Call for Congressional Hearings into Al Jazeera as a Homeland Security Threat

stop al JazeeraBy Pamela Geller:

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.

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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.

Read the rest at Atlas Shrugs