It is now a well-established tradition in Washington that any scandal, no matter how seemingly innocuous, soon is given the suffix “-gate,” establishing a lineal connection to the mother of all scandals, Watergate.
Well, let me be the first to suggest that a recent scandal in the Pentagon be known hereafter as “Front-gate” in recognition of the central role played in the drama by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization designated by the Justice Department as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan). With the House and Senate both back in business this week, Front-gate should be subjected to close congressional scrutiny since it may involve the most strategically ominous case of official misconduct since the Clinton Administration’s China-gate.
The Front-gate saga began with the firing last month of Stephen Coughlin, a Major in the Army Reserves who was working as a civilian contractor for the Joint Chiefs of Staff when he ran afoul of one Hashem Islam. Islam is Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England’s point-man for the Pentagon outreach to the Muslim community.
Hashem Islam is also evidently an admirer of ISNA. He arranged for Secretary England to address one of the group’s meetings last year – a huge help to an organization reeling from its designation by the Bush Department of Justice not only as a Brotherhood front but as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism-financing conspiracy.
According to reporting by the Washington Times’ National Security Correspondent, Bill Gertz, the sacking of Major Coughlin was precipitated by a sharp disagreement with Mr. Islam over ISNA. The former had made a serious study of this and other Islamist organizations as part of a 333-page thesis entitled To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad (http://www.strategycenter.net/include/docFormat_list.asp?docRecNo=725&docType=0)prepared for, and recently accepted by, the National Defense Intelligence College.
Based on his analysis of the Islamofascist roots and agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood, Stephen Coughlin was given to warning his military audiences that it was no “moderate” organization. For example, he notes that one of the Ikhwan’s most prominent leaders, Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, has declared: “The abduction and killing of Americans in Iraq is an obligation so as to cause them to leave Iraq immediately.”
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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