In the person of Congressman Peter King (R-New York), the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, the abstraction called “hypocrisy” has acquired tangible human form. After spending decades canvassing his fellow Irish-American Catholics to raise money for terrorists in Northern Ireland, King has promised to conduct a wide-ranging investigation of American Muslim congregations and cultural organizations in search of people providing “material support” for Islamic terrorism.
NORAID was designated by the Justice Department as an arm of the IRA more than thirty years ago. King, whose Long Island district has a large and well-organized Irish-American constituency, was one of the group’s most effective fundraisers and one of the IRA’s staunchest supporters.
“We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry,” King declared during a 1982 rally on behalf of the IRA in Nassau County. The “Provos” heartily reciprocated King’s affection.
Granted, many honorable and decent men — both from Northern Ireland and elsewhere — have become familiar with the inside of a prison cell. But the ex-convicts with whom King socialized during his visits to Ireland generally weren’t innocent political prisoners.
|King (center) meets with supporters of a Malachy McAllister, a convicted Irish terrorist.|
King served as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee from 2005 until the Republicans lost their majority in the 2006 mid-term election. During his last stint in that post, King used his influence to intervene on behalf of Malachy McAllister.
In 1981, McAllister served as an armed lookout during an ambush of an English policeman outside a pub in Northern Ireland. The victim, it must be said, was a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, a paramilitary occupation force that became notorious for beating and otherwise mistreating innocent people. McAllister served three years in a British prison for his role in the ambush.
McAllister, like many Catholics in Ulster, endured inexcusable treatment at the hands of British occupation forces and Loyalist thugs. He admits to committing the acts for which he was incarcerated, but describes himself as a combatant in a civil war, rather than a terrorist. That distinction is difficult to defend in light of the fact that McAllister was a member of the Irish National Republican Army (INRA) — the military wing of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP).
Whatever the merits of the Irish Republican cause, the INRA was not created merely to obtain independence for Northern Ireland, or to defend the rights of an abused minority. The group, which budded off from the “official” IRA in 1974, was a tiny, ultra-violent Leninist cell within the IRSP. While the Party specialized in political agitation, the INRA carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, extortion, and other forms of “direct action” that frequently targeted helpless civilians.
It’s quite likely that some of the money raised by Peter King on behalf of NORAID wound up funding the INRA’s rampage. The group also received financial aid and training from Libya and the PLO.
The group’s objective has never been merely to reclaim Ulster from England: It is committed to the unification of all 32 counties of Ireland in a socialist “worker’s republic” of the kind that has been such an unqualified blessing in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Like other “liberation” movements of a similar vintage, the INRA cynically invested its Leninist political agenda with religious language and symbolism.
The INRA’s cadres and supporters saw the group’s terrorist campaign as, literally, a holy war. And Peter King, the once and future chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, gave eager and unapologetic material support to that terrorist jihad.
As Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, King will be the tribune of a large and growing “anti-Sharia” constituency, which is composed of people who insist that every mosque should be treated as a jihadist recruitment center and weapons depot. From that perspective — as articulated by Frank Gaffney, its most forceful exponent — anybody who believes in and practices the religion of Islam should be presumptively regarded as guilty of sedition.
|With Sinn Fein official Martin McGuiness, 2000.|
Fear of a Papist Holy War was propagated by widely read and hugely influential anti-Catholic publications, promoted by a revived Ku Klux Klan, and coalesced into state “convent inspection laws” permitting warrantless searches of monasteries, chapels, and rectories. Peter King’s career almost seems like a perverse attempt to validate the work of those early 20th Century anti-Catholic bigots.
Between 1971 and 2005, about 1,800 people in Ireland were killed by IRA bombers and gunmen; the equivalent death toll in the United States would be 360,000 people. During that generation-long onslaught, the IRA “made the car-bomb the modern terrorist weapon du jour and perfected the manufacture of fertilizer-based home-made explosives of the sort now routinely used by jihadists,” observes historian Moloney.
Peter King “owes his political career almost entirely to the ties he forged” with the people who carried out that bloody campaign, Moloney concludes. King’s very first act after being elected to his congressional seat “was to jump on a plane to Belfast for a rousing celebration in the Felon’s Club.”
Peter King apparently isn’t equipped with either a conscience or a sense of irony, so he isn’t likely to appreciate the fact that his political career perfectly encapsulates the process through which petty thugs are transmuted into “statesmen.”