Would we be going all soft and RINO-y if we copped to some concern about these congressional hearings scheduled to be chaired by Peter King (R-NY) regarding Islamic extremism?
There are two basic concerns we have: First, what is ultimately to be gained by these hearings? What are the concrete objectives of these hearings? If it is to uncover some previously unidentified source or aspect of radical Islam and its influence here in this country then that's one thing. However, if it's mere grandstanding then please count us out.
We suppose what bothers us is that even the most feckless, candy-ass liberal, if he is being completely honest with himself and in his most un-guarded moments, will admit to the threat to this country's safety presented by radical Islamists.
The problem, then, is not identifying the sources of Islamic radicalization in this country but rather acknowledging it does indeed exist. (We do have law enforcement agencies for the purpose of bringing to justice those who would do harm and conspire to do harm to this country and its interests.) The prime example of this is the Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Hasan.
The U.S. military's just-released report into the Fort Hood shootings spends 86 pages detailing various slipups by Army officers but not once mentions Major Nidal Hasan by name or even discusses whether the killings may have had anything to do with the suspect's view of his Muslim faith. And as Congress opens two days of hearings on Wednesday into the Pentagon probe of the Nov. 5 attack that left 13 dead, lawmakers want explanations for that omission.
We know Hasan had ties to radical clerics in Yemen. We know that Hasan was unfit for service in the U.S. Army and posed a threat to potentially do what he did. The question then becomes what are we willing to do about it.
We don't know who is going to be hauled in front of the hearing panel but we have a pretty good idea that it is not going to be Army Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, who signed off on the report above and who should be relieved of command for doing so.
(Other links regarding the abject failure of acting upon the threat imposed by Hasan can be found, here.)
Again, precisely what light is hoped to by shed by these hearings that we do not know already?
Our second concern revolves around politics and the nature of it in today's world.
Recall the past two years a certain political entity which has been pilloried and savaged both in the press and by the political elite and compared to Nazis, jihadists, extremists and the like. If you don't think that the tables could be turned in a heartbeat with a congressional change of power, you are deluding yourself.
You would have never thought that exercising the right to peaceably assemble and the constitutionally-protected right to airing of grievances would be called un-American, now would you? Then again, three years ago, you never would have thought that the federal government could compel you to purchase a good or service.
Bottom line: We have serious reservations about these hearings and unless someone can convince us otherwise, we are, in a squishy RINO sort of way, opposed to them.