Fox Showcases IPT Story on Rauf's "9/11 Truther" Partner
September 14, 2010
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BILL O'REILLY: Now for the top story, reaction. Joining us from Washington, Roy Locker, the managing editor of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
So did I leave anything out about the Rauf Khan relationship, Mr. Locker?
RAY LOCKER, INVESTIGATIVE PROJECT ON TERRORISM: Well, it goes even further up until 2006. We have evidence that Faiz Khan was a member of the ASMA [American Society for Muslim Advancement] board. He attended a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark in July of 2006, in which, you know, he led a panel there. So—and not only that, but he was leading prayers up until December of 2009 at the Burlington Coat Factory mosque, the makeshift mosque that's at the Ground Zero location.
O'REILLY: So he has been involved with this, but Imam Rauf has not mentioned him or any of his associates in the context of this controversy. Am I correct?
LOCKER: Absolutely right. I mean, the imam hasn't talked about really anybody that he does business with.
O'REILLY: All right, so the imam, not only knew this guy, but sat on the board of directors with him, founded an organization with him. So, why would the imam ignore this guy? He had to know that your project or "The Factor" and the New York Post did some reporting on this. The only media outlet that we could find that reported this story was the New York Post. He had to know that we were going to find out about this guy, did he not?
LOCKER: Well, you'd think so. I mean, it's possible, I guess, that he doesn't know what Faiz Khan has been doing for the past nine years.
O'REILLY: How would that be possible? He spoke in 2006, as you pointed out…
LOCKER: You know…
O'REILLY: As part of this organization…
O'REILLY: As part of this organization that (UI) started. He had to know. He had it to know. It's impossible he wouldn't know.
LOCKER: Well, that's our thinking, too. He had to have known.
O'REILLY: All right, so then…
LOCKER: I don't know.
O'REILLY: Where is the next dot? Where is the next dot? Rauf has gone on all these shows. He won't come on FOX News, flat out won't because he knows we're not going to give him a soft ride. But Rauf has gone on all these shows, telling the American people, look, I'm a man of peace. All I want is peace. All I want is a good relationship. And it's associate of his, close associate of his, is a Truther and a guy who says hey, you know, al-Qaida didn't have anything to do with this. It's a patsy.
I mean, how do you connect the next dot? Is Rauf dishonest? Is he delusional? What is he?
LOCKER: You know, I would probably tend to lean toward delusional. I mean, this guy has been talking about major grandiose projects for at least a dozen years with ASMA. We did a story a week and a half ago that's on our website, investigativeproject.org, that shows that he claimed to have, you know, been holding religious services for up to 500 people in what is an Upper West side apartment building. We've looked at his money that goes to his other group, the Cordoba Initiative. Found that they didn't report about $100,000 in contributions on their tax forms. There's a lot there that bears scrutiny.
You know, whether he's a moderate, who knows? But there's plenty of evidence that when it comes to reporting what he does, where his money comes from, there's not much there.
O'REILLY: All right, now he's— to be fair to Imam Rauf, he says he would put forth where the money from this Cordoba project comes from.
Now let's get back to Khan. Khan is a doctor, an M.D. He works at a prestigious hospital on Long Island. He's well-accepted in the community, I don't know—you know, the Muslim community, I guess. Is it unfair of us to question Rauf for his association with this Khan, even though Khan's opinion about 9/11 is insane?
LOCKER: I don't think it's unfair to question the association. I mean, look, a lot of people have disagreements about whether the mosque is a good idea. That's fine. But, I mean, to not believe the 9/11—the facts around 9/11, that's really out there on the fringe. And you know, he should be asked to explain it.
O'REILLY: Okay. Now, many Americans believe that this mosque is going to be a front for, you know, Muslims who don't like the USA. It's going to be used for nefarious purposes. Do you have any evidence to show that might be the case?
LOCKER: No, not really. We just have a lot of questions. We've looked at, you know, the funding sources to Rauf's two organizations. Have found some with the group called ASMA, you know, from other countries. Not particularly dangerous countries, but other countries nonetheless. But who knows. I mean, once the thing gets going, he forms another nonprofit where he doesn't have to disclose his contributors, nobody knows where that money's coming from.
O'REILLY: Okay, but, even if the money comes from sources that aren't friendly to the United States, does that mean the mosque itself or the community center itself would be used, you know, for purposes to harm this country? It doesn't. See, that's where we can't make that last jump.
LOCKER: No, we can't.
O'REILLY: All we can say in fairness is Rauf hid this association with Khan. There's no question he did. Because we asked him today to explain it. And he won't.
O'REILLY: So he hid it. He didn't want people to know about it. Now it's out there, all right? Khan is a loon. And he's a loon that is making excuses for al-Qaida. And, you know, he's involved with this guy Rauf. Not good, Mr. Locker. I'll give you the last word.
LOCKER: Well, no. It's definitely not good. And I think it bears, you know, further scrutiny. Who else has the imam done business with? And you know, as usual, follow the money.
O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Locker, thank you.
Editor's Note: O'Reilly continued discussing the IPT story on Faiz Khan. Transcripts of those segments follow:
O'REILLY: Continuing with our lead story, the man behind Ground Zero mosque Imam Rauf and his association with a man who holds radical views on the 9/11 attack.
Joining us from Washington with reaction, FOX News analysts Mary Katharine Ham and Juan Williams.
You know, Imam Rauf wants to -- or says he wants to bring everybody together, give peace a chance. He's a great conciliator. All of that. Conciliatator (ph). I don't know. He wants to bring everybody together or something, O'Reilly. However, we asked him point back, what about this guy Khan? You know, and he's running. He's running and hiding, Juan. That -- I mean, that's crazy, is it not?
JUAN Williams, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it is crazy. And you know, your previous guest Locker said, you know, it invites questions. I think it goes beyond that. I think it invites suspicion. I think it invites wait a second--
O'REILLY: Oh, there's no doubt about it.
WILLIAMS: --yeah, you know, the U.S. State Department sends the guy overseas supposedly as an agent of peace and reconciliation. But this is the same guy then who doesn't understand that it is a provocative act, Bill, to put the mosque in that location.
I think, you know, let me just state clearly, it's a first amendment issue. I think that's true. I think he still has the right to do it, but this raises the bar.
My thing about this is as I'm looking, I think this is -- Imam Rauf has already said he thinks the U.S. was an accessory to what happened on 9/11. You recall he said that to "60 Minutes".
WILLIAMS: Now we learned this about his associate. I don't want to be guilty of guilt by association. I don't think he's responsible for what this guy does or says.
O'REILLY: No, no, no. I didn't say he was responsible, but he's hiding it.
O'REILLY: Look, this is a guy under tremendous scrutiny, Juan.
WILLIAMS: He is. And--
O'REILLY: Tremendous, everybody's looking at him saying, who are you? Who's paying for it? What are your beliefs? He goes, "Hey, I'm the friendliest guy in town.
O'REILLY: I want everybody to get together." The U.S. government's giving him money to go overseas to tell everybody that, ostensibly. And who's his buddy who founds this organization, this guy Khan?
O'REILLY: Did we ever hear this name, Juan?
WILLIAMS: No, I never--
O'REILLY: Did he ever say anything about it? Come on.
WILLIAMS: Nobody in journalistic circles knew about this guy until tonight on your show.
O'REILLY: Right. Well, "The New York Post" broke it today.
O'REILLY: All right, and the Investigative Project had it. We're -- so--
WILLIAMS: Give credit where credit's due.
WILLIAMS: But this is -- what we knew about this imam is he's a guy who refuses to say Hamas is a bunch of terrorists. He says the U.S. had some obligation or role in what happened on 9/11. That is -- but now--
O'REILLY: Yes, he feels--
WILLIAMS: Look, you touched on this a minute ago. Where's the money? Where's the money coming from? And is the money linked to radical organizations? Because he says he's a moderate. The State Department says he's a moderate.
O'REILLY: I don't know how can be a moderate, Juan.
WILLIAMS: But he doesn't look like he's a moderate.
O'REILLY: Right, if he forms an organization with a guy who runs around saying al Qaeda had nothing to with 9/11, Mary Katharine, how you can be a moderate and hang with a guy like that?
MARY KATHARINE HAM, WRITER FOR "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Well, yes. I mean, I think when it comes to these situations, you look how closely the two are involved. And you find out that this guy, the Truther, has preached at the proposed location for the mosque, which is problematic and that they founded an organization together, which is supposed to be a moderate Muslim group.
If you didn't know that this guy was a Truther, which I can't imagine that he didn't, then, you know, this is really problematic. He needs to come out and talk about it.
I think what's going on here is this is a sensitive project in a sensitive place. And he's been waging or should have been waging a PR campaign since the beginning, but he's waging the worst PR campaign in the history of PR campaign. And now you've got his friend, who basically, you know, he wants to build bridges, he says. But now we've got this guy who's his buddy and has been for a long time, basically making the greatest, most blatant excuse for terrorist violence that there is, saying no, that didn't actually happen.
Now you put that guy preaching at the proposed area, and, yes, people are going to have questions.
HAM: They're going to want to know if this guy is serious.
O'REILLY: --what it does, Juan, is that all the people who said, hey, look, we don't want this mosque there, because we don't trust these Muslims. That's what it comes down to.
WILLIAMS: Well, that--
O'REILLY: We don't trust them.
O'REILLY: We don't trust them. We don't trust this Rauf. We don't trust him. And, of course, the left turns it into oh, you're bigoted. Oh, if you don't trust him, you're bigoted.
WILLIAMS: Yes. Well--
O'REILLY: And now, we have a headline. Now the headline comes out hey, Rauf's pal is a Truther. And all the people that say we don't trust him go, told you, told you. That's exactly what this is.
WILLIAMS: Yes. Right. But remember what I warned you about, guilt by association. We don't want to be guilty of that. Because look, it's not that he's the only Truther out there. There are a bunch of nuts in America.
O'REILLY: It doesn't matter.
WILLIAMS: There are a bunch of nuts.
O'REILLY: It's on him to explain Khan and he won't.
O'REILLY: He won't explain it.
WILLIAMS: Right. And he's been hiding Khan. I heard you clearly.
WILLIAMS: But let's not make a mistake and say that he's the only Truther. Believe me, there are Americans.
O'REILLY: It doesn't have anything to do with anybody else.
HAM: They're all over the place.
WILLIAMS: There are Christians and there are Buddhists who are Truthers.
O'REILLY: It's all about Rauf, because Rauf is the driver behind this community center. It's only about him.
HAM: Well, and Bill--
O'REILLY: And a lot of Americans simply don't trust the man. And now, he's got this.
WILLIAMS: Well, I agree. But it's not fair--
HAM: He's a--
WILLIAMS: --it's not fair to say that he is the guy, that you know, that everybody associated with me or Mary Katharine or you, Bill, that we're responsible for everything that they say or believe.
O'REILLY: No, but when you ask the guy--
HAM: Well, that is not the case -- but Bill--
O'REILLY: --he's got to explain it. Go ahead, Mary Katharine. Last word.
HAM: And here's the thing, Rauf -- the imam now is a public figure. He has been for quite some time. He's employed by the State Department, going around the world speaking on our behalf. So public figures in this nation are required to distance themselves from 9/11 Truthers, because that is the decent and right thing to do. And he should come on your show and--
O'REILLY: You know what? The U.S. government, the State Department who sent him around the world on the taxpayer dime?
O'REILLY: They don't have any idea about him and Khan. They're watching this tonight going holy, you know what. The Obama administration's going oh, my God. They don't know. They don't know.
HAM: It's not good.
O'REILLY: Because they didn't look into this guy. They took him at face value. I guarantee you, they have no idea about this Rauf. They don't know. And Rauf is sitting at home going oh, you know, hey, we'll find out, imam.
WILLIAMS: Yes, you know--
O'REILLY: And it's better for you to come on and tell us, because we'll find out.
WILLIAMS: I want to know about the money. Mayor Bloomberg says we shouldn't care about the money.
O'REILLY: Mayor Bloomberg?
WILLIAMS: We don't ask about money for the churches and the synagogues, but I think this is more reason for us to raise the bar and make more demands of finding information out about Rauf.
O'REILLY: Well, we will. All right, Juan and Mary Katharine, thank you.
O'REILLY: "Hume zone" segment tonight, let's bring in FOX News senior political analyst Brit Hume to talk about the political implications of the new mosque information for President Obama.
Now Brit, you know, we talked about this last week. You said that you didn't think the story was going to carry over to an extent to the November election. But now, this new deal, do you think I'm overstating this story? Or is important?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I think this is a good story and in interesting story. And it raises further questions about who this man Rauf really is, and what his intentions are, and is likely to further public doubt about whether the mosque should be built, not whether there's a right to build it.
As you know, the polls show an overwhelming majority of Americans agree that he has a right to do it. But a distinct majority also believe, as the president says, has suggested he believes that it might not be a good idea. The president I guess really has taken no position on that, saying only that he has the right.
But remember, Bill, this election this fall is about the members of the House and a subset of the Senate. And the thing to watch is where these embattled Democrats come out on this, the ones that are in trouble. My guess is that you won't find very many Democrats who are in trouble this fall, saying that they're in favor of this mosque. They may say there's a right to build it, but most of them, I suspect are going to come out against doing so.
O'REILLY: Yes, but they won't even engage. But it is a Democrat versus Republican election, too. As we see in the Gallup poll that there's such a big gap now between Americans who say they would vote for the GOP, as opposed to the Democrats.
But here's the deal. Do you agree with me? I believe the Obama administration has no idea about this Rauf. They don't have any -- I think tonight when they -- you know, when President Obama gets this little dispatch before he goes to bed saying, hey, there's a guy named Khan who's an associate of Rauf, who's a Truther and doesn't believe al Qaeda has anything to do with it, Obama's going to look at it and go holy, you know what.
HUME: Well, I don't -- I wouldn't rule that out if -- assuming that the story actually surfaces for him. I mean, you got to wonder. You know, "The New York Post" alone and now you have picked up the story--
O'REILLY: It'll surface.
HUME: --which is available out there from that investigative project, who's--
O'REILLY: It's going to be on every Internet website. It'll surface, believe me. It's over. It'll surface.
But here's the deal. The State Department sends this Rauf on the taxpayer's dime all over the world to preach about, you know, detente between Muslims in America which is a good thing, by the way, that theme. They don't know anything about them.
HUME: Yes. Well--
O'REILLY: Because Rauf won't explain. That's all he had to do was come out today. We called them up and said, look, Bill, I'll come on and I'll tell who this guy is and why my association with him and whether he has anything to do with this community center or not. No way. No way. Runs, hides, and so does Khan. You can't be doing this on our dime, sending a guy like that overseas, when you don't know everything about him.
HUME: Well, it does not look good for him, the imam or this project that the guy's apparently been hanging with a Truther. Truthers are in bad odor in America. And this is very volatile thing. This is infuriating to Americans when they hear that somebody believes that 9/11, as this guy has said, I guess he said it was obviously an inside job. Well, that is something -- an idea that I think is pretty abhorrent to most Americans.
O'REILLY: Yes. And now President Obama is on record as getting involved with this, but not speaking about the wisdom as you pointed out. And now it grows and grows and grows.
Look, this story, whether you like me or not, whether you believe the investigative project or not, this story has now elevated itself, because the suspicions that many Americans had, as I talked about with Juan and Mary Katharine, have now been confirmed. Here's a guy who says al Qaeda didn't have anything to do about it deeply involved. He actually spoke twice at the site of this community center. This guy, not Rauf, who we're seeing here. This guy Khan. There he is. He spoke twice. And he's deeply involved with Rauf. They founded the organization. And now Americans who said, you know, we were against it because we -- something didn't smell right about it. Now this is confirmed. So now what does Obama do? What does he do? Continue not to address it?
HUME: Well, it's a good question whether he will now say that -- having not said whether he thought it was wise to build it, he might decide that it'd be a good idea for him to suggestion it. It was not wise to do that.
You know, I've thought for some time, Bill, that this story was probably going to die for lack of oxygen. It was kept alive, as you've heard me say, during August by the fact that there really wasn't any other news. And it was given new lease on life when, you know, Rauf went on television. And then, of course, it was given some sustenance by the fact that we had the 9/11 anniversary over the weekend.
Here comes another story that suggests there may be other stories yet to be written by Rauf and his associates that will keep this story alive. And sooner or later, of course, every politician including Barack Obama, President Obama to come out and really say whether he thinks this is a good idea or not. And my guess is if he comes out now and says it's -- says anything, he's not going to say that he's for it.
O'REILLY: Okay. Now, fairness of the story. I know we're going to be attacked for making this the lead story and talking about it tonight. There's no doubt we will. We're going to be accused of being anti-Muslim. Bigots against Muslims. That's what always happens.
But -- and we're going to talk to Bernie Goldberg about it coming right up. I don't believe "The Washington Post," "New York Times," right, is going to have their editions tomorrow. They're going to ignore this story and so will the nightly news, I believe. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm wrong.
O'REILLY: I'm on "Good Morning America" tomorrow. So they can't -- Stephanopoulos can't ignore it, because I'm on "Good Morning America" tomorrow. So he has to talk about it, because there I am. All right, and if he's smart, he'll get Rauf to sit right across from me. Okay?
HUME: But the truth as you suggest, Bill, is that it really doesn't matter as much as it once did whether those big organs--
O'REILLY: No, no--
HUME: --who are not so big anymore--
HUME: --to gloss over a story. There are too many other ways for the story to get into the bloodstream. And now that, you know, it hit "The New York Post," it's on your program. It will be picked up elsewhere. People who care about this are going to know about this.
O'REILLY: All right, Brit. Thanks very much. We appreciate it.
HUME: You bet.
O'REILLY: Plenty more ahead as "The Factor" moves along this evening. Our pal Ray Stevens has a new satire song about the Arizona illegal alien controversy. We will play some of that song for you.
And then, as mentioned, Bernie Goldberg on whether the establishment media will even mention the ties Imam Rauf had to the 9/11 radical Truther. Will the media pick up the story? I bet you you guys are placing your bets right now. We hope you stay tuned for those reports as "The Factor" continues all across the USA and all around the world.
O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly.
In the "Weekdays with Bernie" segment tonight, our intrepid analyst has been following the story we broke tonight about the Ground Zero mosque imam associating with a 9/11 truther.
Joining us from North Carolina is Bernie Goldberg.
So, I think both you and I agree that this story is going to be downplayed, perhaps ignored by most in the establishment media, correct?
BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You really think that, Bill? No. I think that there's probably a better chance that a snowball would make it through a Saudi Arabian summer than this story will make it into the mainstream media. And -- and that's not just some crazy right- wing paranoia. Here's why I say that.
A few Sundays ago, the "New York Times" ran a page one profile of Imam Rauf, the so-called Ground Zero imam. It was a Valentine from beginning to end. It was also 1,900 words long, which is a very long piece for a newspaper. And they didn't -- they literally did not devote a single word, not one word, to the fact that 19 days after 9/11, the imam told Ed Bradley on 60 minutes that U.S. policies were accessories to the crime.
O'REILLY: Let me stop you there. Let me stop you there. And I want to be fair to Imam Rauf, who I did give the benefit of the doubt to, but now because he's -- because he's running away from this Khan story, now the imam is on my bad side. But let me stop you on that.
The prevailing wisdom in the Muslim world, among moderate Muslims and even Muslims who like America, is that America foreign policy, the way it was handled for 30, 40 years was responsible for radicalizing some people because we have a presence in the Gulf. We take their oil. We support despots in some countries, Saudi Arabia and others. That we do all of these things, that we intrude on the Muslim world.
That's not a radical position. You can debate it one way or the other, but it's not a radical. So I didn't -- I wasn't resentful when Rauf said that to Ed Bradley. Although saying it so close to 9/11 and making an excuse, that's what it came -- and you saw Ed Bradley's expression. Ed Bradley went up like are you saying that we're responsible? I mean, that's how it came off. You are right.
GOLDBERG: You left out -- you left out one thing from your incredibly long list there, Bill. And that is support for Israel. So, if the United States decides that it's in its self-interest to support Israel, what, then we should expect these crazy lunatics to fly airplanes into buildings? And then our policies are accessories to the crime?
Second thing you said that I want to take issue with, you said moderate Muslims around the world think. Let me tell you something, Bill. A moderate in the Muslim world is very different from a moderate by American values. Very different.
O'REILLY: No, I know. I define moderate -- moderate Muslims as people who don't hate America.
GOLDBERG: I understand your argument, but with all due respect, I'm not terribly impressed by it. Let me just finish my point. And that is that, in 1,900 words they didn't mention this...
GOLDBERG: ... which you and I disagree about, but they didn't mention it at all.
Now, we -- I assume we agree that it's important enough to at least mention -- well, and let me just say for the record I wrote a letter to the editor of the Times, and they published it.
But my point is, if they fail to mention a point that is so important to opponents of the mosque near Ground Zero, they're not going to have any problem at all not covering a story at all about not the imam but an associate of the imam. So there's no way this is going to make it into the mainstream media.
O'REILLY: It speaks to the imam, just as your point about the imam diverting attention from the 9/11 attack by saying, you know, America might be partially responsible. This is the same thing. This is where the imam lives. He lives in these precincts. It's almost like the Jeremiah Wright-Barack Obama association. He feels comfortable with guys like Khan, who's on the board of directors.
Now, look, you are right.
GOLDBERG: They're all moderates.
O'REILLY: You're right and I'm right that the media will probably ignore the story, and tomorrow we'll document it, OK? Why -- why does the left-wing media want this Ground Zero mosque built so much?
GOLDBERG: That's a great question. It's a very good question. And I think it's because one of the fundamental delusions of liberalism, whether it's the media -- people in the media or outside the media, because there's no difference.
Liberals in the media are the same as liberals outside the media. One of their fundamental delusions is that they have a monopoly on compassion. And this -- taking this side of the issue enables them to show how compassionate they are, because they're sticking up for oppressed. And I am putting that word in gigantic quotation marks, "American Muslims."
It makes them feel once again that they're looking out for the underdog and all of, this whether it's this or affirmative action or a dozen other issues mostly makes them feel better about themselves. And the -- and the icing on the cake is that many prominent conservatives are against the mosque in that location. And now they could say, "You see? We're the good ones. We're always the good ones, you know. And they're the haters and the bigots and the ignorant people."
O'REILLY: But this story blows...
GOLDBERG: ... they've actually used.
O'REILLY: This story, I think, blows Rauf's cover unless he addresses it directly, don't you?
GOLDBERG: Yes. Well, I think -- I think the question that has to be asked, this -- did you know about this? What did you know? When did you know it? And I don't mean as a gotcha question: what did you know and when did you know it. I shouldn't have phrased it that way.
But I want to know, does Imam Rauf know that his friend held these positions? And how close were they? What -- how close was the association?
O'REILLY: All right.
GOLDBERG: These are just legitimate questions.
O'REILLY: You're right. They are.
GOLDBERG: At the next softball interview he does somebody ought to ask him that.
O'REILLY: Right. He had to know. Just like I know all your positions, Bernie. I mean, you know, I hang with you, and I know what you're all about. He had to know.
All right. Bernie Goldberg, everybody. "Reality Check" on deck, tonight starring Ray Stevens, who has a new song on the Arizona illegal alien controversy.
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Reader comments on this item
proud of O'Reilly
Submitted by Tabitha, Sep 15, 2010 20:45
Bravo to Bill O'Reilly for being among the few who wants to inform the public about the dangers of Islam. So many in our country have become apologetic of Islam; Colmes thinks it's time to forget 9/11, we're talking about it too much, and it's time to move on! These apologists want to overlook and forgive Muslim terrorism, so that no one will prevent future activity. Too many in our country are boycotting Israel (the WCC, umbrella organization of 55 million Protestants, and other businesses), trying to make it the focus of all the ills in the world, and allow Islam to continue business as usual. We know Muslims burn their own people, but we only speak up when someone wants to burn a qur'an. We know how they stone their women, amputate limbs, decapitate people who dare to speak out against their treatment, but we focus on Israel's attempt to keep its people safe from neighboring terrorism.
Well, thanks, Bill O'Reilly!