and other isolated madmen.” Peter King continued,  “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.”

Congressman Dan Lungren, California Republican, followed up on the issue  saying: “I would say to those who criticize us for a singular focus here that I have been on panels that have investigated the continuing presence of Nazi war criminals in the United States,” Lungren explained. “I’ve been there where we’ve examined the Ku Klux Klan…and skinhead groups and militias.”

I caught up with Mr. Green following the close of Thursday’s terror hearing and asked him about Attorney General Eric Holder’s remarks about 126 terror indictments where the majority of the indictments were jihad related. In a USA Today op-ed piece written by Congressman King, the lawmaker from New York notes:

Attorney General Eric Holder has said that radicalization of Americans is something that keeps him awake at night. As he noted, 126 people have been indicted on terrorist-related charges in the past two years, including 50 U.S. citizens. The great majority of those charged are violent jihadists.

Apparently, the Texas Congressman did not appreciate my question about the terror indictments: (LISTEN HERE)

KP: It’s been reported that of all the 126 terror indictments all of have been Muslim. Do you think that should be considered in this particular hearing?

REP. Al GREEN:I think that all criminals should be prosecuted. I think that all terrorists should be investigated which is why I said we ought to investigate all of them and that would include the KKK. Over a hundred years of terrorism why not investigate them too. They are rooted in a religion as well. Check their website out. You’ll see.

KP: Congressman King said they haven’t caused as many problems and…

REP. GREEN:Well ask the men  who have been castrated whether they caused a problem. Ask the men who were lynched whether they caused a problem.

KP:When did that happen recently, sir?

REP. GREEN: Does it have to happen recently, and they are still existing for us to investigate them?

If you never had to live with a cross burning, you don’t appreciate what a cross burning can do in terms of terrorizing people. My suspicion is, based on what you’re saying to me, that I should say to you, I hope you won’t defend the KKK.

KP: I don’t have any plans to, sir.

REP. GREEN: I hope you won’t defend the KKK.

KP: But I’m just…

REP. GREEN: I hope you won’t defend the KKK.

REP. GREEN: I hope you won’t defend the KKK.

KP: But I’m just curious…

REP. GREEN: I hope you are not going to defend the KKK.

KP: Of course not, sir.

REP. GREEN: Be as curious as you like, but do not defend the KKK.

KP: Of Course not sir. But are they still causing terror right now?

REP. GREEN: Do not defend the KKK.

REP. GREEN: Do not defend the KKK.

REP. GREEN: Your newspaper is going to defend the KKK tomorrow, I see.

KP: Um no…but sir…

Congressman Allen West, Florida Republican and fellow Congressional Black Caucus member to Mr. Green, took issue with Rep. Green’s remarks about the terror issue and the KKK.  (LISTEN HERE)

“You’re not defending the KKK,” said Mr. West, a retired Army Colonel and Iraq War veteran. “I grew up in Georgia and I remember the days of the Klan—the lighting the cross on Stone Mountain. Those days are done, but what I think a lot of people need to understand is that two weeks ago we had a Saudi gentleman out of Texas Tech—Lubbock, Texas, that was caught planning a terrorist attack to include President Bush’s home.

“We just had the bombing threat during Christmas in Portland, Oregon, I believe. We had the underwear bomber. We had Major Nidal Hassan. We had Alawi who is now public enemy number one over in Yemen who was right here in Northern Virgninia. We’ve got a serious problem here with home grown terrorism that we have to deal with,” Mr. West said.

 “We have to have this intellectual open debate and anyone not wanting to have it or are being recalcitrant about it, I just ask them to look across the Atlantic Ocean to London and the rest of Europe and see what is happening, because they were not willing to have this open debate and the next thing you know, they have a situation which has become an epidemic.”

Congressman West, no stranger to easily fending off accusations of bigotry towards Muslims believes that encompassing the KKK into the terrorism debate “is terrible.”

“I think bringing the KKK into all of this is terrible. It’s horrible, and that shows an unwillingness to really deal with this situation. It’s once again this comparative means by which people try to make the moral relativist argument instead of dealing with the issue,” he explained. “I even heard in that hearing someone was talking about, ‘Why don’t we bring Christians up as well?’ This is not what it’s about.”