Rep. Keith Ellison talked to Keith Olbermann about Rep. Peter King refusing to allow him to testify during his upcoming Homeland Security hearing, which is shaping up just to be another witch hunt, scapegoating Muslim Americans. After Ellison's emotional testimony during the last one, it's not all that surprising.
As Dave noted in his post on the media's terrible coverage of the terrorism in Norway:
It might actually be a good idea if Peter King wants to hold hearings on domestic terrorism. But it needs to tackle the whole threat, and not just the one our xenophobic myopia readily identifies.
The Minnesota Star Tribune gave their take on the upcoming hearings and King's refusal to allow Ellision to testify here -- Short take: Peter King vs. Keith Ellison:
U.S. Rep. Peter King takes his last name a little too seriously.
The New York Republican is chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and he’s very concerned about Islamic radicalization. So concerned, in fact, that he held yet another hearing on the topic Wednesday as a sequel to a similar session in March.
There’s no doubt the subject is worthy of thoughtful, objective congressional scrutiny. Those who too quickly write off the inquiry should take time to study the homegrown radicalization of Twin Cities men with connections to Al-Shabab, the terrorist group with links to Al-Qaida.
Earlier this month, a sixth person pleaded guilty in what officials have called “Operation Rhino,’’ the counterterrorism investigation into how local Somalis were recruited to their homeland to fight for Al-Shabab. Since the probe started, at least nine Minnesota men are believed to have been killed while fighting in Somalia.
It’s understandable that King’s Homeland Security committee would pay attention. Federal law enforcement officials have had the Twin Cities on the radar for years, and King invited William Anders Folk, a former prosecutor in the Twin Cities, and St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith to testify.
Where King failed the credibility test — in addition to his record of anti-Muslim rhetoric —was in his refusal to hear from those who might disagree with him.
In orchestrating Wednesday’s lineup,King stiffed Rep. Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Democrat who pointed out in a letter that his Fifth District has the largest Somali community in the country. King responded that the meeting is an extension of the March hearing, at which Ellison did testify.
The Minnesota congressman deserved a seat at the table because of his work with local and federal law enforcement. The fact that he’s Muslim only adds value to his views.
Nevertheless, in a clear congressional kiss-off, King denied Ellison’s request and asked him to submit easily ignored written testimony.
Given the level of partisan dysfunction in Washington, King’s treatment of Ellison is no surprise. In return, the New Yorker should expect his motives to be called into question.
That's putting it mildly. Keith Olbermann was a bit less charitable to say the least, calling King an "asshole" after his interview with Ellision. I don't disagree, but also don't think it's terribly productive. I think he could have stuck to just calling out his fearmongering and bigotry without making it personal.