David Cole, in his July 5 Book World review of David K. Shipler’s book, “Freedom of Speech ” [“Has free speech ever been free?”], smeared me as part of a group of people making “a business of issuing impassioned, McCarthy-like warnings about Islamist conspiracies to take over the United States.” His evidence? Cole embraced Shipler’s theory that a once-secret Muslim Brotherhood memo, known as the Explanatory Memorandum, envisioning the destruction of the United States from within by means of a “civilizational jihad,” was “nothing more than a thought piece drafted by a single individual in the early 1990s.”
In fact, this memo was admitted into evidence in the largest terrorist financing trial in U.S. history. It was written as the Brotherhood created a vast U.S. network to support Hamas and advance the Islamist cause. The FBI seized hundreds of documents showing the network’s depth, including this one.
Emphasizing these internal, real-time Muslim Brotherhood documents, Cole postured, is “a real threat to the political freedoms of others, as they tar with unjustified suspicion Muslim civic organizations that are engaged in the promotion of civil liberties, religious freedom and Muslim identity, not terrorism.” Our reporting on these records has focused on the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR’s founders were Muslim Brotherhood Palestine Committee members, and it is listed among the committee’s affiliates.
Don’t take my word for it. In my 2012 documentary, “The Grand Deception,” federal prosecutor Nathan Garrett stated that these internal Brotherhood documents “absolutely blew the doors open on our understanding of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in the United States.”
The FBI examined the same records in 2008 and broke off outreach with the group, writing that “until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”
Steven Emerson, Washington
The writer is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.