BY MARK FLATTEN:
A photo of President Obama in a turban and cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that led to terrorist plots against the Danish newspaper that published them are among documents purged from FBI counter-terrorism training materials, new disclosures from the agency show.
The documents deemed unfit for inclusion in FBI classrooms range from slides showing verses in the Quran favored by terrorists to a video called “God Hates Lady Gaga” produced by a fundamentalist church best known for its intrusive anti-gay protests at veterans’ funerals.
Entire sections dealing with Middle Eastern history, Islamic culture and techniques for interviewing Muslims while being mindful of Islamic customs were removed.
So was a reference to Attorney General Eric Holder’s inability to define radicalism in a 2010 congressional hearing. The reason for that deletion was redacted.
The FBI began scrubbing its training materials in October 2011 after media reports that some of the presentations were deemed offensive or inaccurate.
Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller ordered the review under pressure from several Islamic-American groups. It was completed in March 2012.
Critics say the effort was driven by political correctness and made America more vulnerable by limiting the training FBI counter-terror agents receive to avoid offending Muslims.
“If you are going to be able to survive an enemy that wants to kill you and destroy your country, then you have got to know and understand your enemy,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, a longtime critic of the FBI document purge.
“When you are in a war to save your country, your way of life, your liberty, then you need to know everything you can about those who are trying to destroy you,” he said.
“For the first time I am aware of in our nation’s history, we are refusing to take a good look at who wants to destroy us,” Gohmert said.
Almost 700 pages that were discarded by the FBI were released to the Washington Examiner in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed in April 2012.
The disclosure provided no accounting of whether all removed materials were released or an explanation of why individual presentations were deemed unacceptable.
The Examiner compared the new documents to records released in May by the nonprofit watchdog group Judicial Watch, which obtained them through FOIA.
Those records included explanations of why individual pages were considered unacceptable, but not the actual pages themselves.
The Judicial Watch records make reference to about 475 separate document numbers that include purged materials. The agency disclosures to the Examiner list only about a third of those files.
However, since many pages are duplicated in multiple presentations, it is not clear how many documents were not released.
Gohmert, who previously reviewed the FBI files, said he believes large numbers of documents were not released to the Examiner.
The FBI refuses to release information about the Subject Matter Experts, or SMEs, who reviewed the training documents and decided which presentations had to be removed.
Read more at the Washington Examiner