Sunday, July 20, 2014

Peter King (R-NY) Knows More About Terrorism Than The Media Acknowledges


Last night I came across a Newsmax article entitled Peter King: Harry Reid's Denial of 'Broken' Border Hampers Reform. We're not regular Newsmax readers around here, but... well, we're here to do it, so you don't have to.

As you might expect, it was your typical, hypocritical Peter King diatribe. The first two-thirds of the piece focused on immigration, and it was funny to see King attempt to straddle the fence, so to speak. Before 2010, King was a hardliner on immigration who opposed any form of amnesty; now he’s taken a more conciliatory tone without appearing too accommodating, lest he incur the wrath of conservatives (but he’s done a good job of that already by calling Edward Snowden a traitor and publicly and serially insulting Rand Paul and Ted Cruz).

Why the sudden change? Redistricting. King’s old district was 87% white and had a sizeable Republican registration advantage (40% to 31% Democratic). Now after the 2010 Census, the district is 1/3 minority, with only slightly more Republicans than Democrats (35% to 34%). It’s also worth noting here that in a recent poll in the district, 82% of those surveyed support immigration reform that includes both stronger border security and a path to citizenship, so for his own sake King needs to tread carefully here. His old district was overwhelmingly a Nassau County district. The new one moved considerably east and is predominantly a Suffolk County district now. Voters don't know him there yet.

But King’s now-muddled stance on immigration isn't the reason we're up with another Peter King piece tonight. Something far more egregious transpired. Somehow towards the end, the Newsmax article veered into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and King said this:
"The Palestinian government, by supporting Hamas, is supporting a "terrorist organization masquerading as a government partner."
Peter King knows a lot more about terrorist organizations than your garden variety congressman-- and he knows it from the inside. The DWT response to King's comment on Palestine: Dude, this comment has no validity coming from you. While you are now condemning Hamas, you also fervently supported the IRA... for over two decades, and later pushed for their political wing, Sinn Fein, to take part in the peace process and subsequent government in Northern Ireland. The way Sinn Fein became legitimized remarkably parallels the ascendency of Hamas as part of the Palestinian Authority. Not to mention that the IRA and Hamas’s predecessor, the PLO, had ties dating back to the mid-1970s. You have no credibility to condemn terrorism in one setting when you not only condone, but also actively provide material support for it in another.

In fact, King is the only member of Congress, aside from retiring domestic terror sponsor Steve Stockman of Oklahoma City bombing fame, to have supported a terrorist organization. In 1980, King went with then-Senator elect Alfonse D’Amato on a fact-finding mission to Northern Ireland on behalf of the U.S. government and became radicalized to the IRA’s cause in the midst of the hunger strikes.

While Nassau County Comptroller, King fundraised extensively for NORAID, which was the IRA’s front in America. While they operated under a humanitarian guise of providing relief for families of IRA prisoners, in reality they were doing far more nefarious activities. Roughly one-third of the IRA’s weapons came from the United States through NORAID, and officially, about $3.6 million was raised by the organization from its founding in 1969 until 1991 (although the American, British, and Irish governments estimate a much higher figure).

King can claim no plausible deniability regarding what NORAID was doing. In 1981, a year after he became involved with the Irish republican cause, a federal court forced NORAID to change its listed foreign principal, under the American Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, from an Irish charity to the IRA. The following year, four NORAID arms smugglers were put on trial in federal court and openly admitted to conspiring to smuggle arms to the IRA. And a 1987 State Department report on terrorism called the IRA "a deadly terrorist group unconcerned about innocent bystanders."

King spoke at numerous NORAID rallies, remarking at one such occasion in 1982, "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."

He also frequently defended and justified IRA violence in an attempt to persuade an American audience to support the cause, stating that the IRA was a "legitimate force"; meanwhile they were only a minority within the republican movement, and were even opposed by the Irish government. King also remarked that "if civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the IRA for it." Yet he never did "morally blame" the IRA when they attacked civilian targets. In fact, in 2011 King claimed that "the IRA never killed Americans," ignoring that an American, Kenneth Salveson, was indeed killed in the IRA bombing of Harrod’s of London in 1983.

King made many trips to Northern Ireland as well and became an accepted member of the republican movement. He was welcomed at IRA social clubs, served as an attorney for many suspected IRA members on trial, and was met with hostility by British authorities. On one occasion, Northern Irish judge even threw him out of a courtroom, charging him as an "obvious collaborator with the IRA," while other times, he was patted down by police before appearing in court. It was common then for King to complain that IRA prisoners were being held without trial, a complete 360 from his championing of Guantanamo Bay today.

He met Gerry Adams in 1984, President of Sinn Fein and a member of the IRA Army Council, and established a correspondence with him. During his visits to Northern Ireland, King stayed at the homes of top IRA figures such as Belfast Operations Officer Anto Murray and Quartermaster General Mickey McKevitt.

These weren’t your ordinary, run of the mill foot soldiers. According to Ed Moloney, Murray was in charge of ordering and organizing every shooting, killing and bombing in Belfast, while McKevitt had established weapons smuggling networks with Moammar Gaddafi’s Libya. Mind you this was when Libya was busy being an antagonist of the United States, bombing Berlin nightclubs and blowing up airliners. McKevitt would later split from the IRA after the peace process to form the Real IRA, which was responsible for the Omagh bombing of 1998.

King had some difficulties at home as a result of his overseas adventures. His correspondence with Adams was being monitored by the FBI, and he was listed as a threat by the Secret Service when President Reagan, conservative hero, came to visit for a Special Olympics event in Nassau County. He also, according to the Washington Post, "clashed with prominent Irish Americans who condemned IRA violence. He dismissed the Friends of Ireland caucus in Congress, which included Sens. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Edward M. Kennedy, as infused with a "moral arrogance and self-righteousness that would do justice to the royal family."

But even so, King was named Grand Marshal of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1985, in large part due to NORAID influence. This led to the Irish government boycotting the parade. When he was elected to Congress in 1992, also helped along by NORAID, King immediately jumped on a plane to celebrate at the notorious Felons Club, an IRA haunt that got its name from the fact that it usually only allowed in members who had served prison time.

And while King will have you believe that he helped bring about peace in Northern Ireland, that’s an exaggeration at best. From Ed Moloney:
"The point of this story is that King’s closest contacts in the IRA in these years were the military men, people who had never been nor would ever want be in Sinn Fein, activists who would have little truck either with the peace process. King told me himself that he didn’t meet Gerry Adams, the architect of the peace process, until 1984, four years after his love affair with the Provos began.

"By the time the process got seriously underway in secret, circa 1987/1988, King had been supporting the IRA for seven or eight years and if his real ambition during these years was to contrive a peace agreement he did a remarkably successful job disguising it. By the time the process became public in 1992, his liaison was a dozen years old. When the U.S. got officially involved, King’s role was fairly minor, ferrying the odd message from Adams to Clinton. In fact he probably gained more than he contributed, as it enabled him to refresh a rather soiled image. As he told me back in 2005: 'Gerry Adams made me respectable.' I’m afraid Peter King’s re-writing of his own history just doesn’t wash."
King still defended and excused the IRA after the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, even when the organization continued to defy the terms of the treaty. In 2002, after 9/11 no less, King blasted Congressional hearings on IRA arms-smuggling and drug-trafficking ties with FARC, a Columbian terrorist organization, calling them "irresponsible" and "rigged." And King has never conducted irresponsible, rigged Congressional hearings himself, right?

A 2005 IRA murder in a Belfast pub was dismissed by King, who said that we shouldn’t rush to be too sanctimonious about what happened, despite the terrorists returning to the pub to mop up blood and to warn witnesses that it was "IRA business."

And during the height of King’s hardline stance on illegal immigration in 2008, Pol Brennan, an IRA fugitive, was arrested by the Border Patrol in Texas for having an expired work permit. Brennan was denied bail, but King worked to have him let out. Said King:
"My experience dealing with (Irish) republicans is that they don't jump bail in this country. They honor their commitments. Based on my experience, and also the republican movement's commitment to the peace process, I think he should get bail."
Basically, what we're trying to get at is this: No matter your views on immigration, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Troubles, or even terrorism in general, the least that you can ask for is consistency in one’s views. No one likes a flip-flopping hypocrite such as Peter King. Taking into account his recent activities in Congress, which have included holding hearings in 2011 on the alleged radicalization of Muslim-Americans while Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and demanding that Wikileaks be treated like Al Qaeda and placed on the list of foreign terrorist organizations, King is now wielding the same brush that would have painted him not so long ago.

Ultimately, if King’s involvement with the IRA and NORAID were to have taken place today, King himself may have been prosecuted under current U.S. law, which makes it a felony to provide "material support" to any group that's been designated a terrorist organization by the State Department. Thanks to ex post facto, that’s not going to happen. But what can happen is the next best thing: voting Peter King out of office this fall.

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At 10:19 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Absolutely spot on King has been a nuisance to NY & Congress for years it's time for him to go.

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

King is a hypocrite who talks out of both sides of his mouth. Move on - we need a breath of fresh air!


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