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Yes, the Muslim Penetration of America Is Real

On October 29 our friend Ilan Berman, Vice President, of the American Foreign Policy Council, delivered a powerful speech at a gathering in Washington, DC of retired and active intelligence and national security professionals.  In his remarks Berman contended that our most pressing challenge – and the most ideologically dangerous to the United States – is the one posed by radical Islam. 

Ilan BermanAnd, says Berman just as it was during the Cold War, the United States has become targeted for penetration – this time by Islamist forces. Although that may sound inflammatory, it isn’t conjecture; it is settled fact he concluded. 

Ilan Berman fleshed out our argument in “Is Huma Abedin Hillary Clinton's Alger Hiss?” with more detail on the relationships between various Muslim Brotherhood front groups and gave greater context to our argument that it is folly to hand over $150 billion to Iran and believe that the Muslim millennialist leaders of the leading state sponsor of Islamist terrorism will change their ways – or cease their pursuit of nuclear weapons. 

We found Ilan Berman’s remarks to be so powerful and persuasive that we present them here in their entirety. 


Speech by Ilan Berman, Vice President, American Foreign Policy Council, before the Pumpkin Papers Irregulars, Washington, DC, October 29, 2015. The annual dinner examining current issues in national security and intelligence recognizes Whittaker Chambers for leading two House Un-American Affairs Committee investigators to the pumpkin patch where the film confirming Alger Hiss' espionage on behalf of the communist Soviet Union was hidden. 


It’s wonderful to be here today among so many people who proudly wear the label of “unreconstructed Cold Warrior.” Although I am too young to have fought in those particular trenches, I consider myself to be an honorary member, for a few reasons. 

First, I am the child of Soviet refuseniks, who left the Soviet Union because of the Kremlin’s assault on the fundamental freedoms of its citizens – and its ongoing desire to do the same to the rest of the world. As a result, I’m sadly all too familiar with the system at the heart of the Hiss case. 

Second, I would like to think that in some small way, the work of my organization, the American Foreign Policy Council, mirrors the idea of “speaking truth to power” that was embodied so powerfully by Whittaker Chambers. Our work on Iran, Russia, China and a range of transnational threats often rubs against the grain of conventional wisdom within the Washington Beltway. But I’m proud to say that we are right far more often than we are wrong.  

Third, and again like Chambers, my colleagues and I see today gathering threats to American values and U.S. national security. These are varied, and we could talk at length about Russia’s renewed imperial ambitions, its recent aggression against Ukraine and its current adventurism in the Middle East. Or about China, whose expansionist tendencies threaten our Asian allies and could fundamentally alter the status quo in that part of the world. But arguably the most pressing challenge – and the most ideologically dangerous – is the one posed by radical Islam. 

Before addressing that topic, however, let me update all of you on the Hiss case. It has now been sixty-seven years since Whittaker Chambers publicly accused State Department official Alger Hiss of being a Communist agent. It has been nearly that long since Chambers, having been roundly ridiculed by the media and the intelligentsia, actually proved it. 

In the intervening decades, dozens of books have been written about the impact of the Hiss case on American politics, about the importance of Chambers’ actions, and – especially since the fall of the Evil Empire – about the actual extent of Soviet penetration and subversion during the decades of the Cold War. Virtually all of them have exonerated Chambers’ account of events. 

So it’s perhaps not a surprise that the past year has not seen much that is new and substantive in the case itself. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything to say. 

The old saw is that “history repeats itself.” Personally, I do not think it does – at least not exactly. But it certainly does rhyme. Which is why we are seeing today more than a few echoes of the Hiss case in the contemporary threat posed by radical Islam. 

Like in the time of Hiss and Chambers, we have a political establishment that fails to understand the nature of our enemies. 

During its time in office, the Bush administration was widely derided for waging a “war on terror.” Terrorism, the critics said, was merely a tactic, and therefore impossible to defeat. Instead, they argued, it was necessary to get to the so-called “root causes” of why al-Qaeda and its followers did what they did. 

But over the past six-and-a-half years, the Obama administration – where a large number of those very same critics now reside – hasn’t done anything of the sort. It has abandoned the “war on terror” for the rather smaller and inauspiciously-named “overseas contingency operation” – a title that suggests, incorrectly, that the fight is abroad rather than at home, and that it can be conducted as strictly a part time enterprise. 

Far worse, the Obama administration has consciously chosen to turn a blind eye to the nature of our adversaries. Thus, the president’s Summit on Countering Violent Extremism earlier this year included not one mention of the fact that the overwhelming number of groups engaging in violent extremism do so because they subscribe to a radical Islamic vision that is fundamentally at odds with Western values and democracy. This brings to mind the old saying that, if we are afraid to identify our enemy, we have little hope of defeating it. 

But the problem is much, much worse, because where the White House has chosen to engage on this issue at all, it has fundamentally misunderstood and misdiagnosed the problem. 

Thus, it has made the centerpiece of its second term foreign policy an exceedingly bad nuclear deal that provides Iran, the radical Islamic regime that is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, with an unprecedented economic windfall. 

In a process not all that dissimilar from Cold War ideas of arms control, and of moderating Soviet behavior with inducements, the White House is prepared to give the Iranian regime a massive economic shot in the arm in hopes of changing its rogue behavior. 

By way of context, the sanctions relief that Iran will get over the coming 16 months – between $100 billion and $150 billion – is more substantial than what all of the countries of Europe received combined as part of the Marshall Plan at the end of World War II. That, in turn, is likely to spur more Iranian terrorism rather than less of it – and to make us complicit in those activities in the process. 

Even when the dangerous nature of our adversaries is well and truly undeniable, the White House has embraced a minimalist policy doomed to failure from the outset. 

President Obama was slow to recognize the gravity of the threat posed by the Islamic State terrorist group. Long, long after his intelligence community was telling him otherwise, the President continued to refer to the group as the “JV Team” of terrorism. 

That “JV” team now controls one third of Iraq, and half of Syria. It has affiliates in Nigeria, the Sinai Peninsula, Afghanistan and Russia’s north Caucasus region. And it routinely makes clear its objectives by publishing maps of a new caliphate stretching from North Africa through Europe to Central Asia. 

None of this seems to have permeated the political bubble at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which is why the White House response has been flimsy at best. 

Last month, General Lloyd Austin, the head of the United States Central Command, caused a political firestorm on Capitol Hill when he told the Senate that the Obama Administration’s $500 million program to train 50 Syrian opposition fighters now only has “4 or 5” active participants. Worse still, according to credible experts, fully half of the fighters trained under this initiative were killed on initial contact with the enemy in Syria. Most of the others either surrendered to assorted Islamist groups or simply went AWOL. 

All this would be laughable if it were not so deadly serious. But it is serious, because this kind of willful blindness leads inexorably to vulnerability closer to home. 

Similar to the circumstances of the Hiss case, the United States has become targeted for penetration – this time by Islamist forces. Although that may sound inflammatory, it isn’t conjecture; it is settled fact. 

Here, it’s useful to cite from a different and much more recent case: that of United States v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, et al

In July 2007, seven officials from a now-defunct charity known as the Holy Land Foundation (HLF for short) went on trial for supporting Hamas, the terrorist organization that represents the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The ensuing court case unearthed a number of key documents, the most important of which was a 1991 Arabic-language memorandum outlining the Brotherhood’s strategic goals in the United States. This includes the objective of: 

 “Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is.” 

The document goes on to identify the Brotherhood’s supporters in this objective, among them such groups as the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Association for Palestine (the precursor to what today is known as the Council on American Islamic Relations), and the multi-university umbrella organization known as the Muslim Students Association. 

All of these organizations are active today, and all have considerable political clout. They are greatly bolstered in their position by the fact that – just like in the time of Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss – much of the American public today simply does not take seriously the idea that our enemies are themselves serious, and mean to do grievous harm to our way of life. 

Thus, the HLF trail, like the Hiss case before it, represents a window into a larger problem. And, like the case of Alger Hiss, there’s a great deal that we can learn. Perhaps the most important lesson of all is that – despite the end of the Cold War – the United States still finds itself in an ideological contest. And, like before, the stakes could not be higher. 

Ilan Berman is Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC. An expert on regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation, he has consulted for both the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense, and provided assistance on foreign policy and national security issues to a range of governmental agencies and congressional offices. He has been called one of America's "leading experts on the Middle East and Iran" by CNN.

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Islam greatest threat to U.S.A.

It's amazing how only Republicans can recognize the serious threat that Islam brings to our Country. The Liberal democrats are so entrenched with political correctness and so enamored with Obama's touchy-feelgood message and so intent on their mission to hide God, diminish the Flag, embrace same sex marriage, legalize drugs, weaken the military, hate police and law and order, force common core to brain wash the children and their preference to lead from behind and keep their head in the sand right up until the water washes over their heads and they are drowning and only then will we hear the cry of "help". Of all the candidates, only Trump seems to give us the message that he is willing to deal with muslim invasion, build the wall and deport. I say stop all muslim immigration, legal and illegal. Revoke all visa and passport from muslim in our country now. Send them all back to their country, this includes all student visa and over stayed visa situation. Stop it 100%, return all of them 100% forever. Build the strongest military defense even if it means paying higher taxes. We have to make our Country so strong that the bad guys throughout the world will pee their pants worrying what we will do to them if they appear as a threat to the U.S.A.