National security has fallen so far under Barack Obama that a high-ranking official in the Department of Homeland Security is berating American cable companies for not carrying Osama bin Laden’s favorite television network.
Juliette Kayyem, the assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs at the DHS, wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe this week entitled, “Let US See Al-Jazeera.” (Capitalization in original.) In it, she rakes ign’ernt Americans over the coals for not appreciating Al Jazeera English (AJE), the Anglophone counterpart to Al-Jazeera. Kayyem writes that cable providers should be “promoting engagement in the Arab world” by “bringing a major player in the Arab world to American audiences.”
Typical of the Obama administration’s approach to all forms of conflict, Kayyem wants America to step aside, promote Islamic interests, and hope our enemies will reciprocate our selfless acts of goodwill. In this case, she wants a major Islamic fundamentalist propaganda outlet beamed into 300 million infidel homes. “AJE’s battle with the cable carriers is major news in the Middle East,” she writes. Not carrying the network “sends a message to the Arab world.” Although she reassures her readers, “Cable companies have no obligation to run programming,” she warns that shunning AJE is “understood by the Arab world as a value-laden decision about America’s lack of desire to hear from the Arab world about the Arab world.”
There is the little matter of the Al-Jazeera’s famously close relationship with terrorists and long history of airing Hate America programming. She claims the belief that AJE’s programming “is merely anti-American propaganda” results from its poor “relationship wth [sic.] the Bush administration.” Another Republican mess Obama is cleaning up!
Kayyem praises the network’s coverage of the recent riots in Egypt. “While US news corporations scrambled to get people and equipment to the region,” she writes, “AJE was already there, at the forefront of documenting the Egyptian government’s atrocities and demise.” Indeed, Islamic terrorists have wanted to topple Egypt’s government for at least a generation; covering Mubarak’s “atrocities” furthered that goal.
Her pen drips with elitism as she complains that greedy television providers give Americans the programming they want instead of force-feeding them the broadcast diet the Obama administration would prefer. She grouses, “My own [cable TV] carrier offers no fewer than four sports history channels and five providing variations of country music.” Sports and country music? Why, hicks watch that stuff! In her other public pronouncements, she has berated the TV show 24.
Civil Rights Lawyer; Muslim Minority Advocate
Such writing should hardly surprise us. Kayyem is a former civil rights attorney who opposes racial profiling for terrorists. She served as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the quota-obsessed Clinton White House. The Harvard Law Bulletin reports that, as an adviser to Janet Reno on terrorism, she “came to believe that within the FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, there was a bias against…Muslims which the Justice Department had a responsibility to address.” Now she wants the government to make good for its tragic history by serving Muslim interests.
A Costly Outreach
Taxpayers are already paying $1.5 million a year to put Al-Jazeera on public radio airwaves. Two of the three sites attacked on 9/11 now have at least one hour of Al-Jazeera radio piped in over publicly funded Pacifica Radio stations.
This is not even the first attempt at a “moderate” Muslim television presence. Our most recent encounter with Islamic diversity on the airwaves was Bridges TV. Last week, a jury convicted its founder, Muzzammil “Mo” Hassan, of beheading his wife, Aasiya, in its hallways in February 2009. USA Today reports they returned a guilty verdict on second-degree murder, and “Hassan faces up to life in prison.” Which is far more lenient than Islamic law.
Kayyem’s not-so-subtle pressure on American carriers to run Islamic fundamentalist programming joins numerous other Obama initiatives to give more airtime to its friends and deny airtime to its political foes.
Redistributing the Airwaves
Most recently, Al Sharpton has met with FCC officials to try to have Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives branded racists and denied the right to broadcast over talk radio, the one medium liberals do not overwhelmingly dominate. The Congressional Black Caucus has pushed for a federal bailout of minority-owned media outlets, which skew far-Left.
On Valerie Jarrett’s advice, Barack Obama plucked Mark Lloyd from the Center for American Progress and appointed him the Federal Communications Commission’s first “Diversity Czar.” At a Conference on Media Reform: Racial Justice, Lloyd said:
[W]e have really, truly good white people in important positions [in the media]. And the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions. And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions we will not change the problem. We’re in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power. (Emphasis added.)
Kayyem’s op-ed proves the Obama administration has a multi-agency, all-hands-on-deck push to reward its constituents. Muslims fit neatly alongside blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, homosexuals, and unmarried women in the constellation of preferred minority groups the administration wishes to empower.
Redistributing the airwaves to these selected classes dovetails with Obama’s overall redistribution agenda. It can be seen in his stealth reparations to minorities. He was remarkably upfront about his guiding ideology in his 2001 interview with Chicago public radio, in which he called for “redistributive change.”
Now his Department of Homeland Security is trying to redistribute world power, one TV set at a time.