The fact that James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, was a lieutenant general in the Air Force makes me think the Air Force needs to re-examine its promotion policies.
"The term Muslim Brotherhood is an umbrella term for a variety of movements," Mr. Clapper told Congress Feb. 11, 2011. "In the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam."
An intelligence officer who says that is either a liar or a fool.
The Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan), was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al Banna (1906-1949), a schoolteacher and imam (in the Sunni tradition, a prayer leader), explicitly to counter the secularism and Western influences he blamed for the collapse of the Ottoman empire.
"It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet," Mr. al Banna said. The ultimate goal of the Muslim Brotherhood, he said, is to establish a world-wide "Caliphate" ruled by Islamic law (Sharia).
The Ikhwan's motto, unchanged from that day to this, is: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."
The Muslim Brotherhood languished in relative obscurity until Mr. al Banna formed an alliance with Adolf Hitler, who provided money and weapons. Mr. al Banna translated Hitler's manifesto, Mein Kampf (which still sells briskly in the Muslim world) into Arabic.
"This stuff we now see in the Islamic world looks like Nazism because it comes from the Nazis," said veteran foreign correspondent Claire Berlinski.
The Muslim Brotherhood has affiliates in more than 70 countries, including the United States, where it has been active through front groups since the 1960s.
Shortly before his election as president of Egypt last year, Ikhwan member Mohamed Morsi said in a speech at Cairo University: "The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal. Today we can establish Sharia law because our nation will acquire well-being only with Islam and Sharia."
Mr. Morsi sounds a lot like Hassan al Banna. So how did Mr. Clapper get the idea the Muslim Brotherhood is "largely secular," and "eschews violence"?
The secular governments which ruled Egypt before the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 banned the Muslim Brotherhood, so it went underground. Affiliates were camouflaged as athletic clubs and social welfare organizations. A military wing assassinated government leaders, including President Anwar Sadat in 1981, for having signed a peace treaty with Israel.
Al Qaida chieftain Ayman al Zawahiri was a Muslim Brother. Al Qaida and the Ikhwan differ chiefly in tactics. Al Qaida conducts jihad through acts of terror. The Muslim Brotherhood also seeks power through subversion (as their Nazi mentors did).
Leaders of the Ikhwan have "eschewed violence" only when speaking in English to gullible Westerners, or where advocating violence would get them arrested. Hamas, the most prominent affiliate, employs violence constantly. Now that the Muslim Brotherhood runs Egypt, violence against Coptic Christians is soaring.
An intelligence officer should pay more attention to what the Ikhwan do than to what they say, more attention to what they say when speaking to Muslims than when speaking to us. So the odds are DNI Clapper is more liar than fool.
He certainly wasn't truthful when he answered "no sir, not wittingly" when Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore, asked him in March: "Does the N.S.A. collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
But the odds on "fool" went up after Mr. Clapper told NBC's Lisa Meyers he'd answered Sen. Wyden in the "least untruthful manner."
How hard would it have been for him to say: "That is not a question I can answer in open session."
Especially since he knew in advance what Sen. Wyden would ask.
DNI Clapper had to know the attack on our consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 was the work of terrorists affiliated with al Qaida, since that's what intelligence officers were reporting.
But for days afterward he gave support to the phony story about a YouTube video.
Whether liar, fool, or both, Mr. Clapper is a toady. If he told me the sun rises in the East, I wouldn't believe him.mobilehome - jackkelly
Jack Kelly is a columnist for The Press and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio