Cross posted from New Zeal Blog
A high powered and well connected “veterans group” has issued a letter backing “Park 51″, the Islamic community center and mosque proposed for Lower Manhattan – the popularly known “Ground Zero Mosque”.
According to Joel Wendland, himself an army veteran and editor of the Communist Party USA newsite Peoples World, the organization VoteVets.org, believes that the proposed mosque should be supported on Constitutional grounds and will serve to enhance U.S. national security in the long term.
According to an August 26 Wendland article in the World ;
Authored by VoteVets.org, an organization that advocates for veterans’ issues and supports veterans for elected office, the letter urged the Park51 organizers not to abandon the project.
In addition the letter asked the group to circulate the letter to any interested party, “so they know that veterans like us see this as an important issue of our very Constitution and our national security.”
The veterans cited their sworn oath as members of the military “to uphold the Constitution” as a basic reason for their support for the project.
The letter noted the hypocrisy of the opponents of the project:
“For all the talk these days from some quarters about the importance of protecting the Constitution and allowing the free market to work unfettered, those same people are fighting against your community’s right to buy property and worship freely. Our duty to protect the Constitution didn’t end when our service did. It’s up to us to stand up for the right for all Americans to enjoy the Constitutional freedoms that so many around the world don’t have. So, we are standing up for you.”
Protection of the rights of all Americans to practice their faith in the manner of their choosing would also “deal a blow to the propaganda of al Qaeda and Islamist extremists, who recruit on the talking point that the United States is in a war against Islam.”
Finally, the letter noted that taking a stand on behalf of the Constitution promotes the safety of U.S. military forces abroad.
“As veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan,” it concluded, “we believe the construction of your community center isn’t ‘anti-America’ at all. In fact, building your community center is about as pro-America as one can get.“
For the full statement go here.
Who are these patriots, taking such a noble stand for the U.S. Constitution and the safety and security of America’s troops and citizenry?
While professing to be a non partisan group, it appears that almost all of VoteVets.org’s supported candidates are Democrats. The group’s Political Action Committee is charged with seeking to elect Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans to public office – “regardless of party”.
However, between 2006 and 2010 VoteVets.org gave $228,700 to Democratic Party candidates and only $15,100 to Republican candidates.
Also, many VoteVets.org personnel have ties to the Obama Administration, the Democratic Party, the Democrat aligned and the George Soros funded Center for American Progress and in one case, directly to the Soros Open Society Institute.
Obama Administration connections include;
- Kayla Williams of the Senior Advisory Board of VoteVets.org, and writer for VetVoice (VoteVet.org’s online newsletter) works for Obama appointee, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki
- Jim Mowrer of the Senior Advisory Board of VoteVets.org served as the State Veterans Director for Senator Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. He is currently an assistant organizer of the Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus
Democrat connected personnel include;
- Alex Cornell du Houx of the Senior Advisory Board of VoteVets.org serves as the National Council Chair for the College Democrats of America and was formally the co-president of the Maine College Democrats
- David F. Everett of the Senior Advisory Board of VoteVets.org works for Democratic Congresswoman Nita Lowey, who is supported by Council for a Livable World and SEIU.
- Joe Kramer of the Senior Advisory Board of VoteVets.org has worked for Democrat Jim Ferlo, State Rep for PA
- J. Ashwin Madia, Vice-Chairman of VoteVets.org was a Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives for Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District.
- Miranda Norman of the Senior Advisory Board of VoteVets.org has become active in local Democratic politics. She currently serves as the Secretary for the Oklahoma Democratic Veterans Committee, served as a delegate to the Young Democrats of America National Convention, and is a member of the University of Oklahoma College Democrats
- Miguel A. Sapp of the Senior Advisory Board of VoteVets.org has works as chief of staff and legislative director for Congressional Progressive Caucus member, Sheila Jackson-Lee. In addition he has served as an attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Open Society Institute connected personnel include;
- Matthew Alexander (pseudonym) writes for VoteVets.org online project VetVoice. He is a former senior military interrogator. He led an interrogation team in Iraq that located Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the former Al Qaida leader, who was killed in a subsequent airstrike. He has conducted more than 300 interrogations and supervised more than 1,000. Alexander has served for 17 years in the Air Force and Air Force Reserves. Alexander is a fellow at the Open Society Institute.
At least four members of VoteVets.org’s Board of Advisors are also involved with the Center for American Progress;
- General Wesley K. Clark (ret.) is an author of the books Winning Modern Wars and Waging Modern War, published by PublicAffairs Books, which has also published authors such as George Soros. Wesley Clark has served as a Trustee of the Center for American Progress and was a 2008 Democratic party presidential hopeful.
- Elaine C. Kamarck is a Lecturer in Public Policy, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School, Harvard University. In the 1980s, Kamarck was one of the founders of the New Democrat movement that helped elect Bill Clinton president. She served in the White House from 1993 to 1997, where she created and managed the Clinton Administration’s National Performance Review, also known as reinventing government. In 1979 she was involved with Democratic Agenda, an attempt by socialist leader Michael Harrington (founder of Democratic Socialists of America) to move the Democratic Party to the left. Lamarck serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for American Progress.
- Bob Kerrey, a former Democratic Party Senator from Nebraska and a Trustee of the Center for American Progress
- Lawrence J. Korb, a Fellow of the Center for American Progress
The “Ground Zero Mosque” issue has divided America. Pro mosque “progressives” are on the defensive against a huge groundswell of public opinion against the project.
Is the the call by VoteVets.org, for Park51 to go ahead a genuine attempt to shed light the issue, by calling for tolerance and extending an olive branch to moderate Islam?
Or is it a cynical ploy by the Obama Administration and its allies, to take some heat out of the issue, by using “veterans” as cover for what is essentially a “progressive” agenda?
Americans rightly respect their veterans and tend to listen to their opinions. Would the public be happy to know that VoteVets.org was connected to both President Barack Obama and the not so popular George Soros?
Do they really want to be on the same side as the Communist Party USA on this issue?
The former servicemen and women of VoteVets.org are genuine veterans, but are their paymasters genuine patriots?
Should VoteVets.org’s opinions on this issue be respected? Or should Americans view them as little but cynical propaganda from quarters who have previously shown little regard for the U.S. Constitution, national security, or the well-being of American troops in the field?