Tags: Insider | Report: | GOP | Attacks | MoveOn | Hillary | Hatefest

Insider Report: GOP Attacks MoveOn, Hillary Hatefest

Tuesday, 05 September 2006 12:00 AM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Hamas, Iran Suspected in Journalists' Kidnapping
2. Nearly Half of Dems ‘Hate' Hillary
3. Catholics Caution McCain on Speaking at Bob Jones University
4. Conservatives Sour on Pence Over Immigration Plan
5. GOP Attacks MoveOn.org's ‘Plan for America'

1. Hamas, Iran Suspected in Journalists' Kidnapping

The two journalists recently released after being kidnapped in Gaza were seized by a group calling itself the "Holy Jihad Brigade," but an expert on terrorism sees the possible hand of Hamas – or even Iran in the crime.

As in previous kidnapping cases, the Holy Jihad Brigade "may not be a new organization, but a name given by the kidnappers or those who ordered the kidnapping for this particular operation," said Dr. Walid Phares, a senior fellow with the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

1. Hamas, Iran Suspected in Journalists' Kidnapping

According to Phares, a Palestinian security official disclosed that from the outset, Palestinian authorities had known the identity of the kidnappers of Fox News journalist Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig.

"Hamas has been complaining about U.S. support to Israel, but more importantly about Washington's pressures to shut down all economic support to the U.S.-listed terrorist organization.

"An unofficial hostage operation against journalists affiliated with a media network perceived as close to the U.S. administration, and very critical of Hamas, could have been authorized by the security agencies of Hamas as a way to send a message to Washington."

"Hamas has been complaining about U.S. support to Israel, but more importantly about Washington's pressures to shut down all economic support to the U.S.-listed terrorist organization.

"Requests from either one or the other regime for such an operation in Gaza are not unlikely," Phares writes.

After the kidnap victims' release, Centanni said the two were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint, which "raises a number of points," according to the Middle East expert.

"Obviously, hostages – especially if they weren't evangelists – would accept the conversion as a means for securing liberation.

"But there were cases of priests, evangelists and local Christian leaders who were executed after they refused to convert. These cases didn't receive the publicity" that has followed the seizing of media figures or secular Western citizens.

Phares points out that under Islamic law, such forced conversions might not be valid. But Jihadists could argue that the conversion is indeed valid, "with the immediate consequence that reverting back from the new religion is punishable by death," Phares adds.

After the kidnap victims' release, Centanni said the two were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint, which "raises a number of points," according to the Middle East expert.

"Obviously, hostages – especially if they weren't evangelists – would accept the conversion as a means for securing liberation.

"But there were cases of priests, evangelists and local Christian leaders who were executed after they refused to convert. These cases didn't receive the publicity" that has followed the seizing of media figures or secular Western citizens.

2. Columnist: Nearly Half of Dems ‘Hate' Hillary

Several weeks ago Arends reported that 45 percent of Democrats in New Hampshire were telling focus groups "they hate her. Hate."

"These people will not vote for her in a general election," Arends writes.

"Instead the party establishment is pouring its time, money and effort into launching the USS Hillary – even though the ship is leaving port already holed below the waterline."

Arends adds that considering the problems besetting the Republican administration – including the war in Iraq, the deficits and fuel prices – "you'd expect the opposition to be at 65 percent in the polls and heading for a landslide.

3. Catholics Caution McCain on Speaking at Bob Jones University

"In 2000, the Catholic League criticized presidential contender George W. Bush for speaking at Bob Jones University," Donahue said in a statement.

"Now Sen. McCain is mulling whether it would be appropriate for him to speak at Bob Jones. ‘I understand they have made considerable progress,' he said.

Donahue said that after the Greenville, S.C., school received "a lot of bad PR," President Bob Jones III announced on March 3, 2000, that the university would lift its ban on interracial dating. At the time, Catholics hoped the school would also remove from its Web site disparaging references to Catholicism, such as "satanic cult" and "Mother of Harlots."

"That lasted one day. On March 15, the offensive fare was back."

"Is this a cosmetic change or a real one? That's for McCain to determine."

  • Go Inside McCain's Head - Go Here.

Indiana Republican Mike Pence was considered a rising star among House conservatives, a supporter of tax cuts and the war in Iraq who opposed stem cell research and the Medicare drug plan and urged fiscal restraint in Washington.

His complicated plan would send illegal immigrants home, but allow most of them to return quickly.

"They say he has lent his conservative prestige to a form of liberal amnesty."

Said Pence: "I was taken aback by the level of invective."

He opposed the No Child Left Behind Act and the Medicare drug benefit, and was threatened with reprisals from congressional leaders, according to the Times. But he won converts with a 2004 speech warning that the conservative movement was drifting into the "uncharted waters of big government."

Then Pence weighed in on immigration this spring.

Illegal immigrants would have to leave the country and apply for guest-worker visas at job-placement centers. The visas could be renewed, with a chance of citizenship after 17 years.

Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Colorado Republican, said it would encourage more illegal immigration and undermine cultural cohesion.

Asked if he's worried that his conservative image has been tarnished, Pence replied: "I'm not completely immune to that thought."

Editor's Note:

5. GOP Attacks MoveOn.org's ‘Plan for America'

The release bears the headline "Far-left radical group spreads its midterm misinformation campaign across America," and details the organization's "2006 plan to elect ‘Defeatocrats.'"

As a result, "MoveOn.org claims it bought and owns the Democrat Party," the release states, quoting a MoveOn spokesman as saying: "Now it's our party; we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back."

  • A MoveOn.org ad campaign claims that four House members have been "caught red-handed" accepting money from energy companies, and voted against bills that would have penalized those companies for price gouging.

    In fact, none of the four House members has done anything illegal, the Web site Factcheck.org disclosed. They did oppose Democratic legislation to impose staggeringly severe penalties for what was hazily defined as "unconscionably excessive" prices for gasoline.

    Because of their distortions, MoveOn.org's "red-handed" ads were pulled from television stations in New Hampshire, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, and Connecticut, according to several newspaper articles cited in the release.

  • Other MoveOn ads accused the GOP of being caught, again, "red-handed" spending $319 billion to fund troops in harm's way. The organization also attacked Republicans for voting to award $14.8 billion to "provide food, shelter and other support services to U.S. troops." The RNC states: "In MoveOn.org's America, American troops in harm's way wouldn't have food, shelter, body armor or bullets."

  • Two ads comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler appeared on MoveOn.org's Voter Fund Web site, the RNC said. One ad began with Hitler making speeches, until a picture of President Bush appeared. The other also used Nazi and Bush images, with the tag line: "What were war crimes in 1945 is foreign policy in 2003."

  • Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League called the ads "vile and outrageous."

  • "Move.On.org [is] working hard to oust mainstream Democrats" who don't toe the far-left line, the release charges, pointing out that the group contributed $251,126 to Senate candidate Ned Lamont in Connecticut, helping him to a primary victory over Joe Lieberman – a Democratic supporter of Bush's policy in Iraq.

  • MoveOn.org also endorsed Senate candidate Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, who as a Congressman voted against an amendment that said: "The apprehension, detention, and interrogation of terrorists are fundamental to the successful prosecution of the war on terror."

It's all part, the RNC charges, of "MoveOn.org's disastrous agenda for America."

In fact, none of the four House members has done anything illegal, the Web site Factcheck.org disclosed. They did oppose Democratic legislation to impose staggeringly severe penalties for what was hazily defined as "unconscionably excessive" prices for gasoline.

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Tuesday, 05 September 2006 12:00 AM
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