Adam L. Silverman, PhD*
Back in February I wrote about how fears of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) were likely greatly exaggerated. While this post was largely focused on concerns over Egypt, including the conspiratorial ones, fear of the MB is alive and well and often focuses on the threat of the MB within and to the US. Last week Spencer Ackerman reported that Congressman Allen West (R-FL) will be sponsoring a Capitol Hill briefing on 25 July where a group called Citizens for National Security will present a report on how the MB is in the process of culminating its fifty year infiltration of the US entitled: Homegrown Jihad in the USA: Culmination of the Muslim Brotherhood’s 50-year History of Infiltrating America. According to the letter from Congressman West that Spencer cites, the highlight of the event will be CFNS's releasing its database of everyone in the US they have been able to identify that is involved with the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the organizations that they are involved with.
Given Congressman's West's noted hostility and opposition to Islam his hosting this briefing is probably not surprising.** Congressman West was LTC West, a battalion commander in the 4th Infantry Division, until he was brought up on charges, and subsequently allowed to take his retirement rather than face judicial punishment for mistreating an Iraqi prisoner he had in custody and had chosen to interrogate himself. When my team mates and I went through the continental replacement center (CRC) in FEB 2008 LTC (ret) West was the poster boy example of what not to do in the Rules of Engagement (ROE) and Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) briefings. So five years after his "incident" in Iraq, the Army was still using his as the case example of what not to do and how not to behave towards the host country nationals in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially those in custody. As for Citizens United for National Security, if you have never heard of any of these folks before, I do not think you are alone. These folks appear to be part of the security consulting community that COL Lang, Professor Brenner, I, and several others have remarked about here at SST in both posts and comments: people you have not heard of, whose previous careers do not seem to indicate why or how they would have any expertise in counter terrorism or Islam or the Middle East. And if you take a close look at the "Leadership Team", you find an IT specialist, a former trade specialist, and an USAF vet who spent his career in the apparel industry (I feel so much safer already...). I have heard of two of the members of the "Advisory Committee", one a noted neo-conservative who spends most of his time baiting Muslims and funding other people to do the same and the other a former professor of conflict resolution, who had to admit in Federal Court, while serving as an expert witness in a case involving alleged Muslim terrorists, that he actually did not know anything about Islam who works for a noted neo-con think tank. So break out the comfy chairs and pass the popcorn, this summer's version of A Time to Freak Out: The Muslims are Coming to Get Us and they're Already Here is about to start. (hat tip on the hearing to Justin Elliott at Salon.com's War Room)
* Adam L. Silverman is the Culture and Foreign Language Advisor at the US Army War College. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Army War College and/or the US Army.
** Here's a link to the google search using terms "Congressman West Islam", you all can wade through all the video, blog references, etc if you like: http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&safe=off&source=hp&q=Congressman+West+Islam&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=a9a33ca5edf74ef8&biw=1280&bih=664