By refusing to investigate the Al Gore/Al Jazeera deal, it would appear that Capitol Hill “conservatives” like Republican Reps. Michael McCaul, Steve Scalise, and Paul Broun are adopting the view that we have nothing to fear from the global jihad and its instruments of propaganda being positioned on U.S. soil.
This view finds support from Scott McConnell, writing in Patrick J. Buchanan’s magazine, The American Conservative, who says there should be no “national loyalty oath” for a new cable channel in America and that the transaction is “welcome news.”
Al Jazeera is the voice of the Muslim Brotherhood and the various terrorist groups it has spawned, including al Qaeda and Hamas.
In all seriousness, McConnell calls the sale of Al Gore’s Current TV to the Al Jazeera channel a “public service.”
In an endorsement of the deal, McConnell writes that the channel, which he admits is “Qatar government-funded,” can be “quite good.” However, he admits, “I don’t watch it often.”
He fails to point out the elementary fact that there is no freedom of the press or speech in Qatar.
Unfortunately, this is the kind of uninformed commentary that we have seen all too often in regard to the Al Jazeera deal. It is significant that a self-described “conservative” would adopt this view and that a magazine called “The American Conservative” would publish such nonsense.
During the Cold War, Patrick Buchanan, who served as President Reagan’s White House communications director, was an anti-communist who combatted and helped expose Soviet disinformation and propaganda activities. But in the face of the global jihad, such defenses are apparently being dropped. Indeed, Buchanan has himself been featured in a sympathetic light on Al Jazeera, discussing why he opposes U.S. military intervention in the Middle East.
This is, of course, a legitimate conservative point of view, even if going on Al Jazeera is not the proper place to make such an argument. But McConnell’s idea that Al Jazeera somehow has a right to enter the U.S. media market without scrutiny is not supported by the evidence.
There is no “national loyalty oath” for a cable channel. But there are various laws that are supposed to apply to this transaction which are being ignored. These include the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Federal Communications Commission rules, and the review process of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.
But the basic hurdle that the channel cannot overcome, based on the evidence of its collaboration with al Qaeda, is that it provides material support to terrorism and, therefore, cannot legally operate on American soil. The Hezbollah TV station Al Manar was outlawed in the U.S. on this basis.
If there is some doubt as to Al Jazeera’s relationship with al Qaeda, then Congressional hearings can set the record straight.
Even if the deal was legitimate and had received the necessary approval, there is every reason in the world for true conservatives to oppose the channel’s entry into the U.S. on the grounds that it spews propaganda which can misinform, mislead, and inspire violence.
There is nothing much we can do about foreign propaganda that is based overseas. But allowing our enemies to operate on the U.S.