Fox's Greta Van Susteren Lets Huma Abedin off the Hook
Abedin's longstanding Muslim Brotherhood ties go untouched.
A Fox News Channel report last week examining Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s role in the deadly Benghazi affair curiously ignored the troubling, well-documented ties that Abedin and her family have to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Instead, the Friday broadcast of “On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren” centered on the legal and ethical issues surrounding Abedin and the extremely unusual working arrangement she enjoyed while serving as a top aide to Clinton during her tenure as U.S. secretary of state.
Certainly the mountain of allegations of corruption against Clinton and her longtime hatchet woman, Abedin, and employment best practices in the U.S. government merit scrutiny, but so does the fact that Abedin was an editor for 12 years at an al-Qaeda-funded Muslim Brotherhood magazine.
The FBI is investigating whether classified information was mishandled on the so-called home-brew Internet server that Clinton and Abedin both used to send emails concerning official government business. But Van Susteren’s show did not pay much attention to exactly what Abedin did for Clinton out of public view while serving in a sensitive, senior government post. Abedin was depicted somewhat sympathetically as a controversial, though possibly corrupt, public figure who aggressively pursued personal revenue streams separate from government employment. She was shown to have been wronged by her man but to have faithfully stood by him.
Van Susteren, a renowned, down-to-earth legal commentator who rose to prominence for her CNN commentaries during the 1994-5 murder trial of O.J. Simpson, failed to go anywhere near the Abedin family’s inter-generational ties to Muslim organizations hostile to the United States and Israel. A two and a half minute clip detailing Huma’s background and relationship to the Clintons omits all mention of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates that Abedins young and old have devoted their lives to supporting. Viewers learned that Abedin got her start interning for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton inside Bill Clinton’s White House. Things went swimmingly and Huma and Hillary became inseparable. The young go-getter emerged as Hillary’s most visible, trusted confidant. Huma was a top Hillary aide in Mrs. Clinton’s successful 2000 campaign for the U.S. Senate and during her unsuccessful presidential run in 2008. Huma came under fire for conflict of interest for being on the payroll of multiple private sector concerns –one run by a Clinton ally– at the same time as she served Hillary as a top advisor and strategist at the Department of State. Huma went through troubled times, it was reported, during her husband’s run for mayor of New York City when Americans learned he tweeted photos of his body parts and then lied about doing so. Her husband, well known to FrontPage readers, is the rabidly left-wing serial pervert former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).
Van Susteren showed footage of the 2013 presser during the mayoral campaign at which poor Huma does her best Tammy Wynette impression by standing by her man. “It was not an easy choice in any way but I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage,” Huma is shown saying as she glances reassuringly at Weiner, a smile twisting on her lips.
In a voiceover, Van Susteren opines:
But as questions and controversies surround Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal server to store government emails, there is one thing the emails do make clear: There are few people as close to Hillary Clinton as Huma Abedin.
In a more newsy related four and a half minute segment on the Friday show, Van Susteren interviews Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), a member of the House Benghazi Select Committee which had just questioned Abedin behind closed doors for six hours.
Westmoreland noted that Abedin was deputy chief of operations for Clinton’s State Department and thought it strange that she remembered so little of what happened on Sept. 11, 2012, when jihadists were in the process of slaughtering four Americans, including a sitting U.S. ambassador. Abedin, the congressman explained, said she was in New York at the time and didn’t know much about what went on during the eleventh anniversary of the fateful 9⁄11 terrorist attacks.
Westmoreland said Abedin acknowledged she knew about Clinton’s private email server, which congressional investigators say processed numerous sensitive government documents, but that panelists didn’t ask her about the propriety of having the hacker-friendly system. “She answered every question,” he said. Westmoreland said separately Abedin often responded to questions by saying “‘I don’t remember’ and ‘I don’t recollect.’”
But the wrong questions are being asked. None are focusing on Abedin’s background that makes her uniquely unqualified for service in the U.S. government. Born in 1976 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Abedin’s frightening connections to the Muslim Brotherhood run deep. Her mother is Saleha Mahmood Abedin, widow of the late Zyed Abedin, an academic who taught at Saudi Arabia’s prestigious King Abdulaziz University in the early 1970s. The year after Huma was born, Mrs. Abedin received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1978, the Abedins moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Abdullah Omar Naseef, then-vice president of Abdulaziz University, hired Mr. Abedin, a former colleague of his at the university, to work for the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), a Saudi-based Islamic think tank Naseef was then in the process of establishing. Mr. and Mrs. Abedin became members of the editorial board of IMMA’s publication, the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs.
According to FrontPage contributor and former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, IMMA’s “Muslim Minority Affairs” agenda is “to grow an unassimilated, aggressive population of Islamic supremacists who will gradually but dramatically alter the character of the West.” Naseef himself was a Muslim extremist with ties to al-Qaeda. In 1983 he became secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), a militant organization with links to Osama bin Laden. Mrs. Abedin became an official representative of MWL in the 1990s. When her husband died in 1994, Mrs. Abedin became the IMMA’s director. She currently serves as editor-in-chief of its journal.
Mrs. Abedin is also a member of the board of the International Islamic Council for Dawa and Relief (IICDR), which has long been banned in Israel because it has ties to Hamas. (In Arabic, dawah, or dawa, means the proselytizing or preaching of Islam.) She also runs the Amman, Jordan-based International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC), a Muslim World League affiliate that self-identifies as part of the IICDR.
The Muslim World League, according to McCarthy, “has long been the Muslim Brotherhood’s principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology.” IICWC promotes strict Sharia Law and advocates the rescission of Egyptian laws that forbid female genital mutilation, child marriage, and marital rape.
Mrs. Abedin is a founding member of the Muslim Sisterhood, a pro-Sharia organization consisting of the wives of some of the highest-ranking leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian opposition newspaper Al-Liwa Al-Arabi has reported that Muslim Sisterhood members: “smuggle secret documents”; “spread the Brotherhood’s ideology by infiltrating universities, schools and homes”; “fulfill the interests of the Brotherhood”; and “organiz[e] projects which will penetrate [the Brotherhood’s] prohibited ideology into the decision-making in the West … under the guise of ‘general needs of women.‘” Nagla Ali Mahmoud, wife of Mohammed Morsi, the Islamist who was elected president of Egypt in June 2012 and subsequently overthrown by anti-Islamists, is a member of the Muslim Sisterhood.
When Huma Abedin returned to the U.S. and was an intern in the Clinton White House between 1997 and some time in 1999, she was a member of the executive board of George Washington University’s radical Muslim Students Association (MSA). The MSA had extensive ties to al-Qaeda.
From 1996 to 2008, Abedin was employed by IMMA as assistant editor of its Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. Her brother, Hassan Abedin, an associate editor at the journal, was at one time a fellow at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. During his fellowship, the Center’s board included such Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated figures as Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Abdullah Omar Naseef. Huma’s sister, Heba Abedin, is an assistant editor with the journal.
Someone with Abedin’s background shouldn’t be anywhere near the levers of power in Washington. Yet Hillary Clinton trusted her with vital secrets of state and then erased their electronic correspondence. But even now as evidence continues to accumulate that Clinton’s cavalier approach to classified information put U.S. national security in jeopardy, the shady background of Abedin is barely acknowledged on Capitol Hill.
The media’s lack of interest in Abedin’s extracurricular activities has been mirrored by the ineffectual Republican leadership in Congress. Abedin has been aided by the anti-so-called Islamophobia lobby which accuses lawmakers and media outlets of racism and religious bigotry whenever her name is mentioned in the same breath as anything remotely connected to Islamofascism.
Benghazi Select Committee member Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, predictably piled on Republicans. He told reporters that having Abedin, who is now vice chairwoman of Clinton’s presidential campaign, testify raised more questions about whether the committee is “a taxpayer-funded effort to derail the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”
The indignant barking of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who took to the Senate floor in 2012 to defend Abedin, has no doubt helped to make it more difficult to vet her.
Statements House Republicans made about Abedin are “an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American and a loyal public servant,” McCain said, stating that Abedin should be judged by “her substantial personal merit and her abiding commitment to the American ideals that she embodies so fully.” To put the finishing touch on his position, McCain affirmed: “I am proud to know Huma and to call her my friend.” The Washington Post, meanwhile, has dismissed claims about Abedin as mere “unsubstantiated allegations that her family has ties to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.”
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has been demanding information from the foot-dragging Obama administration about a multitude of irregularities including why Abedin was allowed to work at the Department of State under a special, part-time status arrangement while simultaneously working at Teneo, a politically-connected consulting firm. Grassley also has done little if anything to probe the ties that yet another Abedin employer, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, has to Muslim terrorism.
Americans have learned the philanthropy is a free-wheeling international cash-for-future-presidential-favors clearinghouse and that it has received hefty donations from unlikely sources such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. Professional jihadi propagandist Gehad el-Haddad, who worked for the Clinton Foundation for five years, was sentenced to life imprisonment in Egypt earlier this year for terrorism-related activities. The name Gehad happens to be the Egyptian version of the Arabic word jihad.
So, when are the right and urgent questions going to be asked about Huma Abedin? To what extent did she use her high office to advance the cause of her family? Does she reject her mother’s views? Why was she employed for twelve years by the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs and why is she never asked about it? Did she play any role in developing or promoting the dishonest cover story that painted an unknown anti-Islam movie director’s obscure trailer on YouTube as the real cause of the terrorist assault in Benghazi? What, if any, role did she play as an advisor to Secretary of State Clinton regarding the catastrophic Arab Spring that plunged the already volatile Middle East and North Africa into an Islamist Winter?
These are some of the many questions that need to be asked. High-profile media figures like Greta Van Susteren should be asking them.