Commentary Magazine


Topic: Columbus

Re: Gartenstein-Ross Defends Rashad Hussain

Hussain’s comment was not an isolated one. Josh Gerstein reports on the recording of the event that Hussain has tried to conceal from view:

Hussain refers to some provisions of the Patriot Act as “horrible” and called “dangerous” an aspect of that law that allows intelligence-related surveillance to be used in criminal cases. Most lawmakers, including many Democrats critical of the Patriot Act, have said the provision has proved valuable, because it removed a wall that made it difficult for those pursuing investigations of international terror or spying operations to share information with criminal investigators. Hussain did express support for other aspects of the law, including a provision permitting so-called roving wiretaps.

Hussain’s position seems to be in direct conflict with the current administration, but quite in tune with the grievance-mongering lobby of CAIR and other groups. But that is not all. In his speech, Hussain cited chapter and verse on the supposed persecution of Muslims:

— The court martial of Capt. James Yee, a Guantanamo chaplain initially suspected of treason and later charged with adultery. All charges were eventually dropped.

— The case of Jose Padilla, who was held without charge for more than three years as an enemy combatant on suspicions of trying to detonate a radiation-laced “dirty bomb” in the U.S. In 2006, more than a year after Hussain spoke, Padilla was charged in a terrorist plot unrelated to the dirty bomb allegations. He was convicted by a jury in 2007 and sentenced to 17 years in prison.

— The imprisonment of Yaser Hamdi, who was captured in Afghanistan, held as an enemy combatant and released to Saudi Arabia weeks after Hussain spoke.

— The prosecution of an imam and a pizzeria owner in Albany, N.Y., for conspiring with an informant in a fictitious plot to use a missile launcher to attack a Pakistani diplomat. The men were convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 15 years in prison, though their lawyers claimed the pair were entrapped.

— The prosecution of a Somali man, Nuradin Abdi, in 2004 for plotting to blow up a shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio. He pled guilty in 2007 to conspiring to support terrorism and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

— The imprisonment of an Oregon lawyer, Brandon Mayfield, who was jailed for more than two weeks in 2004 as a material witness on suspicion of involvement in the Madrid train bombings that year. He was never charged with a crime, received an apology from the FBI, which said it misidentified his fingerprints, and brought a lawsuit that led to a reported $2 million settlement from the government in 2006.

— The prosecution of four men as alleged members of a Detroit-based Al Qaeda “sleeper cell” plotting an attack. Two of the men were convicted on terror charges in 2003 but the convictions were thrown out at the government’s request after evidence emerged of prosecutorial misconduct and an unreliable informant. The prosecutor was charged criminally with concealing exculpatory evidence but later acquitted.

Hussain went on to tell the audience at the event, held roughly two months before the 2004 election, that electing Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as president could stem the tide of such cases.

This kind of rhetoric may get cheers from the Left and from CAIR but is not, even for this administration, remotely acceptable. The Obami have pointedly refused to stick up for Hussain since Friday’s revelation. At this point, I suspect they would rather have someone else in that role – someone who does not see behind every legitimate effort to defend America from Islamic fascist the specter of anti-Muslim discrimination.

Hussain’s comment was not an isolated one. Josh Gerstein reports on the recording of the event that Hussain has tried to conceal from view:

Hussain refers to some provisions of the Patriot Act as “horrible” and called “dangerous” an aspect of that law that allows intelligence-related surveillance to be used in criminal cases. Most lawmakers, including many Democrats critical of the Patriot Act, have said the provision has proved valuable, because it removed a wall that made it difficult for those pursuing investigations of international terror or spying operations to share information with criminal investigators. Hussain did express support for other aspects of the law, including a provision permitting so-called roving wiretaps.

Hussain’s position seems to be in direct conflict with the current administration, but quite in tune with the grievance-mongering lobby of CAIR and other groups. But that is not all. In his speech, Hussain cited chapter and verse on the supposed persecution of Muslims:

— The court martial of Capt. James Yee, a Guantanamo chaplain initially suspected of treason and later charged with adultery. All charges were eventually dropped.

— The case of Jose Padilla, who was held without charge for more than three years as an enemy combatant on suspicions of trying to detonate a radiation-laced “dirty bomb” in the U.S. In 2006, more than a year after Hussain spoke, Padilla was charged in a terrorist plot unrelated to the dirty bomb allegations. He was convicted by a jury in 2007 and sentenced to 17 years in prison.

— The imprisonment of Yaser Hamdi, who was captured in Afghanistan, held as an enemy combatant and released to Saudi Arabia weeks after Hussain spoke.

— The prosecution of an imam and a pizzeria owner in Albany, N.Y., for conspiring with an informant in a fictitious plot to use a missile launcher to attack a Pakistani diplomat. The men were convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 15 years in prison, though their lawyers claimed the pair were entrapped.

— The prosecution of a Somali man, Nuradin Abdi, in 2004 for plotting to blow up a shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio. He pled guilty in 2007 to conspiring to support terrorism and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

— The imprisonment of an Oregon lawyer, Brandon Mayfield, who was jailed for more than two weeks in 2004 as a material witness on suspicion of involvement in the Madrid train bombings that year. He was never charged with a crime, received an apology from the FBI, which said it misidentified his fingerprints, and brought a lawsuit that led to a reported $2 million settlement from the government in 2006.

— The prosecution of four men as alleged members of a Detroit-based Al Qaeda “sleeper cell” plotting an attack. Two of the men were convicted on terror charges in 2003 but the convictions were thrown out at the government’s request after evidence emerged of prosecutorial misconduct and an unreliable informant. The prosecutor was charged criminally with concealing exculpatory evidence but later acquitted.

Hussain went on to tell the audience at the event, held roughly two months before the 2004 election, that electing Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as president could stem the tide of such cases.

This kind of rhetoric may get cheers from the Left and from CAIR but is not, even for this administration, remotely acceptable. The Obami have pointedly refused to stick up for Hussain since Friday’s revelation. At this point, I suspect they would rather have someone else in that role – someone who does not see behind every legitimate effort to defend America from Islamic fascist the specter of anti-Muslim discrimination.

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New York State as a Model? Only in Pelosiland

If you were developing a plan to make health insurance more affordable, would you use as a model the state whose laws have made health insurance the most expensive in the country? That’s what Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic majority in the House have done.

David Gratzer points out that PelosiCare will force insurance companies to cover orthotics. Unless you are a doctor or have foot problems, you probably don’t know even what orthotics are, but you’ll be covered for them if this bill becomes law. New York State also mandates the coverage of off-label drugs, chiropractors, in vitro fertilization, and a host of other services. Each additional mandate inescapably raises the premium.

Orthotics, of course, is hardly the only mandate in the 1,992-page PelosiCare bill.

Even worse, New York, with “guaranteed issue,” requires that health-insurance companies sell policies to anyone who asks for one and to cover pre-existing conditions. This is the equivalent of requiring fire-insurance companies to sell policies to people whose house burned down the day before — and then pay to rebuild the house. Naturally, premiums on the shmoes who carry health insurance when they are healthy must go up to cover the shnorrers who only begin paying premiums when they have claims.

PelosiCare will require guaranteed issue.

And New York severely limits the ability of insurance companies to charge the young, who have a very low risk of serious health issues, lower premiums than those charged to the not-so-young, who have a much higher risk. Since the young are wildly overcharged in order to subsidize seniors in New York, many decide not to buy health insurance, knowing that if they are very unlucky and get seriously sick, they can always buy the insurance then and be covered.

PelosiCare will do the same. To be sure, the bill calls for those who do not buy insurance to pay a fine of $2,000. As New Yorker Andrew R. Heinze writes, that’s about what he is currently paying just for the coverage of hospital care today, thanks to New York’s economic-reality-be-damned health-insurance laws. He plans to drop his insurance if PelosiCare becomes law and depend on good luck (and guaranteed issuance).

Residents of New York City pay about five times as much for health insurance as those who live in, say, Columbus, Ohio, because of these mandates, guaranteed issue, and restricted premium differentials. PelosiCare will make sure that those who live in Columbus will see their health-insurance bills soar. Or it will cause a collapse of the private health-insurance market, making a government takeover of health care inevitable.

It’s hard not to think that the latter is exactly what they have in mind.

If you were developing a plan to make health insurance more affordable, would you use as a model the state whose laws have made health insurance the most expensive in the country? That’s what Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic majority in the House have done.

David Gratzer points out that PelosiCare will force insurance companies to cover orthotics. Unless you are a doctor or have foot problems, you probably don’t know even what orthotics are, but you’ll be covered for them if this bill becomes law. New York State also mandates the coverage of off-label drugs, chiropractors, in vitro fertilization, and a host of other services. Each additional mandate inescapably raises the premium.

Orthotics, of course, is hardly the only mandate in the 1,992-page PelosiCare bill.

Even worse, New York, with “guaranteed issue,” requires that health-insurance companies sell policies to anyone who asks for one and to cover pre-existing conditions. This is the equivalent of requiring fire-insurance companies to sell policies to people whose house burned down the day before — and then pay to rebuild the house. Naturally, premiums on the shmoes who carry health insurance when they are healthy must go up to cover the shnorrers who only begin paying premiums when they have claims.

PelosiCare will require guaranteed issue.

And New York severely limits the ability of insurance companies to charge the young, who have a very low risk of serious health issues, lower premiums than those charged to the not-so-young, who have a much higher risk. Since the young are wildly overcharged in order to subsidize seniors in New York, many decide not to buy health insurance, knowing that if they are very unlucky and get seriously sick, they can always buy the insurance then and be covered.

PelosiCare will do the same. To be sure, the bill calls for those who do not buy insurance to pay a fine of $2,000. As New Yorker Andrew R. Heinze writes, that’s about what he is currently paying just for the coverage of hospital care today, thanks to New York’s economic-reality-be-damned health-insurance laws. He plans to drop his insurance if PelosiCare becomes law and depend on good luck (and guaranteed issuance).

Residents of New York City pay about five times as much for health insurance as those who live in, say, Columbus, Ohio, because of these mandates, guaranteed issue, and restricted premium differentials. PelosiCare will make sure that those who live in Columbus will see their health-insurance bills soar. Or it will cause a collapse of the private health-insurance market, making a government takeover of health care inevitable.

It’s hard not to think that the latter is exactly what they have in mind.

Read Less