A classmate of mine from my Broughton High School days recently sent me an electronic message with this query:
Grover, what do you think of Michelle Bachman’s latest re Huma Abedin? I would say Bachman is close to McCarthyism, but I am sincerely interested in your take.
It took me a couple of days, but this is what I ultimately replied:
Until I read your posting above, I had only heard a little about the issue. However, I researched and read up on it yesterday, and here’s my answer to your question.
After reading the transcripts of Congresswoman Bachman’s statements, it appears that what she said was in two parts:
- She pointed out that Huma Abedin’s late father was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that her mother was a member of something called the Muslim Sisterhood; and
- She asked if due diligence had been done to vet Ms. Abedin’s and her family’s connections to these groups before giving her high security clearance.
Note two things about the above. First, no one (that I have seen) is disputing the facts about her parents’ memberships in these organizations, so apparently (unlike Joe McCarthy) Bachman was not lying. And second, she only asked if the security vetting had been thorough — she did not charge that it had not been.
All of this sits inside the larger context of what we know about the Muslim Brotherhood, which now boasts the newly elected President of Egypt among its members. That context includes appraisals of the Brotherhood from fellow Egyptians who have had experience with the group, including leadership in the Coptic Church who said, “The Muslim Brotherhood see democracy as a ladder. Once they reach where they’re going, they’re going to burn the ladder.”
It will interesting to see how this issue plays itself out.