Over the last three decades, America has experienced the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. servicemen, the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, the 9/11 attacks in 2001, and the recent terrorist bombings at the Boston Marathon.
The nation's security is a sensitive issue for Americans and it's understandable many would be upset after hearing reports that federal government would sacrifice safety for political correctness. Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann has charged the Obama administration with bowing to the pressure of pro-Islam groups with terrorist links by removing offensive references to Islam from Justice Department training manuals.
After six months, it was reported that almost 900 pages of documents were removed from the counter-terrorism training curriculum. Three outside Islamic "experts" reportedly aided the FBI in secretly making the changes. FBI officials acknowledged that the Islamic experts had a critical role in revising the training manuals but would not reveal their identities.
Bachmann, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said when she reviewed the documents that had been removed from the training program, there were three or four FBI agents in the room and when she took notes, the agent sitting behind her would also write in his notebook, apparently keeping tabs on her.
Bachmann is barred by the FBI's confidentiality agreement from revealing what she saw in the documents, but has said that the briefings she received "raise even more alarm bells" that the agency is going too far to appease Muslim-American groups.
"And so now the White House has scrubbed all Islamic terms from the national counterterrorism strategy. The White House has removed all Islamic terms from the Pentagon's report on the Fort Hood shooting. And now, Obama is allowing terror suspect groups to write the FBI's terror training manual," Bachmann charged.
The White House declined to comment on her criticism.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, has also reviewed the purged documents and said that legitimate training information deemed to be offensive or problematic has been scrapped by the agency. Last month, Gohmert and other Republicans on the judiciary committee grilled FBI Director Robert Mueller about going too far to appease the Muslim groups.
During the hearing, Mueller insisted that political correctness played no role in the agency's efforts to make certain that the FBI give the best training to its personnel.
Chris Farrell, director of research at Judicial Watch, a non-partisan government watchdog group that has been seeking the same documents, said that FBI officials acknowledge the Islamic experts played a critical role in revising its training program, but that the efforts to reveal their identities is being quashed.
"If we are going to radically alter their agent training at the behest of a sort of secret group that they won't disclose, that's a pretty substantial, pretty novel event," said Farrell. "Who knows what those changes are? They do it in secret."
FBI spokesman Christopher Allen said the bureau has not been overly secretive and that legislators can raise any concerns with the agency's congressional liaison.
Passing the buck down the line for answers isn't the kind of thing the public wants to hear from an administration that promised us transparency when Obama first took office. This kind of report must also please and embolden America's enemies, especially the radical Islamic extremists responsible for so much death and destruction in this nation's recent history.
By Jim Zbick