Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Rep. Andre Carson (D–IN) is an unacceptable leader who has a history of making bad choices and associating with bad people. Those bad choices became sickeningly apparent when it was learned he had dinner with terrorist supporter President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and known bigot and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. Indianapolis must vote Andre Carson out of office; They cannot have someone that irresponsible as their representative.
Carson attended the dinner in 2013 with fellow Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison and Gregory Meeks.
What compels a person to have dinner with the leader of a regime (Iran) that does not allow free speech or freedom of the press, that routinely murders people for being gay and has long been a sponsor of terrorism around the globe? To accept an invitation like this is beyond understanding. One wonders how the gay community of Indianapolis will react to this knowledge? One wonders how the families of military members in Indianapolis will react to learning about this dinner?
That known anti-Semite and bigot Louis Farrakhan was in attendance is the icing on the “what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-this-guy?” cake. So we are clear, let me say again that Louis Farrakhan is an anti-Semite and a bigot. He hates white people. He hates gay people. He hates Jews. He’s a horrific human being whose supporters should be looked at with utter contempt. Those who value his thoughts or ideas are on the most tattered fringes of civil society, and decent people — regardless of their political differences — should work together aggressively to make sure people like him have no positions of power or influence.
Rep. Carson decided to break bread with him. From The Wall Street Journal:
The occasion was a visit by Iran’s newly elected President Hassan Rouhani to the United Nations. Mr. Rouhani invited Muslim leaders from around the U.S. to dinner after addressing the U.N. General Assembly. Contemporaneous news reports placed Mr. Farrakhan at the dinner. Unreported by mainstream outlets was the presence of Mr. Ellison, along with Reps. Gregory Meeks of New York and Andre Carson of Indiana. (All three are Democrats; Messrs. Ellison and Carson are Muslim.)
The Nation of Islam website documents the event, noting that Mr. Rouhani “hosted the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Muslim leaders from different Islamic communities and members of the U.S. Congress at a private meeting . . . at the One UN Hotel in Manhattan Sept. 24, 2013 across the street from the UN headquarters.” The Final Call, a Nation of Islam publication, added that “ Keith Ellison of Minnesota . . . participated in the dialogue” after dinner and includes photos of Messrs. Farrakhan and Ellison at the tables. The Michigan-based Islamic House of Wisdom also reported on the meeting, with additional photos.
This isn’t the first time Rep. Carson has shown bad judgment. In 2014, Patrick Poole of PJMedia wrote about Rep. Carson’s attendance at a conference with a known Taliban fundraiser. At the event, the 13th Annual Muslim American Society/Islamic Circle of North America (MAS/ICNA) convention, Rep. Carson was scheduled to be on a panel about Ferguson, MO entitled, “Ferguson is our issue: We Can’t Breath.”
Also part of the panel was Mazen Mokhtar, who was known to the FBI as a fundraiser for the Taliban. From Poole:
In 2004, Mokhtar was named in a federal affidavit in the case of a UK-based Al-Qaeda website that raised money for the Taliban and other terrorist organizations.
According to the Washington Post:
Meanwhile, a New Jersey man is under investigation for having helped a British computer specialist, also arrested in London this week, allegedly solicit funds for a terrorist group by creating and operating an exact replica of the British man’s Web site.
Mazen Mokhtar, an Egyptian-born imam and political activist, operated a Web site identified in an affidavit unsealed Friday by the U.S. attorney’s office in Connecticut. The Web site solicited funds for the Taliban and Chechen mujaheddin, according to the affidavit. It is an exact replica of Web sites operated by Babar Ahmad, who was arrested in England on a U.S. extradition warrant this week.
On-air, I called for Rep. Carson to resign. Attending an event with someone like that — a terrorist fundraiser! — is unacceptable. He should have known better and should have made better decisions. In short, I stated, “Indy should not put up with this kind of ignorance.” Soon after, Tim Mak of The Daily Beast interviewed me on the subject and wrote an article titled, “A Muslim Oversees Our Spies. Get Over It.” From the article:
“I question his (Carson’s) intelligence for showing up to [the] event. I question whether someone like that should be attending the House Intelligence Committee,” Katz told The Daily Beast. The radio host stopped short of questioning the congressman’s patriotism, but said his attendance at the conference raises questions about the congressman’s “belief in law and justice” over the “vigilante violence” of terrorism.
Mak then followed up, writing, “The irony of questioning Carson’s personal commitment to justice is evident when one looks into his background as a law enforcement official. The congressman went undercover at Purdue University, going to classes to uncover illegality involving cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, and prostitution. In various capacities, he collaborated with the FBI, the DEA and the Gary, Ind., police department on cases.”
So? His undercover work doesn’t outweigh or erase the problem: Rep. Andre Carson makes terrible choices in his associations. He agreed to appear on a panel with a known terrorist fundraiser (though he has tried to rewrite history on the subject, claiming he was never really scheduled to be on the panel.) He went to dinner with both the leader of a murderous, terrorist supporting regime and anti-Semite and bigot Louis Farrakhan.
And what about his hiring of Imran Awan, the disgraced, indicted congressional IT worker, hired by multiple Democrats, who may have stolen hard drives and other information that can be used to compromise members of Congress or hurt Americans? (Awan has also been accused of abusing multiple women with threats and acts of physical violence, including his own mother. He was apprehended at Dulles International Airport after wiring more than $280,000 to Pakistan. He had $12,000 in cash on him at the time of his arrest.)
Rep. Andre Carson clearly makes bad choices. The question that should be asked is why? The issue of any toxic connection to anti-Semite Farrahkan came back strong in January when this never-before-seen 2005 photo appeared of Farrakhan and future President Barack Obama. The photographer has stated he hid the photo during the elections because he thought it would ruin Obama’s chances of victory.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) January 25, 2018
If it would have ruined Obama in 2005, how can it possibly be acceptable for Carson to have dinner with him in 2013? Associations matter. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have been vilified for looking the other way on Harvey Weinstein (then again, #theyallknew.) Chief of Staff John Kelly is being hit repeatedly for his first defense of President Trump’s former staff secretary Rob Porter. Why would the same rules not apply to meeting with bigots and supporters of terrorism?
If only Daniel Pearl and Todd Beamer were part of the #MeToo movement.
Indianapolis is a remarkable city. It is the capital of the mid-west, whether the coasts recognize it or not. It is not only the city of the future, it’s the city of right now: physically growing by leaps and bounds, remarkable entertainment options, incredible chefs and more restaurants opening almost daily, a re-dedication to the arts in museums and showcases. And jobs; lots of jobs. More jobs coming to central Indiana every day. The taxes are low (and could be lower!) and Indy has beyond well-priced housing.
What it doesn’t have is competent leadership in Congress. Indianapolis needs to demand excellence, dismiss bigotry and vile ineptitude and no longer vote based on letters after names, but based on results, decency and a basic understanding of right and wrong. Indianapolis cannot be led by someone so willing to embrace people so hateful and dangerous.
Indy must fire Andre Carson. The reputation of a great city is at stake.