Human Rights First has gone from attacking our security from the outside to dismantling it from the inside.
By Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Magazine
When Jose Padilla, a Muslim terror convert, was arrested, Human Rights First became his loudest defenders. The leftist group, originally founded under the auspices of France’s Human Rights League, which historically included many Communists including Ho Chi Minh, was one of the most extreme voices against the U.S. effort to fight the Islamic terrorists murdering Americans.
Human Rights First continues to demand that Gitmo be shut down and warned that even saying the words “Islamic terrorism” was wrong. It bizarrely argued that there is “no reliable data to substantiate a claim that the United States is disproportionately threatened by foreign terrorists”. And it warned that designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group would only fuel more terrorism by the religion that shall not be named lest its members blow us up.
Last year, HRF commemorated the anniversary of September 11 by blasting “the post-9/11 policies that have given rise to anti-Muslim sentiment” and demanded that America “leave behind the short-sighted narrowly focused security approach… in the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11.”
With its own people on the inside, HRF is well positioned to dismantle American national security.
The Biden administration rewarded HRF with two high-profile roles for members of its board of directors. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who had been the vice chair of HRF’s board of directors, was put in charge of overall foreign policy, and Matthew G. Olsen was nominated to serve as the Assistant Attorney General for National Security for the Justice Department.
Olsen, who made millions working as the chief security officer for Uber, now, in the words of a bio, “leads the Department of Justice’s mission to combat terrorism, espionage, cyber crime, and other threats to the national security.” No one could be less fit for the job.
During the 2016 election campaign, Olsen authored a Time Magazine op-ed titled, “Why ISIS Supports Donald Trump.” The former National Counterterrorism Center official claimed that ISIS members supported Trump and then a year later joined the board of a group fighting to free terrorists.
Like most leftist smears, Olsen’s accusations were truer of the accuser than the accused.
Olsen went on to provide supportive briefs in Arab American Civil Rights League v. Trump and numerous other court cases filed to stop the Muslim travel ban and the border wall.
In 2019, Olsen co-authored an op-ed declaring, “we served at the highest levels of the U.S. national security community. We’re here to tell you that the president’s claim of an emergency along the border is bogus.”
A year earlier, he co-authored yet another editorial, alongside James Clapper, arguing, “We’ve worked on stopping terrorism. Trump’s travel ban fuels it.”
The one thing you could be certain of when it came to national security and Olsen: whatever he was saying about terrorism and national security, the exact opposite was bound to be true.
In reality, Olsen’s great achievement in counterterrorism was lying about the Benghazi attack, falsely claiming that the attack was not planned but rather a response to a YouTube video.
Olsen later testified that “it came — the discussion of taking the video down was part of our conversation in this call that was really focused on what was going on in Benghazi.”
The point man on national security has built his career on working to undermine it. He appears to be very concerned about the civil rights of Islamic terrorists, much less so that of Americans.
Olsen, who worked at the Washington Post before starting law school, had a resume that painfully demonstrated that the destruction of our national security had been an inside job.
After starting out as a trial attorney at the DOJ’s civil rights division, a hub of leftist activists, he somehow made the leap to chief of the national security section only two years later and after only being six years out of law school.
From there he became the special counsel to FBI Director Mueller, and under then-president Barack Obama, he was appointed to head the Guantanamo Review Task Force whose job was to close Gitmo and free as many terrorists as possible. Olsen would later insist that Obama was right and that only “politics” kept him from finishing the job that Biden is aggressively moving forward on.
A year later, he graduated to serving as the general counsel for the National Security Agency.
A fawning MSNBC profile claimed that Olsen’s job “required striking a balance on uncertain and often shifting legal terrain” between the Constitution and spying on people. Under Obama, the NSA would become notorious for spying on Americans, including members of Congress, especially when it was defending its plot to fund Islamic terrorism through the “Iran Deal”.
Olsen was also described as working on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.
In the first year of the Trump administration, as the illegal Russiagate surveillance was being explored, Olsen wrote an editorial arguing that forcing the FBI to get a warrant to search for information involving Americans would “severely harm national security investigations”.
When it came to spying on Americans, Olsen suddenly cared about national security.
Another editorial attacked a Trump appointee for advancing what Olsen deemed to be a “conspiracy theory that a secret society within the Department of Justice and FBI worked to prevent Trump’s election.”
A conspiracy? Radicals operating within the DOJ? Absurd.
By then, Olsen had left the government and joined WestExec Advisors, a consultancy co-founded by future Secretary of State Blinken, whose top personnel included future press secretary Jen Psaki, as well as Biden’s director of national intelligence, CIA deputy director, deputy attorney general and a host of other positions.
He worked as a contributor for ABC News and joined the board of Human Rights First, alongside Blinken and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mullen. At HRF, Olsen argued that restricting arrivals from terror states to stop Islamic terrorism would only help ISIS.
“The work of Human Rights First on issues ranging from national security to refugee protection has never been more important. I am excited and proud for the opportunity to support the mission of Human Rights First,” Olsen gushed.
The “mission” included calling for the federal government to “halt immigration enforcement during the coronavirus emergency” and opposing a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
HRF didn’t just oppose the use of Title 42 to slow down the migrant invasion, but actually made a submission to the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights accusing the United States of violating the 1951 Refugee Convention and urging the UN to take action.
This was one of a number of HRF submissions to the UN against the United States.
No one has asked Secretary of State Blinken or Olsen whether they support HRF’s work to undermine America through the auspices of the United Nations. While Olsen is no longer a member of HRF’s board, at least one of these submissions seems to have taken place during his tenure.
Collaboration with China?
Olsen’s wife, Fern Shepard, serves on the board of trustees of the radical environmentalist group, Earthjustice. She’s also the president of Rachel’s Network, named after ecohoaxer Rachel Carson, which has worked hard to fight for illegal aliens and against border security.
Earthjustice, where Shephard was a lawyer, and Rachel’s Network share a backer: the McIntosh Foundation, which dispenses the fortune of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. The Foundation’s ventures include ClientEarth, a legal operation claiming to represent the planet, which operates in a number of countries and collaborates with Communist China.
Communist China has eagerly supported environmentalism as a means of destroying our economy and making us dependent on its resources and industries. And China has also leveraged its own “environmental” policies to accelerate the depopulation of rural areas and to persecute minorities in order to provide a workforce for its industrial machine.
ClientEarth boasts that they “work with China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the Supreme People’s Court and other government actors to draft better laws and regulations,” claims to have “have trained 1,200 judges and prosecutors to date” and celebrates the “80,000 environmental public interest cases have been brought by Chinese prosecutors across the country in 2020 alone.”
Working to expand the enforcement mechanism of a brutal totalitarian regime responsible for the mass murder and persecution of millions ought to be a badge of shame, not pride.
The proximity of the wife of the Assistant Attorney General for National Security to an organization entangled with China’s Communist regime raises questions, but there are far more serious issues with his role at Human Rights First. The elevation of a civil rights prosecutor to increasingly senior roles in counterterrorism eloquently speaks to the dismantling of national security. A process that began under Obama and is accelerating rapidly under Biden.
HRF has gone from attacking our security from the outside to dismantling it from the inside.
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