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John McCain vs. Michelle Bachmann: In Defense of Huma Abedin

| July 20, 2012

Huma Abedin and and Hillary Clinton.

Michelle Bachmann, the Minnesota Republican member of Congress, and other conservatives, suggested in letters to federal agencies that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, of Pakistani descent, is a Muslim Brotherhood infiltrator, and that she should be investigated. John McCain defended Abedin in a July 18 speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

By John McCain

Rarely do I come to the floor of this body to discuss particular individuals. But I understand how painful and injurious it is when a person’s character, reputation, and patriotism are attacked without concern for fact or fairness. It is for that reason that I come to the floor today to speak regarding the attacks recently on a fine and decent American, Huma Abedin.

Over the past decade, I have had the pleasure of knowing her during her long and dedicated service to Hillary Rodham Clinton, both in the Senate and now in the Department of State. I know Huma to be an intelligent, upstanding, hard-working, and loyal servant of our country and our government, who has devoted countless days of her life to advancing the ideals of the Nation she loves and looking after its most precious interests. That she has done so well maintaining her characteristic decency, warmth, and good humor is a testament to her ability to bear even the most arduous duties with poise and confidence.

Put simply, Huma Abedin represents what is best about America: the daughter of immigrants, who has risen to the highest levels of our government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and her abiding commitment to the American ideals she embodies. I am proud to know her, and I am proud–even maybe with some presumption–to call her my friend.

Recently, it has been alleged that Huma Abedin, a Muslim American, is part of a nefarious conspiracy to harm the United States by unduly influencing U.S. foreign policy at the Department of State in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes. On June 13, five Members of Congress wrote to the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of State demanding that he begin an investigation into the possibility that Huma Abedin, and other American officials, are using their influence to promote the cause of Muslim Brotherhood within the U.S. government. The information offered to support these serious allegations is based on a report, “The Muslim Brotherhood in America,” which is produced by the Center for Security Policy. I wish to point out, I have worked with the Center for Security Policy. The head of it is a longtime friend of mine. Still, this report is scurrilous.

To say that the accusations made in both documents are not substantiated by the evidence they offer is to be overly polite and diplomatic about it. It is far better and more accurate to talk straight. These allegations about Huma Abedin and the report from which they are drawn are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant.

The letter alleges that three members of Huma’s family are “connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.” Never mind that one of these individuals–Huma’s father–passed away two decades ago. The letter and the report offer not one instance of an action, a decision, or a public position that Huma has taken while at the State Department or as a member of then-Senator Clinton’s staff that would lend credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-American activities within our government. Nor does either document offer any evidence of a direct impact that Huma may have had on one of the U.S. policies with which the authors of the letter and the producers of the report find fault. These sinister accusations rest solely on a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations of members of Huma’s family–none of which have been shown to harm or threaten the United States in any way. These attacks have no logic, no basis, and no merit, and they need to stop. They need to stop now.

Ultimately, what is at stake in this matter is larger even than the reputation of one person. This is about who we are as a Nation and who we aspire to be. What makes America exceptional among the countries of the world is that we are bound together as citizens, not by blood or class, not by sector or ethnicity, but by a set of enduring universal and equal rights that are the foundations of our Constitution, our laws, our citizenry, and our identity. When anyone–not least a Member of Congress–launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our Nation, and we all grow poorer because of it.

Our reputations and our character are the only things we leave behind when we depart this Earth, and unjust acts that malign the good name of a decent and honorable person are not only wrong, they are contrary to everything we hold dear as Americans.

Some years ago, I had the pleasure, along with my friend, the Senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, of traveling overseas with our colleague then-Senator Hillary Clinton. By her side, as always, was Huma, and I had the pleasure of seeing firsthand her hard work and dedicated service on behalf of the former Senator from New York, a service that continues to this day at the Department of State and bears with it a significant personal sacrifice for Huma.

I have every confidence in her loyalty to our country, and everyone else should as well. All Americans owe her a debt of gratitude for her many years of superior public service. I hope these ugly and unfortunate attacks on her can immediately be brought to an end and put behind us before any further damage is done to a woman, an American, of genuine patriotism and love of country.

John McCain, a Republican, is the senior senator from Arizona.

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22 Responses for “John McCain vs. Michelle Bachmann: In Defense of Huma Abedin”

  1. Clint says:

    Mata Hari comes to mind here ! You just can’t trust women .

  2. ANONYMOUSAY says:

    It’s funny, for all the dirt the George Bushes have done, they never attacked Muslims as a group. George W. Bush has been in more Mosque than Obama ever will be and has more Muslim friends than Obama will ever have. Let’s see now, how does it go? – Native Americans were called heathens, Slaves from Africa sub-human, People from the Middle East terrorist. ONLY PEOPLE WITH GUILTY CONSCIENCES WALK AND TALK WITH THAT MUCH PARANIOA.

  3. Lefty Loon says:

    What, John fell off the fence? One wonders what an investigation might turn up. Loony.

  4. Paul Umbarger says:

    At last, the reappearance of the real John McCain.

  5. Ron says:

    Cudos to you, Senator McCain, for speaking out in support of Abedin and challenging these paranoid and unwarranted accusations against her. It’s about time that someone from Bachmann’s own party holds her accountable for her shameful and ridiculous statements.

  6. Dawg says:

    Bachmann is a religious bigot. Joe McCarthy would have been proud.

  7. question says:

    Michelle Bachmann: Frightening how this woman got elected to Congress [kinda as shocking as Rick Scott –from thief to Governor] oxymoron as well that she got on the House Intelligence Committee. And she thought she was President material!!
    I’m embarrassed for womankind…she sets us back hundreds of years.

  8. anon says:

    Teabaggers protect the US Constitution by defecating on it.

    Bachmann would not say that stuff if there were not right wing morons who hang on her every word.

  9. Out of curiosity says:

    Nice to see bipartisan condemnation of this ridiculous attack. By the way, one of the five to write this letter is Congressman Tom Rooney from Fl. Although I am not part of his constituency, I did email me him in regards to these accusations.

  10. Lefty Loon says:

    She just asked for an investigation….what is the big deal? Isn’t a spy supposed to look perfectly legitimate? Most Comments sound LOONEY so far.

    Talk about defalcating on the Constitution….now we are taxed without doing anything but existing. Pretty neat trick, mandate the hospitals must take all patients regardless of their ability to pay….voila, now you are taxed for being born and living. Thank you KIng BO.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Loon, you don’t have the sense God gave a goose. You put up a link to John Stossel, noted right-wing clown noted for having a show seemingly written as propaganda to convert third graders (or TeaBaggers) as irrefutable proof of your “Conservative” bullshit? Really? This is the best you got?

  11. Tina says:

    It’s so good to hear one of our congressmen sounding like a statesman. Thank you John McCain.

  12. Clint says:

    Spying involves a government or individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, as it is taken for granted that it is unwelcome and, in many cases illegal and punishable by law.One of the most effective ways to gather data and information about an enemy (or potential enemy) is by infiltrating the enemy’s ranks……Yup, nothing to see here folks, just move along now.

  13. I especially like the phrase that our reputation and character are the only things we leave behind when we depart this earth. May use it in my next defamation case! I applaud Mr. McCain for doing the right thing. It is small things like this that make us a great nation. If he were to get enough praise from both sides of the aisle, and the media, what might come of this? I can only hope.

  14. Lefty Loon says:

    1. Abedin’s mother is not only a member of the Muslim Sisterhood, but also sits on the Guidance Board of that organization. Making her not only a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s female auxiliary, but also a prestigious member.

    2. Another member of the Muslim Sisterhood’s Guidance Bureau is Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s wife, which means Abedin’s mother and the wife of an renowned Muslim Brotherhood member are in regular and frequent contact.

    3. Lastly, Abedin’s brother, Hassan Abedin, has allegedly collaborated with Omar Naseef and Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, two of the most influential terror supporters in the world.

    These things are a matter of fact. To think there is no concern here is naive.

  15. question says:

    Conspiracy theorist: Yup, that oft used, clever ruse of marrying an U.S. Congress NY Representative and starting a family. She’s a spy I tell you!!

  16. NortonSmitty says:

    Michelle Bachman and Rick Scott are the two best examples I can think of for anybody making a case against democracy today.

  17. ANONYMOUSAY says:

    @ Lefty Loon: Can any leader or solider or citizen of the US spearheading war or violence against another country be labeled a terrorist??? Or do you give our leaders free pass in all cases? Just because oppression and hateful pride are draped in red white and blue doesn’t make it right. You can’t claim to be the leader and example for the world and than act threatened and cry-wolf when it fits one agenda.

  18. Howard Duley says:

    I don’t have a clue one way or the other but lets say that she is. If it turns out to be true then the people who defend her should be castigated. If it turns out to be false the same thing should be done to her antagonists. I’m sick and tired of a simple “IM SORRY”. That bull doesn’t set with me.

  19. NortonSmitty says:

    I would much prefer an “I’m Stupid”.

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