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Saturday, October 25, 2003
Grover's Radical Roundup

This morning, the alternate web explodes with material regarding Grover Norquist (see yesterday's 1:03am post) and Abdurahman M. Alamoudi.
Citizen Soldier explosively says:

There's an incredible story brewing in Washington that is too hot for the networks to touch.

Citizen Soldier goes on to describe a fight in February of this year between Mr. Norquist and pro administration talking head Frank Gaffney at a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference:

Gafney expressed concern about …Wahhabis' activities…to penetrate and influence the Executive and Legislative branch of our government. Gafney noted that groups like the American Muslim Council (AMC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have been able to gain access to the White House thanks to the White House's Associate Director of Cabinet Affairs Ali Tulbah, a Muslim, and his predecessor, Suhail Kahn…Tulbah and Kahn have excluded moderate American Muslim groups from White House access.
Both Tulbah and Kahn have family ties to extremist Wahhabi religious groups. Norquist responded…by calling Gaffney a racist and religious bigot in an appearance on Fox News Channel and in letters sent to the Washington Post and Washington Times and barring Gaffney from attending the most important meeting in Washington, the regular Wednesday meetings of conservative Capitol Hill aides and interest-group representatives held in Norquist's offices.

Josh Marshall at TPM says “I've been getting tons of emails” about Norquist’s involvement with Alamoudi.
Marshall describes the extremely conservative Norquist as “the capo di tutti capi of Republican insiders, and a close friend and advisor to the president and Karl Rove” and goes on to say:

I do know a bit about the "Free Markets and Democracy" conference that Norquist put on in Doha, Qatar back in the spring of 2001. Norquist brought a dozen congressmen over and at least one of them had a sit down with the then-Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, Taliban grandee Ahmad Muttawakil….Norquist told me that he himself didn't meet with Muttawakil. The congressman who did meet with him was Dana Rohrabacher. My sense has always been that Norquist got into the Islam business back in the late 1990s when it looked like a growth industry for the Republican coalition. He had a lot of ideas about Muslims being natural cultural conservatives.”

Seth Gitell in The Boston Phoenix, this morning, reports:

Protestant Norquist is a founding director of the Islamic Institute, a socially conservative Muslim think tank…Norquist’s lobbying firm, Janus-Merritt Strategies LLC, was officially registered as a lobbyist for the Islamic Institute as well as for Abdurahman Alamoudi, the founder and former executive director of the American Muslim Council. Public records show that Alamoudi has done more than $20,000 worth of business with Norquist’s firm…Norquist and Khaled Saffuri, the executive director of the Islamic Institute and former director of government relations at the American Muslim Council, brokered meetings between Muslim and Republican leaders during the 2000 presidential campaign.

An interesting portion of The Shadow column from this past Tuesday’s The Hill has Norquist’s office responding to the Insight Magazine allegations as well as, very interestingly, information about the magazine’s Moon ownership:

Norquist has done some lobbying for Muslim activists, the spokesman admitted, but he keeps getting blamed for some of the earlier successes radical Islamists had with the Bush administration.

Norquist's office was responding to this item in the October 6 Shadow column:

Alamoudi is well-known around Washington as a bipartisan political favorite…Alamoudi was also popular at the Pentagon…up until recently, he had access to the president and top officials, thanks to the diminutive Capitol Hill gadfly Grover Norquist, who lobbied for him and for his American Muslim Council.

Additionally, looney right wing columnist Michelle Malkin trashes Norquist in a Tuesday CNS column:

Alec "the Bloviator" Baldwin has a new bosom buddy: Beltway Republican strategist Grover Norquist.
The Bush-bashing actor-turned-activist and the Muslim vote-courting political organizer joined together at a Washington, D.C.-area conference last weekend to perpetuate bald lies about the Patriot Act and to oppose the "repressive" War on Terror.

From yesterday's Eschaton where Atrios excerpts Keith Olbermann's Thursday interview with John Loftus:

It wasn’t just sending home mom and dad messages from the prisoners. These guys, this network in Guantanamo, stole the CIA’s briefing books. Everything that the CIA knew about al-Qaeda is now back in al-Qaeda hands. That’s about as bad an intelligence setback as you can get.

And, from an April 26, 2001 Robert Dreyfuss profile in The Nation:

In 1986 Norquist was tapped by President Reagan's White House to run an ad hoc group called Americans for Tax Reform...During the second half of the 1980s, Norquist detoured from his tax work to engage in a series of safaris to far-off battlegrounds in support of anti-Soviet guerrilla armies, visiting war zones from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to southern Africa. Working alongside Col. Oliver North's freelance support network for the Nicaraguan contras and other Reagan Doctrine-allied insurgencies, Norquist promoted US support for groups like Mozambique's RENAMO and Jonas Savimbi's UNITA in Angola, both of which were backed by South Africa's apartheid regime (Norquist represented UNITA as a registered lobbyist in the early 1990s).

Do I detect another jiggle in the echo chamber's lockstep?

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