When the first line of defense is “Bush did it, too,” you can rest assured that there is no second line of defense. And on allegations that the Justice Department intervened to prevent the indictment of various Islamist figures and organizations, the Obama administration’s response appears to be: Bush did it, too.
According to reporting at Pajamas Media by Patrick Poole, who has tracked the Muslim Brotherhood for years, the DOJ intervention came in connection with the Holy Land Foundation case, in which federal prosecutors in Dallas proved that the Brotherhood bankrolled its Palestinian branch, the terrorist organization Hamas, during the deadly intifada against Israel. The linchpin of the Brotherhood scheme was the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), an ostensible Islamic charity through which tens of millions of dollars were funneled to jihadists overseas.
Implicated in this enterprise were various Islamist organizations in the United States that the Brotherhood identified as its partners. Several of these, including CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), were designated by prosecutors as “unindicted coconspirators.” When the organizations predictably protested this description, federal courts rebuffed them, finding that there was ample evidence of their complicity.
The five indicted HLF defendants were convicted in 2008. According to Poole, the U.S. attorney in Dallas hoped to do a second round of prosecutions targeting the unindicted coconspirators. They were thwarted, however, by Obama political appointees at Main Justice. According to an unidentified Justice Department official who is one of Poole’s sources, this decision to quash indictments (including one against a top CAIR official) was made not for lack of evidence but due to political considerations: specifically, to promote “outreach” to Muslims (an Obama-administration priority) and to avoid embarrassing the government — which stood to be vilified if those with whom they had cultivated relationships were shown to have supported terrorists.
The story has begun to attract attention on Capitol Hill. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has already fired off a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, demanding an explanation. Not surprisingly, the Obama administration is fighting back. Its tack, however, does not appear to be denial of the allegations (it has, in fact, been stonewalling efforts by Poole and Pajamas to discover the paper trail). Instead, the response is: Bush did it, too.