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House GOP Intel Committee Chair Calls Bachmann’s Muslim Brotherhood Witch Hunt ‘Very Important’

13 July 2012 ThinkProgress No Comment Email This Post Email This Post

House GOP Intel Committee Chair Calls Bachmann’s Muslim Brotherhood Witch Hunt ‘Very Important’

By Ben Armbruster (ThinkProgress)

Yesterday on Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney’s radio show, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) appeared to endorse Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) paranoid quest to root out the Muslim Brotherhood’s alleged infiltration of the U.S. government.

Gaffney himself is best known for promoting this particular conspiracy theory but Bachmann picked it up last month and sent letter to various federal departments’ inspectors general asking to them to investigate.

Gaffney asked Rogers about the Brotherhood’s “influence operation” within the government and Rogers — who has previously espoused quite reasonable views on issues like Iran and Syria — took the bait, saying that Bachmann’s witch hunt is “very important”:

ROGERS: Well we are revisiting some of those decisions and a member of my committee Michele Bachmann is kind of taking the lead on this particular issue and going through and trying to figure out what they took out of the training materials and what they left in and why did it get changed? And why the agressive language change and how we teach about the Islam religion and radicalism in Islam.

All of that stuff is very, very important to go through and determine if they have been politicized or not. It certainly at first blush you look at what they’ve done and you think, hmm, boy that seems political correctness versus trying to prepare an agent for what they might deal with in a radical Islamist environment.

Listen to the clip:

 Rogers and Gaffney were referring to Islamphobic teaching material the FBI had used to train its agents. Based on information contained in the materials, the FBI was teaching counterterror officials that, as Wired reported, “‘main stream’ [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a ‘cult leader’; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a ‘funding mechanism for combat.’” And the work of well-known Islamphobes like Robert Spencer — who claims that “Islam is not a religion of peace,” permeated the FBI’s training culture and the internal reference resources available to FBI agents. (The FBI hassince removed most of these training materials.)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) has criticized Bachmann for her conspiracy theory-laden witch hunt (which includes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top aide). “If she has sources for this type of information, she owes it to the country to reveal them to the proper authorities,” he said.

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