Pelosi: Investigate Mosque Opponents

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, appearing on San Francisco's KCBS radio, called for an investigation in the efforts to stop the building of a Muslim cultural center at the hallowed Burlington Coat Factory location blocks from Ground Zero.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, appearing on San Francisco’s KCBS radio, called for an investigation in the efforts to stop the building of a Muslim cultural center at the hallowed Burlington Coat Factory location blocks from Ground Zero.   WaTi‘s Kerry Picket has the transcription:

There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded,” she said. “How is this being ginned up that here we are talking about Treasure Island, something we’ve been working on for decades, something of great interest to our community as we go forward to an election about the future of our country and two of the first three questions are about a zoning issue in New York City.

I can understand her being frustrated that something so trivial has become a national issue that seemingly won’t go away.  (There have been a dozen posts at OTB alone!)  But there’s something vaguely authoritarian in someone of Pelosi’s position calling for investigation into Americans exercising their rights of free speech.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Doesn’t seem to be anything vague about it, to be honest.

  2. Franklin says:

    Here is the number one (and possibly only) reason I’m rooting for Repubs to re-take the House this fall.

  3. reid says:

    Eh… wake me when she’s calling for a congressional investigation. I’m all for journalists doing their job and looking into the organized outrage machine (as Doug did a little bit), and as far as anyone can tell from the quote, that’s all Pelosi meant, too.

  4. Jerry says:

    The people who are financing and supporting the construction of the Cordoba House ‘9/11 Victory Mosque’ should be investigated instead.

  5. Tano says:

    Who would be doing the investigating? The government? The Congress? Journalists? Interested citizens?

    She doesn’t specify,,,,so on what basis do you assume this is authoritarian?

    It is, in fact, a pretty good question….

  6. James Joyner says:

    Eh… wake me when she’s calling for a congressional investigation

    She’s the Speaker of the House. When she says “investigation” without context, that’s that natural implication.

    She doesn’t specify,,,,so on what basis do you assume this is authoritarian?

    Chilling effect, dear boy. Chilling effect. People in positions of power should not be throwing around vague “we’ll investigate” threats against people they don’t like.

  7. reid says:

    James, that’s thin. I would need to see something a little more specific from her that suggests she’s implying a congressional investigation. And she didn’t say anything resembling “we’ll investigate”; you’re inferring a bit there!

  8. James Joyner says:

    And she didn’t say anything resembling “we’ll investigate”; you’re inferring a bit there!

    My general point is that people in positions of power should STFU about investigating people engaging in their constitutional rights.

  9. *facepalms*

    Ms. Pelosi, please get off of my side of this issue. You’re not helping.

  10. Tano says:

    “Chilling effect, dear boy. Chilling effect”

    Dear boy?
    Well thats a pretty funny comment, darlin’. Would you care to quantify the extent to which the national discussion about the Muslim cultural center has been “chilled” as a result of Pelosi’s comment?

    I would imagine the answer is absolutely zero.

    In fact, if she had actually called for some kind of investigation, rather than the utterly banal offhand comment that she actually made, then I imagine the effect would have been to amplify and intensify the discussion, not “chill” it.

  11. JKB says:

    When you are in a position of authority, you must be circumspect in what you say or imply. Simply because the authority you have can induce others to act when you were simply talking out your backside. Pelosi and Obama exercised poor leadership in the way they involved their offices in this matter.

    Pelosi and Obama wouldn’t recognize real leadership if General Patton walked up and slapped them in the face.

  12. Jim Treacher says:

    I’m sure you didn’t mean to call 9/11 “trivial.”

  13. James Joyner says:

    I’m sure you didn’t mean to call 9/11 “trivial.”

    I didn’t! Thankfully, I didn’t do that.

    The controversy over whether a Muslim facility can be erected by private owners in private property most recently occupied by a discount clothier half a mile from Ground Zero, however, strikes me as pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things.

    Were this happening on the actual site of the Twin Towers, I’d have the same intellectual reaction but likely a different visceral one. But, while I disagree with Bocephus’ sentiments about the equivalence of Hell and New York City, I don’t generally consider downtown Manhattan to be “hallowed ground.”

  14. Jim Treacher says:

    And why did that discount clothier close down, James?

  15. Jim Treacher says:

    (Hint: It’s not a trivial reason.)

  16. Jim Treacher says:

    Give up? It closed on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, because it was hit by plane wreckage. Maybe I’m wrong and that’s trivial.

  17. matt says:

    Yeah and so did the strip club and sex shop that are across the street from the WTC…

  18. Jim Treacher says:

    Non sequiturs are fun! The presence of a strip club means nothing horrible ever happened there.

  19. Jim Treacher says:

    Oh, and there are 3 strip clubs within blocks of the White House. So if it had been hit on 9/11, no big deal, right?

  20. An Interested Party says:

    So if some of the plane wreckage did strike the nearby sex shop, that establishment would be considered “sacred ground” too, eh? Maybe they would place a commemorative plaque on the wall between the sex toys…

  21. Jim Treacher says:

    If only Mohammed Atta and his friends had struck at a skyscraper in an otherwise empty field, then the “hallowed ground” idiots like Obama might have a point.

  22. Jim Treacher says:

    Here’s another pic of that strip club:

    http://twitpic.com/2g1zqu/full

  23. Tano says:

    I don’t understand your point Mr. Treacher.

    The issue is not that there were strip clubs in the debris field on 9/11, The issue is that there are strip clubs in the debris field today. Which gives a bit of a lie to the argument that the debris field is actually treated as hallowed ground by anyone, at anytime, until they need to make up an excuse to block the construction of this community center.

  24. Jim Treacher says:

    So they should’ve closed down any strip clubs in the area after 9/11? Sex shops, too, presumably. Any other businesses that should’ve been shut down?

  25. Jim Treacher says:

    Oh wait, I forgot about those strippers who flew those planes into those buildings. My bad.

  26. reid says:

    Jim: Your implication that the muslims who live in that area and want to build the community center are the same as the muslims that flew the planes into the buildings is quite offensive. At least you’re up front about it.