- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2012

Movie theaters across America have recently showed a film depicting former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a woman whose visionary leadership and fortitude — particularly in the fight against Soviet communism — earned her the sobriquet “the Iron Lady.”

Lady Thatcher’s partner in dispatching that toxic ideology to the “ash heap of history,” Ronald Reagan, famously declared in 1961 — at a time when the USSR was still very much a going concern — that “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Today, it is threatened by another totalitarian ideology that some have aptly described as “communism with a god”: the supremacist Islamic doctrine known as Shariah.

Fortunately, it turns out that as we confront our time’s most imminent threat to freedom, we have found America’s Iron Lady: Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Her Thatcheresque qualities are evident in the fearless and visionary leadership she is providing in opposing Shariah’s most formidable champions, the Muslim Brotherhood.

In particular, Mrs. Bachmann’s training as a tax attorney has prepared her well for the painstaking business of studying and mastering arcane organizational, financial and other relationships that are at the core of the stealthy subversion the Muslim Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad.” Her experience raising 28 kids, counting her own and foster children, has steeled her against the name-calling and worse that have met her efforts to bring those skills to bear to expose and defeat the jihadists, wherever they may be.

It’s a good thing. At the moment, Mrs. Bachmann is not facing mere name-calling but outright character assassination. She has been singled out for special treatment despite the fact that she was one of five members of Congress (the others were Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Trent Franks of Arizona, Lynn A. Westmoreland of Georgia and Thomas J. Rooney of Florida) who had the temerity to send to the federal inspector general formal requests for investigations into Muslim Brotherhood influence operations inside our government. That’s a threat every bit as dangerous as the communist subversion of a generation ago.

It is, of course, no accident that Mrs. Bachmann is being subjected to such vilification by the Islamists, their allies on the left and in the establishment media’s amen chorus. As a principled, articulate and wildly popular Tea Party leader and conservative, she is a prime target for electoral defeat by her political foes. These include her fellow Minnesotan, Rep. Keith Ellison, the “first Muslim congressman,” who launched the initial attack on our Iron Lady. More on him in a moment.

Regrettably, the Minnesota congresswoman has also been criticized by figures in her own party. Some defended one of the individuals identified in the five legislators’ letter to the State Department’s inspector general: Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Others seem determined to deflect or at least deny the problem of which she appears to be but one example and a symptom: There are individuals with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood inside or at least influencing the White House, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Departments of Justice, Defense and Homeland Security, as well as Foggy Bottom.

With respect to Ms. Abedin, long-time federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy noted in a brilliant expose posted at National Review Online on July 21, the question is not whether she has committed a crime but if she should have a security clearance. The State Department’s own guidelines would appear to deny access to classified information to a person who has, as she does through living and deceased family members, “foreign associations that could create a heightened risk of foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion.”

With respect to efforts to dismiss as dangerous or baseless concerns about a possible, far larger problem with individuals who have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood shaping U.S. policy toward that organization and enabling its rising power, what can one say? There is abundant evidence that indicates such concerns are warranted. Until the critics — on Capitol Hill, in the media and elsewhere — perform the sort of due diligence that has characterized the approach taken by Mrs. Bachmann and her colleagues, their authority on the matter must be questioned.

That applies particularly to Mr. Ellison who claims not to know much about the Muslim Brotherhood, let alone have ties to it. Counterterrorism expert Patrick Poole, however, shreds such assertions in a July 22 article in PJMedia that establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the legislator also has myriad, longstanding associations with Muslim Brotherhood organizations, as Mrs. Bachmann has observed. These include what the government has established is the Brotherhood’s “overt arm” in America, the Muslim American Society (which paid for Mr. Ellison’s 2008 religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia), and the Council on American Islamic Relations. CAIR was proved twice in federal court to be a front for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian franchise, the designated terrorist organization Hamas.

Mrs. Bachmann’s response to her critics is vintage Lady Thatcher: “I will not be silenced.” We cannot allow America’s Iron Lady or her courageous colleagues to be silenced or otherwise punished for their needed leadership in countering the Muslim Brotherhood.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program “Secure Freedom Radio,” heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.

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