Sen. Susan Collins, R-Me., sent a letter to Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder decrying the quality of counter-terrorism training offered to first responders.
Lieberman chairs the Homeland Security Committee in the Senate and Collins serves as a ranking member on that committee. So when they speak, important people in the federal government are going to listen. And they told Napolitano and Holder that there is evidence that some counter-terrorism training funded by the federal government and offered to first responders is "inaccurate and inflammatory."
The letter goes on to state that these concerns were raised by "preliminary inquiries" by their staffs. But it appears that the only preliminary investigating performed by their staffs was to read a March/April Washington Monthly article titled "How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam." And that article was clearly inspired by a report titled "Manufacturing the Muslim Menace" produced by Political Research Associates (PRA).
PRA's report slams almost every counter-terrorism expert speaking to cops in this country. And because we covered many of these events, myself and managing editor Melanie Basich appear in the bibliography. The report even uses a photo I shot of investigative reporter Steven Emerson at last year's POLICE-TREXPO East (without permission, I might add).
The report is full of names that many law enforcement officers will recognize. People like "Terror at Beslan" author John Giduck; the aforementioned Emerson; Long Beach, Calif., detective Ebrahim Ashabi; Walid Shoebat; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser; and many more. It argues that all of these people are teaching police officers to be Islamophobic. It also argues that each of these speakers is wrong in their conclusions by essentially saying other experts disagree with them. And those experts-mostly academics-know better. This is the intellectual equivalent of saying: Nu-huh, you're wrong. So there.
I cannot speak for all of these presenters because I haven't seen them all. But I can say that I never heard Giduck, Emerson, or Ashabi slam all Muslims. To tell you how flimsy this 80-page report is: It slaps Ashabi for showing a video of a torturous beheading at POLICE-TREXPO, saying that doing so is inflammatory. Ashabi doesn't do this to inflame the audience, he does it to show what the enemy is capable of. And it's sickening.
PRA is a self-described "progressive think tank" and lead author Thomas Cincotta is the former head of the Denver chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. Nope. No bias here. Move along, folks.
So what? Why is this report so important that I'm telling you about it? There are dozens of these types of agenda-driven reports filed by think tanks every year.
Unfortunately, this one has reached the eyes of influential senators who are championing its goal of having government officials or worse Muslim civil rights groups vet counter-terrorism training before it is presented to you.
Sure. Let's let the same politically correct federal fools who not only tolerated accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hassan's jihadist views while he served as an Army psychologist at Walter Reed, they promoted him to Major. Let's let that same politically correct federal government vet or produce your counter-terrorism training. You'll be taught that lone wolf domestic idiots like Timothy McVeigh are a greater threat to America than Osama bin Laden and his thousands (maybe millions) of zealous followers.
Oh and by all means, let's let Muslim civil rights groups review all counter-terror training. The most vocal of all Muslim civil rights groups is the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). And anybody with horse sense knows that CAIR is up to no good because of its associates, its actions, and its attempts to foil reasonable anti-terror precautions.
CAIR is big on saying that it doesn't support terrorism, but I encourage you to ask one of its reps about Hamas. You won't hear an indictment of that group come out of their mouths. And if anyone really doesn't believe that Hamas is a terror group, consider this: Last month its operatives intentionally fired a laser-guided anti-tank missile at a school bus full of Israeli children. That is, by any definition, an act of terrorism.
The truth is that you don't need the government or CAIR to vet your counter-terror training. You know that there are good and bad people of all faiths, races, and ethnicities. And cops have finely tuned bulls__t detectors; you know the truth when you hear it. You can vet your own training.