Monday, September 17, 2012

Born Every Minute: 'Values Voters' Lap Up Fake 'Ex-Terrorist'

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Ever notice how right-wingers aren't particularly picky about where they get their information? Oh, sure, that guy on the teevee may look like some leaf blower got ahold of his toupee out on the used-car saleslot, but if he says something nasty about Barack Obama, then his word is gold!

Brian Tashman at RightWingWatch happened to catch one such character, speaking before the awestruck crowd at last week's "Values Voters Summit 2012", a self-proclaimed "former terrorist" who has renounced Islam and the evil ways of the Islamist conspiracy against America because he found The Love of JeHaySus. (Heather discussed him earlier.)

Here "Saleem" regales the slack-jawed VVS audience with his new Obama conspiracy tale:
SALEEM: And when we surrender to them authority, and we apologize to everybody over there, in Islam that is a victory, and that is the start of the march now somewhere to take over the land, take over your country and fulfill your purpose and become united Islamic nations!

This is what happened. Egypt is the capital of the OIC -- the OIC meeting here in America with Hillary and her staff! You are about to introduce U.N. Resolution 1618, the hate crime bill, which will subjugate American people to be arrested and put to jail, and the churches and synagogues shut down and go underground. And if they still go they will be put in jail and be fined big time. Which will break the First Amendment and Second Amendment.

This is about to be put as early as January. As early maybe as March, at most. Right now, it is on the table to be put together. We got something to fight for, and that fight is for our children, for our grandchildren, for our liberty! For our freedom! For the future! For the nations!
Yyyyyyyeah. OK. Whatever you say, dude.

Actually, Tim Murphy of Mother Jones ran into Saleem at the VVC and tried to get him to answer some of the questions he's been asking about Saleem and his story for a long time:
But as I reported in a piece for the magazine last spring, much of Saleem's story doesn't add up. California police have no record of an incident he describes vividly in the first chapter of his book; the FBI says it has no record of meeting with him. And those who knew him before he began traveling the country under a stage name say they have serious doubts about huge portions of his narrative. Wally Winter, a former roommate during the period Saleem purports to have been grooming terrorists, told me, "He could sell swampland in Louisiana. I really do not believe the story about the terrorism."
Gotta love Saleem's brass, though. And guess where he picked up all that evangelical style: Straight out of Pat Robertson, his former employer:
Doug Howard, a professor of Middle Eastern history at Michigan's Calvin College, first encountered Saleem in 2007, when he was invited to speak at the school. Howard quickly became suspicious: For starters, Saleem claimed to be a descendant of the "Grand Wazir of Islam," a position that doesn't exist. Howard dug deeper and discovered that Saleem's original name was Khodor Shami—and that for more than a decade before outing himself as a former terrorist he had worked for Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network and James Dobson's Focus on the Family. (CBN declined to comment. Focus on the Family confirmed Saleem was an employee but would not comment further.)
Though I have to say: At least Saleem is more credible than Paul Ryan.

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