FBI Director Mueller Provides Judiciary Committee The Expert Testimony Rep. Peter King Neglected

March 16, 2011 12:42 pm ET — Brian Powell

Robert S. Mueller, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), provided testimony on Capitol Hill today about the relationship between law enforcement and the Muslim-American community, but it wasn't to Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) Homeland Security Committee. While King devoted a hearing last week to exploring "radicalization" in the Muslim-American community, he neglected to invite Mueller or any other law enforcement expert, opting instead for two laymen to provide anecdotes and a medical doctor with no experience in law enforcement or even personal experience with radicalized Muslims. The result was a step backward for relations between the government and the Muslim community in America.

Less than seven days later, Mueller testified before the House Judiciary Committee on a variety of subjects. One of the issues brought up by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) was the central question posed by King's hearing: whether Muslim Americans cooperate with terrorism investigations.

Mueller provided to the Judiciary Committee what was sorely missing from King's hearing —  substantive testimony that was forthcoming and knowledgeable:

MUELLER: In a number of cases, the Muslim community has either initiated or cooperated with the investigation throughout, throughout the course of the investigation leading up to a successful disruption of the terrorist plot, often with the subsequent arrest and prosecution. ... We have, I believe, very good relationships with the Muslim community around the country. I will say, as I have said before, often in testimony, that the vast, vast community of Muslim Americans are no different than any other Americans sitting in this room and are as patriotic, and express that in the ways that are appropriate in terms of assisting us in our investigations.

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Now Politico is reporting that King will be moving forward with more hearings on radicalization, possibly focusing on "prison radicalization."

Will King learn from last week's fiasco and invite true professionals to provide testimony of substance, or will he continue to dig up witnesses that will serve only to perpetuate his preconceived political narratives?

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