Diana West

We don't know the impact of Rep. Peter King's hearings into Islamic "radicalization," but already we need a cheat sheet to debunk the disinformation and slander heaped upon the Long Island Republican's head for his one simple "crime," which I'll name below.

King has been accused of many things for holding these hearings, but this "crime," which I consider a patriotic duty, is never mentioned by his critics. Part of the reason may be that this "crime" isn't consciously understood as such by King's critics or even by King himself, so carefully hidden is it behind euphemism and misdirection, and so heavily armored is it by a complex defense of emotional reflexes.

Hence, the need for a cheat sheet about all the "crimes" the King hearings are not.

1) Holding hearings into Islamic "radicalization" is not an exercise in "McCarthyism," as widely and deeply misunderstood.

First of all, that's because the investigative efforts of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the most unjustly maligned man in American history, to reveal extensive networks of Kremlin-directed agents seeking the destruction of the Republic isn't "McCarthyism," either. The term, hyper-loaded to invoke Salem-esque "witch hunts" of free-thinking innocents, is a hoax. This is due to the simple fact, redundantly confirmed by materials in U.S. and Soviet archives, which the Communist conspiracy of "witches" was, in fact, real. (Read M. Stanton Evans' 2007 investigative masterpiece "Blacklisted by History" for the meticulously reconstructed details.) But who ever let facts get in the way of good propaganda?

2) Holding hearings into Islamic "radicalization" is not akin to Japanese internment during World War II -- another widely and deeply misunderstood phenomenon.

Thanks to the benighted embrace of what is, in effect, an "official" history written and promulgated at taxpayers expense, the internment of Japanese-Americans from the West Coast is typically understood as having been the result of "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership." That's the bottom line of the frequently cited congressionally mandated report on Japanese internment, which drove a pandering U.S. government to pay internees and their descendants $1.6 billion in reparations in 1988. (Not Ronald Reagan's finest hour.) Shoved aside was evidence of extensive Tokyo-directed espionage networks within the Japanese community on the West Coast, evidence revealed to FDR and his senior advisers through the MAGIC project, the top-secret decryption of some 5,000 Japanese diplomatic cables. (Michelle Malkin bravely tackled this topic in her 2004 book "In Defense of Internment.")

But just as documentation attesting to a sustained assault of Kremlin-loyal agents on the U.S. government fails to debunk the mythology of "witch hunts," MAGIC evidence of Japanese networks does nothing to the snuff the fires of victimology. They burn to this day. The question is, do we see today an invigorated coalition coming together on the Left to bask in their glow? Recalling their own history "Japanese-Americans reach out to Muslims," reports the Washington Post. Meanwhile, the NAACP, mismatching skin color with doctrinal allegiance, weighed in to urge King to reconsider holding the "reckless" hearings altogether.

Certainly, an old template has been revived. Where yesteryear's anti-anti-communists toed the Party line that "McCarthyism" was more dangerous than Communism, today's anti-anti-jihadists are taking the position, as, for example, recently expressed by James Zogby in The Nation, "Islamophobia and those who promote it are a greater threat to the United States of America than Anwar al-Awlaqi and his ragtag team of terrorists." I would respond by saying:

3) Holding hearings into Islamic "radicalization" is not "Islamophobia" -- another nonsense word. Looking into the Islamic connections to Islamic terrorism and related jihadist activities is totally rational (would that King or someone would actually do so). Not holding hearings is pure Islamophobia-phobia -- a condition far more dangerous than any mere jihadist, and one we've been suffering from since 9/11.

Of course, not holding hearings at all would have quickly absolved Peter King of his true "crime," the transgression he's been pilloried for like Red-hunters of an earlier generation. That is the "crime" of exposure, which, to the Left, "un-American" or "anti-American," is the greatest offense of all. Front groups, boring from within, subversion -- all require undisturbed cover, not questions, not discussion, not sunshine. The New York lawmaker might not know it, but he's been caught in the act.

And that's why he's getting crucified.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).