Obama administration foreign policy is distinctive, or so it seems to me. It specializes in undermining our friends and aiding our enemies. Obama’s whispered words to Dmitri Medvedev — hey, Dima, take a message to Vlad — say it all. Our enemies must have the president sized up as a complete and utter fool.
The Muslim Brotherhood seems to me another case in point. As I suggested in “No Morsi,” while the Muslim Brotherhood goes about consolidating its power in Egypt, the Obama administration has pursued a policy of engagement and tacit support. Has a discouraging word been heard? I can’t find it.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a serious and profound enemy — Hamas is its Palestinian offshoot — and yet it has an extensive support network in the United States, including organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Andrew McCarthy’s The Grand Jihad is a valuable guide.
In his NRO column “Understanding the Muslim Brotherhood,” McCarthy suggests that the problem is bipartisan in nature, at least in part. McCarthy takes after timorous Republicans who have failed to support their five House colleagues calling for an investigation of the Islamist connections of government officials. According to McCarthy, “[t]oday’s GOP would rather engage our enemies and call them our friends — not understand them, call them what they are, and defeat them.”
McCarthy’s judgment is too harsh, but he has a point that bears on the story on offer in his column. McCarthy presents the case of the recently convicted Pakistani agent Ghulam Nabi Fai. McCarthy explains that Fai was paid millions of dollars over two decades by the Pakistani intelligence service to push its agenda through a D.C.-based front, the Kashmiri American Council. “You haven’t heard much about it because it is a Muslim Brotherhood operation through and through,” McCarthy writes. Fai has now entered into a plea agreement and been sentenced to prison:
It was in 2011 that the FBI concluded it had plenty of evidence to justify arresting Fai. For years he had illegally failed to reveal his status as a Pakistani agent, and he had lied about it in FBI interviews, another felony. But in moving on Fai, the Bureau was stalled by the State Department and the CIA. As [Patrick] Poole suggests, this may be explained by a desire not to exacerbate the growing tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan after American special forces raided bin Laden’s Pakistani compound and killed the al-Qaeda leader that spring. That may also explain why Fai got a sweetheart plea deal — requiring only a two-year prison term — despite the fact that the FBI told the court Fai had refused to cooperate regarding “his involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood, and Pakistani terrorist groups.”
And now the kicker:
Here’s the most alarming thing — the thing about our enemy being an enemy: Even after Fai pled guilty and was sentenced, the Muslim Brotherhood’s American infrastructure continued to support him ardently. As Poole reports, fundraising dinners in his honor were held by ISNA, the Muslim American Society (which is the Brotherhood’s quasi-official presence in the United States), and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR – which originated out of the Brotherhood’s now-defunct Islamic Association for Palestine and serves as an Islamist public-relations and lawfare arm). Mind you, Fai’s guilt is not in doubt; he pled guilty and agreed to a 26-page statement of facts detailing his operations against our country. Yet the Brothers stand by their man.