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Is this man Islamophobic?
Posted By Art Moore On 10/18/2009 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Dave Gaubatz with an Iraqi child in Nasiriyah
In its attempt to discredit a press conference last week by four members of Congress publicizing incriminating findings in the new book
“Muslim Mafia,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations fired off a fax to the lawmakers that alleged co-author P. David Gaubatz was an anti-Muslim bigot associated with a racist organization.
Gaubatz’s defenders note that not only does CAIR have a history of distorting or fabricating quotes ascribed to Gaubatz, but that the former Air Force special agent and veteran of Middle East service is anything but an “Islamophobe.”
In fact, they argue, he has put his life on the line for Muslims – most notably in his leadership of the daring rescue of the family of the Muslim Iraqi lawyer who saved the life of Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch in 2003.
Gaubatz continues to have a close relationship with the extended family of Mohammed Al-Rehaief, who say they owe their life to Gaubatz and consider him part of their family. Rehaief’s brother named a son after Gaubatz.
Gaubatz also worked alongside CAIR national board member Sarwat Hussain to train Texas state troopers in Muslim and Arab cultural sensitivity. Gaubatz said Hussain, the executive director of CAIR’s San Antonio branch, often praised him for his work.
Gaubatz’s Denton, Texas, company, which applied his knowledge and skills from service in the Middle East, signed a contract with the Texas Department of Public Safety in 2005 to help “unite law enforcement with the Muslim community to fight the war on terror.”
One major point his company was determined to convey to the public, the Dallas Morning News reported at the time, was that the vast majority of Muslims in the U.S. are law-abiding citizens who mean no harm.
In an e-mail to Gaubatz in 2005, Hussain wrote, “Thanks for inviting me to this much needed work of yours for uniting both parties, Muslims and non-Muslims to work together for
the safety and the security of our beloved country.”
Mohammed Al-Rehaief with Dave Gaubatz, and their daughters, at a dinner reception Rahaief held in honor of Gaubatz in 2003.
The letter faxed Tuesday by CAIR in-house legal counsel Nadhira al-Khalili addressed to Reps. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., John Shadegg, R-Ariz., and Paul Broun, Ga., was titled “Potential Criminal and Civil Litigation.” Amid the threats of criminal prosecution, Khalili charged Gaubatz was “associated with a racist organization called ‘SANE,’ which offered a policy proposal that would make it illegal to be a Muslim.”
Khalili was referring to the Society of Americans for National Existence, directed by lawyer David Yerushalmi.
Arguing that CAIR and others have distorted SANE’s purposes and made up quotes, Yerushalmi explained to WND that Gaubatz “was director of operations of Mapping Shariah. Period.”
The Mapping Shariah project trained former counterintelligence and counterterrorism agents from the FBI, CIA and U.S. military to expose radical mosques that preach against the U.S. government and operate as safe havens and meeting points for Islamic terrorist groups.
Yerushalmi explained that Mapping Shariah was not an “entity,” as CAIR described it, but a research project sponsored by SANE.
“I was the executive director of the Mapping Shariah project,” he said. “As such, Dave had zero authority or control over anything SANE did or said in any sphere.”
Mohammed Al-Rehaief’s note to Miranda Gaubatz inscribed in a copy of his book
Yerushalmi said SANE’s “overall response to CAIR’s and the Left’s cybervandalism of taking complex matters out of context and turning them into trite drivel” is laid out in a piece he published titled “The Truth and Nothing but the Truth.”
“The approach used in these attacks is to quote literally a word or phrase or in some cases a provocative query in a long analytical piece that examines the hard reality of facts” but casts it “in such a way as to suggest some demonic (i.e., racist) agenda on the part of SANE and its participants,” Yerushalmi said.
Gaubatz, a U.S. State Department–trained Arabic linguist and counterterrorism specialist, in 2003 became the first U.S. civilian federal agent deployed to Nasiriyah, Iraq.
Rehaief calls Gaubatz the “American Angel” who brought his family out of Iraq in a dangerous mission that year.
Rehaief, himself, earned the praise of many Americans when he risked his life in a series of trips between Saddam Hospital in Nasiriyah, where Lynch was held, and U.S. forces several miles away to help the CIA orchestrate a commando rescue of the U.S. soldier. On one trip through enemy territory, a grenade explosion destroyed his vision in one eye.
After U.S. forces whisked away Rehaief and his wife and daughter to the U.S. to protect them from reprisal, Gaubatz led a 15-man team to extract Rehaief’s father and brothers and their families from their home in Nasiriyah.
Dave Gaubatz, left, with team in Nasiriyah, Iraq, in May 2003
Gaubatz’s team arrived at the family home in the early morning hours of April 2, 2003, with two armored Humvees and an SUV, deploying teams to monitor each intersection of the adjoining alley.
“One of our biggest concerns was that almost every male in Iraq had an AK-47,” Gaubatz said in a recounting of the story to the Denton Chronicle in Texas. “Hand grenades could be bought on the market for as little as $1 each.”
Gaubatz and one other agent went in the house to retrieve the eight family members.
“We only gave them six to seven minutes total from the time we arrived until the time we got everyone in the vehicles,” Gaubatz told the Texas daily. “They had only whatever they could carry in their hands.”
Gaubatz had to lift the 76-year-old father, suffering from diabetes, from his sick bed and carry him to a Humvee.
“When we arrived, there were only a handful of people in the alley. When we were departing approximately 10 minutes later, there were about 100 people within the area,” Gaubatz told the Chronicle.
Rehaief said Saddam loyalists burned down their house just days after the rescue.
Meanwhile, the family lived at an American base under Gaubatz’s care and supervision until they were taken to the U.S. in August 2003.
Gaubatz’s daughter, Miranda, with nieces of Mohammed Al-Rehaief
Gaubatz and his family have maintained a close relationship with the Rehaiefs, who now live in the Washington, D.C., area. One of the brothers and his wife had a son they named after Gaubatz, Karreer David Al-Rehaief.
Mohammed Al-Rehaief acknowledged Gaubatz in the preface of his book, “Because Life is Precious,” and inscribed and signed a copy for Gaubatz’s young daughter, who has become a friend of Rehaief’s daughter and nieces.
Gaubatz’s wife, Lorrie, told the Texas paper the Rehaief family said that if it had not been for her husband, “they would be dead; they would be in the ground.”
One of the brothers keeps pictures taken in Iraq of Dave Gaubatz with his family, the Denton paper noted.
The brother, said Lorrie Gaubatz, “looks at those pictures every morning before he goes to work and thanks [her husband], because if it weren’t for him, his family would not be here.”
“He knows that he would have been killed,” she said.
Gaubatz described his daughter Miranda’s relationship with the Rehaief children in a piece he wrote several years ago.
“They play together, they hug each other, they cry when they do not get to see other for weeks or months, they cry when they have to leave after visiting,” he said. “They speak to each other in English and Arabic (my daughter has taken Arabic lessons). They care about each other because of the way they have been raised by their parents. They each have their religious beliefs, but more important to them is caring for one another because of who they are.”
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