Like many Republicans, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is challenging the administration for what appears to be a censorship of terror.
In a Tuesday hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee of the Judiciary, Cruz mentioned a “scrubbing of law enforcement and intelligence materials.” He said that the 9/11 commission report contained the words “jihad” 126 times, “Muslim” 145 times, and “Islam” 322 times. Since the release of the report, Cruz said that there has been an implementation of a systematic policy to hide those words.
Cruz asked Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. Jeh Johnson if the “purge” of certain language at the DHS was accurate. Johnson said that he was unaware of such actions. Upon further question, Johnson said that there was no investigation into the claims.
Johnson said that the existence of the language did not change the fact that there were clear targets the US would pursue to combat terror. Johnson also said that there was a real danger to giving ISIS the “credence that they want,” which is “to be referred to as part of Islam.” His comments reflect the rising trend of the word “Daesh,” an Arabic slur attributed to extremists. The slur is used by Arabs and Muslims to indicate that there is nothing Islamic about extremism.
Megyn Kelly is another public figure who has vocalized similar concerns over the administration seemingly censoring terror. On an earlier segment of her Fox News show “The Kelly File,” her panel addressed three areas of concern after the Orlando terror attack: evidence suggesting that the Orlando terrorist had a partner, an order to remove the the words “Islam” and “Allah” in a transcript of the shooter’s 911 call, and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s statement that love and compassion would combat terrorists.
She and Cruz reached different conclusions. Kelly’s panel suggested that the Obama administration might be trying to downplay the reality of terror in America, and that perhaps the situation might be more dire than is being reported.
The White House has called the criticism a talking point. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest had this to say on the subject:
When you’re the President of the United States, and you’re focused on keeping the country safe, you don’t have that luxury. What you do is you focus on a strategy that will put pressure on ISIL, that’s going to make sure that we send a clear message to the Muslims in the United States, that we want their help and protecting their community from efforts — from ISIL to radicalized vulnerable members of our population. The president is focused on a strategy. You have Republicans in the Congress [who] are focused on a talking point.
Full video can be found here. Sen. Ted Cruz’s statement begins at 02:26:53.