So Just Who Is Attacking IFCO?
Tea Party supporter and now retired Congress Member Sue Myrick, (R-NC), is one of two Congress Members who wrote the commissioner of the IRS, the US Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, alleging that IFCO “may be raising funds for Hamas”. Hamas, the democratically elected government of Gaza has broad grass roots support among the civilian population of Gaza, has been labeled a terrorist organization by the US government.
Myrick chaired the Republican Study Committee, the House Republican caucus responsible for nearly every right wing piece of legislation in the last 40 years, and one of the main parties responsible for slashing social programs like food stamps, social security and Medicare.
Former Rep. Myrick in particular is an extreme, right wing conservative. According to the Charlotte Observer, upon her resignation from office last year “Myrick may be best remembered for her outspokenness on illegal immigration and terrorism. Her supporters were plentiful…Her critics accused her of fomenting hate against immigrant and Muslim communities.”
She penned the forward to a book – “Muslim Mafia” – whose researchers called Islam a disease. Citing the book, she joined other Republicans in 2009 calling for an investigation of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a pro-Islam nonprofit, accusing it of planting “spies” within national-security committees to shape legislative policy and calling Islam “a disease.” Said Jibril Hough, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Charlotte says “I honestly believe that she really thinks there is a conspiracy behind almost any Muslim in public life. That’s what her legacy will be. Someone who promoted Islam-o-phobia and thinks there is a conspiracy behind every Muslim in public life.”
Steven Emerson and Investigative Project on Terrorism
The IRS cites Steven Emerson's "Investigative Project on Terrorism," a lobby group, not a legal or government agency, as an authoritative source for thestatement that Viva Palestina funds "supported Hamas." It is criminal that the IRS is making decisions based on the negative writings of political opponents posted on the Internet. It is important to note that IFCO was the fiscal sponsor for Viva Palestina USA, the US component of the UK-based Viva Palestina project.
Viva Palestina USA raised money ONLY for medical and humanitarian aid delivered to NGOs to focus on the dire needs of the Palestinian people -- just like dozens of other humanitarian groups from around the world, like Doctors Without Borders.
But Emerson’s supposed expertise in researching terrorist networks have frequently been questioned due to his propensity for making false accusations against Muslims and his sloppy approach to investigative reporting. Most notably, in 1995, Emerson claimed that the Oklahoma City bombing showed “a Middle East trait” because it “was done with the intent to inflict as many casualties as possible.” And in 1998, Emerson was tied to a false report that Pakistan was planning a nuclear first strike on India.
Emerson’s weak credibility hasn’t stopped him from building a mini-empire from his offices at the well-funded IPT. But his penchant for secrecy — his office location is secret, employees refer to it as “the bat cave,” and journalists who visit it have been blindfolded en route — has raised serious questions about management of IPT’s finances. Journalists like Bob Smietana have questioned Emerson’s use of his non-profit IPT to funnel profits to his own consulting firm, SAE Productions. Why isn’t the IRS investigating IPT?
But we can’t allow these attacks to distract us
from IFCO’s important work to:
Organize the upcoming Friendshipment Caravan
Facilitate the application process for the next round of medical school scholarship candidates
Expand the work of our fiscally-sponsored social justice programs
Continue to contribute the countless struggles we have been involve with over the past 47 years
Go to ifconews.org to join the fight to defend IFCO from this right wing attack!