McCarthyism and Mohamed Elibiary

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and four other representatives are now being accused of McCarthyism over the letter they sent to defense, diplomatic, intelligence, and law-enforcement agencies asking them to investigate Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the U.S. government. The implication is that Bachmann, like McCarthy (at least according to liberal myth), hurled false accusations damaging to the careers and livelihoods of innocent people. What no one is bothering to establish, however, is that the allegations are actually false, much less that they will damage anyone’s career.

The questions swirling around Department of Homeland Security official Mohamed Elibiary are a case in point. Bachmann’s letter to DHS’s inspector general states that Elibiary has “extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood” and “sympathy for Islamist causes,” and accuses him of “gain(ing) access to classified documents.”

Last week, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX), one of the signers of the letters asking for investigation of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration, asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about Elibiary. Gohmert put this question to Napolitano: “Are you saying before this Congress right now, that as secretary of Homeland Security, that it is a lie that Mohamed Elibiary downloaded material from a classified website using the secret security clearance you gave him? Are you saying that’s a lie?”

Napolitano responded: “I’m saying that is inaccurate. That is correct.” But when Gohmert pressed her on what was inaccurate about it, Napolitano began talking about prejudice against Muslims, and then said: “I’m saying that he … as far as I know … he did not download classified documents.” Gohmert saw through that immediately, responding: “One of the games that gets played by some people who come up here and testify is that they have somebody not provide them with adequate information so that they can come in her and say ‘so far as I know,’ ‘not to my knowledge,’ that kind of thing, and they obscure the truth.” Then he asked Napolitano: “Has Elibiary’s status on Homeland Security Advisory Council changed?” Napolitano said that it had not.

Thus it is clear that Elibiary has not suffered any career difficulties because of these allegations. It is also clear that as long as Barack Obama remains president, he will not. Napolitano, in fact, was anxious to protect him, parrying Gohmert’s questions and only reluctantly giving him straight answers.

So where is the McCarthyism? Is it that the allegations against Elibiary are self-evidently false?