The Spectacle Blog

Obama’s Special Ramadan Guest

By on 9.2.09 | 12:20PM

The White House invited an ACLU attorney, who has built a career over the past six years of litigating against the United States in support of terrorists, to an official White House dinner last night to celebrate Ramadan with President Obama.

Jameel Jaffer, who runs the ACLU's "national security project," has filed lawsuits challenging the FBI's "national security letter" authority, the constitutionality of warrantless wiretaps, and has been a leader in pushing for the shut down of Guantánamo Bay, and providing legal rights to terrorists held by the United States overseas in such countries as Iraq and Afghanistan. His efforts enabled the leaking of "torture photos" out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and some sources inside the Central Intelligence Agency believe he was one of the lawyers who provided legal advice to the Department of Justice to pursue an investigation into enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA.

Jaffer, a Canadian citizen, was vetted for the dinner by White House staff. His invitation was approved by the White House Counsel's Office, as well as the Office of Political Affairs.

Jaffer also was a lead attorney attempting to have the 2004 visa ban lifted for Tariq Ramadan, who is often identified as a "Swiss Islamic academic." At the time of the controversy, Daniel Pipes wrote about Ramadan:

• [Ramadan] has praised the brutal Islamist policies of the Sudanese politician Hassan Al-Turabi. Mr. Turabi in turn called Mr. Ramadan the "future of Islam.

• Mr. Ramadan was banned from entering France in 1996 on suspicion of having links with an Algerian Islamist who had recently initiated a terrorist campaign in Paris.

• Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian indicted for Al-Qaeda activities, had "routine contacts" with Mr. Ramadan, according to a Spanish judge (Baltasar Garzón) in 1999.

 • Djamel Beghal, leader of a group accused of planning to attack the American embassy in Paris, stated in his 2001 trial that he had studied with Mr. Ramadan.

 • Along with nearly all Islamists, Mr. Ramadan has denied that there is "any certain proof" that Bin Laden was behind 9/11.

• He publicly refers to the Islamist atrocities of 9/11, Bali, and Madrid as "interventions," minimizing them to the point of near-endorsement.

And here are other reasons, dug up by Jean-Charles Brisard, a former French intelligence officer doing work for some of the 9/11 families, as reported in Le Parisien:

• Intelligence agencies suspect that Mr. Ramadan (along with his brother Hani) coordinated a meeting at the Hôtel Penta in Geneva for Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy head of Al-Qaeda, and Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh, now in a Minnesota prison.

• Mr. Ramadan's address appears in a register of Al Taqwa Bank, an organization the State Department accuses of supporting Islamist terrorism.

"Great. Work hard to defend America and get a Department of Justice investigation that could ruin our careers. Work against America and get invited to the White House for dinner with the president," says a current CIA employee. "I can't tell you what kind of a signal this sends to us, not that we needed another one from this administration."

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