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Sheriff Baca argues with Republican congressman about Islamic group

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca argued with a Republican congressman from Indiana during a hearing Wednesday when the lawmaker questioned his relationship with an Islamic nonprofit group.

Baca was in Washington testifying before the House Committee on Homeland Security when he was questioned by Rep. Mark Souder about attending fundraisers for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, officials said.

The group, according to Souder, espouses radical speech -- an assertion that angered Baca.

"The sheriff gets his ire up when politicians begin to use their bully pulpit for personal attacks," Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

The exchange between Baca and Souder was recorded by a reporter for KPCC-FM (89.3). To hear the recording, click here.

"There's a substantial difference between protected speech and government officials going to fundraisers for organizations that do speech that is radical. And Sheriff Baca, you've been 10 times to the fundraisers for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which even the FBI has separated themselves from," Souder said, according to the recording.

Baca shot back, citing his service in the Marines and support of Israel, according to the report. "The security of Israel has always been at the forefront of my thinking," he said. "And for you to associate me somehow through some circuitous attack on CAIR, is not only inappropriate, it is un-American."

Whitmore said department records show that Baca attended two CAIR fundraisers in recent years.

"Just because they are Muslim Americans does not mean they want to destroy Israel or the U.S.," Whitmore said.

-- Robert J. Lopez
Comments () | Archives (39)

Why are Republicans so full of hate and fear mongering? Many of them would do very well in Nazi Germany.

Kudos to Sheriff Baca for standing up to Souder's hate mongering.

I find it interesting that the LA County Sheriff is now an expert on international terrorism and "knows" that CAIR does not support terrorist groups. Especially when the FBI, the Obama Administration and Barbara Boxer no longer associate with them.

everyone wants to be the new Joe MacCarthy

hey baca, the security of la county and NOT israel should be on your mind. we are the ones paying your salary, ain't we?

"There's a substantial difference between protected speech and government officials going to fundraisers for organizations that do speech that is radical."

That makes absolutely no sense. Where did Souder got to college? Did he even show up at the Critical Thinking class? I suppose yes, there is, a substantial difference between the two things, since they are two entirely different things: One is talking. One is going somewhere. But unfortunately, have nothing to do with each other.

Elected officials don't even make the effort any longer to make sense. It's as if they feel they could say: "Mary had a little lamb, and it appears, Mr. Baca, that you have gone to the movies on numerous occasions." And if it's guised in enough of an innuendoed tone of voice that people will think they have ferreted out some threat to the very fabric of our existence.

Is that so @Posted by: Tommy 'the Condom' Trojan?
Like many of you keyboard political pundants spewing from the hip; I suggest you spend some time in the Quran (likely, an English translation to ease your IQ strain) and study the Suras one at a time.
Maybe then you'll get a clue as to what plans your Muslim (Islam) buddies have in store for the likes of you and every other "infidel" on earth not willing to convert.
Better yet, maybe a graphic version of Islam is the brain smack you require. Search the net, you'll find hundreds of beheading, delimbing, female torture, man torture and many other video expressions of Islamic ways of love.
Oh yeah, PS: Before you paint me as one of your fear mongering right wing haters... I'm a non-political neutral.
PC, out!

If CAIR isn't advocating the overthrow of the government, and it isn't pushing people to commit treason, then it's within the law.

I'd like to see everyone in Congress have to pass a civics test before being sworn in, because about half of them clearly would flunk.

Baca thinks that he can reduce crime by having everyone sit is a circle, hold hands, and sing We are the World. His medication needs to be increased.

There are some people in this world that are just plain evil. A law enforcement official should not associate with people who advocate the destruction of Israel.

To "here" the recording?
Editor's note: Thanks. We have fixed the typo.

This is typical Baca,,out of the State and not taking care of business at home. He is Naive about CAIR and thinks he can solve the Middle East Crisis. He is out of the Country all the time on Junkets. It is amazing that no one runs against him since he is so vulnerable.

All the Press will be on him friday for his so called patrol day. This is all for show and politics..Baca is not capable of working a car and really making a difference in overtime. In his defense, he hasnt done the real job since the late 70s

Sheriff Baca is just wrong. Several national leaders of CAIR have been taped bragging about how they were able to funnel money from the group to people overseas who were fighting the Israeli's. For Baca to attend fundraisers when this is on public record is just incredibly irresponsible.

Lee Baca is an idiot. That's what happens when the citizenry is asleep at the wheel. Why do we need such a big Sheriff's department?

CAIR is a political lobbying organization whose support of radical Islamic groups is very well-documented...in fact the FBI halted all cooperation with the Saudi-financed "civil rights group" after CAIR was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding case of 2008, in which HLF was found GUILTY of funneling over $12 million to Hamas, a group that has been long-designated by our government as a terrorist organization.

If the supreme law enforcement agency in the land has found sufficient reason for halting all cooperative efforts with CAIR, WHAT POSSIBLE JUSTIFICATION can Sheriff Baca have for cooperating with a Saudi-funded organization that is a well-documented supporter of radical Islamic terror groups?

At PadrePete.

That kinda sounds like the old testament, doesn't it. And what does the bible say about heathens?

To Ted Lawrence.

Do you remember all the money that went to the unjust downfall of Palestine?

"Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.[The Palestine Mandate, 1917]"

Clearly something went askew in that deal. And if you want to talk about the rights of people who were around before Christ regarding their "rightful" lands, then everyone (except Native Americans) should leave the U.S.

Los Angeles County is a diverse county as any in the entire nation if not the world, and its Sheriff operates within all of those parameters, yesterday it was CAIR, today it will be the Girl Scouts and a Veterans org, tomorrow it will be the AARP and a Union hall, after that maybe even a charity or community group, the list goes on and on as the segments of the community at large are represented equally, the events attendedby the presence of the Sheriff are a matter of where he is inclined to go, in some instances those orgs may be ones I agree with and others you do not, a Sheriff may not be able to indulge him self in personal likes and dislikes, what matters most is that the Sheriff is seen and heard accessable and accountable, administering equal protection under the law, including freedom of lawful assembly.

Sheriff Baca is out of touch with his own department, with the people he serves, and now apparently with reality. CAIR is indeed a supporter of terrorist groups but since it is well hidden by way of several front organizations, Baca is able to spout his gibberish with plausible deniability. When will the people of L.A. County wake up and get rid of this guy? In his first "victory" running for Sheriff, almost 40% of the vote went to a dead man!

Oh, and by the way LATimes, nice editing job! You left out Baca's response about going to 10 CAIR fundraising events. He replied, "And I'll be there 10 more times" Just what the people of L.A. need, a Sheriff who spends all his time fundraising for terrorists!

Baca is a fool who believes in disarming law abiding citizens and only leaving the criminals armed... and now is supporting Islamist groups who want to kill all infedels (anyone isn't muslum)

I think that Baca and others need to distant themselves from CAIR and any other groups like them. It is not appropriate for him to have these relations with them when he is the sherriff. We don't know who is the EVIL people but we do have a clue who are. He should not,nor should any other American, associate with this group or any like it.Even if the whole group are not out to do harm apparently some of them are and that is all they need to damage the US is just a small group of insiders.

Tommy, did you even THINK about what you typed? Can't you see the HYPOCRISY that is a mainstay/hallmark of liberalism/progressivism?
Jack, why don't you point it out to him?

Sheriff Baka, what would Israel and L.A county do without you ! thank you ??

The GOP is not just the party of NO they are becoming the new party of McCarthyism. Questioning peoples patriotism using fear mongering!

Glad I left and became an independent!

I am sure he would fire an badged employee who actively supported a hate group, but he is free to associate with those groups.

Mr. Congressman needs to read up on other religion and perhaps attend some night school.

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