Would it trouble you to learn that an individual with connections to a corrupt foreign government and radical extremism possessed a security clearance? If this person had access to important classified information, would you consider it to be potentially dangerous?
This situation would certainly raise red flags for many Americans were they aware of it. Such is the case with newly elected Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), an immigrant from Somalia. The lawmaker, who happens to be one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, already has a history of making anti-Semitic comments, but the more worrisome aspects of this particular lawmaker have gone largely unreported by the legacy media.
Omar’s Somalia Connection
Omar, who was recently placed on the House Foreign Relations Committee, has familial connections to powerful individuals in the Somali government and appears to have exerted some influence over the country’s latest elections. Prior to the election, at a party in Minneapolis, Omar endorsed former Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in his bid for the presidency. In addition, her husband endorsed Hassan Ali Khayre, an oil executive, for prime minister.
Khayre has been the subject of an investigation by the U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea for links to the Islamic terrorist group al-Shabab. Indeed, he is suspected of using his connections to the extremist organization to benefit his company, Soma Oil and Gas.
After Mohamed won the race in what The New York Times called “one of the most fraudulent political events in Somalia’s history,” he nominated Khayre for the position of prime minister. Only days after Khayre was approved, he appointed Mohamed Keynan as permanent secretary. Who is Keynan? Well, he just so happens to be Omar’s brother-in-law. But perhaps this is just a simple coincidence?
When a U.S. House representative is elected, he or she is not required to go through a vetting process to obtain a security clearance. If Omar were an unelected employee, it appears that her connections to the Somali government would have disqualified her from access to sensitive information. Attorney Sean M. Bigley, a partner at Bigley Ranish, LLP, a firm that specializes in defending individuals who are denied security clearances, told PJ Media:
“High-level familial connections in the Somali government would be an almost guaranteed ticket to the unemployment line for any government employee who required security clearance as a condition of employment.”
Of course, Omar has already been elected, so little can be done to determine whether or not she should have a security clearance. But shouldn’t voters have known about her ties to the Somali government before they voted? Apparently, the media did not believe that her district’s residents needed this information about her background.
Leniency for ISIS
Recently, Fox News reported that Omar attempted to intervene on behalf of nine men who tried to join the Islamic State (ISIS) when she was a state senator. She sent a letter to the judge presiding over their cases urging him to give them a lighter sentence.
“The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion,” she wrote. “We must alter our attitude and approach; if we truly want to effect change, we should refocus our efforts on inclusion and rehabilitation.”
The suspects were accused of planning to travel to Syria to join ISIS in 2015. The men were facing decades-long sentences, and one of them admitted that he was going to join the terrorist group. “I was not going there to pass out medical kits or food. I was going strictly to fight and kill on behalf of the Islamic State,” he explained.
The judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison and gave similar decisions to the other men. As with her Somali government connections, the major news outlets did not deem this information to be important to voters in Omar’s district.
The Danger of Uninformed Voting
This particular story brings up a troubling question: How many other Congress members have been elected because the media selectively discarded information that would have been important to voters? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that media reportage has an immense impact on election results; in this case, their agenda was clear.
The role of the Fourth Estate should be to inform the American public without bias.
To be fair, voters in the lawmaker’s district might have still cast their votes for Omar even if the media had done their job. But wouldn’t it be more desirable to ensure that citizens are as informed as possible during an election? The role of the Fourth Estate should be to inform the American public without bias. If a GOP candidate even had the appearance of troubling ties to foreign governments, the press would undoubtedly report — or even manufacture — a story about it. Russiagate, anyone?
This demonstrates the importance of alternative media outlets.
While the American public is bombarded by stories from the legacy media, the internet has provided other options, such as Liberty Nation. Despite the left’s attempts to censor certain news sites, the digital world allows for the dissemination of reporting outside of the major networks. If this trend continues, perhaps they will have to reconsider their current approach. But it is clear that it will take some time before news outlets decide to re-evaluate their relationship with their consumers.