In July, Islamophobe Pam Geller suggested that she supported impeaching President Obama on the basis of the myth that his administration supported the release of the Lockerbie bomber. Now she's found a new false rationale for impeachment: Obama's supposed knowledge of the ATF's failed Operation Fast and Furious.
Geller claims that both Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder knew the controversial operational details of that failed gunrunning sting, which is currently under DOJ and congressional investigation. Her evidence? Obama's support for economic recovery legislation which did not fund the operation, and a speech in which Holder did not talk about Fast and Furious.
In a post entitled "Direct Evidence: Holder Lied, Bragged About Project Gunrunner In Mexico In 2009," Geller wrote:
This is the most corrupt and criminal administration in American history. And their contempt and disgust for the American people is degenerate, rotten, scandalous. Holder must be fired. Obama should be impeached for Fast and Furious. The Republicans must uphold the laws of this country.
Geller points to a blog post which details how "despite... repeatedly denying knowledge of Project Gunrunner," Obama approved stimulus funding for the program and Holder gave a speech referencing it.
Apparently we need to point this out again: Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious are not the same thing.
Obama and Holder never denied knowing about Project Gunrunner, a high-profile effort begun under the Bush administration in which ATF agents were directed from other offices to the Mexican border region in order to reduce cross-border gun trafficking. They have consistently denied knowledge of the details of Fast and Furious, the failed operation run under Project Gunrunner by a team from the ATF's Phoenix office, in which agents allowed guns to be transferred to known traffickers in the hopes of building a complex conspiracy case against cartels.
Indeed, Fast and Furious was not begun until fall 2009, months after Holder's comment.
Even right-wing bloggers have pointed out that people making this conflation are wrong. But Geller apparently can't be bothered to fact-check.
Pamela Geller has written a new, WorldNetDaily-published book, Stop the Islamization of America. The book shares its name with the organization she runs, which the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as an anti-Muslim "hate group." As one would expect from someone with an extensive history of hate speech and extremist rhetoric -- so much so that her work was cited by Norwegian massacre suspect Anders Breivik -- the book is more of the same, presented as a how-to guide for activists. There's lots of name-calling, lots of self-promotion, a dose of revisionism and, for some reason, lots of quoting of Ayn Rand, complete with Geller's dedication of her book to "the individual."
In this slim tone (less than 200 pages including endnotes and the index), all the usual Geller targets and tropes are here -- declaring that the proposed "Ground Zero mosque" is "triumphal," railing against honor killings, and ranting that Sharia law is "the most radical and intolerant system of governance on the face of the earth." She also touts her group's battle to run anti-Muslim ads on buses and bus shelters in several cities. There's also a freakout about "secret halal meat" that may be "going to public school lunch programs."
Geller engages in a lot of name-calling as well: Christiane Amanpour is a "notorious stealth jihadist ... whose obvious Jew-hatred and predilection for submission has become the hallmark of her embarrassing career," Diane Sawyer is a "[d]himmi," Sen. Dick Durbin is a "useful idiot," Rep. Keith Ellison is a "stealth jihadist," the British newspaper The Guardian is "notoriously leftist and morally bankrupt," and the pro-Israel organization J Street is "an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, fringe organization that no one took seriously." She also laughably calls Fox News "a center-left news organization."
Geller claims her group is "not against Islam or Muslims as such, but against the political and supremacist character of Islam as enunciated by Muhammad, the Muslim prophet who declared, 'Islam must dominate, and not be dominated.' " For instance, she claims that the ads she has tried to place on municipal buses throughout the country were not "anti-Muslim," but "merely offered help to those threatened with death in America for leaving Islam, under Islam's traditional death penalty for apostasy." But in her book, she repeatedly attacks "Muslims" and "Islam" without making any distinction between the religion and the "political and supremacist character" she purports to be criticizing, leaving the unmistakable impression that she's completely and utterly anti-Islam.
From the September 23 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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In a September 22 post on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government blog, anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller attacked the Park51 Islamic cultural center after it opened a photography exhibit because it had actually "broken ground on September 11, 2001." From Big Government (emphasis in original):
One year ago, Ground Zero Mosque leader Daisy Khan, the wife of stealth Islamic supremacist Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, said that they would be breaking ground on September 11, 2011 for the 15-story monster mosque going up in a building that was destroyed in the Islamic attack on America on 9/11. It was redundant. They had broken ground on September 11, 2001.
Still, for all this triumphalism, CNN still admits that the Park51 grifters "are not speculating about a timeline for construction." Nevertheless, "Park51's planners say they are committed to their original Lower Manhattan location. They are now seeking to raise $7 to $10 million in financing."
Give that money to the first responders. Don't build a mega-mosque at Ground Zero.
If Pam Geller organizes a protest against the Park51 Islamic community center, but there's no sustained media hype to accompany it, does it make a sound?
Not really. Although Fox News continues to promote Geller, and despite the best efforts of Dick Morris to remind Fox News viewers of Park51 at every opportunity, the issue's draw power has declined remarkably since last August. Geller's first protest against the "Ground Zero Mosque" benefited from a right-wing hype campaign with origins in coverage by the News Corp.-owned New York Post. It soon spread to Fox News and other media, becoming one of the biggest manufactured stories of the summer.
This year the news cycle was less kind to Geller's crusade, which hosted its second rally yesterday timed to the tenth anniversary of 9/11. With the nation focused on remembering and mourning the dead, Geller's protest at its peak drew no more than two hundred people, who barely filled a narrow gated pen on West Broadway, a few blocks from Ground Zero. "Last year's was so much bigger," said a protestor holding a sign reading, Mohammed was a Terrorist. "The media didn't cover this or our issues this year." Among those at the protest who also experienced considerably less media attention in 2011 was Terry Jones, the Florida preacher who made headlines last year for burning a Koran.
So it's no surprise that Fox News leapt on an op-ed published last week in the Times with the title, "Don't Fear Islamic Law in America." The op-ed argued that recent efforts by certain states to outlaw Sharia, or Islamic law, "fosters a hostile environment that will stymie the growth of America's tolerant strand of Islam."
Fox News, however, interpreted the op-ed's conclusion as the Times' calling for "America ... to embrace Sharia law," as Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy said. On today's show, Doocy invited conservative blogger Pamela Geller to bash the Times op-ed and fearmonger about pending Sharia doom.
From the September 8 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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In an August 31 post on her blog Atlas Shrugs, Pamela Geller called the guidelines released by the Obama administration on observing the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, "Islamic supremacist 'talking points' disrespecting our war dead and whitewashing the incalculable cost of the jihadist war on America." From Atlas Shrugs:
The Obama administration defended the marking of 9/11 with Islamic supremacist "talking points" disrespecting our war dead and whitewashing the incalculable cost of the jihadist war on America. This crushing act of appeasement is for ....
.....the creation of a "positive, forward-looking narrative."
The leftist/Islamic machine is in full throttle now, with the White House strong-arming officials to omit who attacked us and why we were attacked. The White House has issued guidelines detailing what the White House has deemed the important themes that must be discussed, as well as the tone the 9/11 observances should take.
If this is not surrender, what is?
In the weeks before the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, right-wing media figures have renewed their attacks on President Obama for calling for a National Day of Service on September 11. However, in 2009, a majority of Republican senators voted to establish a 9-11 National Day of Service, and President Bush routinely called on Americans to volunteer on September 11.
The anti-Muslim segment of the conservative media has identified yet another Republican as a traitor to America because he is supposedly too close to Muslims. The current target is Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), labeled as the "5th column candidate" by Pamela Geller because of his ties to Muslim leader Aga Khan IV and others.
Right-wing bloggers and radio host Michael Savage have baselessly suggested that the Obama administration, including the president, took actions that caused the deaths of 30 American troops killed when the Taliban shot down their helicopter in Afghanistan on August 6.
In January, after New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie first announced his nomination of attorney Sohail Mohammed for a Superior Court judgeship, he quickly came under fire from a right-wing blogosphere warning of Mohammed's "dirty Islamist ties" and the ever-popular creeping shariah.
Mohammed, a Muslim born in southern India, has "close ties with New Jersey's judicial and law enforcement communities," who describe him as "an important resource" in bridging gaps with the Muslim community. But such facts are irrelevant to the likes of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which called him a "longtime mouthpiece for radical Islamists," or blogger Pam Geller, who decreed Christie was "in bed with the enemy."
The attacks on Mohammed and Christie continued for months. Finally, asked about the criticism during a press conference last week, Christie lashed out at the "ignorance" of his opponents, slamming them for their "crazy" behavior.
CHRISTIE: Ignorance is behind the criticism of Sohail Mohammed. Sohail Mohammed is an extraordinary American, who is an outstanding lawyer and played an integral role in the post-September 11 period in building bridges between the Muslim American community in this state and law enforcement ... Shariah law has nothing to do with this at all. It's crazy ... This Shariah law business is crap. It's just crazy, and I'm tired of dealing with the crazies.
Christie's comments have drawn plaudits from the editorial board of the New Jersey Star-Ledger and from the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center. But the "crazies" are unhappy, and they're not letting the matter rest.
Geller comments that Christie "has shown himself to be a dangerous blustering bloviator, a good little dhimmi" who has made a "monumental mistake." Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace website calls it "disappointing" to see Christie "dismissing substantive and damning facts, statements and associations in order to accuse his critics of racism and bigotry." And JihadWatch comments, "to think that some people think this tool would be a good president."
It will be interesting to see whether other Republican politicians follow Christie in denouncing the anti-Islam right-wing media, or if they knuckle under in the face of this sort of criticism.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly open to negotiate with the Palestinians along the lines that President Obama laid out in May in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that called for a peace agreement based on 1967 borders with mutually agreed upon swaps. However, when Obama made the proposal, the conservative media decried it as "potential suicide" and "the destruction of Israel."
Pamela Geller is not backing down from her Islamophobic hate speech. Last week, Pamela Geller joined Larry O'Connor on his radio show, The Stage Right Show. O'Connor who serves as editor-in-chief of Breitbart.tv, tried to help her disguise her anti-Islamic rhetoric, asking her: "But seriously, Pamela Geller I just want to be clear on this: You believe that a person is capable of being a devout Muslim and be a completely peaceful and loving person, right? You don't think that if you're Muslim, de facto, you're a violent jihadi?"
But Geller was unable to agree with that point. The first word out of her mouth was "no," but immediately after that, she made clear that she does not believe that a believer in what she termed "pure Islam" can be peaceful:
GELLER: No. I don't believe that. But I do believe that if you're a follower of traditional Islam, of pure Islam, then you support jihad. And that's not my opinion so much as you see in the recent Gallup poll and you see in the Pew polls that the most devout country, and specifically, of course, Pakistan and so forth. Look, they overwhelmingly supported Osama Bin Laden. And, you know, was disapproving of what America had done in taking him out. And even in the U.K., you see that 35 percent support homicide bombings. Look, there's a problem, not with all Muslims, no.
But there is a problem. And we are not allowed to talk about it? I understand that people say, you know, "don't broad brush all." I don't. But by the same token, forgive me for not patting every single person on the back who doesn't take up -- doesn't strap one on. I don't think it's necessary to do that. I expect people not to kill other people. I expect a certain modicum of humanity. Yes, and respect for the Golden Rule. Even though there's no Golden Rule in Islam, I do believe that do unto others is a basic human -- irrespective of religion -- a basic tenet of humanity, okay. I don't believe in patting people on the back for not killing me. Sorry, Larry, I'm not going to do that.
Geller has been trying to scrub some of the more incendiary parts of her record in response to the bombing in Norway, which she initially blamed on Muslims. But apparently, when given an engraved invitation to declare that she does not, in fact, believe that devout Muslims can be peaceful, she can't bring herself to accept it.
Days before Pam Geller came under fire for "attacking the victims" of the recent Oslo attacks, radio host Dana Loesch championed Geller's "good fight" against "the jihadi mindset."
Geller, the Atlas Shrugs blogger and frequent Fox News guest, has been under the microscope since the attacks, as commenters noted that accused killer Anders Behring Breivik frequently cited fringe Islamophobic bloggers, including Geller, in his manifesto.
Geller now faces widespread condemnation after a weekend blog post in which she called the Norwegian youth camp where dozens of young people were massacred an "anti-Semitic indoctrination training center" and posted a picture of the targeted children with the caption:
Note the faces which are more Middle Eastern or mixed than pure Norwegian.
Geller has subsequently scrubbed the caption from her blog post.
Salon's Glenn Greenwald has rightly called on media to stop giving Geller a platform to spew her Islamophobic hate speech in light of her most recent comments.
Indeed, despite a long history of outrageous, Islamophobic comments, Geller has long benefited from media exposure that soft-pedals or defends her hate speech - which was on full display throughout the summer of 2010 as Geller helped gin up outrage over the Park51 Islamic Community Center.
Just last week, in fact, Geller called into The Dana Show, where host Dana Loesch defended Geller, saying criticism of her hate speech and was nothing more than "extreme, baseless, bigoted, partisan attacks." Geller, Loesch claimed, was under attack and being "defamed" because she "posed such a threat to people who have supported the jihadi mindset."