Seven Days, Three Stories, One Obama Appointee/Terrorist Sympathizer

It all started out innocently enough last Saturday, that is, of course, if you think the United States actually needs a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Obama names U.S. envoy to Islamic Conference

President Obama announced Saturday the appointment of Rashad Hussain, a White House lawyer, to be his special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Obama made the announcement in a video conference to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar. In his message, Obama called Hussain “an accomplished lawyer and a close and trusted member of my White House staff,” who would strengthen his policy of outreach to the world’s Muslims.

Then reporters, apparently unlike the White House vetters, started digging into Rashad Hussain’s background.

Obama’s Islamic Envoy Quoted Defending Man Charged With Aiding Terrorists

President Obama’s new envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference, Rashad Hussain, is at the center of a controversy over remarks attributed to him defending a man who later pleaded guilty to conspiring to aid a terrorist group.

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs quoted Hussain in 2004 as calling Sami al-Arian the victim of “politically motivated persecutions” after al-Arian, a university professor, was charged in 2003 with heading U.S. operations of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The United States has designated the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as a foreign terrorist group as far back as 1997. At the time of al-Arian’s arrest, then Attorney General John Ashcroft called it “one of the most violent terrorist organizations in the world.”

Al-Arian pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiracy to aid Palestinian Islamic Jihad and was sentenced to more than four years in prison.

Sounds bad for Hussain right? Never fear, when confronted with this disturbing sympathy for an admitted terrorist conspirator, the White House immediately rolled out story number one.

The White House says the controversial remarks defending al-Arian two years earlier were made by his daughter — not by Hussain. Both were part of a panel discussion at a Muslim Students Association conference, but the reporter covering the event told Fox News she stands by the quotes she attributed to Hussain, who was a Yale Law student and an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

The Web version of the 2004 article in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs was later edited to delete all of Hussain’s comments. Editor Delinda Hanley told Fox News she believes the change was made in February 2009, though she does not recall who requested the edit.

Hanley remembered telling the group’s webmaster: “Let’s just take out the quotes since they have been attributed to the wrong speaker.”

Someone’s obviously lying. So, when the reporter refused to back down, out comes story number two.

He Said, She Said

Late Tuesday a White House official spoke with Hussain and confirmed to Fox News that Hussain did attend the 2004 event. The official says Hussain went with plans to discuss civil rights in the wake of 9/11, but remembers the conversation turning to Sami al-Arian’s case. According to the White House official, Hussain has “no recollection” as to whether or not he made the comments attributed to him.

We’ve now gone from flat out denial to a non-denial denial, he just can’t remember. But wait, there’s more, we’re not done yet, there are actual audio tapes and transcripts that exist! Cue up story number three.

President’s Envoy to Islamic Conference Admits Having Made Controversial ’04 Remarks

Presented with a transcript of his remarks at a 2004 conference, Rashad Hussain, President Obama’s nominee to be special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, issued a statement Friday evening acknowledging having criticized the U.S. government’s case against Sami Al-Arian, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiracy to aid Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Originally, the White House claimed that Hussain denied having made the comments, attributing them instead to Al-Arian’s daughter, Laila.

But Politico’s Josh Gerstein obtained an audiotape of the remarks, in which Hussain said that Al-Arian’s case was one of many “politically motivated persecutions.”

On Friday evening, Hussain admitted having made them and the White House backed off its insistence that Hussain hadn’t made the comments, though both noted that he did so in the context of disagreeing with the way the government pursued the case against Al-Arian, making clear not to address the specific criminal charges.

“As a law student six years ago, I spoke on the topic of civil liberties on a panel during which I responded to comments made about the al-Arian case by Laila al-Arian who was visibly saddened by charges against her father,” Hussain said in a statement. “I made clear at the time that I was not commenting on the allegations themselves. The judicial process has now concluded, and I have full faith in its outcome.”

Hussain, currently in the White House counsel’s office, said, “I made statements on that panel that I now recognize were ill-conceived or not well-formulated.”

Busted! Now, will Hussain be thrown under the bus where he belongs?

See also:
Islam envoy retreats on terror talk
Obama Envoy Admits ‘Ill Conceived’ Remarks Defending Terror Suspect
Obama OIC envoy designate admits to improper remarks in defending terror suspect
Obama OIC envoy designate admits to improper remarks in defending terror suspect
Cal Thomas: Who is Rashad Hussain?
Should We Believe Rashad Hussain?
The case of Rashad Hussain
The case of Rashad Hussain, part 2
Rashad Hussain’s Troubling Ties
Is White House Attorney Involved in Media Cover-up?
Questions for America’s New OIC Envoy Rashad Hussain
Event Attended by Obama’s Muslim Envoy Was Held by Group With Troubling Views, Ties
Pro-jihadist Rashad Hussain: Obama appointee’s connection to Soros

Is it just me or does it seem like pretty much everyone Obama appoints is some kind of anti-American radical or political miscreant?

/it’s really hard to believe that the Obama White House vetting process is this inept and ineffective, they have to know these peoples’ backgrounds and yet they appoint them anyway, because they’re fellow travelers

Another Major Campaign Promise Goes Under The Bus

Remember this widely hyped photo op?

Closing Guantanamo was one of Obama’s major campaign promises, along with making the war in Afghanistan a top priority, yet another major campaign promise he seems to be reneging on. Well, well, well, looky here, Obama says not so fast on that closing Guantanamo within a year promise.

Guantanamo prison not likely to close in January, officials say

The U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is unlikely to close by the Obama administration’s deadline of January 2010, two senior administration officials said late Friday.

U.S. military personnel walk a road at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in July.

They cited legal complications for the delay, but said they were still optimistic about shutting the detention facility for terrorism suspects soon.

The announcement represents a blow to the president, who signed an executive order and set the deadline with great fanfare during his first week in office.

During a signing ceremony at the White House on January 22, Obama reaffirmed his inauguration pledge that the United States does not have “to continue with a false choice between our safety and our ideals.”

The president said he was issuing the order to close the prison camp in order to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism.”

The delay may provide fodder for Republicans such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, who has argued that shutting the Guantanamo prison would make the United States less safe. He said Obama should have had a detailed plan in place before signing the order.

“Even White House officials are now acknowledging that there is still no alternative that will keep Americans as safe as housing detainees at that secure facility off our shores,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said in a written statement.

“Americans and a bipartisan majority in Congress will continue to reject any effort to close Guantanamo until there is a plan that keeps Americans as safe or safer than keeping detainees in the secure detention center,” McConnell’s statement said.

See also:
AP sources: Guantanamo might not close by January
White House Regroups on Guantanamo
Guantanamo closure uncertain four months from deadline
Security issues set to thwart Obama’s bid to close Guantanamo by January
White House acknowledges it probably won’t meet self-imposed deadline to close Guantanamo Bay

Gee, maybe they should have actually had a plan before Obama shot his mouth off and set a deadline. But hey, it’s much easier to just blame Bush and the Republicans.

Even before the inauguration, President Obama’s top advisers settled on a course of action they were counseled against: announcing that they would close the facility within one year. Today, officials are acknowledging that they will be hard-pressed to meet that goal.

The White House has faltered in part because of the legal, political and diplomatic complexities involved in determining what to do with more than 200 terrorism suspects at the prison. But senior advisers privately acknowledge not devising a concrete plan for where to move the detainees and mishandling Congress.

To address these setbacks, the administration has shifted its leadership team on the issue. White House Counsel Gregory B. Craig, who initially guided the effort to close the prison and who was an advocate of setting the deadline, is no longer in charge of the project, two senior administration officials said this week.

Craig said Thursday that some of his early assumptions were based on miscalculations, in part because Bush administration officials and senior Republicans in Congress had spoken publicly about closing the facility. “I thought there was, in fact, and I may have been wrong, a broad consensus about the importance to our national security objectives to close Guantanamo and how keeping Guantanamo open actually did damage to our national security objectives,” he said.

. . .

Senior administration officials said the central roadblock during those early months was the condition of the detainee files, which had been left in disarray by the previous administration.

See? It’s Bush’s fault, the universal Obama excuse for everything! Nevermind the obvious fact that we’re still stuck with 225 of the world’s worst terrorists because we can’t find any other country, in their right mind, that will agree to take them, not even their home countries.

But don’t worry, the country is in the very best of hands, the arrogant Democrat children are in charge.

/is it just me or does Obama make a lot of bold promises that he can’t keep or has no intention of keeping?

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