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WIRED's Spencer Ackerman broke a story yesterday on the anti-Muslim training materials the FBI used to train intelligence units. According to the FBI, the agency has pulled the training.
The FBI on Thursday said it had stopped a training session that called the Prophet Muhammad a “cult leader,” said mainstream Muslims were likely to support violent extremism and described the Islamic principal of charity as a “funding mechanism for combat.”

The content of the training session set off a wave of concern among Muslims across the nation who had been trying to help authorities battle homegrown terrorism.

An FBI spokesman confirmed on Thursday that the agency did host one training session six months ago that described Muslims as more likely to be violent as they increased in devotion to their faith. Slides from the training session, confirmed as accurate by the FBI and posted online by Wired magazine, show a graph illustrating how followers of other Abrahamic faiths have become more nonviolent since their inceptions, but Muslims have not.[...]

Asked why it was included in the training in the first place, FBI spokesman Allen said it was part of the plan for the two-week course.

“The instructor who conducted that training block no longer provides training on behalf of the FBI,” the agency said in a statement. “Policy changes have been under way to better ensure that all training is consistent with FBI standards. These changes will help develop appropriate training content for new agent training and continuing education for all employees, as well as introduce a robust consultative element from experts outside the FBI.”

In what is likely the most admirable statement ever made or ever to be made by Sen. Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, he blasted the FBI.

“There is no room in America for the lies, propagated by al-Qaida, that the U.S. is at war with Islam, or the lie propagated by others that all Muslims support terrorism,” Sen. Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, told Danger Room.

Lieberman is one of the most consistently hawkish members of Congress. Not coincidentally, he’s been disturbed at recent reports that “inaccurate or even bigoted” anti-Islamic sentiment—his words—is substituting for diligent, responsible counterterrorism. In a letter this week to John Brennan, the president’s assistant on homeland security, Lieberman called for "meaningful standards" on law enforcement counterterrorism training, a point he reiterated to Danger Room.

Lieberman is joined by Sen. Ron Wyden on the Intelligence Committee, in "look[ing] forward to hearing from administration officials," though Wyden's committee chair Dianne Feinstein has not commented. Hopefully Lieberman and other senators will also take an active role in the oversight of the CIA's investigation of the CIA/NYPD "Demographics Unit," targeting Muslim communities and houses of worship in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:55:09 AM PDT

  •  About Fucking time! (6+ / 0-)

    The entire thought that they did this sickens me.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:58:14 AM PDT

    •  A-F-Time, plus two and a half years! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Didn't the American voters, in the 2008 elections, reject the premise that it's okay to be stupid, as long as you're also mean. Outside of self-parody exercises like the GOP primary, anti-anything crap like that ought to be pretty rare by now. So, how is it that we're still swabbing stains like that out of our own actual Government?

      And, why should it take Lieberman to do it? That really is a good quote from him, and like a diamond ring found in a cowpie, it's valuable despite our knowing where it's been. I'm sure he had to take a long lie-down, after the disorienting surprise of finding himself of the right side of something important to Democrats.

      Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

      by chimpy on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 11:57:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's no way that any senior person at DOJ ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenox, chimpy, JDsg

        knew this was going on, and it seems to have stopped as soon as they found out.  I worked in DOJ for 15 years, and it's a big place.  The Attorney General and the Director of the FBI have a lot of things on their plate, and vetting training materials for all of the various training that takes place in DOJ isn't one of them.

        PROUD to be a Democrat!

        by leevank on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:07:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The senior people set the tone at each dept (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cartoon Peril

          Whatever anyone does at any level, each worker understands that senior people might find out eventually. At some level, someone saw it and though either it wasn't that bad, or that they could get away with it somehow.

          The calculations of those middle-managers, probably "burrowed-in" over the Buish years, in approving these materials and trainers, must have been at least a little cautious. They must have accounted for their knowledge that willful ignorance was no longer in fashion among the new top level of political appointees. But, somehow they thought that a blind eye might be turned, or that it was worth the career risk to push that ideology.

          Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

          by chimpy on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:28:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  J. Edgar Hoover's ghost still walks the halls (4+ / 0-)

    That agency has a very disturbing history of targeting groups rather than individuals, and individuals whose only "crime" is speaking ill of someone or something held sacred by the Bureau.

    "If we want to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, we need to reduce the number of our senators dependent on fossil fuel contributions." - Rodney Glassman

    by Darryl House on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 11:16:03 AM PDT

  •  Republished to Street Prophets. nt (4+ / 0-)
  •  I'm confused. Did Ackerman just (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III, leevank

    rehash an old issue. I remember reading about this many months ago and the FBI said it pulled the material from the one course. It gets reported again and the FBI says they pulled it six months ago.

    So what's the deal. Same incident or a new one?

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 11:25:51 AM PDT

  •  So, they've pulled the training session... (4+ / 0-)

    Will they replace it with a module communicating the same message in a less overt, more periphrastic way? I'd bet on it...

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 11:26:51 AM PDT

  •  While it's important to prevent the bad... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimball Cross, chimpy

    training, there still must be training.

    I suggest reading the full letter from the Senators that gives a more full context of the overall issues, of which the FBI training was just a part.

    A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

    by citizen53 on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 11:34:27 AM PDT

  •  It says a lot about the mindset though, that the (6+ / 0-)

    "info" made it all the way into the manual.  How many people looked that over and thought it was just fine...

    There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? - Robert Kennedy

    by choochmac on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 11:37:59 AM PDT

  •  Uh-huh, and what about other forms of JoeMentum (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimball Cross, Ed Tracey, chimpy
    “There is no room in America for the lies, propagated by al-Qaida, that the U.S. is at war with Islam, or the lie propagated by others that all Muslims support terrorism,” Sen. Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, told Danger Room.
    HANNITY: I worry about the President. I didn’t feel he treated the prime minister [of Israel] correctly, when he came to town the first time. I didn’t like when he sprung on him, they got to go back to ’67 borders. I wanted to get your thoughts.
    LIEBERMAN: I agree with you. I think the President is not anti-Israel. I think he’s pro-Israel but I think he’s handled the relationship with Israel in a way that has encouraged Israel’s enemies and really unsettled the Israelis. Because the Israelis have one really good friend in the world, it’s us, it’s natural and of course, they are very loyal to us too.
    But when the President of the United States acts in a way that makes the Israelis wonder whether we are for them. Really what it does is to discourage them from taking the risk that they would ever have to take to have a peace agreement with the Palestinians or anybody else.

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 11:47:55 AM PDT

  •  Joe Liebermann is still a douchebag - he's done (0+ / 0-)

    more promote the War on Terrah than the NYT.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:00:47 PM PDT

  •  Islam has a much cooler logo.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....than Christianity.

    But I guess you'd expect a brand to lag when hillbillies are in charge of the marketing department.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:01:04 PM PDT

  •  I'm a cycnic when it comes to Lieberman. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ed Tracey

    Why the sudden change in tone from him? Is he already planning his lobbying career, post-retirement, thinking that one or more of his clients may be a Middle Eastern country or Middle Easter interest who would figure that having Lieberman lobbying for them would add credibility to their cause?

    (And, yeah, I know he's locked out of lobbying for a while.)

    •  He's never easy to figure out ..... (0+ / 0-)

      ...... and so while credit-where-credit-is-due for today, we can all look forward to this next year:


      "We should pay attention to that man behind the curtain."

      by Ed Tracey on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:08:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He was accidentially hit by (0+ / 0-)

      ...a baseball bat. He will be back to normal once his recovery period is over, says the doctors.

      "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

      by zenox on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:24:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Liberman NEVER would have said this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril

    if it had occurred while Bush was in office.

    A Buddhist walks up to a hot-dog vendor and says, "Make me one with everything."

    by Daddy Love on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 02:18:48 PM PDT

  •  Actually we are at war with Islam, or at least (0+ / 0-)

    we certainly give the appearance of it.  Look at the evidence:
    1) Afghanistan -- invaded, Bush calls it a "crusade"
    2) Iraq invaded.
    3) Pakistan and Yemen repeatedly bombed via Predator drone missiles
    4) Constant talk of war with Iran
    5) Propping up corrupt and murderous regime in Bahrain
    6) Bombing Libya (yes, I know, we're liberators -- for now.)
    7) Hired the predominately Christian Ethiopian army to invade Muslim Somalia.

    Plus we have U.S. forces operational in Djibouti, Maurtania, Mali, Niger, Chad and a lot of other Arab or Muslim states.

    So, pious mumblings from Senator Droopy aside, what it looks like is war on Islam, or at least a war on or in primarily Islamic countries.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 03:23:45 PM PDT

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