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. Loup Garou 782

    I wouldn't expect John Conyers or obama to do anything but join in with the Muslims and protect them. After all, they are cut from the same cloth.

    October 15, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. Eleanor, Port Orchard, WA

    Cowardly GOP scaredy-cats see danger lurking in every shadow! Good grief! Can you imagine going through life so terrorized by fear? It must be a pitifully sad existence.

    October 15, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. Jay T.

    So what? Are all Christians terrorists because of Timothy McVeigh? Fear and ignorance.

    October 15, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. Kent in CA

    Rep. Myrick should be made aware that American is in far greater danger from people who use a person's religious beliefs as a foundation for passing judgment than from all the Muslims serving in our government. Perhaps this congresswoman needs to spend some quality time reading the United States Constitution and less time publishing religious hatred.

    Mr. Gaubatz (and his father as well) should be ashamed if he has no greater contribution to make than to 'pose' as an intern. Why doesn't he actually volunteer to serve as an intern for the purpose of improving the legislative process? No, all he has to offer is to plant himself in a position where he can call people that are different from him 'subversives' and make a bunch of money on a book. Shame on you, sir. America deserves better.

    October 15, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  5. Perusing-through

    Republican Party and their right-wing supporters are CRAZY!

    October 15, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  6. T Mckinley

    I wonder if Ms. Myrick is one of the tea-partying wing-nuts who believe that our President is a "Muslim infiltrator"?

    BTW righties, have you read the news today? The Dow closed at over 10,000. I thought this wasn't supposed to happen with Barack Obama as President?

    October 15, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  7. Squirt

    Where does the Republican party find such people??? Why would anyone vote for someone with a Macarthyite attitude? This beyond sickening!!

    October 15, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Wow, seriously? Instead of contacting the FBI, CIA and/ or the DHS to investigate these suspicions an untrained "operative" conservative Chris Gaubatz "spent several months posing as an intern at the Council on American-Islamic Relations" then a book is to be published about it findings? And we are supposed to consider this to be a reliable, credible and incriminating book? Puuullleeaassee !!! All U.S. citizens need to be vigilant, but not paranoid and conducting unprofessional, and possibly illegal investigations. If you have suspicions contact trained professionals. Thanks. BTW...What is the title?...'The Office' (like the TV show)

    October 15, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. JJ in WNY

    i agree, it's sad that it's even remotely an issue in 2009. we need to mend our country– there's no "real america". americans come in every shape and size and ethnicity and religion. why do the republicans feel the need to fearmonger and stir up things like this? they are NO more american than their liberal counterparts. they are NO more american or patriotic than those who disagree with them. we are ALL americans, from all different backgrounds. what happened to our "melting pot"?

    October 15, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  10. Splat!~

    Fundamantalist/Evangelical Christians, Islamic Extremists, what's the difference?~

    October 15, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. Duane

    As a Muslim American, who spent 11 years in the United States Navy (2, four year tours and a 3 year extension), I find the thinking and accusations by some conservative republicans downright scary and shameful. The suspicion that these people have for Muslims and anyone other than white christians is something that makes me sad for america – a country I love and have defended and will always defend till the day I die. WE DON'T NEED RACIST, OR BIGOTS IN OUR POLITICS – THIS TYPE OF STUFF NEEDS TO STOP NOW!!!! Thank you Senator Conyers for speaking up.

    October 15, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. Bill Sampson

    McCarthyism is back on Capitol Hill. Way to go Republicans. We knew you would be back at it in raw form sooner or later.

    Disgusting. And very dangerous.

    October 15, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. Dan G

    I am glad that our founding fathers were not afraid of their own shadows as many of todays politicians are.

    There is no religion requirement to serve our Country and thank God for that.

    Our Constitution starts with:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Now, please move on and do your jobs as Representatives of the People.

    October 15, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  14. Retired Army in San Antonio

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling.........

    October 15, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  15. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    I can't believe that these republicans can retain their office after making such uneducated, bigoted remarks. Unbelievable! Conners, you are too kind to them.

    October 15, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  16. Gary

    Has Al qaeda done something to the water? Whats the matter with people. I't's like McCarthyism. I used to watch the news stories about it and found it hard to believe people were on a witch hunt. I have never seen people more parinoid and eager to believe bulls..t. I just sold a store to a guy from India. Some people went crazy. Thought he was a muslim, an arab or someone we were at war with, Its unbelievable how ignorant people are. Scarred of anyone that dosen"t look like them and eager to believe the worst. Shame on the GOP.

    October 15, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  17. Mark in CA

    Sorry but this sounds like McCarthyism and the communist infiltrators of our free society of the 1950's all over again. So, when are the public trials for being muslim? The only class of people the repugs won't bash is the inbread, home schooled, bible thumping, cross burning, gun toting hicks they call their base. This is getting beyond pathetic and into the twilight zone of stupid.

    October 15, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  18. indy 08

    GOP = party of angry intolerant males, the small tent is shrinking folks.

    October 15, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. Randolph Carter

    Hahahaha! What a bunch of ignorant hicks. Have a nice day!

    October 15, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. Rose

    Conyers is wrong, they should be investigated and cleared before they are allowed to work in the Capitol. I believe that ALL employees should pass an investigation not just Muslims. I think it is in our best interest to check them out. Maybe those questioning this are wrong but what if they are right?? Do we need to take that chance???

    October 15, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. gerryluimes

    Mr.conyers is absolutely correct ! Do not insult honorable Muslims.
    What about the Baptist minister who-in the name of God- calls for the death of Pres.Obama,calling him the devil incarnate?
    Wonderful people we have in the Devided States of America.......

    October 15, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  22. Welcome to Communist States of America

    Instead of blasting those GOP lawmakers, you should thank them, idiot. Because at the time you realize that those "muslim spies" are true, it will have been too late because all National Securities documents have been transferred to their countries.

    Perhaps not only National Securities documents that they take, but also your pants, idiot.

    October 15, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  23. LG

    Uh... Why does this sound like the ghost of Joe McCarthy?

    October 15, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  24. DanTheSensibleMan

    Sounds like Mccarthyism to me. We have heard all of this before and we found out that this kind of paranoia is extremely destructive and doesn't make us any safer. This is another GOP scare tactic because they know that when people are scared their platform seems a little more sensible. Besides aren't their MUCH more important things for these congressmen to be spent their time on? Maybe a viable health care plan of their own, or helping garner international support for the cause in Afghanistan to relieve some of the pressure from US troops. How about sudgesting useful projects for the stimulous money so we can get the ball moveing a little faster on recovery...just a thought

    October 15, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  25. m smith

    The republican wing nits are disgusting.

    October 15, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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