We wrote several posts on Rashad Hussain, the Obama appointee representing the United States to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. We noted that as a law student Hussain had condemned the prosecution of Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Sami al-Arian as a politically inspired outrage perpetrated by the Bush administration. Al-Arian ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of the terrorism related charges against him. One could deduce from the indictment against him, based on 10 years of intercepted telephone conversations, al-Arian was the North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a huge supporter of terrorism against Israel.
Hussain later sought to cover up his condemnation of the al-Arian prosecution, then lied about his statement to his pals in the Obama administration, claiming a hazy memory. The Obama administration issued a denial on Hussain’s behalf. Josh Gerstein dug up a tape of the statement. As a last resort, Hussain claimed to have revised his judgment of al-Arian’s prosecution. He purported to believe that it had not after all been such a bad idea.
Hussain need not have gone to such lengths to conceal his opinions nor have feared that they would tank him. Hussain’s friends in the Obama administration neither held the statement nor his dishonesty against Hussain. He is now serving in his new capacity as the American representative to the OIC.
Now comes Jennifer Rubin to dig up Hussain’s recent interview with the Arab English daily Asharq Alawsatan . This exchange on the al-Arian case caught my attention:
Q) You studied law at Yale University, during which you criticized the prosecution of Sami Al-Arian, describing it as “politically motivated.” Do you think the American legal system unfairly links Islam and terrorism?
A) To be clear, I have no connection to such terror trials, and these cases are subject to the deliberations of the US courts. The US legal system is one of the best in the world and enjoys great confidence.
Rubin asks: Where is the emphatic repudiation of his view that al-Arian was the victim of a political show trial? Where is the simple declarative, “No, he was convicted, and we will continue to investigate and prosecute terrorists and those who facilitate terrorism”? Rubin answers: Nowhere.
Which raises a few more questions. Does Hussain faithfully represent the views of the administration at whose pleasure he serves? And does the Obama administration approve of Hussain’s silence?
UPDATE: The Department of State provides us a copy of the unedited interview transcript that i have posted here.