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Obama Administration Restricts Spying In Mosques

When the revelations first came out that the NSA was spying on Americans by collecting phone records from Verizon, the Obama administration has defended their actions. They have made the claim, repeatedly, that the program was vital in their efforts to stop terrorists from doing their deeds of destruction. They have made the same claim about PRIZM, the program that allows the federal government to search through Internet traffic. As they have made these claims, some of us have asked the obvious questions. If the programs are so vital in the efforts to stop terrorism, why did they fail to stop the Tsarnaev brothers before they bombed the Boston Marathon? As it turns out, there’s a good explanation for that. Since 2011, well after President Bush had moved back to Texas, spying in mosques has been restricted. Hat tip to Fire Andrea Mitchell.

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Investors – Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

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Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.

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We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel’s formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.

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Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.

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Muslim MonitoringI don’t know what the exact percentages are, but over the past several decades, the majority of terrorist attacks have been perpetrated by one group, men of the Muslim faith. This is true, no matter where the attackers resided or originated. Much of their radicalization took place in mosques. Considering that fact, why would we put them in the no fly zone for the FBI and other government authorities who are trying to prevent another 9/11? Could it be that the federal government is too busy twisting the facts to make it look as if conservatives are the real threat? That’s possible and it has been done, but there is another theory that is probably closer to the truth, one that troubles me even more.

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Could it be that President Barack Obama is really what so many have claimed all along, a Muslim sympathizer? For some time, it has appeared to me that Islam holds more than a small place in the heart of the President. He has defended the religion of peace, both in his idle remarks and in his public speeches. He has made it plain that we can not accuse Muslims of anything untoward, without risking a violation of their civil rights. With the evidence we have in hand, it would now seem that President Obama may have a much deeper affinity for the Muslim faith than many of us first believed.

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Yes, I realize my last paragraph makes at least two assumptions, but the evidence is overwhelming. The Obama administration has acted proactively to protect Muslims and their places of worship. No doubt, they consider mosques to be off-limits for the prying eyes of the FBI and the NSA. I wonder how many more people have to be blown up by radical Islamic terrorists before the Obama administration stops their ridiculous attempt to insist that Islam has nothing to do with the actions of the members of its faith? How many more people have to die at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists before they stop blaming the attacks on America?

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • Obama’s “hands-off” policy regarding Muslims is simple appeasement. Many pundits, after all, believe Nine-Eleven happened because we didn’t treat Muslims right. If we had only been more sensitive and accommodating, they argue…it seems it was all OUR fault. Obama seems to be continuing that mindset. Of course we pick on Tea Partiers, ordinary American phone users, lawful gun owners and the like. But for the love of God, NOT Muslims!

    Of course, this type of appeasement has been tried before. Neville Chamberlain, the British 1930s prime minister now famous for emboldening Hitler and contributing to the outbreak of WWII, signed the Munich Accord in 1938 conceding the Nazis’ illegal invasion and seizure of Czechoslovakia. The Nazis promptly seized Poland, Austria and Holland in return. Chamberlain’s appeasement certainly ended well. Now Obama is doing largely the same thing with Muslims. Lord help us.

    • And the liberals in this country refuse to see what is happening. They accept the appeasement and expect every other group to toe the line. As you said, Lord help us.

  • It makes sense, doesn’t it? Disallow spying on people who have openly communicated their intention to overthrow the government of the United States, but increase spying on hundreds of millions of Americans whose only crime is that they enrolled in ridiculously expensive calling and data plans, and text while they drive. Clint Eastwood was right to observe, “We Americans are so tired of being thought of as dumb asses by the rest of the world that we went to the polls this past November and removed all doubt.”

    • It defies all common sense. The America we now live in is certainly not the same country I grew up in.

  • Bettybb

    What’s wrong with oversight? I agree it should be more transparent, and I would prefer it went before a judge rather than some administrative body. But it is better than no oversight at all.

    Think of it this way. We all know there are evangelical conservatives who are issuing veiled threats to our democratic process whenever they don’t like the majority’s decisions. Would you want the government to be spying in evangelical churches without anyone checking whether there is probable cause for it?

    I, and many other Americans, don’t like many of the tenets of Islam, or those of other religion groups like Mormons and some Southern Baptists, especially the classification of women as second class people. It is not our President’s job to condemn Islam, Mormonism and the Southern Baptist religion, or any other religion. It is his job to stand up for the Constitution’s principals of democracy, freedom and equal rights for all.

    So of course our President is going to uphold the rights of law abiding Muslims. That is his job. Let us not forget what happens when people get fearful and blame a whole group for the actions a few. Loyal Japanese, German and Italian Americans were put into concentration camps here in the US, just because of that kind of hatefulness.

    Our President actually has a better understanding of Islam and the Islamic community than most Americans. He has had experience with it his entire life. There are members of his extended family who are Muslim. He attended a school for a couple of years where 1/3 of the students were Muslim. He learnt at a young age that not everyone thinks alike on religion and how to get along with others of different beliefs. His Mom had to admonish him not to make faces at the Muslims kids, and not to poke fun at the Catholics. As he actually has more experience with Muslims than most of us do, we would do well to listen to what he has to say.

    I have tried to figure out why so many conservatives think Obama is a Muslim. Is it because he does not loudly and vocally condemn Islam? I think it is a good thing that he is respectful of other religious beliefs. Being respectful does not mean you approve of those beliefs, just that you acknowledge the others right to have them. And anyone who thinks Michelle Obama is a Muslim woman is completely nuts! She is a strong, competent, fully independent woman, who is subservient to no one – much to Glen Beck’s disgust – he called her a “Monster” and “arrogant” for standing up for herself. But then, Beck is a Mormon, which is the American version of Islam. Ann and Mitt Romney could easily fit into any Muslim community as they share many of the same beliefs, including polygamy.

    What the President is saying, quite properly, is that he is not going to go on an unjustified witch hunt against all Muslims.

    • The last time I checked, it wasn’t evangelical conservatives who were going around with bombs, blowing up innocent women and children.

      I don’t know if Obama is a Muslim or not, but I do know why I do not trust him when it comes to Islam. He goes out of his way to defend the religion of peace. His administration refuses to call Islamic terrorists by their rightful names and he finds any excuse he can to blame their actions on someone else. At the same time, his administration has classified conservatives as one of the biggest threats facing this country.

      You can spare me the diatribe, defending Obama for his actions. I am not buying it, not even a little.

    • Betty represents that percentage of our population more interested in defending a rock star president than she is in preserving the founding principles of our country for future generations. It is a significant problem today, but I have to say I am confused that anyone would choose personality cult over inalienable rights. In fairness, however, our country has been traveling this track for about 100 years. We the people are in trouble, America; serious trouble.

  • Much better to spy on the clingers in the tea party.

  • acethepug

    If said exceptions are also the case for Churches and Synagogues, then there is not much to make a case over legally.

    However, if it is ONLY Mosques, then it is just another actionable item with the Obama Administration.

    You finally ask: “I wonder how many more people have to be blown up by radical Islamic terrorists before the Obama administration stops their ridiculous attempt to insist that Islam has nothing to do with the actions of the members of its faith? How many more people have to die at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists before they stop blaming the attacks on America?”

    The answer is: never. Like the progressive/Leftist movement itself, the cause is sancrosanct. If there are issues, it is with individuals, not the movement itself. History is, as always, ignored.

  • It should be evident to anyone who is awake that Obama is a Muslim sympathizer. Just because 95% of all terrorist attacks have been carried out by Muslims, it wouldn’t be politically correct to profile.

  • govskeptic

    This revelation coming from a good news source should come as no surprise. A few years back a National Muslim group complained about their “suspicions” that uncover FBI Agents were attending some Mosques and wanted it stopped. The Justice Dept quickly agreed and promised this group that before any agents attended or investigated anything within a mosque, the circumstances must be presented to a special committee AG Holder appointed for limited permission to do so. This applies strictly to Mosques. No other religious groups have such a promise from the government whether FBI, IRS, or any other law enforcement agencies.

    • That’s the thing that irks me. Every other religious group has to fall into line with the government. They are threatened with the removal of their tax exempt status if they do not. Evangelicals are considered by the government to be a threat, yet they ignore the glaring fact that nearly every major terrorist attack perpetrated in the past many years has been at the hands of Islamic terrorists. The government has its head so far in the sand, it’s a miracle they don’t suffocate.

      Thanks for commenting on Political Realities.

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  • I heard about this earlier today but I wasn’t sure if it was true or not. If it is true then it shows us that PRISM has nothing to do with terrorism at all and is simply being used to build a database on all Americans and I find this more than a little troubling to say the least.

    • Very much so, Steve. It troubles me greatly.

  • bill gullen

    sorry I don’t have time for a long comment mr. jackson ’cause i’m busy brushing up on my third language. the following is tonight’s lesson:

    ترغب فرايز في ذلك يا سيدي؟

    for those of you still unfamiliar with ‘farsi’; this little gem will become a great workplace tool. it loosely translates into English as: “would you like fries with that sir?” …b

    • Now that is just plain funny. Thanks, Bill.

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  • Keep in mind that the Egyptian foreign minister under Mubarak said publicly that Obama told him he was Muslim. Being born and raised Muslim, it’s hard to believe that he suddenly dropped that faith and became a Christian while maintaining such an affinity for the faith he allegedly ditched. His profession of Christianity amounts to an occasional photo-op at a non denominational service. I agree, Islam holds more than a small place in his heart.

    • Bettybb

      Do you have a cite for that Egyptian Foreign Minister’s comment?

      Obama was raised by an Atheist.

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