Peter “Material Support for Terrorism” King

The NYT has an editorial rightly condemning ascending Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee Peter King’s upcoming hearing to attack Muslims.

It is disturbing to listen to Representative Peter King, the incoming chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. He has announced plans to hold a hearing next month into what he calls the “radicalization of the American Muslim community.” Mr. King, a New York Republican, is no stranger to bluster, but his sweeping slur on Muslim citizens is unacceptable.

But the interesting bit of the editorial is the last paragraph.

He had better recall his role as a gifted intermediary in helping to settle Ireland’s sectarian troubles. He would have bristled at any simplistic talk about the “radicalization” of the Irish Catholic or Protestant communities. Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security is a very serious job. Mr. King needs to get serious.

While the NYT points to what I believe to be the appropriate response to King’s fear-mongering, it misses the mark by about a decade or so. They point to King’s involvement in brokering peace in Northern Ireland. But of course the relevant bit is how King, for years, openly supported Irish terrorists.

He forged links with leaders of the IRA and Sinn Fein in Ireland, and in America he hooked up with Irish Northern Aid, known as Noraid, a New York based group that the American, British, and Irish governments often accused of funneling guns and money to the IRA. At a time when the IRA’s murder of Lord Mountbatten and its fierce bombing campaign in Britain and Ireland persuaded most American politicians to shun IRA-support groups, Mr. King displayed no such inhibitions. He spoke regularly at Noraid protests and became close to the group’s publicity director, the Bronx lawyer Martin Galvin, a figure reviled by the British.

Mr. King’s support for the IRA was unequivocal. In 1982, for instance, he told a pro-IRA rally in Nassau County: “We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry.”

By the mid-1980s, the authorities on both sides of the Atlantic were openly hostile to Mr. King. On one occasion, a judge threw him out of a Belfast courtroom during the murder trial of IRA men because, in the judge’s view, “he was an obvious collaborator with the IRA.” When he attended other trials, the police singled him out for thorough body searches.

Even the CIA acknowledges (though it bizarrely considers this secret) that NORAID existed to channel material support to terrorists.

In the twentieth century, Irish-Americans provided most of the financial support sent to the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The US-based Irish Northern Aid Committee (NORAID), founded in the late 1960s, provided the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) with money that was frequently used for arms purchases. Only after repeated high-level British requests and then London’s support for our bombing of Libya in the 1980s did the US Government crack down on Irish-American support for the IRA. (S//NF)

Peter King would still be in prison if the US had treated his material support for terrorism as it now does, with sentences that can amount to a life sentence. Instead, the raging hypocrite is using the Congressional seat he owes, in part, to his earlier embrace of terrorism to sow bigotry and hatred–and to make the cooperation of the Islamic community, which plays a key role in identifying real extremists, more difficult.

The correct response to King’s actions is undoubtedly to point to this rank hypocrisy. Perhaps the NYT is suggesting it will do just that if King doesn’t back off his fear-mongering. But I believe it is already far too late for polite society to continue to soft-pedal this issue. It is inappropriate for a former terrorist sympathizer to head the Homeland Security Committee. And particularly when King uses that position to pull stunts like this, polite society needs to call out his hypocrisy in clear terms.

  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Yes, material support for terrorism at the height of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland was rampant in the US, especially along the Eastern seabord, prominently including Boston and New York. One crucial difference for today’s GOP is that the Irish are white and their descendants vote in key congressional districts. I’m not sure how persuasive that would be to the orphans, the widows, the maimed and the dead.

    • emptywheel says:

      Hey now, up until a few years ago (when people like King were given a free hand to fearmonger by Bush), the Arab and Muslim communities in MI were one of the swing blocks, just as Catholics were while King was embracing terror for political gain.

  2. teqwi says:

    Certainly the Hon. Mr. King plans to follow up with a hearing on the radicalization of the American Catholic community. Long over due and of great concern to all patriotic Americans it would be, of course.

  3. klynn says:

    He sounds like Hitler just before the creation of the Nuremberg Laws of 1935.

    Thus, King is the radicalization of America which needs investigation.

  4. BeRad says:

    You know, I think this shows the silver lining to the Republican take-over of the House. The hypocrisy is going to be out front and center-stage, giving us a wonderful platform to call bullshit on their antics and exposing it for what it is. Perhaps, at last, the regressive tide has reached its peak, and as the yin/yang symbol illustrates, it contains the seeds of its own destruction.

    • Mary says:

      Out front, maybe, but while blogs can generate some off Broadway buzz, only the MSM puts things on center stage, and it has never chosen to put things like the U.S. Irish Catholic community’s support for murder – or, for that matter, the British intel services and military’s support for murder from the other end – on center stage.

      Center stage is for sale, and the truth doesn’t have the right kind of money to buy it.

  5. Mary says:

    I’m kind of guessing that there won’t be any witnesses called by the Dems who can speak to our prior experiences – like radicalizing of the US Irish-Catholic population to support bombings and funnel arms and aid – to give context to the Chair’s hearing.

    The other thing I’m guessing is that no one will be showing up to serve a subpoena on King or raiding his home during his hearing.

    While Obama, Holder and Fitzgerald are gung ho on having their Chicago grand jury target anti-war activists all over the country under a “material support of terrorism” investigation that appears to cover not only al-Qaeda and the Taliban, but the PLO and FARC, DOJ isn’t likely to break any new ground on investigations into what the illegal combatants with charming accents and names like Patrick and Sean pulled off.

    It would be nice to be able to trust that an investigation that is so invasive, with home raids and seizures, is being conducted under some kind of limited standards based on real needs and concerns, but when you hear that they are scattershot from the PLO to FARC to Al-Qaeda it would be hard to have a lot of confidence, even if the last 10 years hadn’t already revealed that the whole of DOJ has marched in lockstep on covering up and being advocats for the torture and murder of the innocent and the guilty alike – as long at there was political cover and personal advantage to be gained.

    If they’ve pulled in the FBI and DOJ counterterrorism crews on those investigations, the thing you have to take wearily with you is that some of them have likely been much more closely associated with the killing and maiming and torture that has been visited on innocent people than the anti-war activists whose homes they are invading. It’s disturbing on way too many levels to see that’s where we’ve landed after a decade of a DOJ that treats its Exec criminals the same way the Vatican treated its child abusers and pedophiles.

    • trackin123 says:

      So well said! We now seem to be entering the realm of the hyperabsurd where many levels of politics and government are so utterly rife with corruption and lies that digging us out of this pit easily inspires a high level of despair & hopelessness. To be an American on the search for jutice, freedom of speech, peace etc is not for the feint of heart and may prove to be a dangerous journey.

  6. Mary says:

    OT but related, the DOJ discovers internatiional law

    The Somali pirates the DOJ convicted don’t really quite meet the US definition of piracy, since they didn’t board and rob. OTOH, the DOJ is confident that the convictions will be upheld bc, US law notwithstanding, what they did does meet the international law standards of piracy.

    Heads I win, tails you lose.

    • jpe12 says:

      It’s actually domestic law. The US statute at bar defines piracy w/ reference to the international law. So if it’s piracy under international law, it’s piracy under the US criminal statute.

        • PeasantParty says:

          Those pirates are rich already. They’ve been looting the cargo ships since before Fox would report it. I know that for a fact.

          Anyway, since they are rich now, there is no law that they are beholden to. Just ask Dick Cheney. They may send some money over in order for fart face to drop charges.

        • Mary says:

          I’m not ignoring you – just not much time to do a reply now. But you were right to comment and I’m glad you did – not sure that I will be as good a reply as the defendants lawyers or that there is much interest here, but part of the point is whether Congress can do what it did, especially with respect to a set of international standars (like the law of the seas conventions) which it has not adopted.

          IOW, can Congress take a substantive area of law (not an equitable or procedural one) and say, “if our own laws are insufficent for a convction or if we don’t want to be bothered to pass any laws, we’ll just ‘opt in’ for what ‘international law” as a relatively undefined term, might deem a crime. It’s not all that simple and I’m only mildly interested in the whole area, which makes me a less than stellar advocate and for that matter makes me a subpar “explainer” for that matter.

          It’s a little different to take a standard that is created under US law (like reasonable, or humane, or cruel) and for purposes of the equitable character of the terms involved look to international law to help flesh out what terms that have, throughout the law, been a bit amorphous, might or should mean in various contexts. It’s different in nature to look to international law to provide the legal standard for what kinds of action are a crime. Not much time for more now, but you deserve more and I’ll try to post something else later, although it will be very epu’d by then, and you can tear it apart then ;) I say that, bc I’m pretty sure you have a more engaged and vested interest in the topic than I do, but even if not, you certainly made a direct and succinct point and deserve that it be acknowledged.

  7. chetnolian says:

    About time the Noraid issue was re-examined, but not just by Mr King. General US attitudes to the Troubles were very worrying.

    When I was visiting the USA during the Troubles, at a time when I was conscious that if I visited London I could be risking being maimed or killed by a Provo bomb, reaction in polite US circles to my assertion that the provos were terrorists was an uncomfortable shuffling of feet.

    By the way I was totally a supporter of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights movement. Those (many in the UK) who thought there was no need for reform of civil rights in Ulster got a much more adverse response.

    • emptywheel says:

      Back when I was on my train trip through Scotland, the train manager told me a story about a prominent US journalist (he did not deny it was Judy Miller even after I asked the third time) arguing how we could kill anyone in Iraq because “they” had attacked us. It was okay, she had said, because their people had supported the attacks and therefore they were all fair targets.

      One of the other guys working on the train was retired British Special Forces who had served in the North. He said, “so I should attack you?” She was befuddled, so he explained, “I should attack everyone in the US because of their support for terrorism in the UK?”

      It shut her up, apparently, once she figured it out.

      • qweryous says:

        They were probably worried that Judy would sic Billo the Clown’s roving producer on them if word got out.

        Judith Miller on Fox News Channel.

        After Judith Miller explains wikileaks this ensued-

        Judith Miller: “…Julian Assange may be a bad journalist, but he is a journalist.”

        Q: “Why is he a bad Journalist?”

        Judith Miller: “Because he didn’t care at all about attempting to verify the information that he was putting out or determine whether or not it would hurt anyone.”

        And “Fox News is looking for evidence of biased reporting- if you find evidence of media bias…”

        Via CrooksandLiars VideoCafe.

        • fatster says:

          Hahahahaha. Just saw that over at DU and was wondering if anybody could verify it (I don’t have tee vee service, so am blissfully ignorant of what goes on in that vast wasteland unless I read it somewhere on the intertoobs). Thnx so much, qweryous!

  8. nomolos says:

    Some of us do not consider the Irish Freedom Fighters as terrorists. Those who were not born there may have differing opinions.

    • bmaz says:

      Well a lot of the folks we have branded as terrorists probably do not think of themselves that way and people born in their countries may not as well. Nevertheless, the designation was applied to all of them, including the IRA. Irrespective of whether that should or should not have been the case for any or all of them, it is the rank hypocrisy of King that is the issue here.

    • bobschacht says:

      This was the trouble from the beginning (i.e., 9/11, in our case). How do you distinguish a “Freedom fighter” from a terrorist? There is, essentially, no way to do it. GW Bush made a feeble attempt in Sept-Oct 2001, but he and his staff soon gave it up.

      Here’s your morning headache: Which of the following were freedom fighters, and which were terrorists? And why?
      George Washington
      Menachim Begin
      Crazy Horse
      Simon Bolivar

      No doubt you can add your own favorites.

      The labels “terrorist” and “freedom fighter” are polemical political spin, and have no objective meaning.

      Bob in AZ

  9. Twain says:

    I’ve never been quite sure that King was playing with a full deck. He seems seriously nutty to me. Not to mention a real racist and bigot.

  10. eCAHNomics says:

    Everyone knows the diff bet freedom fighters & terrorists. If you don’t believe me, just ask them.

    • PeasantParty says:

      LOL! Yes.

      I bet Judy would want to fight back if somebody raided her home in the middle of the night and shoved a barrel in her nose. What the heck is wrong with these people?

  11. MadDog says:

    If there are any folks here who value freedom, open government, honesty and justice for all (the overwhelming majority if not all here), you might want to stop over to a FDL diary that has been posted by an apparent National Security State wannabee civilian hacker who claims membership in that odious Project Vigilant (or Vigilante if you will).

    The diary is called Requiem For Project Vigilant though its lament is for its apparent passing and not for its odious vigilanteism.

      • MadDog says:

        Your comment over there drove me to jump in as well.

        I’d like to second Bmull’s comment. Not for giving him publicity of course, but for the opportunity to more thoroughly debunk the “I am patriot” meme he’s selling.

        Seems to have sold it quite successfully to the Kossacks and I’d rather not see FDL buy this bull as well.

        • MadDog says:

          And for more on the dribblers of Project Vigilant:

          Project Vigilant Is a Publicity Stunt

          Project Vigilant is funded by BBHC Global, an information security firm based in the Midwest, and private donations. Uber’s boss is Steven Ruhe, the Managing Member of BBHC Global. “I’ve always been a small town guy with big dreams, “ said Ruhe who was born and raised in Nebraska and sells Amway products on the side

          (My Bold)


          And whether that massive data gathering violates privacy? The organization says it never looks at personally identifying information, though just how it defines that information isn’t clear, nor is how it scrubs its data mining for sensitive details.

          The group doesn’t look at PII, yet it develops “portfolios on any name, screen name or IP address”? I think it’s time for some grown-ups to check out these guys…

      • MadDog says:

        I think you struck the bullseye (pun intended *g*).

        His Twitter link of StrandedWind provides his real name of Neal Rauhauser and a link to his Linkedin page which states the following:

        Neal Rauhauser

        Social Media Strategist & Technologist

        Social Media Strategist translation: “Fook with folks on blogs and stuff.”

        • qweryous says:

          Mods moderated several comments there. The problem was in revealing what the O.P. had been doing OTHER THAN POSTING AT FDL.

          Including one of mine linking to other ‘businesses’ and ‘online’ activities
          of the o.p. Including another possible G.O.S. identity. Guy has been involved in additional activities that an intelligent person would want to evaluate as a whole in determining the veracity of the o.p. Not at FDL I guess. We just need to wait for his next post.

          Yours at 41 will go soon. It was the source of considerable additional info and links in my comment that was deleted.

          This is what happened to what I posted.

          “**Mod Note:
          It is FireDogLake’s policy to prohibit the transmission of personal information about commenters/diarists within these pages, unless expressly proffered by the commenter.***”

          Will just email this info to those that post regularly on the subject, in addition to posting, next time.

          There’s a company called progressivepst that does twitter.

          There was some sort of fuss over a twittergate. See Gawker for the details and a picture and a name that might be recognized.

          • MadDog says:

            I did indeed visit the Gawker link you posted and found it more than “interesting”.

            My commentary over at StrandedWind’s diary might kindly be called “skeptical”. Others might call it downright “adversarial”. Each may reach their own judgment. *g*

            I have a distinct antipathy towards vigilanteism, and that regardless of one’s professed politics (StrandedWind claims to be a Progressive).

            Project Vigilant has raised my hackles since the day it first surfaced publicly.

            As StrandedWind has claimed membership in Project Vigilant, I view such participation with distaste at the very least. And find it intellectually nonsensical to square such participation with “Progressive” politics.

            • qweryous says:

              Go back and have another look.

              And his next post is up (at the same time).

              Like what I said here at 46 about the veracity of the op.

  12. ricecakes says:

    It goes beyond all of this. King was on a first name basis with the entirety of the IRA army council. He regularly visited Michael McKevitt’s home.

    McKevitt was for a long while the IRA Quartermaster general and the leader of the breakaway Real IRA after the group split from the provisionals in October 1997.

    Not only was king a supporter of the IRA, he was in contact and friends with some of the most dedicated military leadership.

  13. R.H. Green says:

    King reminds me of Lester Maddox, George Wallace, Haley Barbour and others of that ilk. These are polititians that take scapegoating positions that they believe to be supported by their constituents. Rather than blaming them for their unprincipled crassness, maybe the scorn should be directed at those who do the voting. Can you imagine the NYT editorializing about that?

  14. Jeff Kaye says:

    Reminds me of the hypocrisy of a number of current U.S. congress-critters, who gave uncritical backing to “terrorists” who were attacking the Soviet-backed Afghan state, many of whom later became the “terrorists” the U.S. targets today.

    I once got a chance to ask Michael Gelles, NCIS chief psychologist, and an “expert” on interrogation and the “ethics” of interrogation, how he could justify what he does when one minute he may be interrogating a “terrorist”, and the next minute, the government may call him off and say the subject was now an “ally,” not a “terrorist.” He was not flustered by my question. He simply said he would follow what his government told him; that it was not his to question policy. The shifts in terminology did not bother him. In the intel world, they call this “staying in your lane.”

    The U.S. did not go after U.S. supporters of the Provos, and from the standpoint of the current supporters of U.S. policy, it likewise is not theirs to question the whys and wherefores of such hypocrisy. They accept it as easily as they drink a glass of water, without thought, and as if it were as natural a thing as there is.

    “Terrorist” and “terror” are the most overused words in the English language. They have lost all meaning. Such is the condition of the English language, as predicted by Orwell. In Newspeak, King’s invocation of “terrorism” is an example of blackwhite, whereas EW, you are guilty of crimethink.

    Remember what O’Brien told Winston Smith: “Orthodoxy means not thinking — not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

    This is the United States of Unconsciousness, and the New York Times is our blasted oracle.

    • jdmckay0 says:

      “Staying in your own lane” seems like another way of articulating “chain of command”. In order to work, it requires earned trust.

      The thing about what you describe… the “earned trust” part has been eliminated. Seems clear (as in 100%) to me that any thoughtful process whatsoever of determining who’s “drawing the lanes”, if lanes are properly drawn, or if there is even a need for a “lane”…

      In just about ever major public policy arena, especially where big $$ is available for the taking (and I do mean taking), the disconnect between intent/motive/purpose of “lane creators” and those implementing it has become near total.

      Certainly so in Iraq. Was not hard to trace back, step by step, how everything (eg: call it Muslim ME environment) came about. We (repub presidents) chose/installed/supported Sadam as buffer against Khomeni. US Senate actually authorized (don’t have link at fingertips, can dig it up) all the chem/bio seed material they *gave* Sadam… at Reagan’s behest, just for these purposes.

      We used Sadam for 10 yr. Iran war, in support of “our interests” (lanes), against evil Knomeni. Then boom… Sadam’s not our guy any more, change the storyline (redraw “lanes”), and off we go again.

      No review, no discussion of purpose or attempt to define better “lane making” principles, just draw the lanes and go.

      Back up another decade, Khomeni was populist response to 30 years of US puppet Shah. As I recall we didn’t do a review of that one either… how many Americans are aware of Mosadeq >> CIA >> Shah “lane drawing” exercise?

      (Jonathan Schwartz several days ago posted very good interview w/(IMO) best writer of that episode, Stephen Kinzer).

      The Bush/BO “fix the financial system” enterprise… same thing: “lane drawing” deliberations pretty much out of public sight, even more so out of purview.

      So anyway, yah… King is (AFAIC) and has been an ass hole for a long time. Just like Newt, who fits same template I describe. Or Hokestra, or Issa, or Rick Scott (WSJ Fri Oped deified the guy), incoming Repub congressional lawmakers unabashedly cowtowing to financial industry lobbying, Gulf oil spill cleanup/media literally bypassing feds and directed by BP…

      It’s all the same.

      King is a dangerous idiot. He is also in good company of many of dangerous idiots doing exactly what Marcy describes… concealing yesterday’s mistakes from illuminating today’s foolishness, while seemingly entering theaters long enough to cry “fire” before exiting to next one in order to do the same.

      Welcome to America.

  15. tobergill says:

    My, how time flies. I remember debating US support for “terrorists” heatedly on the old Virtual Irish Pub with many freedom-fighter loving Americans. Imagine, I said, that you had:

    – a third of the population that refused to recognise the nation, indeed worked militarily to subvert it and damn the other two thirds who thought different , and
    – a neighboring nation that looked on their cause favorably enough to give them support and safe haven
    – a “rich-uncle” nation that lavished money from afar on the dissenters enabling them to carry on their “military” campaign ad infinitum

    Then I said you might find the US committing some of the human rights violations that the Brits had.

    What, us? They said. No way – we have a constitution. You wouldn’t catch us detaining people without trial, or torturing them or heaven forbid killing them without due process.

    That all seems so quaint now……

  16. papau says:

    Peter “Material Support for Terrorism” King should be in GITMO for advocating the Congress violate the Constitution’s 14th Amendment’s prohibition of the government doing anything that prevents the debt of the US from being honored.

    Only a traitor would advocate violating the Constitution – and pretending that the Congress has the authority to order a debt limit is on its face traitorous.

    Is it timer for a citizen’s arrest of Congressmen King?

  17. willaimbennet says:

    “Those were our guns…”

    -whitey bulger (Valhalla bust circa ’87…also bank-rolled a lot of the buses to bring in more crackers for the protests to keep boston schools racially pure)

    terrorism only works as a marketing platform when the so-called “terrorist” is a different color than he who claims that he’s “terrorized.” and King knows how to sell fear- they all do. it’s not that hard in a rich country that won’t even pay half the actual cost of the gas we put in our leather-heated seat vehicular status devices.

    The only “radicalized” Muslims are lonely kids with behavioral disorders and easy marks for FBI agents trying to meet quotas and din-din d’souza. (except of course for the fact that he is not and never was a Muslim and “radicalized” from the Catholic church to christian fundamentalism.

  18. Winski says:

    I keep contending and keep getting NO push-back from anyone, that Peter King and Pete Hoekstra are responsible for the actual LEAKS of Government documents TO Wikileaks and should be investigated for such.. This would be TREASON!!!