This afternoon, while testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the following in response to a question about the Muslim Brotherhood from Rep. Sue Myrick, a Republican from North Carolina:
“The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ …is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam,” Clapper said. “They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera…..In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally.
There is little one can say about this stunning statement, except to ask a question: Is that kind of politicized intelligence that is responsible for such obfuscation meant to rationalize and reassure the American public that the administration’s decision to take the Brotherhood to the table is a sound one, and not dangerous?
For a start, Mr. Clapper should read the report on Tablet Magazine by Lee Smith, who writes that Yussuf al-Qaradawi, a leading Sunni cleric who is an Egyptian and a major figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, and who hosts Al Jazeera’s very popular program, Sharia and Life, favors violence as a tactic, and is dedicated to urging the mass killing of Jews. Some have called him a moderate, but as Smith points out, “The idea that Qaradawi is a moderate because he favors a relatively liberal interpretation of the status of women within Islam, for example, disregards his belief that homosexuality is a crime that should be punished by death and his embrace of the Holocaust as a divine punishment of the Jews that will hopefully be repeated soon.”
Evidently writing from the public record, Lee Smith and others have material that our intelligence chief either does not know about, or has ignored. There is but one demand that should be made now.
President Obama: fire James Clapper.