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Chicago Mayor Appoints Local Head of Islamist Court Convicted Terror Group to Advisory Committee

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: CAIR, Muslim Brotherhood, Terrorism, Infiltration, obama, usa )

- 2148 days ago -
Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, former Obama aid, has turned to a key cog in the wheel of domestic Hamas support for a new city panel aimed at making the city more immigrant friendly by appointing head of CAIR, a Muslim Brotherhood US front group the FBI shuns.

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Jay S (116)
Friday July 6, 2012, 4:54 am
This is shocking news! But not at all surprising given who the mayor is and his connection with Obama who has bent over backward to promote the Muslim Brotherhood's agenda in the Middle East and CAIR's agenda in the US.

The US Muslim Brotherhood, in a captured document by the FBI, said their goal is to 'destroy western civilization' from within and they're doing a great job, especially with Quislings like this mayor and Obama:

'The process of settlement is a "Civilization-Jihadist Process" with all the word means. The Ikhwan (brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim's destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack.'
(read the whole report on this sinister, anti-western, Islamist supremacy hate group here:

Jennifer Ward (40)
Friday July 6, 2012, 5:06 am
Oh terrific- more Islamisation! Wake up people- this outfit is not like Christanity at all.

surjit s (1)
Friday July 6, 2012, 6:18 am
When I hear a news like this, then I can only think that America is DOOMED, unless people who genuinely want to save America ,wake up and fight back or be slave to Islam, so choice is your.

berny p (23)
Friday July 6, 2012, 7:32 am

surjit k. (1)

When I hear a news like this, then I can only think that America is DOOMED, unless people who genuinely want to save America ,wake up and fight back or be slave to Islam, so choice is your.


Gillian M (218)
Friday July 6, 2012, 8:05 am
I'm afraid that, as the country is being run by a CAIR supporter for the benefit of Muslims (not the people), what else can you expect?

I'm waiting for Kenneth & Mary P to turn up and complain that there is no reason why America shouldn't be run under Sharia law and that we are all Islamophobes. Perhaps they should listen to Dr Jasser & Nonie Dawlish on the subject!

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ~ Abraham Lincoln

. (7)
Friday July 6, 2012, 9:36 am
Rahm Emanuel is a megalomaniac who'd throw even the closest to him under the bus for his political aspirations. What a creep. May his plans be undone.

Carol Dreeszen (346)
Friday July 6, 2012, 9:59 am
This sounds about par for the course with Obama and company!! The more power they can give to the Muslim Brotherhood and take away from this country the better Obama likes it! It IS his intent to sell us down the tubes and he is doing it people!! No doubt!! Just keep watching...when he knows he will be going out the door there will be a mad dash to destroy the rest of what's left of this country before anyone else gets in!! He is filled with hatred for this country!! GOD HELP US!!!!!!

Vlasta M (7)
Friday July 6, 2012, 12:27 pm
Rohm Emanuel is a Jew who is plahing politicl correctness and endangering human rights everyhere, just as Obama is. It is amazing how Jews often work against their own peope, such as Chomsky or J-street Jews who are enemies of Israel and USA, while believing that they are protecting human rights of "poor Muslims". All those guys should be punished for being such AHoles by compelling them to read Koran and Hadith to see what Muslims think of Jews and Christians and what Islam does with women, children and and human rights. Most Muslim coutries (57) have refused to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and thus diplomats from those countries should not be given US visas and be sent back home to solve their own countries routines human righs violations under sharia, which is a medieval evil instrument of opression of humans.

Obama and people like Rohm Emantual are serving the forces of darkness by helping Islamist gain legitimacy in the US, and thus make believe that islam is a religion like any other. it is NOT. Islam is a supremacist ideology similar to Nazi ideology of a delusional Jew hate and thus must reform or has not place in civlized society. Islam is incompatible with US Constitution and the Univesrsal Delcaration of Human Rights and Obama is endangeing not only US but entire Western civlization by cavorting with islamits and white wahsing Islam.

Sherry H (67)
Friday July 6, 2012, 1:39 pm
Rahm Obama's belle. BO's gay bathhouse partner in crime.

Joan H (20)
Friday July 6, 2012, 6:21 pm
I couldn't agree more with all of you. I hope all the people who voted for Emmanuel are seeing the light.

monica r (41)
Friday July 6, 2012, 6:36 pm
I'm just not all that surprised by this. Dismayed, yes. Surprised, no.

patrica and edw jones (190)
Friday July 6, 2012, 8:24 pm
Makes me so angry to read this garbage. People are not thinking for themselves(did they ever?) - but they must have some inkling about what it going on and are just to apathetic to make a stand against this parasitic invasion.

Past Member (0)
Saturday July 7, 2012, 8:20 am
I dunno, it's almost as though you people don't like Muslims or something.

Carola May (20)
Saturday July 7, 2012, 9:23 am
Roger M, don't start that silliness. People are rightly concerned about a hate group like the Muslim Brotherhood (and, yes, they follow the precepts taught by Mohammed and Islam which DO teach hate and violence toward all non-Muslims, if you'd bother to read the Qur'an, hadith and sira as I have).

The Muslim Brotherhood of the USA has an agenda that is to destroy the US and the West. CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, MAS and other Islamist groups are front groups for the MB. Would you object if people were alarmed that a Nazi was appointed instead, knowing what their agenda and beliefs are? You can't be that PC blind that you will accept any intolerance, hate and threat just because it comes from Islam when you wouldn't accept the same thing from any other ideology. Why should Islam get a free pass from criticism of its tenets of world conquest, violence and hate? Do you agree with Islam's commands that all who criticise, question or leave it should be killed, along with gay people? Does opposing this doctrine of hate make one a hatemonger?

Here's what the Muslim Brotherhood says in their secret agenda (captured by the FBI in a raid on their offices in the US):

'The process of settlement is a "Civilization-Jihadist Process" with all the word means. The Ikhwan (brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim's destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack' (read the whole thing at:

The Muslim Brotherhood's, and thus CAIR's, motto is: (same as that for Hamas):
"Allah is its goal, the prophet is its model, the Qur'an is its constitution, jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is its most coveted desire."

And lest you have the naive notion that Jihad (of which 31% of the Islamic trilogy is devoted to) is just a harmless spiritual struggle:

“As for one who disbelieves, we will fight him forever in the Cause of Allah. Killing him is a small matter to us." - Tabari IX: 69 This is Jihad.

"'Men, do you know what you are pledging yourselves to in swearing allegiance to this man(Mohammed)?' 'Yes. In swearing allegiance to him we are pledging to wage war against all mankind.'" - Ishaq: 204

'Reliance of the Traveller', o9.0:
"Jihad means to war against non-Muslims."
The Reliance of the Traveller is Sunni Islam’s authoritative volume on Sharia law. It is endorsed by Alazhar University, Islam’s equivalent of the Vatican.

You don't think this kind of hate speech calling for the destruction of our very civilization is of any concern. Just how much intolerance will you tolerate, or is it only Islam that is out of bounds for civilised behaviour?

If you criticise the hateful platform of the GOP in the USA does that mean you 'don't like USAmericans or something'? You're being irrational.

Past Member (0)
Saturday July 7, 2012, 1:03 pm
Your guy has been found to be stashing up to a half a billion dollars in many many off shore accounts. Evading paying income taxes from off shoring americans jobs.

Is that who you want? It looks like it!
A person who worked for Mitt Romney at the consulting firm Bain and Co. in 1977 remembers him with mixed feelings. “Mitt was … a really wonderful boss,” the former employee says. “He was nice, he was fair, he was logical, he said what he wanted … he was really encouraging.” But Bain and Co., the person recalls, pushed employees to find out secret revenue and sales data on its clients’ competitors. Romney, the person says, suggested “falsifying” who they were to get such information, by pretending to be a graduate student working on a proj­ect at Harvard. (The person, in fact, was a Harvard student, at Bain for the summer, but not working on any such proj­ects.) “Mitt said to me something like ‘We won’t ask you to lie. I am not going to tell you to do this, but [it is] a really good way to get the information.’ … I would not have had anything in my analysis if I had not pretended.

“It was a strange atmosphere. It did leave a bad taste in your mouth,” the former employee recalls.

This unsettling account suggests the young Romney—at that point only two years out of Harvard Business School—was willing to push into gray areas when it came to business. More than three dec­ades later, as he tried to nail down the Republican nomination for president of the United States, Romney’s gray areas were again an issue when he repeatedly resisted calls to release more details of his net worth, his tax returns, and the large investments and assets held by him and his wife, Ann. Finally the other Republican candidates forced him to do so, but only highly selective disclosures were forthcoming.

Even so, these provided a lavish smorgasbord for Romney’s critics. Particularly jarring were the Romneys’ many offshore accounts. As Newt Gingrich put it during the primary season, “I don’t know of any American president who has had a Swiss bank account.” But Romney has, as well as other interests in such tax havens as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

To give but one example, there is a Bermuda-based entity called Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd., which has been described in securities filings as “a Bermuda corporation wholly owned by W. Mitt Romney.” It could be that Sankaty is an old vehicle with little importance, but Romney appears to have treated it rather carefully. He set it up in 1997, then transferred it to his wife’s newly created blind trust on January 1, 2003, the day before he was inaugurated as Massachusetts’s governor. The director and president of this entity is R. Bradford Malt, the trustee of the blind trust and Romney’s personal lawyer. Romney failed to list this entity on several financial disclosures, even though such a closely held entity would not qualify as an “excepted investment fund” that would not need to be on his disclosure forms. He finally included it on his 2010 tax return. Even after examining that return, we have no idea what is in this company, but it could be valuable, meaning that it is possible Romney’s wealth is even greater than previous estimates. While the Romneys’ spokespeople insist that the couple has paid all the taxes required by law, investments in tax havens such as Bermuda raise many questions, because they are in “jurisdictions where there is virtually no tax and virtually no compliance,” as one Miami-based offshore lawyer put it.

That’s not the only money Romney has in tax havens. Because of his retirement deal with Bain Capital, his finances are still deeply entangled with the private-equity firm that he founded and spun off from Bain and Co. in 1984. Though he left the firm in 1999, Romney has continued to receive large payments from it—in early June he revealed more than $2 million in new Bain income. The firm today has at least 138 funds organized in the Cayman Islands, and Romney himself has personal interests in at least 12, worth as much as $30 million, hidden behind controversial confidentiality disclaimers. Again, the Romney campaign insists he saves no tax by using them, but there is no way to check this.

Bain Capital is the heart of Romney’s fortune: it was the financial engine that created it. The mantra of his campaign is that he was a businessman who created tens of thousands of jobs, and Bain certainly did bring useful operational skills to many companies it bought. But his critics point to several cases where Bain bought companies, loaded them with debt, and paid itself extravagant fees, thereby bankrupting the companies and destroying tens of thousands of jobs.

Come August, Romney, with an estimated net worth as high as $250 million (he won’t reveal the exact amount), will be one of the richest people ever to be nominated for president. Given his reticence to discuss his wealth, it’s only natural to wonder how he got it, how he invests it, and if he pays all his taxes on it.

Ironically, it was Mitt’s father, George Romney, who released 12 years of tax returns, in November 1967, just ahead of his presidential campaign, thereby setting a precedent that nearly every presidential candidate since has either willingly or unwillingly been subject to. George, then the governor of Michigan, explained why he was releasing so many years’ worth, saying, “One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.”

But his son declined to release any returns through one unsuccessful race for the U.S. Senate, in 1994, one successful run for Massachusetts governor, in 2002, and an aborted bid for the Republican Party presidential nomination, in 2008. Just before the Iowa caucus last December, Mitt told MSNBC, “I don’t intend to release the tax returns. I don’t,” but finally, on January 24, 2012—after intense goading by fellow Republican candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry—he released his 2010 tax return and an estimate for 2011.

These, plus the mandatory financial disclosures filed with the Office of Government Ethics and released last August, raise many questions. A full 55 pages in his 2010 return are devoted to reporting his transactions with foreign entities. “What Romney does not get,” says Jack Blum, a veteran Washington lawyer and offshore expert, “is that this stuff is weird.”

The media soon noticed Romney’s familiarity with foreign tax havens. A $3 million Swiss bank account appeared in the 2010 returns, then winked out of existence in 2011 after the trustee closed it, as if to remind us of George Romney’s warning that one or two tax returns can provide a misleading picture. Ed Kleinbard, a professor of tax law at the University of Southern California, says the Swiss account “has political but not tax-policy resonance,” since it—like many other Romney investments—constituted a bet against the U.S. dollar, an odd thing for a presidential candidate to do. The Obama campaign provided a helpful world map pointing to the tax havens Bermuda, Luxembourg, and the Cayman Islands, where Romney and his family have assets, each with the tagline “Value: not disclosed in tax returns.”

Romney’s personal tax rate is a particular point of interest. In 2010 and 2011, Mitt and Ann paid $6.2 million in federal tax on $42.5 million in income, for an average tax rate just shy of 15 percent, substantially less than what most middle-income Americans pay. Romney manages this low rate because he takes his payments from Bain Capital as investment income, which is taxed at a maximum 15 percent, instead of the 35 percent he would pay on “ordinary” income, such as salaries and wages. Many tax experts argue that the form of remuneration he receives, known as carried interest, is really just a fee charged by investment managers, so it should instead be taxed at the 35 percent rate. Lee Sheppard, a contributing editor at the trade publication Tax Notes, whose often controversial articles are read widely by tax professionals, is nonplussed that the Obama campaign has been so listless on the issue of carried interest. “Romney is the poster boy, the best argument, for taxing this profit share as ordinary income,” says Sheppard.

In the face of such arguments, Romney’s defense is that he never broke the rules: if there is a problem, it is in the laws, not in his behavior. “I pay all the taxes that are legally required, not a dollar more,” he said. Even so. “When you are running for president, you might want to err on the side of overpaying your taxes, and not chase every tax gimmick that comes down the pike,” says Sheppard. “It kind of looks tacky.”
Continued (page 2 of 4)

The assertion that he broke no laws is widely accepted. But it is worth asking if it is actually true. The answer, in fact, isn’t straightforward. Romney, like the superhero who whirls and backflips unscathed through a web of laser beams while everyone else gets zapped, is certainly a remarkable financial acrobat. But careful analysis of his financial and business affairs also reveals a man who, like some other Wall Street titans, seems comfortable striding into some fuzzy gray zones.
The Caped Avoider!

One might perhaps accept an explanation by Romney’s campaign spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, that the candidate’s failure to include his Swiss account in earlier financial disclosures was merely a “trivial inadvertent issue.” But deeper questions do emerge.

All the assets on Mitt’s financial disclosures are in blind trusts or retirement accounts held by him and Ann. Blind trusts are designed to avoid conflicts of interest for those in public office by having politicians’ assets managed by independent trustees. The Romneys’ blind trust was created when Mitt was elected governor of Massachusetts. Curiously, the Romneys appointed Bradford Malt as their trustee. It’s certainly true that under Malt the trusts don’t appear to be as blind as they might be: for instance, in 2010 the Romneys invested $10 million in the start-up of the Solamere Founders Fund, co-founded by their eldest son, Tagg, and Spencer Zwick, Romney’s onetime top campaign fund-raiser; Solamere is now in the Ann Romney blind trust. Malt has said he invested in Solamere without consulting Mitt or Ann and explained he liked Solamere because of its diversified approach and because he knew the founders and had confidence in them.

Likewise, the Romneys were reported to have invested at least $1 million in Elliott Associates, L.P., a hedge fund specializing in “distressed assets.” Elliott buys up cheap debt, often at cents on the dollar, from lenders to deeply troubled nations such as Congo-Brazzaville, then attacks the debtor states with lawsuits to squeeze maximum repayment. Elliott is run by the secretive hedge-fund billionaire and G.O.P. super-donor Paul Singer, whom Fortune recently dubbed Mitt Romney’s “Hedge Fund Kingmaker.” (Singer has given $1 million to Romney’s super-pac Restore Our Future.)

It is hard to know the size of these investments. Romney’s financial disclosure form lists 25 of them in an open-ended category, “Over $1 million,” including So­lamere and Elliott, and they are not broken down further. Romney hides behind a disclaimer that the fund managers “declined to provide such information” about their underlying assets. Many of these funds are set up in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, where a confidentiality law states that you can be jailed for up to four years just for asking about such information.

Andrea Saul said of these investments, “Everything … was reported correctly.” Joseph Sandler, a Democratic lawyer who has worked with candidates on disclosures for more than two dec­ades, is skeptical. “The law is the law,” Sandler says. “[Romney] says, ‘Well, you know, they won’t tell me.’ But when you run for office in the U.S. and are not prepared to comply with disclosure requirements, you should either divest yourself of the assets or don’t run.” The Washington Post summarized the opinions of experts across the political spectrum by saying Romney’s disclosures were “the most opaque they have encountered.”

Mysteries also arise when one looks at Romney’s individual retirement account at Bain Capital. When Romney was there, from 1984 to 1999, taxpayers were allowed to put just $2,000 per year into an I.R.A., and $30,000 annually into a different kind of plan he may have used. Given these annual contribution ceilings, how can his I.R.A. possibly contain up to $102 million, as his financial disclosures now suggest?

The Romneys won’t say, but Mark Maremont, writing in The Wall Street Journal, uncovered a likely explanation. When Bain Capital bought companies, it would create two classes of shares, named A and L. The A shares were risky common shares, to which they would assign a very low value. The L shares were preferred shares, paying a high dividend but with the payoff frozen, and most of the value was assigned to them. Bain employees would then put the exciting A shares in their I.R.A. accounts, where they grew tax-free. With all the risk of the deal, the A shares stood to gain a lot or collapse. But if the deal succeeded, the springing value could be stunning: Bain employees saw their A shares from one particularly fruitful deal grow 583-fold, 16 times faster than the underlying stock.

The Romneys won’t tell us how, or even if, they assigned super-low values to the A shares, but there are a couple of ways to do it. One is to use standard options models to price the shares—then feed inappropriate assumptions into those models. Romney could alternatively have used a model called liquidation valuation, which Kleinbard says would have been “completely inappropriate.” Without seeing the assumptions used on Romney’s tax returns from the years when those lowball A shares were squirted into his I.R.A., we cannot know how he did it. Whatever methods he used, however, the valuations were, according to Andrew Smith, of Houlihan Capital in Chicago, “pushing the envelope.” (Andrea Saul retorts, “Why should successful investments be criticized?”)

Mitt’s and Ann’s I.R.A.’s have also been receiving profit interest from (mostly Cayman Island–based) Bain Capital funds that were set up long after he had left the company, in 1999. For example, the 2010 return reveals a profits interest in a Cayman-based fund called Bain Capital Partners (AM) X LP, which was transferred to the Ann D. Romney trust in October 2010. An attachment to the return says the Ann D. Romney trust is “performing services” to the partnership, which is boilerplate language for these kinds of filings. Her blind trust could receive lightly taxed income from Bain Capital for years to come, well into the presidential term her husband hopes to win.

But administrative guidance says you can do this kind of thing only if the compensation is in recognition of past services you have provided. “This should not mean retired from the mother ship 10 years out and getting profits you had nothing to do with,” Sheppard says, adding that Romney can get away with it because of excessive “administrative indulgences” that have allowed a “perversion of the law in favor of a small class of overcompensated investment managers.”

Romney’s I.R.A. also appears to have invested in so-called blocker corporations in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere. U.S. pension funds, foundations, and even I.R.A.’s routinely use offshore blocker corporations to avoid something called the Unrelated Business Income Tax, which was designed to keep nonprofits from competing with ordinary companies in areas outside their core purpose: if you invest directly you get hit with the tax, but if you invest in a blocker, which then invests in the U.S. business, you escape it. Romney’s I.R.A. appears to have employed this lawful escape route, and his campaign has used language suggesting that it has. But that would mean the Romney camp’s claim that Mitt’s tax consequences of investing via the Cayman Islands is “the very same” as it would have been had he invested directly at home is simply not true. (Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul says Romney “gets the same benefit anyone would get from an I.R.A.,” but she did not respond to questions on whether his I.R.A. had used blockers or avoided taxes by investing via tax havens.)

A Deutsche Bank analysis of 68 Bain deals Romney was involved in calculated an internal rate of return—a standard private-equity benchmark—at a staggering 88 percent annually (though after fees and inflation, investor performance may have been little more than half that). It is substantially on this stellar rec­ord that Romney is now running for president. His work at Bain was unquestionably good for himself and for Bain, but was it also good for the businesses he acquired, for their workers, and for the economy, as he claims?

A report by Bain and Co. itself, looking at the period from 2002 to 2007, concluded that there is “little evidence that private equity owners, overall, added value” to the companies they took over: nearly all their returns are explained by broad economic growth, rising stock markets, and leverage. Josh Kosman, who researched the subject of private equity for his book The Buyout of America, singles out Bain Capital in particular. “They take pride in pushing the leverage envelope [i.e., use of borrowed money, which magnifies returns, while off-loading the risks onto others] more than their peers,” he says. “I have heard that from limited partners in Bain’s funds. I have heard that from bankers who lend money to finance their leveraged buyouts. Bain always prided itself on ‘We’ll push leverage more than the others.’ They brag about that, behind closed doors.”
Continued (page 3 of 4)

Dade Behring is a cause célèbre for Romney’s and Bain’s critics, and it illustrates the leverage problem clearly. In 1994, Bain bought Dade International, a medical-diagnostics company, then added the medical-diagnostics division of DuPont in 1996 and a German medical-testing company called Behring in 1997. Former Dade president Bob Brightfelt says the operation started well: the Bain managers were “pretty smart guys,” he recalls, and they did well cutting out overlap, and exploiting synergies.

Then brutal cost cutting began. Bain cut R&D spending to an average of 8 percent of sales, a little more than half what its competitors were doing. Cindy Hewitt, Dade’s human-resources manager, remembers how the firm closed a Puerto Rico plant in 1998, a year after harvesting $7.1 million in local tax breaks aimed at job creation, and relocated some staff to Miami, then the company’s most profitable plant. Based on re­a­ssur­ances she had received from her superiors, she told those uprooting themselves from Puerto Rico that their jobs in Miami were safe for now—but then Bain closed the Miami plant. “Whether you want to call it misled, or lied, or manipulated, I do not believe they provided full information about what discussions were under way,” she says. “I would never want to be part of even unintentionally treating people so poorly.”

Bain engaged in startling penny-pinching with the laid-off employees. Their contracts stipulated that if they left early they would have to pay back the costs of relocating to Miami—but in spite of all that Dade had done to them, it refused to release the employees from this clause. “They said they would go after them for that money if they left before Bain was finished with them,” Hewitt recalls. Not only that, but the company declined to give workers their severance pay in lump sums to help them fund their return home.

In 1999, generous pensions were converted into less generous benefits, wages were cut, and more staff members were laid off. Some employees contacted Norman Stein, then the director of the pension-counseling clinic at the University of Alabama law school, with a view to challenging the conversions. Stein says the employees were “extraordinarily nervous,” so fearful, in fact, that they refused to let lawyers even make copies of pension documents. “I have been dealing with pensions issues for over 25 years and I never saw anything like this,” recalls Stein. The spooked employees did not go to court. Stein says that, while breaking pension contracts like this was not unheard of, the practice at that time was “questionable,” adding that Dade may have saved $10 to $40 million from converting its pensions.

The beauty—or savagery—of leverage is that it can magnify any and all cash-flow boosts, such as this one. Take $10 to $40 million squeezed from a pension pot, then use that to create new, rosier financial projections to borrow several times that amount, and then pay yourself a big special dividend from the borrowed funds, many times the size of the pension savings. That is just what Bain Capital did: the same month it converted the pensions, it created new financial projections as a basis to borrow an extra $421 million—from which Bain, its co-investor Goldman Sachs, and top Dade management extracted $365 million in dividends. According to Kosman, “Bain and Goldman—after putting down only $85 million … made out like bandits—a $280 million profit.” Dade’s debt rose to more than $870 million. Romney had left operational management of Bain that year, though his disclosures show that he owned 16.5 percent of the Bain partnership responsible for the Dade investment until at least 2001.

Quite soon, however, a fragile Dade faced adverse conditions in the currency markets, and it had to start in effect cannibalizing itself, cutting into the core of its business. It filed for bankruptcy in August 2002 and Bain Capital departed. When Dade emerged from bankruptcy, its new owners invested in long-term R&D, and it flourished again.

Nor was this an isolated incident: Kosman lists five other “formerly healthy” companies—Stage Stores, Ampad, GS Technologies, Details, and KB Toys—Bain helped drive into bankruptcy, while making big profits. (Despite numerous entreaties from Vanity Fair to Bain Capital to address on the record points in this article with which it might disagree, the firm refused to do so and instead provided this statement: “When politics overwhelm fact, some will distort or cherry-pick our record and launch unfounded allegations and insinuations. The truth and the full record show that Bain Capital operates with high standards of integrity and excellence in compliance with all laws. Any suggestion to the contrary is baseless.”)
Tax Haven U.S.A.

The term “financialization” describes two interlocking processes: a disproportionate growth in a country’s deregulated financial sector, relative to the rest of the economy, and the rising importance of financial activities with a focus on financial returns among industrial and other non-financial corporations, often at the expense of real innovation and productivity.

Some see the rising influence of finance and financial models in epochal terms. Author of Financialization and the U.S. Economy Özgür Orhangazi summarizes academic literature that sees financialization “as one of the indicators of the decline of the heg­e­mon­ic power”: imperial Venice, Genoa, Holland, and Britain all saw their power rise on the back of productive industrial capitalism, followed by domination by the financial sector, which eventually began to cannibalize the productive sector in pursuit of financial returns—a process that ended in weakness and collapse.

Little noticed in the academic discussions of financialization is the role of offshore tax havens, one of the big reasons the financial sector has become so powerful. In 1966, Michael Hudson, a young Chase Manhattan balance-of-payments economist, was in a company elevator when he was handed a memo by a former State Department operative. The memo came from the U.S. government, and Hudson was tasked with figuring out how much foreign money the U.S. might attract. “They were saying, ‘We want to replace Switzerland,’ ” Hudson explains. “All this money will come here if we make this the criminal center of the world. We wanted foreign criminal money, which was patriotic, but not American criminal money.”

In the years since then, almost unknown to most Americans, the United States has turned itself into a giant tax haven for foreigners, just as the memo suggested. Federal and state tax laws have been deliberately shaped to give foreigners special tax exemptions unavailable to Americans, plus financial secrecy and exemptions from regulatory restraints. “We have criticized offshore tax havens for their secrecy and lack of transparency,” said Senator Carl Levin. “But look what is going on in our own backyard.”

In this grand scenario, tax havens such as the Caymans serve as feeders of foreign savings into Tax Haven U.S.A. from abroad, providing foreign investors with additional ways to skip around tax, disclosure, and regulatory requirements that they might trigger if they invested directly.

The money sucked into Tax Haven U.S.A., often via the “feeder” tax havens, is frequently tax-evading and other criminal foreign money, in the spirit of Hudson’s 1966 memo, and it is predominantly channeled not into productive investment but into real estate and financial business.

One cannot properly understand Wall Street’s size and power without appreciating the central role of offshore tax havens. There is absolutely no evidence that Bain has done anything illegal, but private equity is one channel for this secrecy-shrouded foreign money to enter the United States, and a filing for Mitt Romney’s first $37 million Bain Capital Fund, of 1984, provides a rare window into this. One foreign investor, of $2 million, was the newspaper tycoon, tax evader, and fraudster Robert Maxwell, who fell from his yacht, and drowned, off of the Canary Islands in 1991 in strange circumstances, after looting his company’s pension fund. The Bain filing also names Eduardo Poma, a member of one of the “14 families” oligarchy that has controlled most of El Salvador’s wealth for decades; oddly, Poma is listed as sharing a Miami address with two anonymous companies that invested $1.5 million between them. The filings also show a Geneva-based trustee overseeing a trust that invested $2.5 million, a Bahamas corporation that put in $3 million, and three corporations in the tax haven of Panama, historically a favored destination for Latin-American dirty money—“one of the filthiest money-laundering sinks in the world,” as a U.S. Customs official once put it.
Continued (page 4 of 4)

Bain Capital has said it did everything required by the U.S. government to check that the investors were not associated with unsavory interests. U.S. law doesn’t require Bain to enforce the tax laws of its investors’ home countries, but the presence of Swiss trustees, Bahamas trusts, and Panama corporations would raise red flags with any tax authority.

Many Americans might react with a shrug to the idea of shady foreign money such as Robert Maxwell’s being invested here. But, says Rebecca Wilkins, of the Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit Citizens for Tax Justice, “It is shocking that a presidential candidate should think that is O.K.”

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Jennifer Ward (40)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 1:08 am
So Jason- just what has Romney's adventures in tax management got to do with Islamic infiltration of the US government at all levels? Perhaps you prefer Sharia finance and autocratic theocracies. Or maybe you are just shilling for the Obama campaign.

Stan B (123)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 2:27 am
Congratulations Jason on posting the most boring, irrelevant copy and paste in the history of Care 2.
Rahm Emmanuel is a typical political, two-faced shyster. The type I would associate with the current administration.

Jay S (116)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 5:22 am
Jason, did you have a relevant point to make? 'Your guys'? Whose? We detest Romney almost as much as Osama Obama, the great disappointment. If he worked as hard for the people of the US as he does to promote and support and fund the Muslim Brotherhood hatemongers and jihadists he could have actually done the change he promised instead of just continuing the same pro-Wall St corporate welfare, military-industrial-complex constant wars for constant profits, all at taxpayer expense, and his environmental record is barely better than Bush the Younger Troll. We wouldn't vote for either of the corporate-owned dirtbags.

Ruth R (246)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 5:41 am

Ruth R (246)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 6:16 am







Ruth R (246)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 6:54 am
Brigitte Gabriel --" a survivor of Islamic terror warns America" in her book that when the muslim brotherhood say that they will do something, that they plan to do it.

Billie C (2)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 2:24 pm
obama and his gang will do anything to to make sure our country is taken down. they hate us and want muslims in charge. now we have them invading here, we are stuck with afganistan as a so called ally. i'm waiting for obama to turn our troops over to them to live under their laws and work for them as slaves. it's time to take our country back. look at england they have already lost whole areas of london. english citizens can't enter them for fear of being raped and killed for not being muslim. are we next? looks like it if obama and fools get their way. i see civil war in our future, us against muslims.

Catherine Turley (192)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 3:03 pm
every group deserves representation. and gays in america have been living through hate and oppression for years because of christian laws and leaders.

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 3:08 pm
Identifying a truth does not erase the fact that one is a racial bigot.

Gillian M (218)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 3:41 pm
Catherine, I agree that LGBT have suffered but what has that to do with Muslim terrorists being involved in American politics? Obama has made his clear, he is a Muslim who has lied to become a president. Using his position he has abused the American people and allowed corruption at the highest level in his administration. He is tying the hands of the FBI in catching terrorists and saying that it is OK for American soldiers to be killed by jihadists in the US. Just the kind of guy you want in the Whitehouse! - not!!

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 4:08 pm
Then of course there are bigots that know nothing but lies, right Gillian?

patrica and edw jones (190)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 5:11 pm
MJM - not sure what you mean. If you identify A truth - why would that make someone a racial bigot? Your wires are crossed and you need to get things sorted into their appropriate boxes. If Obama is indeed a Muslim - and many people seem to think so - then his supporters are legion and it will be very difficult to get him out of power. My sis-in-law who lives in Idaho - cannot find a good word to say about him.

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 5:58 pm
Why would you assume I meant the truth was Obama is Muslim?

Of course many ‘people’ seem to think so. White supremacists, KKK, John Birchers, neo-nazis, christian fundies, complete ass holes, limbaugh ditto-heads and fox ‘news’ devotees.

Tell your sis-in-law, who lives in Idaho, {HA}, to turn off fox noise, pull her head out of limbaughs butt and move to a state with less of the people in the above paragraph.

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 6:04 pm
Oh, by the way, there is a lot of bleed over of those groups I mentioned.

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 6:18 pm
If there’s a problem with who Mayor Emmanuel appoints to an advisory committee, maybe Darryl Issa could look into this?

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 6:51 pm
Wait a minute, folks. Don't you see what's going on here? We're being manipulated. Ask yourselves, why a staunch pro-Israel-supporting Jewish person would appoint an arch enemy? And, Emanuel is a right-wing Israeli agent. His father was a member of the Jewish Irgun terrorist group, and according to Wikipedia, "Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, said that the choice indicates that Obama will not listen to the "wrong people" regarding the U.S.–Israel relationship."
This is a case similar to the prince of Sudia Arabia, al-Waleed bin Talal , the same prince that is partnered with Rupert Murdoch in controlling Fox News. This is the same prince that donates billions to right-wing Islamic madrasses that promote violence against non-Muslims.
What is going on is, we are being used in order to bring about a new feudal period with religious crusades and the whole nine yards.
The manipulators are the elite. While we are being divided by religious differences, those who rule the Earth wine and dine together, be they Jews, Muslims, Christians, etc., and they use us as pawns in their war games.
We need to stop being divided by religious, racial, and other unjust reasons, and unite against the elite who create and fund groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Irgun!

John T (7)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 9:50 pm
Nice Propaganda piece. It's a real shame it's working so well within a group of supposedly clear thinking individuals. Besides half truths and no truths, this article SUCKS canal water.
If any of you bigots had taken the time to read the linked articles and do even a miniscule amount of research, you'd be ashamed of how easily you've been led astray. Innuendo doesn't equal fact. Just asserting a 'fact' doesn't make it truth IN FACT. The FBI Report says NO LINK has been established between CAIR and HAMAS, yet this writer tells you it's a 'fact'.
Muslims are LIVING Here. Since race relations have progressed somewhat in the last 50 years, obviously some people need a new group to hate. Muslims are dying in our country's uniforms. Muslim tombstones adorn parts of Arlington and every other Military Cemetery.
However, it's easier to spread propaganda and hate than it is to ATTEMPT to understand our fellow man regardless of religion.
"You've got to be carefully taught how to hate." - Lt. Cable

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 10:54 pm
Exactly John, canal water. Right up Issa's alley. Darryl loves suckin' canal water.

Kenneth L (314)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 11:20 pm
I love it. Sucks canal water! LOL. Bigots don't need to read. They MANUFACTURE altered information to worsen it.

Gillian "'m waiting for Kenneth & Mary P to turn up and complain that there is no reason why America shouldn't be run under Sharia law and that we are all Islamophobes"

You are such a LIAR! I was about to not even bother with this thread when I just happen to see you mention my name. WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? You little crony.

I wouldn't even credit you with such a big word as 'islamophobe'. You're not that intelligent. You're what many people would call a nutjob.


Kenneth L (314)
Sunday July 8, 2012, 11:38 pm
Gillian: " a Muslim".
Edw. and Pat Jones:"If Obama is indeed a Muslim..."

Come on, the clique of pathological liars needs to get it's crap together. One of you states he 'IS'.. Another states 'IF he is'.

You lost the race before you even start LOL.

Oh, and Edw. and Pat Jones. Hail to your sis-in-law who 'cannot find a good word to say about him'. WOW! Other people can. So what. Thanks for that triviality of worthlessness. LOL

This same stupid clique falls on it's face one after another. Dumb as sh...t.

Jay S (116)
Monday July 9, 2012, 12:22 am
John T, what a lot of leftist schlock! Why is you Islamist apologists, who know nothing about Islam and the hate it teaches toward all non-Muslims, always start name calling - 'bigots', 'racists' (as if Islam is a race - what race would that be?), etc etc etc.

Where has anyone here said anything about 'all' Muslims? There are, as a matter of fact some Muslims who also condemn CAIR, the Muslims Brotherhood and all these Islamist hate groups, like Dr. Zudhi Jasser and Dr. Tawfik Hamid (both living under death threats for doing so).

Is there no intolerance and hate that you won't tolerate as long as it is to do with Islam? Your ignorance of this ideology should embarrass you.

We've read the Qur'an, hadith and sira. Have you? One principle of Islam you obviously don't know is that Muslims are told to lie in any way if it is to promote Islam and its conquest of the world. Google Taqiyya, Kitman and Tawriya.

CAIR had its US origins in Hamas:

Even Obama's DOJ says CAIR is part of the HAMAS network:

The FBI cut ties with CAIR because of their HAMAS ties:

Appeals court upholds conviction of CAIR et al in terrorist funding of HAMAS. "The Palestine Committee created not only the Holy Land Foundation but a number of other Islamist entities in the U.S. The leaders of one of those entities, the Islamic Association for Palestine, subsequently created CAIR — the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which was cited as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case."

A good concise history of the Muslim Bro.:

Yes, you are right that you must be carefully taught how to hate, and Islam brainwashes its followers from birth in hatred for non-Muslims, especially Jews whom Allah says must all be killed of the Muslims Day or Resurrection can't come (Bukhari:V4B52N177)

Islam never allows any other religion to be treated with equality, Allah forbids it.

Why don't you ask the Muslims you know this simple question, the answer may surprise even you: 'Do you reject Mohammed's commands to kill those who question, criticize or renounce Islam, and the killing of gay people?' These are commands of this ideology of hate. Are you defending this hate? Just who is the real hater then? Those who oppose Islamic hate or deluded leftists like you who defend it, in all opposition to human rights of all kinds which Islam rejects. Ask them also if they will renounce all the violent invasions and conquests that spread Islam to where it now rules. They will not.

It's surprising that you didn't blame all of this criticism of this hate group on 'Zionism'!

Past Member (0)
Monday July 9, 2012, 1:10 am
Biblical atrocities debunk Christian Fundamentalism

Vatican: Priests Have Been Raping Nuns to Avoid Hookers with HIV

Woman Sues Disgraced Priest Thomas Euteneuer for Molesting Her During Exorcism

The arrogance of being thick as a brick

Carola May (20)
Monday July 9, 2012, 1:25 am
CAIR co-founder/board member Omar Ahmad: "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."

Jihad is commanded of all Muslims and those who do not do it are condemned as 'slackers' and 'hypocrites'. The Islamists always try to get the ignorant about Islam to believe that Jihad is only a 'spiritual struggle' but that is not what Islamic writings say. Jihad is war against non-Muslims and it is never ending until all non-Muslims are conquered 'and all religion is for Allah':(Qur'an 8:39 'And fight with them - non-Muslims- until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah")

There are 109 verses of hate toward non-Muslims in the Qur'an alone. 31% of the Islamic trilogy is about Jihad and there are more verses of hate against Jews than in 'Mein Kampf'. I've read these ugly books and there is little of any socially redeeming value in any of them. I challenge you Islamist apologists to read them for yourselves because it is certain you can't believe what the Islamists tell you. They will never tell you the truth unless it suits their agenda:

"They (Muslims) may say one thing to you in front of CNN but I can assure you behind your backs... they are standing with their Muslim brother and sisters... It is an Islamic obligation."
-- Imam Anjem Choudary UK Islamic Scholar, Theologian, Lecturer London School of Sharia

“As for one who disbelieves, we will fight him forever in the Cause of Allah. Killing him is a small matter to us." - Tabari IX: 69
"'Men, do you know what you are pledging yourselves to in swearing allegiance to this man(Mohammed)?' 'Yes. In swearing allegiance to him we are pledging to wage war against all mankind.'" - Ishaq: 204

From 'Reliance of the Traveller', o9.0:
"Jihad means to war against non-Muslims."
(The Reliance of the Traveller is Sunni Islam’s authoritative volume on Sharia law. It is endorsed by Alazhar University, Islam’s equivalent of the Vatican.)

'I heard the Apostle of Allah say: When you enter into the inah transaction (become businessmen), hold the tails of oxen (become cattlemen), are pleased with agriculture (become farmers), and give up conducting jihad, Allah will make disgrace prevail over you, and will not withdraw it until you return to your original religion'. - Sunan Abu Dawud Book 23, Number 3455
Conducting jihad is the ‘original religion’ of Mohammed. Mohammed is the authority on Islam.

CAIR has been working tirelessly to infiltrate at every level of government, the media and education and having great success since they invented the word 'islamophobia' and made it not PC to focus any light on their subversive activities. They've managed to get US school textbooks to erase the true violent history of Mohammed and Islam and replaced with a whitewash that says Islam spread rapidly, not by the sword, but because it was so loving and kind people rushed to join up, and that Mohammed was a Christ-like man of love and kindness, instead of the debauched, pedophile, mass murderer, bandit, liar, rapist, slave taker/owner/trader (he even owned a whole harem of sex slaves - women used only for sex) etc that all of Islam's own books make clear that he was and Muslims accept: and (this is about 7th graders having to do a course on Islam for days, pretending to join, adopt Muslim names and reading about glorious Islam's beautiful history - do you think this is right? No other religion would ever be allowed to do this, and rightfully so)

If you Islamist appeasers and apologists can only rant and call names without having any knowledge of Islam and having not read its books of commands, then don't speak on things you know nothing about.

Past Member (0)
Monday July 9, 2012, 1:26 am
Project Empire: How Anti-Muslim Sentiment is Used to Justify Imperial Adventures

Past Member (0)
Monday July 9, 2012, 1:31 am
The term “Islamophobia” became known to Americans after the September 11 attacks. Whether it was efforts on the left to combat anti-Muslim sentiment or efforts on the right to attack Muslim-Americans and deny that there was something called Islamophobia, the term was here to stay.

But if we only look at anti-Muslim sentiment post-9/11, we would miss a lot. In fact, as Deepa Kumar shows in her new book Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, set to be released next month, the production of Islamophobia has a long history. Generating anti-Muslim fervor was central to projects of empire-building in Europe and the United States. “This book is about the image of ‘Islam,’ that mythical creation conjured out of the needs of empire that has led even progressives to claim that Muslims are more violent than any other religious group,” Kumar writes in the introduction.

I caught up with Kumar, an Associate Professor of Media Studies and Middle East Studies at Rutgers University, over the phone, and we discussed “liberal Islamophobia,” the anti-mosque movement and how the Israeli right’s ascendance changed the framing of the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Alex Kane: Lay out for readers what your book is about and the argument you make.

Deepa Kumar: The book is about the image of the “Muslim enemy” and the way that it has been used by elites in the West to forward their interests. In the US, Islamophobia or anti-Muslim racism assumed a prominent place in the public sphere after the events of 9/11. But what I show is that this form of racism is not new. So what the book sets out to do is to locate this ideology within the context from which it emerges. This context, I argue, at the broadest level, is empire. That is, Islamophobia has always been useful to imperial societies. So, the book begins with the crusades and the ways in which the “Muslim enemy” image was mobilized in the 11th century in Europe to advance larger political goals, and goes right up to the Obama era. In the late 18th and 19th centuries, which was the high point of European colonization of the Middle East and North Africa, you see a new body of ideas come into being called “Orientalism” that became the basis from which to justify colonization. Many of these Orientalist myths still persist today. So, the point of the book is to outline these continuities and to point to root causes and ways in which we can effectively fight back against Islamophobia.

AK: Reading the first chapter, I was struck by how, historically, Christian elites painted Islam as sexually deviant and perverse. That rhetoric is also heard today, with the “Muhammad is a pedophile” meme. I was also struck by Montesquieu writing that democracy is suited for the West and not for Muslims. Could you talk about these connections to modern day Islamophobia?

DK: Yes, this vilification of Islam and of the Prophet Muhammad has a long history. It goes back to the 11th century when the Papacy was trying to mobilize for the Crusades. The Vatican was horrified by the fact that Islam allowed men to take up to four wives, allowed for divorce, and even permitted divorced women to remarry! It was argued that it was this kind of promiscuity that allowed Islam to gain as many converts as it did (even among Christians). So the Church put forward the argument that Muhammad was a sexual deviant and therefore a false prophet preaching a false religion. These ideas have been resuscitated today by the far right.

An associated theme connected to sexuality, and one that gets taken up in 19th century Europe, is gender. Europeans circulated the notion that Muslim women are horribly oppressed (without actually consulting or talking to Muslim women) and that Muslim men are misogynistic. What followed from this was that Muslim women needed to be rescued by white men swooping in on their horses. And this is, of course, the justification that was given for the Afghan war—at least it was one of the justifications beyond the revenge motive.

And of course if you look at that narrative, it doesn’t begin in 2001. For instance, Lord Cromer, who oversaw the occupation of Egypt in the 1880s, claimed that Islam has completely stultified the lives of women and that he was therefore going to emancipate them. British colonization of Egypt was therefore an enlightened project. In reality this is not how things worked out. If anything things got worse for Egyptian women. And it's not hard to tell why, because this supposed champion of Egyptian women’s rights worked tirelessly to deny British women the right to vote as a founding member and president of the Men’s League for Opposing Women’s Suffrage. If this justification was used by Cromer, an out and out sexist, over a century ago, George Bush who is no less of a sexist used the same argument again in the context of the Afghan war.

The other myth you mentioned was the idea that Arabs are incapable of self-rule and democracy and therefore it was the “white man’s burden” to bring democracy to these uncivilized people. Montesquieu explained why this was so by turning to the weather as an indicator of human temperament. He said that whereas in the West, which has cooler climates, men (and he meant men) were virile and active, in the hotter climates of the East the people were prone to being supine and servile. This is why, he said, they are better suited for despotism. This theory of “Oriental despotism” however is not unique to Montesquieu but was widely held by others. And this argument gets repeated in the early 20th century by Lord Balfour in relation to Egypt when he stated that the Egyptians are incapable of self-rule, and again by Theodore Roosevelt who said that the “Muslim fellaheen” are devoid of any traces of self-government in their entire history!

We find echoes of this again in the case of the 2003 war on Iraq. When weapons of mass destruction were not found in Iraq, the narrative then shifted to one of democracy. The US was going to bring democracy to Iraq and create a new Middle East. Sadly, even people on the left bought this “white man’s burden” argument. And I for one was ecstatic to see the Arab uprisings of 2011 because it showed quite concretely that Arabs are capable of taking down dictators and struggling for more democratic and politically (and economically) representative societies…despite the hot weather!

AK: Later in the book, in your discussions of Zionism, you note that Islamophobia is not necessarily embedded in Zionism. The early Zionist colonists spoke of Arabs and Muslims in derogatory terms. But it was more a general sense of disdain for non-Jews than specifically anti-Muslim sentiment. But that changed in the late 1970s. Could you expand on this?

DK: Israel saw the PLO and secular Arab nationalists as their main enemy, and the vocabulary of the “Arab terrorist” grew out of this context. But a couple of things happen in the late 1970s and 1980s that shifted the language from the “Arab terrorist” to the “Islamic terrorist.” Internally, this period saw the rise of the far right in Israel and an electoral victory for the right wing Likud party; this would then orchestrate a shift rightward in public discussion. Externally, in 1979, the Iranian revolution destabilized the carefully cultivated pro-US and pro-Israeli status quo. In the 1980s, the birth of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine lead the Zionist right to conclude that its struggle was now one against “Islam.” This is the context in which the “Arab terrorist” gets morphed into the “Islamic terrorist.”

There are two important conferences that Benjamin Netanyahu organized that brought together political figures from around the world, one in 1979 in Jerusalem and the other in 1984 in Washington DC. At the first conference Benzion Netanyahu [Benjamin Netanyahu's father] in his opening speech tried to equate the enemies of Israel (the PLO) with the enemies of the West, saying that the “terrorists” are really like fascists, like Nazis even if they claim to be fighting for freedom. You see here one of the early sources of the development of a concept that would arrive much later-- “Islamofascism.”

At any rate, the changes I discussed earlier meant that at the second International Conference on Terrorism in 1984, there was an entire section on Islam and terror. Orientalists like Bernard Lewis, Elie Kedourie and others are invited to this conference, who then use the language of Orientalism and Islamophobia to now talk about this threat of “Islamic terrorism.” Now the enemy had morphed into the “Islamic terrorist” and Benjamin Netanyahu in his opening remarks argued that the two big threats faced by the West were the Soviet Union and Islamic (and Arab) terrorists, he puts “Arab” in brackets. And by the way the neocons in the US and the Likud right in Israel have shared this view and jointly developed and propagated it.

AK: This distinction between Arab terrorism and Muslim terrorism--what’s your sense of that distinction today? Is it blurry? Is there a separation in people’s imagination?

DK: Today, there is no such distinction. All Arabs are seen as Muslims and therefore automatically as terrorists. This distinction existed at a point when secular Arab nationalism (whether of the PLO kind or Nasserism) was seen a threat to the US’s agenda in the Middle East.

“Arab terrorism” had a particular resonance at that time. With the decline of Nasserism, and the rise of Islamism, the two got collapsed into one. Keep in mind of course that the US cultivated Islamists during the Cold War to act as bulwarks against secular nationalism and the left, but these former allies then became enemies. So the upshot is that today this distinction doesn’t exist as much. Certainly Hollywood has a long history of constructing Arabs as terrorists and it was a seamless transition to constructing Muslims as terrorists.

One telling example of this conflation in the popular imagination comes from the 2008 elections. In the run up to the elections candidate Obama was “accused” of being a “secret Muslim.” Now at one of McCain’s campaign stops a woman who was berating Obama saying she doesn’t trust him (which McCain agreed with) then went on to state that she didn’t trust him “because he’s an Arab.” And McCain replied, “no, no, he’s not an Arab. He’s a decent family man and a citizen.” Of course, the assumption there is that Arab men are not decent or family men or US citizens for that matter. Arabs are Muslims and Muslims are terrorists—that’s the logic here, and it’s a logic that popular culture has played no small role in shoring up. That said, I don’t want to downplay the attacks on South Asian Muslims. Since 9/11 they too have been detained, questioned, deported and otherwise treated very poorly (as have Muslims from certain African nations as well).

AK: Let’s move on to the Obama era. I hadn’t seen the term “liberal Islamophobia” before reading your book. Can you explain liberal Islamophobia and why you think the Obama era is characterized by it?

DK: I use the term “liberal Islamophobia” to make a distinction between the rhetoric of the right, which is more nakedly racist, and the rhetoric which emerges from the liberal establishment. At its core, liberal Islamophobia flows from the logic of liberal imperialism. As several scholars have argued liberal imperialism is based upon using liberal ideas to justify empire, and spans the gamut from the narrative about rescuing women and children from brutal dictators to fostering democracy. Liberal Islamophobia flows from this logic.

Towards the end of Bush’s second term the US had really sullied its image on the world stage, and particularly in the Middle East. It was clear to the elite in this country that the American image would have to be rehabilitated. The Democrats were ready with a plan. A leadership group on US-Muslim relations headed by Madeleine Albright (Clinton’s secretary of state who presided over the era of “humanitarian imperialism” in the 1990s) put out a document that argued that the Bush rhetoric of the “clash of civilizations” was too harsh, and that the next US president needed to reject this thesis and start to patch things up with the Middle East. Obama has proved very effective at this. Rhetorically speaking he has indeed toned down the harsh rhetoric of the Bush era. So during his inaugural speech he actually acknowledged the presence of Muslims in this country, which I think is a first for an American president.

And then, at one of his first speeches abroad in Cairo--he rejected the ideology of the “clash of civilizations,” which sees the East and West as polar opposites, and stressed the interconnections between the East and the West. He also went out of his way to acknowledge how scholars in the East laid the basis for astronomy, medicine and so on. This is a remarkable admission for an American president. But even while Obama has toned down the rhetoric from the Bush era, he hasn’t rejected Bush’s policies. If anything he adopted Bush’s second term policy goals both externally and internally. What he has done quite effectively is to pursue the goals of US imperialism using language that is more palatable.

Towards the end of Bush’s second term there was a shift towards the use of “soft power,” that is the “winning of hearts and minds” and that is what Obama adopted whole heartedly. But despite all the talk of “mutual respect,” Obama like every president before him has acted in the interests of the US on the international stage: extending the war in Afghanistan to Pakistan, dramatically increasing the number of drone strikes (and extending their use in Yemen and Somalia), participating in the NATO-led war on Libya, etc.

At the end of the day, liberal imperialists, for all their talk of “speaking softly,” accept the logic that the US can and should intervene anywhere it wants to around the world to pursue its interests with no respect whatsoever for the right of self-determination of the people in the countries it targets. Liberal Islamophobia is still racist at its core.

Now, most people can see and detect rabid racism against Muslims. So when Peter King holds his routine hearings on Muslim American "radicalization,” which smacks of McCarthyism, he is roundly criticized by civil rights groups and by liberals. However, when Obama does the same people don’t recognize it as Islamophobia.

For instance, Obama released his own “counter-radicalization” strategy in 2011 which called for the formation of a McCarthyite type informant network involving Muslim American teachers, coaches, and other members of the community. No one said a peep. This is because if you read the document it is filled with praise for Muslim Americans who have cooperated with the government, and it lauds the US’s multiculturalism and religious plurality. But it then goes on to target Muslims because like King the Obama document too views Muslims as “potential terrorists” who can become “radicalized” and must therefore be monitored and put under surveillance. It is not an aberration that federal money was used for the infamous NYPD spying program. And to the best of my knowledge Obama has neither spoken out against it nor has he tried to shut this (or other similar programs run by the FBI) down. The way liberal Islamophobia works is that it roundly criticizes Islam-bashing, thereby preempting charges of racism, but then it goes on to champion programs that target and vilify Muslims.

One more recent example is the Obama “kill lists” whose victims include not just people who are suspected of being “terrorists” but everyone in the vicinity as well. Without so much as a trial or any kind of charade of justice the Obama administration has given itself the power to execute people around the world, including US citizens. But he can get away with this because he doesn’t use phrases like Bush’s “wanted dead or alive” or words like “crusade.”

AK: And you also say that liberal Islamophobia enabled the explosive rise of the anti-mosque movement, like the one against the Islamic community center in lower Manhattan. Could you explain that?

DK: The dynamic is one where liberal Islamophobia at the top of society creates a greater opening for the more rabid racists. Since the events of 9/11 a network of Islamophobes, who I call the “new McCarthyites,” have been involved in a series of campaigns targeting Muslim schools, community centers and mosques. This Islamophobic network includes the Christian Right which works closely with the Zionist right (and the ex-Muslim right) and they are led intellectually by sections of the neoconservative camp (like Frank Gaffney and his group Center for Security Policy). Essentially, these Islamophobic warriors have tried to reproduce the kind of atmosphere in the US that we see in Europe where all symbols of Islam (mosques, veils, minarets) have come under attack. But up until the Obama era, their campaigns were largely failures.

The Obama presidency gave them an opening in several ways. First, they were able to accuse him of a being a “secret Muslim” whose agenda was to turn the US into a Muslim country. Sadly about 30% of the US population believes this nonsense. Instead of pushing back against this, Obama has always responded defensively. He has assiduously avoided visiting mosques, and during his campaign two Muslim women in hijabs were asked to move because his handlers didn’t want them to appear in the same frame as their candidate. Further, Obama has insisted again and again that he is a good Christian thereby giving ground to the implication that there is something wrong with being a Muslim.

You asked about the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy. This really was the first instance when the new McCarthyites were successful in grabbing public attention and setting the terms of discussion. The way it went down was this. A group called “Stop Islamization of America” created a big brouhaha around the proposed community center called “Park 51” or “Cordoba House.” They argued that this was a “monster mosque” and an insult to the memory of the victims of 9/11. Their rhetoric was extreme; Newt Gingrich even said that this community center was the equivalent of building a monument to the Nazis outside the Holocaust museum. In short, their argument was premised on the notion that any symbol of Islam close to the site of the former World Trade Center was offensive. The logic is that all Muslims are to blame for 9/11.

Now in response to this heated rhetoric the Democrats, who supposedly represent the other side, put up at best a tepid defense on the grounds of religious freedom. They didn’t push back against the notion that Muslims are not collectively to blame for 9/11 and therefore it should not be offensive to build a community center (modeled on the Y and the Jewish community center) at that location. Instead, Democrats too jumped on the Islamophobia band wagon. For instance, Howard Dean, the great liberal Democrat said that the community center was “a real affront to people who lost their lives” in the 9/11 attacks, and he argued that it should be moved. Similarly Obama argued that while he supports religious freedom he questioned “the wisdom” of putting a “mosque” in the planned location.

This then gave the rabid Islamophobes exactly the opening they wanted. Their argument that the center should not be built at that location was now accepted even by the “other” side. It is not a surprise therefore that they won public opinion on this issue with majorities coming out against the construction of the community center. Public opinion on Muslim plummeted alarmingly that year. At any rate, this is how liberal Islamophobia fans the flames of right wing Islamophobia.

AK: I have one more question, a “where are we now?” question. How do you assess how Islamophobia functions in our society today, and also how do you assess the efforts to push back against that Islamophobia? The efforts on the part of activists?

DK: Since the “Ground Zero mosque” controversy things have actually improved. The right has been pushed back thanks to the efforts of activists around the country. In NYC many of us were involved in a grassroots campaign to counter the hateful message coming from the far right. On September 11, 2010, we called a counter-demonstration to theirs and had twice the number of people at our rally. Our rally was diverse and multiracial with signs that read “Asalamu aleikum, Muslims are welcome here.” We pushed them back and they didn’t return; Park 51 opened. Similarly, progressive activists around the country have organized against the hate mongers.

What is significant is that Muslim Americans themselves have become more active. A majority of Muslim Americans voted for Obama in 2008 hoping that he would make things right, but as I mentioned earlier his policies have not been that different from Bush’s and in some ways they have been worse (he passed the NDAA which allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens if they are thought to be connected to terrorism for instance). Muslim Americans who have been targeted by the Bush and Obama legal systems have been fighting back since 2001, but in the last year or so the families of these victims (along with progressive lawyers) have started to come together to form nationwide networks. This is a huge step forward.

What has also impacted the climate around Islamophobia is some excellent investigative reporting by the Associated Press in particular, but also by Wired magazine and other such outlets. AP released a series of reports exposing the systematic racial profiling of Muslims by the NYPD in the tri-state area. This created some push back from mainstream figures like Newark’s mayor as well as presidents of various universities where Muslim student groups were spied on. In particular, Yale University's president called it what it is: “racial and religious profiling,” arguing that this has no place in American society.

Since then a handful of Congressional reps have tried to put forward bills to censure the NYPD as well as the FBI. They haven’t succeed, the overwhelming majority voted against these measures, but such activities create a space in the mainstream from which anti-Muslim racism can be both acknowledged as a reality and criticized.

The recent New York Times story on the Obama “kill list” isn’t a gung-ho endorsement of such practices, if anything there is a lot of anxiety in that article about what this country has become in the era of the “war on terror.” This is a huge step away from the New York Times of 2003 that carried all the stories about WMD’s on its front page.

In short, the work of activists as well as investigative journalists has created a climate where we are better poised than ever since 9/11 to fight Islamophobia. I am also really encouraged by the solidarity on display in New York City.

At several rallies and press conferences people have connected the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policy which mainly affects blacks and Latinos, to the targeting of Muslim Americans. It is this kind of solidarity and collective grassroots activity that can help to turn the tide against Islamophobia. But central to this struggle must be a recognition that the roots of Islamophobia lie in empire. The war at home is intimately tied to the war abroad (and the war at home is also a war on dissent--non-Muslims have also been targeted by the state for holding dissenting views).

Let me end with an example from history. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, over 100,000 people of Japanese descent (a majority of whom were US citizens) were put into concentration camps. If you read about these camps they were horrible places with no plumbing or cooking facilities—yet young and old were incarcerated. A few short years later, the US dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of innocents. These events are connected. When a nation goes to war it turns against those it sees as domestic representatives of the “foreign enemy.” We have to learn the lessons of history and show that what is happening to Muslims today is tied to the “war on terror.” We have to oppose the agenda of empire.


Past Member (0)
Monday July 9, 2012, 1:37 am
Well Carola May, according to the history of this issue, it's you that 'speak on things you know nothing about'.

Past Member (0)
Monday July 9, 2012, 1:54 am
Judicial Crusade to Establish Churches in Schools

Stan B (123)
Monday July 9, 2012, 3:45 am
John T.
You are wrong. Check out this article which confirms a link between CAIR and Hamas.

WASHINGTON – A federal judge has determined that the Justice Department provided “ample evidence” to designate the most prominent Muslim group in America as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator.

According to a federal court ruling unsealed Friday, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations has been involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas,” a federally designated terrorist group that has murdered at least 17 Americans and injured more than 100 U.S. citizens.

The 20-page order, signed by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis, cites “ample evidence” that CAIR participated in a “criminal conspiracy” led by the Holy Land Foundation, Hamas’s main fundraising arm in the U.S. As a result, the judge refused CAIR’s request to strike its name from documents listing it as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.

“The four pieces of evidence the government relies on do create at least a prima facie case as to CAIR’s involvement in a conspiracy to support Hamas,” Solis wrote in his July 2009 ruling.

The evidence includes documents introduced by the government showing CAIR and its founding chairman Omar Ahmad have operated as key members of Hamas’ U.S. wing, known as the “Palestine Committee.” In addition, FBI wiretaps and agent testimony have placed both Ahmad and CAIR’s acting executive director – Nihad Awad – at a secret meeting last decade with Hamas leaders in Philadelphia. Meeting in a hotel room, participants hatched a scheme to disguise payments to Hamas suicide bombers and their families as charity.

CAIR founding chairman Omar Ahmad, who arranged and led the secret Hamas meeting in Philadelphia

“The attendees agreed not to mention the word Hamas but to refer to Hamas as ‘Samah,’ which is Hamas spelled backwards,” Solis said. “The Philadelphia conference essentially laid out the path that the Palestine Committee would take to accomplish its goal of supporting Hamas in the future.”

During the meeting – which was organized and led by CAIR founder Ahmad – the Hamas operatives agreed to form CAIR as an outwardly benign front group skilled in media manipulation. “They did not want to be viewed as being aligned with terrorist groups,” he said.

The judge did not dispute “press accounts and blog entries” that “CAIR is a criminal organization that supports terrorism,” according to the ruling.

The government’s evidence undermines CAIR’s public face as a “civil-rights advocacy organization,” while corroborating the findings of the bestselling book, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.” The book chronicles the undercover investigation of P. David Gaubatz and his son, who interned at CAIR’s national headquarters.

CAIR has sued the Gaubatzes for trespassing, but has not denied any of the book’s explosive findings tying CAIR closer to terrorism.

According to, a federal grand jury in Washington is actively hearing evidence against CAIR emerging from the Holy Land trial, while also reviewing the thousands of pages of evidence gathered in the “Muslim Mafia” investigation. Prosecutors subpoenaed the evidence shortly after the book was published last fall.

CAIR, which has not been charged with a crime, denies allegations it works for Hamas – even as it refuses to condemn the terrorist group by name.

“CAIR is not a front group for Hamas,” insisted CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper, “or any of the other false and misleading associations our detractors seek to smear us with.”

CAIR maintains it is simply a Muslim-rights group, but the Justice Department says it is a front group not only for Hamas, but for its parent the radical Muslim Brotherhood – a worldwide jihadist movement that prosecutors say has a secret plan to impose Shariah law on the U.S.

“From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists,” said assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg in a separate court filing.

CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, implicated in a major terror case, shakes hands with undercover intern Chris Gaubatz at CAIR headquarters in Washington.

In 2007, U.S. prosecutors first named CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal scheme led by the Holy Land Foundation to funnel more than $12 million to Hamas suicide bombers and their families. A jury in 2008 convicted the charity and its leaders on all 108 felony counts.

“CAIR has been identified by the government at trial as a participant in an ongoing and ultimately unlawful conspiracy to support a designated terrorist organization – a conspiracy from which CAIR never withdrew,” said assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Jacks, who recently won an award from Attorney General Eric Holder for convicting the Holy Land terrorists.

The Holy Land revelations prompted the FBI to sever ties with CAIR until it can demonstrate it is not a terror front.

“Until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner,” advised assistant FBI Director Richard Powers in a 2009 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.


Yvonne Taylor (37)
Monday July 9, 2012, 10:06 am
Rob an JayB, I believe the Brotherhood faction voted for in Egypt is not one and the same as the link you sent. Do more research.

Kenneth L (314)
Monday July 9, 2012, 11:12 am
Rob and Jay: " Why is you Islamist apologists, who know nothing about Islam?" Huh? Only pompous asses would make that statement. What a generality. FALSE too since most 'apologists' on these threads of Rob and Jay's very certainly do know something about Islam. But that is the problem. How does anyone deal with arrogant know-it-alls? Anything other than agree-agree-agree-agree isn't tolerated. So much for free thinking.
Rob and Jay: "Is there no intolerance and hate that you won't tolerate as long as it is to do with Islam?" Where do you get this rhetorical crap from? Loaded questions, slanted questions. Easy to spot a mile away.
Rob and Jay: "Your ignorance of this ideology should embarrass you". First and foremost, Islam is a religion. Stated as such in virtually all dictionaries on the planet. No doubt it has spawned ideologies but that is secondary. Now don't be such arrogant doorknobs as to think you know more than a few thousand dictionaries.

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