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Watering Down FBI Counterterrorism Training Materials Endangers America


A decade after the United States was viciously attacked, a new attempt by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to water down the FBI’s counterterrorism training materials of valuable information regarding radical Islam has alarmed Members of Congress concerned with our national security. In a March 27, 2012 letter to Director Mueller, Senator Durbin badgers him again for not caving to his politically correct notions, demanding the removal of language and information essential to fighting terrorism.

ACT! for America, the largest national security grassroots organization in the country, as well as Members of Congress are concerned with Senator Durbin’s approach, and rightly so. The ongoing purge of counterterrorism training materials used by the FBI as well as state and local law enforcement is a danger to our nation. These actions are a continuation of dangerous steps to manipulate, if not altogether eliminate, a clear definition of the threat that radical Islam poses to our nation.

In the most recent case concerning the FBI, who exactly are these “experts in the field” to whom Senator Durbin would like to assign the duty of “reviewing and approving” the counterterrorism training materials used by the men and women who serve our nation in the Federal Bureau of Investigation?  Who is allowed to vet those “experts?”  We have seen on an ongoing basis dubious “experts,” such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), advising our nation’s decision-makers about radical Islam, including the Administration, Congress and state and local elected leaders. CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in our history and was identified by the Justice Department as connected to Hamas, yet it continues to attempt to influence counterterrorism policies with an obvious conflict of interest.

While ongoing reviews of counterterrorism materials are always wise, deliberate manipulation and whitewashing of terms that accurately define the threat is not.  This is especially true if such revisions are made in the name of “political correctness” or by “experts” who, in reality, are more interested in undermining the ability of our law enforcement community to thwart acts of terrorism. Law enforcement officials are our front line of the counterterrorism issue, and it is critically important that they have accurate training materials to help them to do their job right.  Such training materials should not be modified at the whim of one or two Members of Congress, or outside “consultants” whose identities are kept secret from congressional oversight.

In an open letter to members of the U.S. Congress who have jurisdiction over the FBI, we note the whitewashing of references to radical Islam in the FBI’s training materials as the latest in a series of actions by the Obama administration that amount to an informal implementation of U.N. Resolution 16/18 (the “The Istanbul Process”).  U.N. Resolution 16/18 includes language that seeks to bypass the U.S. Constitution by laying the groundwork for criminalizing any action or speech against a religion, using protection against “incitement to violence” as the rationale. The U.S. Department of State is a complicit participant in this process, something that we find alarming as such criminalization of speech is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

This becomes even more clear when you compare the 9/11 Commission’s Report to today’s national security lexicon, as well as in the report on the killings at Fort Hood by Major Nidal Hasan.  In the case of the 9/11 Commission Report, the Commission clearly defined radical Islam as a threat to our nation.  However, words that were included hundreds of times in that bi-partisan report, such as “Islam,” “Jihad,” and “Muslim,” were removed entirely from the Obama Administration’s 2009 strategic threat assessment.  In the U.S. military’s 86 page report on the Ft. Hood incident, not one mention is made about Major Hasan’s Muslim faith and how he viewed it as motivating his actions.  In fact, Major Hasan himself is not even mentioned – even though his is the sole suspect in the case.

These actions are extremely dangerous. Political correctness must not trump constitutional rights, nor hamper our country's ability to protect itself by muzzling law enforcement or hoodwinking its citizens.

The good news is the American public is becoming more educated about the threats posed to our nation by radical Islam. The American people are appropriately looking to their elected officials to enact sound policies that will protect them from this threat -- and they are prepared to remove those elected officials from office if they fall short of that task.

Brigitte Gabriel is an international terrorism analyst and a two times New York Times best-selling author of Because They Hate and They Must Be Stopped.  She is the President of ACT for America.org, the largest national security grassroots movement in the U.S.

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