Glenn Beck broadened his ever-expanding theory about Egypt again on Monday, and in doing so, introduced some ideas that are extremely hard to accept:
- The co-founder of an anti-extremism think tank funded by the British government -- who has testified before Congress -- may be lying about renouncing radical Islam.
- You shouldn't do Google searches, because Google is "pretty deeply in bed with the government," as evidenced by the fact that a former State Department employee who's now a Google executive helped found a nonprofit group that supports grassroots activists around the world.
- MTV is "involved with this," because it sponsors that nonprofit group, the Alliance for Youth Movements, or Movements.org. Beck also listed "CBS, MSNBC, Facebook, YouTube, National Geographic, Columbia University Law School."
- Perhaps most unbelievable: The State Department under the Bush administration was "in bed" with the "radical Islamists, communists, and socialists" who are working together against Israel and capitalism, and to overthrow stability. Why? Because the State Department under Bush helped start the Alliance for Youth Movements.
It's increasingly difficult to understand what Beck is alleging here. Is he saying that everybody he mentions supports the coalition of radical Islamists and communists that he thinks is trying to create global chaos, as seen in Egypt?
MTV and the Bush State Department?
During both his radio and television shows today, Beck spent a good deal of time raising questions about the character of Maajid Nawaz, a British Muslim who is one of the founders of the anti-extremism think tank Quilliam. The Times of London reported that the British government was giving almost 1 million pounds to Quilliam.
Nawaz testified before the Senate Homeland Security committee in July 2008 about how he came to reject Islamist ideology after being a member of the pan-Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir. In a 2007 Times of London op-ed, Nawaz summed up his experience:
I took on board this ideology as my own, propagating it through campuses and across borders until it consumed my life. Eventually my activities caught up with me in Egypt, where I was sent by my university for a year of my Arabic and law degree. For the second time in my life I was arrested at gunpoint, but this time it was not by mistake and there was no apology. I was sentenced to five years for membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir and was adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience.
It was during this time in prison that I began to utilise my time by studying as much as I could about the ideology that I professed to be working for. My aim was to study Islam to such a depth that once released I would be even more potent at propagandising than before.
As I studied various branches of traditional Islamic sciences, however, I grew more and more surprised. The sheer breadth of scholastic disagreement that I found, on issues I had believed were so definitive in Islam, surprised me. Where we had been willing to challenge, even overthrow, regimes on certain issues, traditional jurists of Islam had treated these as academic disagreements to be debated through books.
It slowly dawned on me that what I had been propagating was far from true Islam. I began to realise that what I had subscribed to was actually Islamism sold to me in the name of Islam. And it is with this realisation that I can now say that the more I learnt about Islam, the more tolerant I became.
Now I am involved in trying to counter the black and white mindset that I once so vehemently encouraged. Although I was young when I was recruited to Hizb ut-Tahrir, I take full responsibility for my actions. I made the decisions that I did and I am responsible for undoing them.
Here's the first part of Beck's discussion of Nawaz and the Alliance for Youth Movements on his Fox News show tonight:
While Beck noted Nawaz's conversion, he heavily emphasized his previous association with Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Beck made much of the fact that Nawaz is an ambassador for the Alliance for Youth Movements. The group's sponsors page lists its corporate partnerships, which is where Beck came up with the laundry list of companies -- including MTV -- that he ticked off during his radio show. (A clip and transcript are below.)
And here is the video of Beck claiming that the Bush State Department is "in bed" with the radical Islamists and communists:
Here's a more realistic portrait of the Alliance for Youth Movements, provided by correspondent Jim Angle on the February 1 edition of Fox News' Special Report:
ANGLE: After seeing how quickly the situation unraveled in Tunisia, the Egyptian government cut off cell and Internet service. But some were able to get around the cutoff because of help from a global Internet site, including a Facebook page followed by 270,000 people called Alliance for Youth Movements. It was begun under former Secretary of State Condi Rice and continued by Secretary Clinton with the help of Google and others. It's been coaching democratic groups in advance on how to use social media to organize and how to circumvent governmental interference when that happens.
JASON LIEBMAN, MOVEMENTS.ORG CO-FOUNDER: We have everything from how-to guides to give people the play-by-play instructions on what to do if the Web site gets blocked, what to do if Internet gets taken down. [transcript from Nexis]
Also, during his radio monologue about this, Beck said that an Egyptian dissident's "notes of a democratic revolution for Egypt in 2011 were confiscated by the State Department." He repeated this several times.
That is amazingly wrong. The WikiLeaks cable Beck cites for that information says that the dissident's notes were confiscated by "State Security (SSIS)."
That has nothing to do with the State Department. "SSIS" is an abbreviation for Egypt's State Security Intelligence Service.
Below is 10 minutes of the most rambling, unintelligible gibberish you've ever heard.
BECK: Now, let me explain what this is. We also have something from America.gov that seems to verify all of it. There is a group called the Alliance of Youth Movements. And the Alliance of Youth is a -- is a group that I will tell you who the head is or the ambassador, if you will, the spokesperson is in a second. But according to WikiLeaks, there was a published secret cable that detailed the U.S. government's involvement with an Egyptian dissident. His notes of a democratic revolution for Egypt in 2011 were confiscated by the State Department.
The April 6 youth activist had attended the Alliance of Youth Movements in New York City in 2008, sponsored by the State Department. We have talked about this guy. The undersecretary, James Glassman, was interviewed on November 24, 2008, and the questioner shows his concern specifically about Egypt. He asks the undersecretary, "speaking of Egypt and Turkey, don't you run the risk of unleashing something here that is going to come back and bite you, especially with our allies?" Glassman, the undersecretary, says that they support a pro-democracy movement that sometimes puts us at odds with other government." Now remember, this is November 2008, so this is under the Bush administration. You know it almost looks like they were thinking ahead, but the interviewer's response was immediately cut off. Undersecretary Glassman clarifies how the State department works this, quote: "What we do in public diplomacy and what is often done in official diplomacy. We communicate and we are engaging at the level of the public, not at the level of officials." Basically, he's talking about community organizing. "So, you know, it's certainly possible that some of these governments will not be happy with that, with all that we're doing. But it's what we do with public diplomacy." He followed up with, "I think this is an important part. We as a society have been engaging in such civil society organizations in places like Egypt for a long time." In the same interview earlier, the undersecretary cites by name the Quilliam Foundation, who was in fact in attendance, according to the summit's published list of attendees, the Alliance of Youth Movements. The group is led by Maajid Na -- Naz -- Nawaz. Do you recognize that name?
PAT GRAY (co-host): Maajid Na -- Naz -- Nawaz? No, I don't.
BECK: He was the guy that was released from prison in Egypt. While in prison, he met up with the Muslim Brotherhood. He has been on Sky News, Al Jazeera -- he has been all over. He is the guy that we showed you the video in Illinois that was the -- what do they call it, not the caliphate conference. Do you remember this video where they're -- where it was a conference that was down with democracy -- er, down with the republic and the United States, it's an end of capitalism, and they held that caliphate conference in Illinois? That's who this guy is.
Now, if you look at their connections -- and again, we are very early on this -- but if you look at their connections, they are not only with the State Department, but they have partnered with MTV -- do we still have that person on the phone that was calling in earlier that talked about -- no, they left. Well, there was somebody who called in earlier who said they saw an ad on MTV, and it sounded to me like it was the youth alliance. But it was basically, they felt, calling for an uprising here and around the world of youth. MTV is involved with this. Google is involved -- we have found now a second group -- a second person from Google involved in the Egyptian uprisings. Remember, it was the foreign minister of Egypt that said, how did you do this? Everybody wants to know, how did you pull this off? And Google is taking -- or at least this vice president of Google is taking responsibility for the Egyptian uprising. It is all social networking. MTV, Google, CBS, MSNBC, Facebook, YouTube, National Geographic, Columbia University Law School, and our own State Department. When the president said it is youth groups that did this, people just like you, and then he called on the people, the entrepreneurs, the people that pulled this off, I urge them to now create a new economy in Egypt. But they are all involved with the wrong kinds of people. You've got the socialists, the communists, the Islamists, coupled with now Google and the State Department. Now I wonder, I just had somebody check into -- what's the guy's name at the -- on the board of directors at CPAC?
GRAY: Suhail -- Suhail Khan.
BECK: Suhail Kahn, to see if he was involved to see if he was involved, because this was coming from the Bush administ -- this started under the Bush administration. And the notes that apparently had been confiscated, this guy said in 2008 they confiscated my notes. The notes that he confiscated, that he claimed were confiscated back in 2008, was for a revolution in Egypt in early 2011. Now he's on record saying that the State Department confiscated those notes in 2008. I mean, wow, what a wild coincidence that they all meet together, they all put this thing together, and the notes that he had were for early 2011 and the State Department destroys them.
This is the -- either a giant con job, or this shows the New World Order, the people who have called for the New World Order on both sides. And there is no such thing as a workable democracy. It has never been done. All democracies die -- all of them. The founders knew this. That's why we have a republic, not a democracy. And this is the beginning of something disturbing. And I don't know where it leads. I'm a little afraid, quite honestly, to pursue it, but we will.
I would ask that you do your own homework. I just went into the TV studio a minute ago and said change direction. We were doing half of the show on this, do the whole show on this. Because it seems to have an awful lot of connections that need to be paid attention to. And I warn you that this is -- this information is coming from WikiLeaks and now other sources, but I warn you that this will be called yet another conspiracy, but we do our own -- we do our homework. There is one thing that no one can argue with: You may disagree with my conclusions, but you cannot argue with our facts. Our facts are solid. And I would ask that you join me in pursuit of those facts. Again, do not look for national leadership. Look for leadership from yourself. Do your own homework.