Thursday, July 19, 2012

John McCain ~ Maverick Rides Again


Before the 2008 election I had so much fondness for John McCain that I told people he was probably the only Republican I could ever cast a vote for. Back in the 90s, when the so-called "Moral Majority" and people like Newt Gingrich and other gargoyles were going after President Clinton, McCain refused to get on the impeachment band wagon. And when Clinton was criticized for making military decisions, McCain was often the only Republican who would speak up for the Commander-in-Chief. I really liked him.

But then he chose Sarah Palin as running mate in 2008 and started pandering to the Tea Party, so I lost much of my respect for him. He stopped being a "maverick" and instead let Palin turn that word into a Saturday Night Live joke.

So I was thrilled to see him step forward today to take up for someone who is being attacked by several ultra-conservatives in the Republican Party including the Wingnut Queen, Michele Bachmann. Her target is Huma Abedin, an associate of Hillary Clinton's and sometimes described as a second daughter to her. Abedin is unfortunately also married to disgraced Senator, Anthony Weiner, who was caught sexting pictures of his anatomy on a cellphone and had to leave office just before his wife gave birth last year. So good grief, the last thing Huma Abedin needs is an attack of McCarthyism from a weirdo like Bachmann!

But only one Republican stepped up to denounce Bachmann, and that was John McCain. Well done, Sir! The Maverick Rides Again!


From the San Francisco Chronicle:
In a speech on the Senate floor, McCain praised the work and patriotism of Huma Abedin, a State Department employee who has been a constant presence at Clinton's side. Without mentioning Bachmann by name, McCain assailed the attacks on Abedin, a Muslim, as an example of ignorance and fear that defames the spirit of the nation.

"Huma represents what is best about America: the daughter of immigrants, who has risen to the highest levels of our government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and her abiding commitment to the American ideals that she embodies so fully," McCain said. "I am proud to know Huma, and to call her my friend."

Bachmann, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, made the allegations in a June letter to the State Department as well as in a letter Wednesday to fellow Minnesota lawmaker Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat.

Bachmann said Abedin's late father, mother and brother are connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations. She cited foreign media reports and an outside study and added that Abedin's position "affords her routine access to the secretary and policy-making."

Background on Bachmann's Statements about Abedin:

It appears that there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood has been found to be an un-indicted co-conspirator on terrorism cases and yet it appears that there are individuals who are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood who have positions, very sensitive positions, in our Department of Justice, our Department of Homeland Security, potentially even in the National Intelligence Agency. I am calling upon the Justice Department and these various departments to investigate through the Inspector General to see who these people are and what access they have to our information.
~ Senator Michele Bachmann speaking to the American Family Assocation

Letter to Bachmann from Congressman Keith Ellison (R-MN), a practicing Muslim
You allege that:
• “Brotherhood operatives” within the U.S. government may have directly influenced the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood, as presented by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on February 10,2011;
The mother, brother and deceased father of Huma Abedin, Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State 1-lillary Clinton, are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, and that she, too, by extension, may be working on the organization’s behalf;
• The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an international organization of 57 countries to which President George W. Bush created a special envoy position, is “determined to impose shariah worldwide” and undermine the U.S. Constitution;
• The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an umbrella organization of American Muslim groups, is “the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in the United States,” and PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
• The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and Muslim Advocates, two civil rights Organizations, “exercise influence in ways that align with Muslim Brotherhood agendas.”
(more at link)
. . . I request that you provide my office a full accounting of the sources you used to make the serious allegations against the individuals and organizations in your letters. If there is not credible, substantial evidence for your allegations, I sincerely hope that you will publically clear their names.

Bachmann's 16-page letter reply to Rep. Ellison
"I am particularly interested in exactly how, given what we know from the international media about Ms. Abedin’s documented family connections with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, she was able to avoid being disqualified for a security clearance." ~ Michele Bachmann


When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it. These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need to stop now.
~ Senator John McCain, R-AZ, quoted by The Hill

From Buzzfeed:

Update from Huffington Post
UPDATE: 2:20 p.m. (July 18) -- In a response on Wednesday, Bachmann said that her letters were being "distorted" but did not directly address Abedin or McCain.
"I encourage everyone, including media outlets, to read them in their entirety," she said in a statement. "The intention of the letters was to outline the serious national security concerns I had and ask for answers to questions regarding the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical group's access to top Obama administration officials."

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