And Georgia’s own Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, probably to nobody’s great surprise, is front and center.
Five Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are calling for an investigation into whether the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the U.S. government. Westmoreland signed a letter last June drafted by (get ready for it, now …) Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., which called for inquiries into the State, Defense, Homeland Security and Justice departments for possible Muslim Brotherhood influences.
Proof? Well, Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is the daughter of a man who started a Saudi organization that was supported by another organization that was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, as are (or so these representatives allege) Abedin’s mother and brother. Bachmann’s letter demanded “answers to questions regarding the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical group’s [sic] access to top Obama administration officials.” (Let’s consider the remote possibility that all of this boils down to those last three words.) Asked in an Atlanta TV interview for evidence of Muslim influence in Washington, Westmoreland said he and his — let’s call them “fellow travelers” — just want to “make sure they have understood and have looked at exactly what this group may be doing to participate, just like they have in other governments.” Here’s the part you’ll really love: Westmoreland said that if Abedin is not connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, “then she needs to say something.”
Got that? The burden of proof is on Huma Abedin, an American citizen, to prove that she isn’t an Islamic subversive. Perhaps it would have more dramatic effect if one of these patriots were to stand on the House floor waving a sheaf of papers: “I hold in my hand the names of 57 known Islamist infiltrators in the United States government …”
As unsurprising as Westmoreland’s presence in this group is Sen. John McCain’s contempt for it: “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.”
Fear and ignorance: Always the cheapest fuel for the vilest political fire.
McCain, incidentally, isn’t the first American war hero and Republican political leader to deplore this kind of low-road attack. Dwight Eisenhower didn’t have much use for Joe McCarthy, either.