Michele Bachmann, Huma Abedin, and the Muslim Brotherhood
Michele Bachmann is known as a rhetorical bomb thrower. The Minnesota Republican congresswoman regularly makes bombastic statements that seem to have little evidence to back them up, which is one of the reasons her presidential candidacy went nowhere. Now she has really let loose a doozy, accusing the longtime aide to Secretary of State Huma Abedin of having various family members who had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in a letter to various intelligence and security heads and using this as evidence that the Brotherhood has in fact infiltrated the highest levels of the United States government.
Predictably, a storm of denunciation has been directed against her ranging from accusations of anti-Muslim bigotry to inaugurating a new era of McCarthyism in the United States. Fellow Republican Arizona Senator John McCain went to the floor to condemn Bachmann and the four other congressmen who sent the letter and called her actions sinister, saying that they defamed America. On a personal note, I think that McCain’s condemnation of the congresswoman is the biggest asset to her credibility she could muster, since the Senator’s record of being correct on any major issue is specious at best.
But let us assume that Bachmann is simply up to her old tricks of throwing rhetorical bombs with little evidence to back them up. After all, before this Huma Abedin’s only notoriety was as the wife of disgraced former New York congressman Anthony Weiner. She apparently was unaware that she had married a philanderer who was posting half-naked pictures of himself all over the internet, and it is reasonable to question whether this is the stuff a master spy is made from. If this is the case then why would anyone, even Bachmann, be convinced enough that she was a possible enemy agent to make career threatening public accusations against her?
If one takes into account the events of the last eighteen months in Egypt the picture becomes clearer. On January 25, 2011 protests erupted in Cairo’s Tahrir Square that ultimately overthrew long-time American ally Husni Mubarak in less than three weeks and began a process which led to the Muslim Brotherhood gaining the Egyptian presidency last month. The US government first waffled over the events in Cairo before finally demanding that Mubarak step down. A curious move considering that Mubarak had been America’s go-to-guy in the Middle East for three decades and was always happy to do the bidding of the United States as long as he was able to cash those military aid checks. But then the United States stepped out of the way, let him be overthrown, and seemed to do everything possible to clear the path for the virulently anti-American Muslim Brotherhood to take power. Odd huh?
Then there has been the media coverage of the events in Egypt. In the first flush of the uprising we were told by our purveyors of information that this marked the rise of liberal democracy on the banks of the Nile. Sure, the Brotherhood was Egypt’s longest lived opposition group, but this was a new generation and the Ikhwan had outlived their usefulness. Then the Brotherhood’s promises of only contesting a few parliamentary seats and of course never run a candidate for president were echoed across conventional media as evidence of their weakness and increasing irrelevance. But low and behold they contested all of the parliamentary seats and won so many of them that the military was later forced to dissolve that parliament, and we won’t even mention that they didn’t run just one but two candidates for the presidency with the Ikhwan’s own Muhammad Mursi emerging as the victor. Hmmmm…
I don’t know what, if anything, Huma Abedin had to do with any of this. And while I would never discount the possibility that news coverage of Egypt’s revolution is solely the product of the abject idiocy of contemporary journalism, it does seem like the skids have been greased (at least in the circles of power in the Western world) for acquiescence to the Muslim Brotherhood’s ascent to power in the most important country in the Arab world.