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Sheriff Baca, GOP congressman clash over Baca's support of Muslim group

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca shot back at a congressman who warned him during a congressional hearing Thursday that a Muslim group the sheriff supports is affiliated with terrorists and is "using" him.

The reference to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose Southern California branch Baca has allied with, came during a controversial House hearing on the question of whether American Muslims are becoming radicalized.

"You are aware" that CAIR is affiliated with Hamas, Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) said.

"No I'm not aware," Baca interrupted.

"Let me bring this to your attention ... I'm trying to get you to understand that they might be using you," Cravaack said.

Baca, noticeably irritated, told the congressman that he is aware of no criminal allegations have been made against CAIR. If there were any such allegations, he said, "bring them to court."

"We don't play around with criminals in my world," Baca said before the packed hearing.

The tense exchange wasn't Baca's first on the issue.

During a hearing last year, Baca cut off a congressman who asked the sheriff why he attended CAIR fund-raisers, despite the group's "radical" speech. Baca called the line of questioning from then-Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) "un-American."

"If he thinks I'm afraid of what he said, I will go to 10 fund-raisers because he said it," Baca said later, before labeling Souder an “amateur intelligence officer."

On Thursday, Baca testified that Muslim leaders have worked well with law enforcement in Los Angeles County -- the result, he said, of regular community outreach.

Democrats on the panel, many of whom had blasted the premise of the hearing as unfairly singling out Muslims, heaped praise on Baca, the only law enforcement official to attend on behalf of either side.

On his way to do an interview afterward with Al Jazeera English, Baca said the hearing -- called by Rep. Pete King -- as a whole was productive, but he was disappointed in Cravaack's questions.

"I hate to even imagine what his motives are," Baca said. 


Sheriff Baca, GOP official expected to square off at hearing on radical Muslims

-- Robert Faturechi in Washington

Photo: Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, arrives for the first in a series of hearings on the the American Muslim community and whether it is becoming radicalized. Critics say the hearings will stigmatize Muslim Americans. Credit: Olivier Douliery / Abaca Press / MCT / March 10, 2011

Comments () | Archives (75)

Maybe Baca will do a little digging and learn something.

McCarthy all over!
Sir are you now or have you ever been a Muslim?

I am proud of Sheriff Baca.
I am ashamed of Mssrs. King and Cravaack.

I thought Mark Souder resigned over his scandalous affair ?

Kudos to Lee Baca for showing backbone to the grandstanding, crypto-bigot invertebrates, King and Cravaack!

Hey Moonbeam Baca. You should be here in Los Angeles controlling your thug gangster deputies running amok at MCJ -

While the US is massacring Afghan children who is King to condemn an entire
group of Americans? The King of propaganda more like it.
History repeats itself yet again. King's an ugly toad. That's why he's
so bitter.

Time for a new Sheriff in town.

They act in YOUR name.

Is it Joseph McCarthy whom Rep. King is channeling?

It's the McCarthy hearings all over again. And as time has shown us with those witch hunts, we will eventually see how ludicrous these are.

Considering that Baca already has a reputation for pandering to celebrities and fringe groups, his mock offense is ironic.
He doth protest too much.
If he had a soul to sell, the devil may or may not be interested.

And just how much is this stupidity costing the taxpayer?

Good for Sheriff Baca. It takes guts to stand up to bigots

I love that Baca guy!!!!

Congressman King is completely out of line. McCarthyism is long gone. Don't be stupid and make the same mistakes McCarthy did. Talk about Islamaphobia???

Go back to congress and spend our tax dollars on something else. THIS
is a total waste of taxpayer dollars!!

Baca is such a hypocrite. Undoubtedly he will be a guest of honor at our yacht club's opening day this weekend. And I can assure that 99 out of 100 club members are hardcore republicans.

Thank you Sheriff Baca. At least some have some sense back in Washington, D.C. at this hearing.

It would be different if they were looking at all homegrown terrorism. Including all religeons, athiests, agnostics and every race. This is not the case.

Where is the proof that only this group of citizens is that much more dangerous than any other as potentially terrorist? In fact, where is Rep. Kings proof at all of anything out of the norm for all races and religeons? Are Islamists it?

I know Moslems in this area for many years and know of the good work they have done in L.A. and have worked with them on many issues. They are anything but militant extremists.

Mr. King needs to think about his connections with questionable people as has been brought up in the press.

Sheriff Baca, thank you for doing the right thing standing up for real American values.

Bravo, Sheriff Baca.

Islam is a terrorist organization hiding behind the term "religion"

I'm shocked that King didn't haul in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. There's already two strikes against him. The man is a follower of Islam, and there's film of him piloting an airplane.

And what exactly are your motive$$$ $heriff Lee?

Despicable to have these disgusting hearings. Is this country becoming stupidier and meaner and more bigoted? Unfortunately, it appears so. And all of you bigots out there, I hope there is a special place in hell for each of you considering the hatred you spew. You must be so insignificant that your only claim to fame is your ugly spirit and vicious actions. I have no special love for any religion, but to pander to the most vicious and prejudice in our society is sickening. How about some hearings about radical christians and the deaths they have caused? Killing doctors is ok? I bet you think the Westboro Baptists are great!

King McCarthy......has a certain ring, doesn't it.

This is just like Japanese internment all over again. Some Japanese did something awful to our country, then we went and blamed all Japanese for the acts, regardless of if they were citizens or not, and locked them away. Then, we realized we were wrong...

Now? Some Muslims did something awful to our country, then we're going and blaming all Muslims for the acts...

History repeats itself, right?

I TOO am proud of Sheriff Baca.
Enough with the fear and hate!
Geeezz, how many incidents over the years can be attributed to 'some' members of all religions!

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