October 15th, 2009
06:05 PM ET
11 years ago

Michigan Dem responds to GOP charges about Muslim interns

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/15/art.conyers.gi.jpg caption="Michigan Dem responds to GOP charges about Muslim interns."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers is blasting charges by a group of Republican lawmakers that a Muslim activist group has planted interns on Capitol Hill in an effort to alter national security legislation.

"It shouldn't need to be said in 2009, and after the historic election of our first African-American president, but let me remind all my colleagues that patriotic Americans of all races, religions, and beliefs have the right - and the responsibility - to participate in our political process, including by volunteering to work in Congressional offices," Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, said in a Thursday statement. "Numerous Muslim-American interns have served the House ably and they deserve our appreciation and respect, not attacks on their character or patriotism."

GOP Reps. Sue Myrick of North Carolina, Paul Broun of Georgia and John Shadegg and Trent Franks of Arizona had held a press conference Wednesday highlighting an undercover investigation undertaken by conservative Chris Gaubatz, who spent several months posing as an intern at the Council on American-Islamic Relations. A book about that operation written by his father, David Gaubatz, and co-author Paul Sperry features a foreword previously penned by Myrick. That book, published by an imprint attached to conservative Web publication World Net Daily, was scheduled for release on Thursday.

In an excerpt of the foreword published by the Raleigh News & Observer, Myrick says the authors had documented evidence Muslim agents are in the country and "carrying out their subversive plan."

"America is asleep to the danger that confronts us," writes the congresswoman. "Since the 1960s there has been a concerted effort on the part of radical Islamists to infiltrate our major institutions. Front groups of terror now operate openly in our country, comprising a network of support for jihadists. …We Americans must wake up before it is too late!"

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart contributed to this report.

Filed under: Congress • John Conyers
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. artc

    Republicans at the best (worst) exhibiting their racist views on the nation. In the Republican's world view: Mexican's, asians, blacks, muslims and any other non-conservative so-called Christians are potential terrorists. God Bless America.

    October 15, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Linda C in Cal

    Thanks for the 'historic' reminder, but I simply do not trust Muslims in the White House, even interns! Conyers is a racist himself!!!

    October 15, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. victim of republican greed

    Don't forget the anti American activities of Karl Rove.

    October 15, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  4. sam jackson jr

    i know it's the kook fringe of the republican party (though that is getting less fringy all the time), but when mainstream republicans dont speak out against this kind of nonsense, it is tacit support of these bufoons

    October 15, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  5. D. Tree

    GOP, the party for bigots. If you don't want to be associated with a party that pushes bigotry folks, I'm sorry a lot of good republicans are going to desert the GOP.

    October 15, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. Maria - Proud Democrat

    We need to find a happy medium where we can be alert and prepared without being paranoid.

    Threats exist......for example who would of thought that a nuclear scientist involved in the "Big Bang Theory"...a particle accelerator attempting to recreate sub atomic conditions would be involved with terrorism.

    But it appears that is exactly the case....that is why the French have charge a 32 year old nuclear scientist .

    So danger is around us and we can't pretend it doesn't exist, so let's not put our head in the sand and let's deal with this. Let's find a way to be alert without attacking someone that might be innocent.

    October 15, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. stevo

    Here we go again... wacko republican conspiracy theories and fear mongering.

    Can you say "McCarthyism"?

    October 15, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. KD

    Joseph McCarthy anyone? Seriously does anyone want anymore proof that Republicans are racists or at least the very least accepting of racists>

    October 15, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. TH

    What seems to be the problem? Obama has muslem interns as does the dems. Why is this muslim Conyers arguing about it? The dems are afraid of the truth.

    October 15, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Do these nuts ever just give it a rest????

    October 15, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Gee, if they've been working since the 1960s, "operate openly" and are such a huge threat, then why didn't Bush & Company do something about it?

    My guess is that the number of individuals who truly need monitoring are – and very closely. Hence the recent arrest of the Colorado man suspected of plotting a terror strike in New York.

    October 15, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    Oops! I left out an adjective:

    Gee, if they've been working since the 1960s, "operate openly" and are such a huge threat, then why didn't Bush & Company do something about it?

    My guess is that it's a fairly small number of individuals who truly need monitoring – and they are monitored very closely. Hence the recent arrest of the Colorado man suspected of plotting a terror strike in New York.

    October 15, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. BedfordRick

    Wow! We didn't learn anything from McCarthyism, did we?

    October 15, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. tyler

    Yes, an intern is going to subvert the government.

    If an intern can subvert the government, then the government doesn't deserve to stand. Oh, wait, the GOP already let an intern bring down the government in the 90s. Now wonder they are so afraid of them.

    October 15, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. Lee

    Timothy McVeigh was a christian and a terrorist, Militia members are terrorists. Klansman speak of preserving our christianity and wear the cross.

    Does that mean that we should keep all christians out of government jobs???

    Have republicans totally embraced the stupid or what? They should be ashamed for what they've done to our country and what they are still trying to do.

    October 15, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  16. Johnny B

    Ah yes the "Sky is Falling" routine!
    I agree there are agents in this country trying to influence politics, cause disruption and hate, as well as trying to cause casualties. Pick a country, China, Moscow, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, they all want to bring down the United States. Even our some of our allies have agents in the U.S., Israel, South Korea and I'm sure there are more.
    It doesn't mean that everyone of the Muslim Faith is out to get us!
    Remember the sleeper Communist agents?... They were out to get us too!

    October 15, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  17. Walied

    What do these Republicans have against Muslims?
    This reminds me of the Nazi Party.. its a slippery slope and if good people don't speak up like Rep Conyers, sooner or later there will be another Holocaust and it will be the Muslims turn.

    October 15, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  18. Ahmad Faridi

    This shows that GOP hasnt learnt anything from pervious failed scare tactics. Congresswoman and likes are hammering the last nails in GOP Coffin. Muslims are as American as any person of other religion.

    October 15, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  19. Peter E

    Fun fact: the majority of muslims in America are not Arab. They are African Americans and members of the nation of Islam. Fun fact: most Arabs in America are not muslim. They are Christians. They are in America partly because they fled here to be able to practice Christianity.

    October 15, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  20. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Ah, nothing like racism and xenophobia to raise funds for one's campaign. Then next year, once they have the money and time to gather votes, watch all these same people pander to all those very same minorities they offended before. It never fails!

    October 15, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  21. Haris Siddiqui

    Live & let Live.

    This ridiculous charge that some how this mysterious "Muslim Lobby" has infeltrated in the capital hill or other "Major institutations" is not just ridiculous but counter productive.

    Dont remember the last time these sam "Patriotic" republicans raised concern over a well know lobby which happens to be the second largest lobby in US and has influence over not just our major govermental insititutations but also the presidency thats right, im talking about AIPAC which stands for American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

    Whats next, our President is actually a Socialist Mutant who is pretending to be human and is here to take our US. Pathetic!!!!

    October 15, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Wow, some republicans have completely lost their mind.

    October 15, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  23. Rayt in Nashville

    Is this the same subversive plan that groups like the moral majority carried out in the late '70's and early '80's? Once again, the Republican party proves itself forerunners in hate based politics.

    October 15, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. Idiot_Pelosi

    Who cares what this old MICHIGAN DUMocRAT thinks?

    He should worry about JOBS and the ECONOMY in his ruined "union controlled" state.

    I will never buy another GM product or a FORD due to how the unions got all my tax dollars in bailouts.

    Buy Toyota / Lexus / Honda / BMW.....

    October 15, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. Marion

    Last time I checked, any individual or organization, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, political views, and yes, creed, has a right to seek to influence policy in this country in any legal way they desire. And, last time I checked, it was legal to be a Congressional intern.

    All this amounts to is blatant pandering to racists, bigots, and xenophobes. Throw the uneducated simpletons some red meat, whip up their fears, and turn them loose.

    I'm no political expert, so pardon me for offering unsolicited advice, but you moderate Republicans out there had better do something about the lunatic fringe of your party. If you don't cut them loose, they're going to drag the entire GOP over a cliff.

    October 15, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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