Glenn Greenwald’s baseless charge that Jane Harman was stoking ‘Islamophobia’

Boston-Marathon-Bombing-US-flags (1)In an April 17 post, we called out Guardian contributor Glenn Greenwald on his rank hypocrisy in condemning the ‘rush to judgment’ in the aftermath of the April 15 Boston Marathon terrorist attack that killed 3 and injured over 180.

In Greenwald’s CiF commentary, The Boston bombing produces familiar and revealing reactions’, April 16, he ‘named and shamed’ those whose eagerness “to conclude that the attackers were Muslim was palpable and unseemly, even without any real evidence”, which, we noted, was remarkably audacious in light of his own rush to judgement in the aftermath of the attack on the US consulate in Libya last September.

Greenwald, we noted, immediately (a day after the Sept. 11, 2012 assault) parroted false reports that the attack which left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead was caused by a film produced by an “Israeli Jew” and funded by “100 Jewish donors” – charges Greenwald was later forced to revise when it was demonstrated that the filmmaker was an Egyptian Christian, and that the film had no role whatsoever in the pre-meditated Islamist terror attack.

However, in addition to the hypocrisy of Greenwald’s sanctimony over the ‘rush to judgement’ in the Boston terror attacks, we recently observed another one of the Guardian commentator’s signature habits of using hyperlinks which don’t in fact support the allegation being made.

Here’s the relevant passage in Greenwald’s April 17 CiF commentary:

The rush, one might say the eagerness, to conclude that the attackers were Muslim was palpable and unseemly, even without any real evidence. The New York Post quickly claimed that the prime suspect was a Saudi national (while also inaccurately reporting that 12 people had been confirmed dead). The Post’s insinuation of responsibility was also suggested on CNN by Former Bush Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend (“We know that there is one Saudi national who was wounded in the leg who is being spoken to”). Former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman went on CNN to grossly speculate that Muslim groups were behind the attack.

So, did former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman “grossly speculate” that “Muslim groups” were behind the attack?

Well, the link goes to a site called ‘The Examiner’ which claims the following:

Former congresswoman Jane Harman, currently the President of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars told CNN News on April 15 that there is a very real possibility that the Boston Marathon bombings could be Al-Qaeda related. The bombs used in the attack are very similar to bombs used by Al-Qaeda in terrorist attacks across the world.

So, clearly, the first link demonstrates that Harman, former Chair of the US House Intelligence Committee, didn’t blame “Muslim groups”, but merely speculated on the possibility that one fanatical Islamist group which very few Muslims actually support may be responsible.  Further, the second link Greenwald used goes to a Twitter page with a series of Tweets in which others commented on Harman’s interview on CNN.

Whilst many of the Tweets similarly noted Harman ‘s naming al-Qaeda as a ‘possible’ suspect, one Tweet in particular on the page, which Greenwald decided to ignore, quotes Harman during the CNN interview speaking more broadly about the victims of such Islamist attacks around the world:


A lot the victims, if it turns out to be anything related to Al Qaeda, a lot of the victims of these attacks are Muslims.

Further, while information is still coming in about the two suspects – Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died after a shootout with police , and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who was taken into police custody on Friday – it does seem clear that they are both indeed radical Chechen Muslims who were inspired by Islamist propaganda which promoted jihadist attacks on innocent civilians.

So, to recap:

Jane Harman’s suspicion that the Boston terror attack may have been perpetrated by followers of radical Islam appears to have been accurate.

Contrary to Greenwald’s claims, Jane Harman did not blame “Muslim groups” for the incident in Boston, but in fact cautioned that, if the attacks were inspired by al-Qaeda or groups sympathetic to its ideology, it was important to understand that innocent Muslims are often the victims of deadly terrorist attacks by such Islamist terror movements.

Finally, Greenwald has a history of using meaningless hyperbole and hyperlinks which don’t support his wild allegations, and his latest baseless smear of the former congresswoman should come as no surprise to those who already understand the dishonest lengths Greenwald often goes to buttress his pre-established extreme left narratives. 

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