Rashad Hussain made the statements criticizing terror prosecutions of Muslims, then denied them (and the White House supported him, calling the journalist who attributed them to him wrong) and now admits he made them.
Even more shocking, Hussain admitted contacting the magazine where the story first appeared to get the magazine to (shades of 1984) change its on-line version to erase the fact. While not commenting on the innocence or guilt of Sami Al-Arian, he grouped that case into a category of politically motivated persecutions (not prosecutions).
Diligent reporters uncovered a tape of the event.
Conclusion: our envoy to the Muslim world has a highly critical view of America, soft-pedals terrorism, and is a liar who will manipulate the truth to cover up his past.
Should this guy ever been in government-let alone so close to Barack Obama and so influential?
Josh Gerstein in Politico:
"I made statements on that panel that I now recognize were ill-conceived or not well-formulated," Hussain said, referring to a 2004 conference at which he discussed the case.
Hussain's reversal came after POLITICO obtained a recording of his presentation to a Muslim students' conference in Chicago during which he can be heard portraying the government's cases towards professor Sami Al-Arian, as well as other Muslim terrorism suspects, as "politically motivated persecutions." Al-Arian later pled guilty to aiding terrorists.
Hussain also answered another question surrounding his comments - why they were removed from the website of a magazine on Middle East issues that in 2004 published a brief account of the panel, attributing the statement about "politically motivated persecutions" to Hussain.
It was Hussain himself, he said Friday, who contacted the publication to complain about the story.
"When I saw the article that attributed comments to me without context, leaving a misimpression, I contacted the publication to raise concerns about it. Eventually, of their own accord, they modified the article," Hussain said of the article in the Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs.
The changes made some three years or more after his speech have led to speculation that Hussain was sanitizing his record to smooth his path to a White House legal post. However, the strident criticism he offered of the Justice Department's handling of various alleged terrorism cases raises the possibility that his remarks could have posed a problem when he was applying for work at Justice in 2008. He joined the agency in the last year of the Bush administration as a trial attorney handling civil cases against the government, a Justice spokeswoman said.
Next question: will he lose his post?