Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Project Gunrunner: Grassley Threatens to Block Nominees Unless Given Answers

As ranking member of the Senate Judiciary, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) doesn't have the subpoena power Darrell Issa does over in the House. That's the main reason Grassley is running into far more stonewalling when requesting documents that will shed more light on the Project Gunrunner scandal that is responsible for the deaths of two U.S. federal agents - Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata. It appears Grassley is threatening to block Obama's nominees unless he starts getting the answers he's demanding.

Via The Hill:
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is vowing to block President Obama’s nominations until he gets detailed answers on a controversial program that resulted in drug cartels acquiring more than 1,300 firearms from the U.S.

Grassley is pressing the Department of Justice (DOJ) on who initiated the “Gun Runner” program that authorized the sale of guns to people acting as straw purchasers for drug cartels in Mexico. Gun Runner might have contributed to the death of at least one federal agent.

As the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Grassley has been working closely with House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) for the past several months, gathering documents and conducting interviews with DOJ officials and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents in an attempt to find out who gave the order for the operation.

Sources note that unlike Grassley, Issa has subpoena power.

Gun Runner and another operation called Fast and Furious were designed to dismantle the gun-smuggling routes that drug cartels use to ferry high-powered assault rifles from the U.S. into Mexico. By allowing people to illegally purchase large quantities of the weapons from gun dealers, officials hoped to trace the firearms to the drug cartel members and prosecute them. But ATF whistleblowers allege that officials lost track of the guns.
The degree to which Grassley's threats will be effective remains to be seen but it could get very interesting if there's a judge Obama is really chomping at the bit to appoint.

h/t to Sipsey Street

Ruh Roh: Herman Cain Backtracking on his Islamic Comments

Not sure how to digest this one. In March, a Huffington Post reporter confronted Herman Cain about the likelihood of Cain appointing a Muslim as a Judge or Cabinet member if elected president. Cain's response - which is the kind of response that has helped his stock rise with conservatives who understand the Islamic threat - was pointed and relatively clear. He explained why he would be uncomfortable with making such appointments and he focused on Sharia Law.

Here is that exchange:

Yesterday, Cain appeared on Glenn Beck's radio show and backtracked a bit. Intentional or not, Beck made it more difficult for Cain not to backtrack by feeding into the paradigm that allows Muslims to be portrayed as victims of racism. That paradigm puts conservatives on defense, it's ill-advised, and it's not relevant or correct. The issue is NOT the violation of Muslim rights. Jews are far more victimized. The issue is Sharia Law. Cain and Beck attempt to separate the two and it simply cannot be done. When the conversation is allowed to morph from a critique of Islamic Law to violations of Muslims' civil rights based on religion, it's a no-win. That's not the issue; the issue is Islamic Law.

Show me a Muslim who does NOT support Sharia Law and I'll show you either a bad Muslim or a non-Muslim. I think Cain hurt himself a bit here. He did leave enough wiggle room in his answer back in March but his answer to Beck seemed to rely on that wiggle room instead of further condemning Sharia Law as 100% antithetical to Constitutional Law. Again, compare the First Amendment with Article VI.

Fast forward to the 10:00 mark.

h/t The Blaze

BBC Finally Wakes Up, Notices Fethullah Gulen Movement

Go figure. The most prominent news source in Great Britain has finally taken notice of Fethullah Gulen. There have been several bloggers ringing alarm bells about the Gulen movement for years and the BBC pooh poohed such warnings with its silence. Now, all of a sudden, it has decided to look into it. This has become a disturbing trend with leftwing media outlets that ultimately have to face realities they continuously choose to deny and ignore until it's no longer possible to do so. Those troublesome little conservative bloggers that liberal media establishments view with contempt continue to scoop them.

Via Edward Stourton at BBC:
Inspired by a little-known Turkish imam, the Gulen movement is linked to more than 1,000 schools in 130 countries as well as think tanks, newspapers, TV and radio stations, universities - and even a bank.

This massive network is unlike anything else. It has no formal structure, no visible organisation and no official membership.

Its supporters say they simply work together, in a loosely affiliated alliance inspired by the message of charismatic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who promotes a tolerant Islam which emphasises altruism, hard work and education.

Turkish businessmen are attracted by what they see as his international outlook and pragmatic approach to issues like using credit.

In Turkey today, it is thought to have up to 10 million supporters. A recent study suggests many give between 5%-20% of their income to groups affiliated with the movement.

Critics claim its aim is to gain power, to spread socially conservative Islamic attitudes on issues like marriage and alcohol around the globe, and to suppress any opposition.

In the past year, three of its most prominent critics have been jailed in Turkey, sparking claims that it has become a sinister controlling force in its native land.

Mr Gulen's critics point to a video which surfaced in 1999, in which he seemed to tell his followers that they should deliberately attempt to infiltrate mainstream structures:

"You must move within the arteries of the system, without anyone noticing your existence, until you reach all the power centres. You must wait until such time as you have got all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institution in Turkey."
You'll note that Stourton links to a BBC article in which the entity he writes for reported on Gulen's controversial comments in 1999. This is obviously an attempt by Stourton to show he is not ignorant of Gulen. In reality, the revelation makes it worse for the BBC. It shows that they've known about Gulen and have refused to investigate him as his movement has grown substantially over the last 12 years.

It's good to see BBC finally report on this but GOSH DOG, what took so long?!

h/t Free Republic
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