Thursday, March 15, 2007

Today's Clown Show

Marty Peretz, confusing the words "analogy" and "libel":

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is in the news again. The first time I'd heard of this group was when it picketed our old offices on 19th St, NW, for perhaps a week. I don't recall exactly what provoked them. But, hey, this is a free country: Let them picket to their hearts' content. OK, they made it a bit uncomfortable for staff to get in the building, and the other tenants suffered through dull, rhythmic sloganeering. One thing you know is that any country for which CAIR cares would have locked up the picketers and maybe even tortured them, just for the hell of it.

Since that time, we've run a few articles warning that this is not the ADL of the Muslims. A more apt analogy, though dated, would be the German American Bund to the Nazis or the Labor Youth League to the Comintern. Here, and here.

Now The New York Times has run a story about CAIR and its ties to Hamas and Hezbollah. Not a conclusive article. But still ... .

But still...nothing. Nothing in the Times article which supports Peretz's contention in he slightest. From the article:
A debate rages behind the scenes in Washington about the group, commonly known as CAIR, its financing and its motives. A small band of critics have made a determined but unsuccessful effort to link it to Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been designated as terrorist organizations by the State Department, and have gone so far as calling the group an American front for the two.


Government officials in Washington said they were not aware of any criminal investigation of the group. More than one described the standards used by critics to link CAIR to terrorism as akin to McCarthyism, essentially guilt by association.

“Of all the groups, there is probably more suspicion about CAIR, but when you ask people for cold hard facts, you get blank stares,” said Michael Rolince, a retired F.B.I. official who directed counterterrorism in the Washington field office from 2002 to 2005.

But still...nothing. The only thing that the Times story had to say about CAIR's "ties to Hamas and Hezbollah" is that they are constantly asserted by CAIR's critics, and remain completely unproven by anyone. So the article actually is pretty conclusive that there's nothing to the defamatory accusations which Peretz is trying to keep alive through the clever use of ellipsis.

Compounding his dishonesty, Peretz instalinks to two TNR articles by Joseph Braude as if they made his case, when in fact they undercut it. The first is an article about Abdurahman Alamoudi, the head of an entirely different organization, and mentions CAIR only briefly; the second is about the response of various Muslim groups to the July 2005 London bombings, and notes only that CAIR issued an immediate and unqualified condemnation of the attack. But still...Nazis and Communists, according to Marty Peretz.