Hertiage Foundation: Robert Spencer’s Islamophobe Allies Gather For Anti-Muslim Hate Fest

Heritage Foundation Benghazi panel descends into Islamophobic freak show

 (Salon.com)

Although its reputation for intellectual seriousness was previously overstated, those who worried that former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint’s ascension as chief of the Heritage Foundation would lead to the right-wing think tank’s disgrace are looking mighty prescient after a Monday afternoon panel on the Banghazi attack’s lingering “unanswered questions” devolved into a bigoted freak show.

When one considers the panelists involved, it’s unlikely the so-called discussion was ever going to go too well. Alongside straight-up crank and professional bigot Frank Gaffney, Heritage also invited ACT! for America’s Brigitte Gabriel (known for repeatedly describing Muslims as “barbarians“) and Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi’s Clare Lopez (who previously described the Obama administration as having “switched sides” in the war on terror). Leading the conversation was Chris Plante, a conservative talk radio host.

According to the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, while the panel rather quickly and predictably transitioned from vague expressions of concern about a Benghazi conspiracy to a more free-floating animus toward Islam and Muslims, things didn’t get really ugly until one audience member, an American University law student named Saba Ahmed, decided to push back against the panelists’ many ignorant and harmful assertions.

“We portray Islam and all Muslims as bad, but there’s 1.8 billion followers of Islam,” Ahmed reportedly told the panel. “We have 8 million-plus Muslim Americans in this country, and I don’t see them represented here.”

This was unacceptable. Gabriel was the first to attack, according to Milbank, responding that “180 million to 300 million” Muslims are “dedicated to the destruction of Western civilization” and that the “peaceful majority” of the world’s Muslims “were irrelevant” on September 11, 2001. Besides, Muslims are like Nazis, Gabriel argued: “Most Germans were peaceful,” she said, “yet the Nazis drove the agenda, and as a result, 60 million died.”

Gabriel then questioned Ahmed’s citizenship before telling her that “political correctness” of the kind she spouts should be kept “in the garbage” where it belongs. Ahmed was then asked “Where are the others speaking out?” but before she could explain why demanding a community of hundreds of millions have “others” who “speak out” against murder is ridiculous and disingenuous, the audience drowned her out with a standing ovation.

As the evening progressed, Plante implied Ambassador Chris Stevens’ real cause of death was being hidden, Gabriel suggested Stevens was secretly working on a weapons-swap between Libya and Syria, and Lopez joked about how journalists covering the attack are secretly friends with Islamist terrorists, with whom they were “sipping frappes … in juice bars.” One audience member even suggested that Gen. Carter Ham, then-commander of U.S. Africa Command, had been “placed under house arrest” so as to allow the attack to occur. Plante said he’d heard the same.

Here’s video of the debacle, via Media Matters:

Also See:
VIDEO: Heritage Foundation’s Benghazi Panelists Mock Muslim Student
Heritage’s ugly Benghazi panel

Wingnut Bloggers Claimed Photos Showed ‘Muslims Dragging Stevens’ – Actually Showed Libyan Rescuers

Charles Johnson asks the question on all of our minds, “What the hell is wrong with these people?” (h/t: CriticalDragon)

Wingnut Bloggers Claimed Photos Showed ‘Muslims Dragging Stevens’ – Actually Showed Libyan Rescuers

by Charles Johnson, (LGF)

New reports from Libya confirm that the Libyan citizens the right wing blogosphere claimed were “dragging Ambassador Stevens’ body through the streets like Somalia” were actually trying to save his life: Video Appears to Show Libyans Retrieving Envoy’s Body.

Labeled the work of Fahd al-Bakkosh, the video centers on what appears to be the same tall, narrow window that witnesses have described as Mr. Stevens’s last exit. The witnesses said residents drawn to the scene had forced open the window and found Mr. Stevens behind a locked iron gate, pulled him out and taken him to the hospital. In the video, none say anything that shows ill will.

“I swear, he’s dead,” one Libyan says, peering in.

“Bring him out, man! Bring him out,” another says.

“The man is alive. Move out of the way,” others shout. “Just bring him out, man.”

“Move, move, he is still alive!”

“Alive, Alive! God is great,” the crowd erupts, while someone calls to bring Mr. Stevens to a car.

Mr. Stevens was taken to a hospital, where a doctor tried to revive him, but said he was all but dead on arrival.

More info from the AP: Libyan Witness: Stevens Was Breathing When Found.

A group of people gathered as several men pulled the seemingly lifeless form from the room. They saw he was alive and a foreigner, though no one recognized him as Stevens, al-Bakoush said.

He was breathing and his eyelids flickered, he said. “I tested his pulse and he was alive,” he said “No doubt. His face was blackened and he was like a paralyzed person.”

Video taken by al-Bakoush and posted on YouTube shows Stevens being carried out of a small dark room through a window with a raised shutter and being laid on the floor. One man touches his neck to feel for a pulse. Some of the men shout, “God is great.”

The video has been authenticated since Stevens’ face is clearly visible and he is wearing the same white t-shirt seen in authenticated photos of him being carried away one another man’s shoulders, presumably moments later.

Right wing bloggers almost universally seized on early photos of this chaotic scene, jumped to the false conclusion that these were the people who killed Ambassador Stevens, and promptly started ranting about barbaric Muslims.

In fact, those photographs actually showed Libyans rushing Stevens to the hospital.

Recapping some of the right wing blogs’ reactions:

The stupidest person on the Internet, Jim Hoft, demonstrated again that he’s also one of the most hateful people on the Internet: ISLAMISTS DRAG DEAD BODY of US AMBASSADOR THROUGH the STREETS of BENGHAZI! (Updated) …Another Photo! | the Gateway Pundit.

Hoft went even further, repeating a disgusting bogus report from a Lebanese tabloid: Horror!… Lebanese Reports: US Ambassador Raped Before His Murder | the Gateway Pundit.

Hateblogger Pamela Geller is even more vile than Hoft, though. This is how Geller portrays the video showing the rescuers trying to save Ambassador Stevens: VIDEO SHOWS US AMBASSADOR BEING DRAGGED FROM SAFEHOUSE IN LIBYA BY MUSLIMS SCREAMING ALLAHU AKBAR.

John Hinderaker of Powerline posted a photo of Stevens being rushed to the hospital with this comment:

I can’t tell from the photo whether he was dead at this time or not. I hope so…

Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart.com also posted one of the photos of Stevens being rescued, with this comment:

Photographic images told a different story of the crowd’s conduct, however. Rather than aiding Ambassador Stevens, the crowd appeared to be dragging him through the streets. One image showed a member of the crowd carrying an unidentified man that appears to be Ambassador Stevens on his shoulders like a hunting trophy.

What the hell is wrong with these people?