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Letter to Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul asks for Congressional Hearings into Al Jazeera as a Homeland Security Threat

11

I am honored to fight alongside Cliff Kincaid in beating back the jihadist media machine that is buying whole dangerous access to the American news consuming public. I am honored to be a primary signatory of this letter to Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, requesting that the House Homeland Security Committee convene hearings into the national security threat posed by Al Jazeera on
American soil.

This is an ongoing battle. I spoke to this grave threat at a press conference with Cliff Kincaid on Al Jazeera back in April 2011. Watch the video here. More here and our AlJazeera conference videos and materials here. We have just begun to fight. Stay tuned.

Download Ltr2Chairman-McCaul_Al-Jazeera

January 9, 2013

The Honorable Michael McCaul
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security
U.S. House of Representatives
H2-176 Ford House Office Building

Dear Chairman McCaul:

We respectfully request that the House Homeland Security Committee
convene hearings into the national security threat posed by Al Jazeera on
American soil. The announcement that the Qatar-funded enemy propaganda channel,
which has functioned as a voice for al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, has taken
over an existing U.S.-based cable TV channel, Current TV, must be examined by
the Congress.

Dr. Judea Pearl, father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, has informed
us, in regard to this controversy, “I support your call to investigate the
impact of this transaction.” His statement reads as follows:

“A decade
of watching over its programs has left me no doubt: Al Jazeera is the main
propaganda machine of the Muslim Brotherhood. Posing as a benign alternative
communication medium, Al Jazeera choreographs a world stage in which the West
is a perennial villain, Hamas is the ultimate role model, and entire societies
are dehumanized to a lower form of life, stripped of any mark of dignity or
empathy. While refraining from explicit incitement to violence, Al Jazeera
weaves the ideological structure and combustible angers from which Jihadi
recruits eventually emerge.”

Details are sketchy, but it is reported that Current TV was owned by
former Democratic Vice President Al Gore and Joel Hyatt and that the reported
purchase price was $500 million, with $100 million of that going to Mr. Gore
personally.

These issues present themselves:

  • What is
    the nature of the contract between Al-Jazeera and Current TV owners Al Gore and
    Joel Hyatt, and the cable and satellite providers implicated in the deal?
  • Why did
    Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt reportedly bypass the prospect of selling the cable TV
    property to an American citizen and media personality, Glenn Beck, in
    preference for a foreign entity owned by an Arab government?
  • What
    federal rules or laws are in place to guard against foreign acquisition of
    American media organizations? Should they be strengthened? Should this deal be
    approved or examined by the federal government?

The House Homeland Security Committee is the appropriate and necessary vehicle
for this inquiry because it was specifically established in part to “better
protect the American people against a possible terrorist attack.”

There is a clear and present danger in American cable and satellite
providers  accepting carriage of Al
Jazeera. In a statement made available on February 23, 2011, Dr. Pearl said,
“Al Jazeera’s popularity and general acceptance in the West has emboldened its
management to take an even harder anti-Western stance. Their glorification of
child-killer Samir Kuntar, and their leaking of the so called Al-Jazeera
Palestine Papers in January of 2011, aimed to destroy the credibility of
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and to end all hopes for [a] negotiated
Mideast settlement are two of many steps attesting [to] their aims and
tactics.”

In the case of Samir Kuntar, a released terrorist who had smashed the
head of a four-year-old girl with his rifle butt in 1979 after killing her
father before her eyes, Al Jazeera not only covered but helped sponsor an
August 2008 birthday party for him. Kuntar had been released by Israel in
exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, who were kidnapped by
Hezbollah in 2006.

Clearly, Al Jazeera is unlike any other foreign “news’ operation.
However, there are some some striking similarities to Al Manar television, a
satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah in Beirut, Lebanon, which
has been officially labeled a terrorist entity by the U.S Government and banned
from the United States.

Does the treatment of Al Manar serve as a template for how to deal with
Al Jazeera’s presence on American soil? Obama Administration officials should
be asked to explain what differences, if any, they perceive there to be between
Al Manar and Al Jazeera.  

One admitted difference is that Qatar, which finances Al Jazeera, is a
government, not an officially-designated terrorist organization. Still, the
regime supports terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah and is viewed
by some as a state sponsor of terrorism. In the case before us, we believe
Congress should examine whether Al Jazeera itself functions as a terrorist
entity and not just a diplomatic tool of the Qatar regime.

The relationship between Qatar and Al Jazeera and the Muslim Brotherhood
also requires attention. We note that Ikhwanweb, the official English website
of the Muslim Brotherhood, has referred to Al Jazeera as “the greatest Arab
media organization.”

The U.S. State Department designates Hamas as a “Foreign Terrorist
Organization” and states that it “was formed in late 1987 as an outgrowth of
the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Dr. Judea Pearl has commented in the past — and has reiterated here —
that Al Jazeera is the voice of the Muslim Brotherhood. That voice has a real
name and face – Yusef Al-Qaradawi, the Al-Jazeera TV personality who has stated,
among other things, that Hitler was divine punishment for the misdeeds of the
Jews; that the Holocaust was exaggerated; that he desires to end his life in
the service of Jihad by visiting Israel and throwing a bomb, becoming a
“martyr” in the process; and that the U.S. will collapse if it doesn’t end its
“unjust ways.”

The immediate danger that must be addressed is that Al Jazeera’s
influence over potential Muslim extremists could inspire home-grown Jihadists
to commit terrorist acts against Americans. We already have evidence that the
words and images on Al Jazeera have inspired foreign terrorists to kill
Americans in places such as Iraq. The captured terrorists have said so on film
in a documentary produced by Accuracy in Media.

Al Jazeera has served as a mouthpiece for terrorist groups ranging from
al-Qaeda to Hamas and Hezbollah. Its coverage of the riots and demonstrations
throughout the Middle East, dubbed “real news” by Secretary of State Clinton,
does not justify bringing the channel into American homes through cable and
satellite systems without scrutiny by Congress and the appropriate federal
agencies and authorities. In fact, the claim about the channel providing “real
news” is itself false, since Al-Jazeera English didn’t devote a story to the sexual
assault on CBS News correspondent Lara Logan during the Muslim Brotherhood-led
revolution in Egypt. Reporting on the Logan attack would have undermined the
story that the uprising was all about overturning an oppressive government
rather than turning Egypt into a radical Muslim state that would no longer ally
itself with the U.S. or Israel.

Mr. Chairman, we must never forget the September 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks on America. In order to prevent similar attacks from happening again,
the Islamist enemy must be prevented from gaining a foothold in the U.S. media
market and reaching Muslims and others in America with inflammatory
hate-America messages. Giving Al Jazeera access to tens of millions of
households, through its acquisition of Current TV, could lay the groundwork for
more attacks on American citizens from within our own borders in the form of
home-grown Jihadism.  There have been
dozens of cases of homegrown violent jihadists who have plotted murder and
carried out attacks on American soil since 9/11. The U.S. should prevent and
not be encouraging these cases by giving foreign Jihadists access to the U.S.
media market.   

As noted, Dr. Judea Pearl, father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, supports
the call for investigation of the transaction involving the sale of Current TV
to Al Jazeera. He had previously said, regarding the prospect of allowing the
Al Jazeera English channel to broadcast in the U.S.:

“With the
growing number of social misfits in society, and the growing confusion between
‘information’ and deception in the news media, the danger of fueling
combustible anger in some viewers cannot be ignored, especially when pumped
subliminally by well-respected Western anchors. Considering our current concern
over the increase of home-grown terrorism incidents, this danger is not to be
taken lightly.”

Because of the concerns expressed by Dr. Pearl and many others, Al
Jazeera English never got a strong foothold in America, which is why the
channel and its owners in Qatar have now resorted to buying an American cable
channel outright, in the hope of maintaining the contracts with various cable
and satellite providers that Current TV had previously negotiated. This
back-door approach by a foreign propaganda channel to getting access to the U.S.
media market is as deceptive as the claims we hear that the channel will not
air Jihadist programming when the transition from Current TV to “Al Jazeera
America” is completed in a few months.

To be sure, we can expect the new channel to hire some well-known
American anchors and reporters and commentators. But we would remind you that
former ABC journalist David Marash became an anchor for Al Jazeera English, supposedly
with the guarantee that the programming would be free and independent of
radical influences, and subsequently resigned in protest over editorial
interference in his work. This fact demonstrates that the personnel behind Al
Jazeera Arabic, said to be the more radical of the channels, call the shots.
Indeed, the departure of Marash confirmed that the English channel was under
the firm control of the same people who control Al-Jazeera Arabic. An Accuracy
in Media report, “The Al-Jazeera Hall of Shame,” had cited documentary evidence
that key Al-Jazeera English personnel had come from Al-Jazeera Arabic.

The new “Al Jazeera America” may start out by softening its tone, in
order to fool people about its real agenda, but the fact remains that the
owners running the pro-Jihadist regime in Qatar ultimately control the channel’s
news policies and personnel.

Dr. Pearl had noted in his 2011 statement, “Even if Al Jazeera English
waters down its sister network’s alarmist content, it should still be seen as a
potential threat: it will bestow respectability upon the practices of its
Arabic language network in Qatar, which continues, among other things, to
broadcast Sheik Qaradawi's teachings, frequently, consistently and
prominently.”

These statements are important to consider. Dr. Pearl is president of
The Daniel Pearl Foundation, formed in memory of his son, to promote tolerance
and understanding internationally through journalism, music and dialogue.
Still, he thinks Al Jazeera doesn’t contribute to such understanding and
actually poisons relations between people.

You will recall that Daniel Pearl was killed by al Qaeda and the
circumstances surrounding his death have relevance to whether Al Jazeera should
be given a major foothold in the U.S. Daniel Pearl was personally beheaded by
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, attacks
for Osama bin Laden. This gruesome spectacle was filmed by the terrorists for
dramatic effect. Mohammed boasted of his murder, saying that he “decapitated
with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the
city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to confirm, there are
pictures of me on the Internet holding his head.”

This is significant because Qatar, the sponsor and funder of Al Jazeera,
has been accused by numerous sources, including the 9/11 Commission, of having protected
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed from apprehension by U.S. authorities, a decision that
permitted him to go on and plot terrorism against the West.

A decision by Congress to allow the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera
could have similar repercussions because of the impact its propaganda can have
on impressionable young Muslims predisposed to believe the worst about the
United States. 

We note with interest that, as chairman of one of the Committee on
Homeland Security’s Subcommittees, you convened a September 14, 2012 hearing on
“Lessons From Fort Hood: Improving our Ability to Connect the Dots.” In that
case, as the evidence showed, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a commissioned officer
in the United States Army, who openly communicated with the al Qaeda terrorist leader
Anwar al-Awlaki, on November 5, 2009, walked into the Soldier Readiness Center
at Fort Hood, Texas, shouted Allah Akbar, and opened fire on unarmed soldiers
and civilians.  He killed 13 and wounded
42 others. You note that, “This was the most horrific terrorist attack on US
soil since 9/11.”

One of the “dots” that you can now connect through hearings on Al
Jazeera can be al-Awlaki’s reliance on Al Jazeera as one of his methods of
communication with potential Jihadists.

In “A Message to the Members of the Media,” released February 14, 2011, al-Awlaki
defended the “trustworthy” journalists associated with Al Jazeera and praised
them by name. One of them, Tayseer Allouni, had been Al Jazeera’s Afghanistan
bureau chief and had interviewed bin Laden. He was captured in Afghanistan by
U.S. forces and convicted of being an agent of al Qaeda and sentenced to prison
in Spain. Al Jazeera never disavowed him or his work and in fact paid for his
legal defense.  

Al Jazeera touted al-Awlaki as a “religious scholar,” giving this
terrorist credibility in the minds of millions of Arabs and Muslims, including
in the U.S. This is how the channel lays the groundwork for radical Islam to
take up the cause of anti-American Jihad.

But this relationship between al Qaeda and Al Jazeera is only one aspect
of the problem that must be examined by the House Homeland Security Committee.

Other issues include:

  • Why have
    taxpayer-funded public broadcasting facilities, in violation of Federal Communication
    Commission (FCC) rules, turned over their facilities to foreign propaganda
    channels Al Jazeera, Russia Today, and others?
  • Why has
    the Department of Justice not enforced the law requiring that foreign
    television channels operating on American soil label their broadcasts as
    foreign propaganda under the Foreign Agents Registration Act?

If this transaction is allowed to go forward, it would seem logical that
the Al Jazeera broadcasts should be labeled as the foreign propaganda they
are.  This is the law. The Foreign Agents
Registration Act (FARA) is “a disclosure statute that requires persons acting
as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to
make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal,
as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those
activities.”

In short, the law mandates that the broadcasts carry a notice that they
constitute propaganda on behalf of a foreign government. Yet, broadcaster Jerry
Kenney, who has filed a complaint over this, points out that the broadcasts of
Al Jazeera and other foreign channels do not carry the statement in the
programming that it is distributed on behalf of a foreign principal and that
additional information is on file with the Department of Justice, “nor do the
networks or their principals appear to have registered as foreign agents as
required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”

Why has the Department of Justice not enforced the law in this case?

Before Al Jazeera converts Current TV into another propaganda vehicle of
the Muslim Brotherhood and the terrorist organizations it has spawned, we urge
you to schedule a hearing in the near future to examine the compelling and
urgent issues presented in this letter.

Sincerely,  

Cliff Kincaid, President, America's Survival, Inc., Director of the AIM
Center for Investigative Journalism

 

Pamela Geller, President, American Freedom Defense Initiative

 

Daniel Pipes, President, Middle East Forum

 

L. Brent Bozell, Founder and President, Media Research Center

 

Ted Baehr, Chairman, Christian Film & Television Commission

 

Jerry Kenney, President, Kenney Broadcasting Corporation

 

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President, Center for Security Policy

 

Melissa Ortiz, founder, Able Americans

 

Judson Phillips, founder, Tea Party Nation

 

Larry Cirignano, President, Faithful Catholic Citizens

 

Richard and Susan Falknor, Publishers, Blue Ridge Forum

 

C. Preston Noell III, President, Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

 

Ryan Mauro, National Security Analyst, RadicalIslam.org.

 

Wes Vernon, Analyst, RenewAmerica.com.

 

Kerry Kelley, Veteran and Journalist, Jacksonville, Florida

 

Steven Emerson, Executive Director, The Investigative Project on
Terrorism

 

Sandy Rios, Vice President, Family Pac Federal

 

Paul Caprio, Chairman, Patriotic Veterans

 

Tim Wildmon, President, American Family Association

 

Ken Timmerman, President & CEO, Foundation for Democracy in Iran

 

Dr. Steven Moysey, Counter Terrorism and Crisis Negotiation Specialist

 

Christopher Holton, Vice President for Outreach, Center for Security
Policy, Director-Divest Terror Initiative and Shariah Risk Due Diligence
Project

 

Joseph A. Klein, attorney and United Nations correspondent

 

Tom Berrigan, Covenant Keepers of America, Inc.

 

Tom Trento, Director, The United West

 

Sarah Stern, Founder and President, the Endowment for Middle East Truth
(EMET).

 

Alyssa A. Lappen, investigative journalist

 

Pamela Hall, Journalist-Blogger

 

Richard Braun, independent consultant

 

Frank Ruddy

 

Larry Grathwohl, author, Bringing Down
America

 

Tina Trent, PhD.

 

Mary Grabar, PhD.

 

Lee Kaplan, Executive Director, Defending America for Knowledge and
Action (DAFKA.org)

 

Joseph F. Connor, 9/11 family member, cousin of Steven Schlag

 

Walid Shoebat, Arabic Research Analyst, Founder of the Shoebat
Foundation

 

Ben Barrack, radio talk show host

 

Lynn Woolley, syndicated radio talk show host, Texas

 

Suzanne Shattuck, The United West

The Truth Must be Told

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