Dana Rohrabacher’s Hypocrisy Of Terror

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has intervened on behalf of convicted terrorist Mohiuddin A.K.M. Ahmed. Rohrabacher has used his good offices to try to prevent Mohiuddin from being deported to Bangladesh where he has been convicted of multiple murders, including those of women and children. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Mohiuddin’s petition to block his deportation in late February. He was to be deported last week until Dana Rohrabacher intervened on his behalf:

But time is running out. Ahmed was to have left the country Monday night, but Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) called Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s office and requested a delay.

"Amnesty International and our State Department has questioned the integrity of the Bangladeshi judicial system," said Tara Setmayer, a spokeswoman for Rohrabacher.

"And because of that, Dana felt as though there would be no harm in trying to buy some time for his legal counsel to find a country" where he would not be put to death.

"Given the circumstances, he said he’d be willing to place a phone call or two to buy some time and figure things out," she said.

It is touching to see that Dana Rohrabacher cares so much about the human rights of convicted terrorists. However, it was not always so. Below is a sampling of Congressman Rohrabacher’s views about terrorists and how they should be dealt with.

Rohrabacher’s position on countries that refuse to extradite cop killers and murderers to the United States:

It is absolutely horrifying to think the United States has no penalities for countries who refuse to extradite criminals such as cop killers back to the United States. While the tragic case of David March, a Los Angeles County Sheriff gunned down by an illegal alien who fled to Mexico, is very much on the minds of everyone in southern California, this situation has been going on for years. Germany, Canada and France are some of the other countries who have refused to extradite vicious criminals back to our country to face justice.

House resolutions and lots of angry talk will never convince these countries to do the right thing. However, punishing them financially will. I introduced H.R. 2259 to forbid any country or any private company financing a project in that country from obtaining any loan or financial assistance from any international bank that the United States helps fund with taxpayer dollars if that country refuses to extradite criminals who have committed a crime punishable by life imprisonment or death. This includes Export-Import Bank of the United States, the North American Development Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Rohrabacher’s position on extrajudicial killings by Israel:

The Israeli elimination of Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi was justified, as was the killing of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Until Hamas unequivocally and officially rejects the intentional murder of Israeli non-combatants as a means to achieve their ends, any leaders of Hamas have declared themselves "open season". Hamas has officially taken credit for suicide bombings and other murderous actions whose only targets were women, children and helpless people. This is the purest definition of terrorism and cannot be tolerated. That a leader of such as organization, which targets noncombatants, is eliminated should not be condemned.

Rohrabacher’s position on keeping Guantanamo Bay open:

The House of Representatives today adopted an amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act introduced by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) that expresses the sense of Congress that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba should remain open.

“The recent criticism of Guantanamo fails to mention that this a prison full of terrorists, the kind who target innocent women and children,” said Rep. Rohrabacher. “Of some 24,000 interrogations that have taken place there, investigators found nine possible cases of abuse which are being aggressively pursued. This is far from an ‘American Gulag’ or some of the more outrageous comments made about it.”

Rohrabacher’s position on the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi:

Today we celebrate the successful elimination of a criminal who was responsible for countless murders of innocent Iraqis, including children, as well as brutal attacks on American troops. While terrorizing the people of Iraq, Al-Zarqawi was not an Iraqi and thus his crimes against Iraqi people and the American military were even more heinous.  His death is a major step forward in bringing about a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Iraq, which will serve as a model for the Muslim world.

As the reader can clearly deduce from the positions quoted above, Dana Rohrabacher does not normally shed a tear for terrorists or those he considers murderers. So, it is quite peculiar to see Dana Rohrabacher offer aid and comfort to a convicted terrorist. Why has Rohrabacher suddenly gone yellow in the "war on terror"?

What gives Dana?

Could it be that Dana’s bark is worse than his bite, especially when it comes to Islamists and terrorists such as Mohiuddin:

Federal documents reviewed by the Weekly show that Rohrabacher maintained a cordial, behind-the-scenes relationship with Osama bin Laden’s associates in the Middle East—even while he mouthed his most severe anti-Taliban comments at public forums across the U.S. There’s worse: despite the federal Logan Act ban on unauthorized individual attempts to conduct American foreign policy, the congressman dangerously acted as a self-appointed secretary of state, constructing what foreign-affairs experts call a "dual tract" policy with the Taliban. A veteran U.S. foreign-policy expert told the Weekly, "If Dana’s right-wing fans knew the truth about his actual, working relationship with the Taliban and its representatives in the Middle East and in the United States, they wouldn’t be so happy."

Nowadays, Rohrabacher and his numerous aides are quick to provide copies of the congressman’s pre-Sept. 11 rants against the Taliban. They will tell you that he labeled them "a pack of dogs killing anyone" and "the most anti-Western, anti-female, anti-human rights regime in the world." They will also show you records of the congressman berating Clinton administration foreign-policy advisors for misreading Taliban intentions and for trying to negotiate peace in Afghanistan with the militant Islamic group’s Mullah Mohammed Omar, a bin Laden associate.

What they won’t mention is that Rohrabacher also once lobbied shamelessly for the Taliban. A November/December 1996 article in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs reported, "The potential rise of power of the Taliban does not alarm Rohrabacher" because the congressman believes the "Taliban could provide stability in an area where chaos was creating a real threat to the U.S." Later in the article, Rohrabacher claimed that:

  • Taliban leaders are "not terrorists or revolutionaries."
  • Media reports documenting the Taliban’s harsh, radical beliefs were "nonsense."
  • The Taliban would develop a "disciplined, moral society" that did not harbor terrorists.
  • The Taliban posed no threat to the U.S.

Evidence of Rohrabacher’s attempts to conduct his own foreign policy became public on April 10, 2001, not in the U.S., but in the Middle East. On that day, ignoring his own lack of official authority, Rohrabacher opened negotiations with the Taliban at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha, Qatar, ostensibly for a "Free Markets and Democracy" conference. There, Rohrabacher secretly met with Taliban Foreign Minister Mullah Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, an advisor to Mullah Omar. Diplomatic sources claim Muttawakil sought the congressman’s assistance in increasing U.S. aid—already more than $100 million annually—to Afghanistan and indicated that the Taliban would not hand over bin Laden, wanted by the Clinton administration for the fatal bombings of two American embassies in Africa and the USS Cole. For his part, Rohrabacher handed Muttawakil his unsolicited plans for war-torn Afghanistan. "We examined a peace plan," he laconically told reporters in Qatar.

After Taliban-related terrorists attacked the U.S. last September, Rohrabacher associates worked hard to downplay the Qatar meeting. Republican strategist Grover Norquist told a reporter that the congressman had accidentally encountered the Taliban official in a hotel hallway.

But that preposterous assertion is contradicted by much evidence:

  • Qatari government officials who told Al-Jazeera television on April 10, 2001, that Rohrabacher sought the meeting in advance and that they had assisted in the arrangements. Muttawakil said he agreed to the meeting "on the basis of allowing each party to express their point of view."
  • The congressman himself told other Middle Eastern news outlets that his discussions with the Taliban were "frank and open" and their officials were "thoughtful and inquisitive." Hardly a casual chat in the hallway.
  • Similarly, in an interview with Agence France-Presse, Rohrabacher’s entourage described the meeting as "a high-level talk."

I wonder how Dana Rohrabacher feels about the Taliban chopping people’s heads off in soccer stadiums. Is the Taliban Rohrabacher’s idea of a "disciplined, moral society"? Rohrabacher’s views on the Taliban might explain his support for Mohiuddin. After all, Mohiuddin’s Islamist tendencies go hand in hand with his and the Taliban’s practice of brutal murder.

Human rights indeed!

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