The Investigative Project on Terrorism summarizes the testimony of DNI James Clapepr and CIA Director Leon Panetta today on Capitol Hill:
The Muslim Brotherhood is more of an organization with extremist members than an extremist organization, America’s top two intelligence officials told a Senate committee Wednesday.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper emphasized the heterogeneous nature of the Brotherhood, saying its ideology and approach varies from country to country and describing a generational gap between old-line conservatives and younger members more willing to participate in secular political systems.
“This is not a monolithic organization,” CIA Director Leon Panetta told the Senate Intelligence Committee. It has lawyers and professionals among its ranks, so while “it is clear that within the Muslim Brotherhood there are extremist elements,” it’s difficult to label the organization as a whole.
Minutes earlier, Clapper acknowledged that the Brotherhood “probably is supportive” of weapons smuggling to Hamas terrorists in Gaza. He could not say what the Muslim Brotherhood would do regarding Egypt’s 32-year-old peace treaty with Israel.
The IPT doesn’t have the resources that Clapper and Panetta have to get a bead on the Brotherhood, but the IPT is not handicapped by stupidity. It notes: “The Brotherhood’s motto remains Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. It continues to desire the spread of Islamic law within Egypt and around the world.”
Mark Steyn aptly commented on Clapper’s testimony last week: “They don’t know what’s going on. This guy has one of the most bloated, lavishly funded intelligence bureaucracies on the planet – the most bloated and lavishly funded and he’s an idiot. He can’t be allowed out in public.” Now we can say the same for Panetta.
When Clapper says that he could not say what the Muslim Brotherhood would do regarding Egypt’s 32-year-old peace treaty with Israel, I wonder what that means. Does it mean he isn’t paying attention? Does it mean he wants to inject a note of metaphysical uncertainty? The Brotherhood’s Hamas branch ought to provide a clue.
You’d think the inteligence honchos might notice that. The American intelligence community badly needs The Muslim Brotherhood for Dummies. Unfortunately, the book doesn’t exist, but Dore Gold did his best to fill the void with a brief backgrounder including this nugget (footnote omitted):
The current Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Muhammad Badi’, gave a sermon in September 2010 stating that Muslims today “need to understand that the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death, just as the enemies pursue life.” In short, the Muslim Brotherhood remains committed to supporting militant activities in order to advance its political aims. From looking at the biographies of its most prominent graduates, one can immediately understand the organization’s long-term commitment to jihadism.
At least Clapper and Panetta have achieved consensus. The boss must be proud.
What an embarrassment.
UPDATE: Ynet News recaps today’s testimony in a subhead: “Senate hearing turns into farce as American ignorance on Egypt situation revealed; specific agenda of Muslim Brotherhood unclear, top official says, has trouble responding to question on group’s attitude to peace with Israel.”