operative through top-secret
File the story below under “it’s so unbelievable it can’t be true.”
Stunningly, it is.
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FBI Escorts Known Hamas Operative Through Top-Secret National Counterterrorism Center as “Outreach” to Muslim Community
Posted by Patrick S. Poole Sep 27th 2010 at 3:52 am in Featured Story, Islamic extremism | Comments (75)
Sheikh Kifah Mustapha (third from left) touring the National Counterterrorism Center
A known Hamas operative and unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history – Kifah Mustapha – was recently escorted into the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center and other secure government facilities, including the FBI’s training center at Quantico, during a six-week “Citizen’s Academy” hosted by the FBI as part of its “outreach” to the Muslim Community. The group was accompanied by reporter Ben Bradley of WLS-Chicago (ABC), who filed a report on the trip to Washington D.C. on Sunday, who observed:
Sheik Kifah Mustapha, who runs the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, asked some of the most pointed questions during the six week FBI Citizens’ Academy and trip to Washington. He pushed agents to fully explain everything from the bureau’s use of deadly force policy to racial and ethnic profiling. “I saw a very interesting side of what the FBI does and I wanted to know more,” Sheik Mustapha explained after returning from D.C. He hopes the FBI’s outreach runs deeper than positive public relations.
Yes, I bet he wanted to know everything about the FBI’s policies.
Curiously, Bradley’s report on the Citizen’s Academy fails to make note Mustapha’s extensive terrorist ties and support for Hamas, including his former employment with the Holy Land Foundation, which was listed as a specially designated terrorist group by the U.S. government in December 2001, and whose executives were convicted of terrorism support in 2008 and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Mustapha was personally named unindicted co-conspirator (#31) in the case and employment records submitted by federal prosecutors during the trial showed that he received more than $154,000 for his work for the Holy Land Foundation between 1996 and 2000. During the trial, FBI Special Agent Lara Burns testified that Mustapha also sang in a band sponsored by the Holy Land Foundation that regularly featured songs dedicated to killing Jews and glorifying Hamas. In a deposition he gave in a civil trial concerned with the murder of a Chicago teenager killed by Hamas while waiting for a bus in Israel, Mustapha admitted that he was the registered agent for the Holy Land Foundation in Illinois, and also to his involvement with other Hamas front groups, including the Islamic Association for Palestine. He was later hired as an imam by the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, which the Chicago Tribune reported in 2004 has long been a hotbed of Hamas support.
Bradley’s omission of this information about Kifah Mustapha in his report on Sunday is all the more curious since his own station aired an extensive investigative report of Mustapha’s terrorist ties earlier this year.
The WLS investigation into Mustapha’s terrorist ties was prompted by a report published by the Investigative Project on Terrorism in January, which noted that Mustapha had been selected and trained as a chaplain by the Illinois State Police despite his documented terrorist support. The State Police eventually withdrew Mustapha’s appointment as chaplain and just last month he filed a lawsuit against the agency claiming discrimination aided by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, another FBI-identified Hamas front group.
There are several obvious problems with this episode, the first being the FBI’s “outreach” to a known Hamas operative (identified as such by federal prosecutors) and walking him through some of our country’s most sensitive counter-terrorism facilities. Why should terrorist operatives have to covertly case potential targets when the FBI will happily escort them and taken them into areas they would never be able to reach on their own? Who’s next on the FBI’s “outreach” calendar, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow GITMO detainees?
This ongoing “outreach” to terror-linked individuals and leaders of known terrorist front groups by senior leaders of our national security, homeland security and law enforcement agencies is the kind of behavior criticized by my colleagues and I in the Team B II’s report released earlier this month, “Shariah: The Threat to America“. As I observed last week here at Big Peace, Matt Duss of the Center for America Progress and ThinkProgress.org demands that we continue this insane national policy of embracing the same individuals and organizations who have been caught openly cheerleading for Islamic terrorists and have called for the destruction of the U.S. and Western Civilization.
The other glaring problem is that a reporter working in one of the largest media markets in the country can travel to such an event and be unaware of or unwilling to mention his own station’s reporting on his travel partner’s terrorist support activities. Such is the state of the establishment media today.
Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
After scrutinizing Roosevelt's record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.
"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."
In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.
"President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services," said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. "So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies."
Using data collected in 1929 by the Conference Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cole and Ohanian were able to establish average wages and prices across a range of industries just prior to the Depression. By adjusting for annual increases in productivity, they were able to use the 1929 benchmark to figure out what prices and wages would have been during every year of the Depression had Roosevelt's policies not gone into effect. They then compared those figures with actual prices and wages as reflected in the Conference Board data.
In the three years following the implementation of Roosevelt's policies, wages in 11 key industries averaged 25 percent higher than they otherwise would have done, the economists calculate. But unemployment was also 25 percent higher than it should have been, given gains in productivity.
Meanwhile, prices across 19 industries averaged 23 percent above where they should have been, given the state of the economy. With goods and services that much harder for consumers to afford, demand stalled and the gross national product floundered at 27 percent below where it otherwise might have been.
"High wages and high prices in an economic slump run contrary to everything we know about market forces in economic downturns," Ohanian said. "As we've seen in the past several years, salaries and prices fall when unemployment is high. By artificially inflating both, the New Deal policies short-circuited the market's self-correcting forces."
The policies were contained in the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), which exempted industries from antitrust prosecution if they agreed to enter into collective bargaining agreements that significantly raised wages. Because protection from antitrust prosecution all but ensured higher prices for goods and services, a wide range of industries took the bait, Cole and Ohanian found. By 1934 more than 500 industries, which accounted for nearly 80 percent of private, non-agricultural employment, had entered into the collective bargaining agreements called for under NIRA.
Cole and Ohanian calculate that NIRA and its aftermath account for 60 percent of the weak recovery. Without the policies, they contend that the Depression would have ended in 1936 instead of the year when they believe the slump actually ended: 1943.
Roosevelt's role in lifting the nation out of the Great Depression has been so revered that Time magazine readers cited it in 1999 when naming him the 20th century's second-most influential figure.
"This is exciting and valuable research," said Robert E. Lucas Jr., the 1995 Nobel Laureate in economics, and the John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. "The prevention and cure of depressions is a central mission of macroeconomics, and if we can't understand what happened in the 1930s, how can we be sure it won't happen again?"
NIRA's role in prolonging the Depression has not been more closely scrutinized because the Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional within two years of its passage.
"Historians have assumed that the policies didn't have an impact because they were too short-lived, but the proof is in the pudding," Ohanian said. "We show that they really did artificially inflate wages and prices."
Even after being deemed unconstitutional, Roosevelt's anti-competition policies persisted — albeit under a different guise, the scholars found. Ohanian and Cole painstakingly documented the extent to which the Roosevelt administration looked the other way as industries once protected by NIRA continued to engage in price-fixing practices for four more years.
The number of antitrust cases brought by the Department of Justice fell from an average of 12.5 cases per year during the 1920s to an average of 6.5 cases per year from 1935 to 1938, the scholars found. Collusion had become so widespread that one Department of Interior official complained of receiving identical bids from a protected industry (steel) on 257 different occasions between mid-1935 and mid-1936. The bids were not only identical but also 50 percent higher than foreign steel prices. Without competition, wholesale prices remained inflated, averaging 14 percent higher than they would have been without the troublesome practices, the UCLA economists calculate.
NIRA's labor provisions, meanwhile, were strengthened in the National Relations Act, signed into law in 1935. As union membership doubled, so did labor's bargaining power, rising from 14 million strike days in 1936 to about 28 million in 1937. By 1939 wages in protected industries remained 24 percent to 33 percent above where they should have been, based on 1929 figures, Cole and Ohanian calculate. Unemployment persisted. By 1939 the U.S. unemployment rate was 17.2 percent, down somewhat from its 1933 peak of 24.9 percent but still remarkably high. By comparison, in May 2003, the unemployment rate of 6.1 percent was the highest in nine years.
Recovery came only after the Department of Justice dramatically stepped enforcement of antitrust cases nearly four-fold and organized labor suffered a string of setbacks, the economists found.
"The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes," Cole said. "Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened."