- The Washington Times - Monday, October 4, 2010


With the recent departures of Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, economic policy adviser Lawrence H. Summers and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, the next senior Obama administration official expected to quit is the national security adviser to the president, James L. Jones. All other things being equal, his successor seems likely to be the president’s homeland security adviser, John Brennan (who also serves as Gen. Jones’ deputy).

Such a promotion for Mr. Brennan would not only be unwarranted but ill-advised. To the extent it would affirm and further institutionalize Mr. Brennan’s willful blindness, or worse, toward the most serious threat of our time - the supremacist totalitarian politico-military-legal program authorities of Islam call Shariah - it could prove catastrophic.

A pathbreaking new “Team B II” study sponsored by the Center for Security Policy documents the publicly available evidence of Mr. Brennan’s dereliction of duty. These include his systematic failure to recognize what animates our enemy; his insistence on characterizations of our foes that interfere with, if they don’t preclude, effective countermeasures - especially against Shariah adherents’ use of stealthy techniques to achieve our submission, and the “outreach” he engages in and encourages to Muslim Brotherhood operatives.

Without access to classified information and in the absence of the sort of congressional oversight and forensic investigation we can only hope will be forthcoming after November’s elections, it is impossible to say with certainty how bad is the cumulative effect of Mr. Brennan’s tenure in a position largely cloaked in secrecy with respect to government deliberations and policymaking.

Still, recent events provide a chilling sense of the impact of what Team B member Adm. James “Ace” Lyons Jr. has called Mr. Brennan’s “see-no-evil, speak-no-evil” approach - one that is utterly athwart the time-validated prescription of the great Chinese strategist Sun Tsu that victory in war depends on knowing one’s enemy. Consider three examples:

c Team B member Patrick S. Poole revealed last week at BigPeace.com that in adherence to the Brennan outreach mantra, the FBI provided a six-week training - and intelligence-collection opportunity - to a known Hamas operative named Sheikh Kifah Mustapha. When challenged, a bureau spokesman insisted that there was no problem with doing so because Mr. Mustapha had “never been convicted of any crime.” Never mind that he was an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism-financing trial in U.S. history and was fired from a volunteer chaplain post with the Illinois State Police when his terrorist ties were exposed.

c We also learned last week that a man brought into the White House in April for a high-level Muslim outreach effort designed “to update members of the Arab-American community on issues of their concern,” Hatem Abudayyeh, had his home raided by the FBI on suspicion of ties to terrorism in the Middle East and Latin America. As Andrew C. McCarthy makes plain in an important essay in National Review Online, Mr. Abudayyeh’s ties to unsavory individuals such as friend-of-Obama Rashid Khalidi should be a concern on multiple levels.

c The Pentagon recently released its final after-action report concerning the Fort Hood massacre allegedly committed by a self-described “soldier of Allah” named Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan. This document became the latest in a series of strategy papers, policy documents and guidelines issued by law enforcement, intelligence, military and homeland security agencies that fail to use words like “Islam,” “Muslim,” “Shariah,” “Muslim Brotherhood” or “jihad.” In fact, Mr. Brennan has expressly forbidden the use of the term “jihad,” as he considers it to be a “legitimate tenet of Islam” whose correct translation is personal struggle, not holy war.

The practical effect of such direction is to leave the United States exceptionally vulnerable to the kind of warfare our Shariah-adherent jihadist enemies have operationalized here in the United States - namely, the stealthy kind practiced by the Muslim Brotherhood, which calls it “civilization jihad.” Mr. Brennan evidently neither understands nor is working to counter this threat.

To the contrary, to the extent that he is engaging in willfully blind behavior that is perceived by our Shariah-adherent foes as submission (the literal meaning of the word “Islam”), he is setting the stage for our enemies to abandon the sub rosa civilization jihad in favor of the kind Muhammad principally practiced: the terrifyingly violent version of holy war.

Fortunately, one upside of the Ground Zero Mosque controversy is that it has prompted lots of Americans to start asking hard questions, reflecting a growing awareness of Shariah. They want to know, for example, about the conflicting peaceful and warlike passages of the Koran, the horrible treatment of “infidels,” apostates, women and those who besmirch Islam and its followers’ “honor” or sensibilities. Some of these were featured in two hourlong specials broadcast over the weekend by ABC News.

Regrettably, the “20/20” and “This Week With Christiane Amanpour” programs largely failed to answer these questions - most especially with respect to the stealth jihad. But there is no question that a serious debate has begun and there is a growing appreciation that the U.S. government’s stewardship with respect to this most urgent of national security imperatives is seriously deficient.

For there to be real change in policy, however, there needs to be real change in policymakers. John Brennan should be encouraged to join the exodus from Team Obama’s senior ranks, not promoted to a position in which he can do vastly more harm.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (www.securefreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of the syndicated program “Secure Freedom Radio,” heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on WTNT 570 AM.

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