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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. 

RELATED:

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)

Has it occurred to Rep Cravaak that he is being used by Zionists?

All you America haters need to move to Muslim countries and when you criticize the government and it's leaders you'll see how much "tolerance" you get. MORONS

Rock on Sheriff Baca. American Muslims respect you and wish our other public officials were as outspokenly supportive of our Constitutional rights.

this is the first time i can say I'm really proud of an official i elected

Thank you Sheriff Lee Baca. I have worked with you in the past and I applaud your tremendous courage in standing up to these McCarty-style hearings. Shame on you Representative King.

Singling out a religious group to be publicly persecuted because of extremism that has shown to be among indviduals who belong to that particular group reminds me of hearing's that destroyed people's lives who were black-listed because they were perceived to by "unamerican" by another bigoted Congressman. We're better than this spectacle. Peter King is a bully.

Amen Pam!! couldnt have said it better..well said

wow. Ignorance is bottomless for some members on congress.
good for you Sheriff Baca. stand up to these racist

Considering that in the 10 years since 911 more than 500,000 Americans have been brutally killed and 3 million seriously injured on the highways and murdered by guns, terrorism is a non-issue. The whole death toll of 911 is about a months traffic causalities. I'd rather see Congress investigate these very real dangers, not figments of their frightful ignorance and dull imaginations.

Well you know, that representative King was a pro-IRA. He is a hypocritical two faced fool. I wonder, who is behind this witch hunt, could it be AIPAC?

Regardless of what you think about Baca, we should all be proud of his achievements including the historical low level of gang crime, political corruption and illegal narcotic distribution here in the lovely City of the Angels..............................................just kidding!!!

Thank you Sheriff Baca for your courage and independence. Peter King may have a political motive for these hearings and he is wasting our taxes.

Being Jewish, I know how it is to be singled out on the basis of ethnicity and what Rep King and others GOP are doing to Muslim Americans is despicable. Three cheers for Sheriff Baca.

Wow, Baca showing a little backbone!

Joe McCarthy was a grandstanding drunk. But he was completely correct in his assessment of the communist infiltration of our government.

King's job is much easier. He has hundreds and thousands of clear examples to point to in illustrating Islamic terrorism. For anyone to defend Islam is beyond my ability to fathom either the gullibility of ignorant individuals, the degree political figures will bend to loud minorities, or just how much cash it costs to get a sheriff to cave into ignoring reality.

Baca has never been accused of being very bright. He's always been an useful idiot of someone, or some group.

Joe | March 10, 2011 at 1:58 P.M.: "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."

Give that man a tax break!

And you know, I applaud each and every one of you hard-core Republican yacht club members. It takes real skill to be able to navigate your way to over to Catalina with your heads shoved up your own rear ends.

So much emotion. So little logic

I think this is a great start to stopping muslims. Im a prod racist and so are my people. Republicans must stand for the good white peopl

But no one was using Rep. King to get their movement funded with guns and bomb making material, ohhhh noooo. Not.At.All.

This whole show trial is just to make King more attractive to the right wing base for the 2012 elections. It's repulsive, and an affront to all that we as Americans stand for.

If Muslims really were all determined to blow us up, we'd have car bombs going off every week in this country - just like they did back in England and Ireland.

Ask England if we should be concerned about home grown Islamic terrorist?

Where are the jobs programs and focus on helping get people back to work? Why do they waste their time and our money on show boating, and political gestures?

Why aren't they questioning Rep King about his support for terrorism?
"the IRA is the same as the British Army"
How many people has he killed with his support and fund raiseing for this terrorist group?

Time for Baca to go!

Baca, smaka...what a fool. The hearings aren't remotely like the McCarthy hearings. The USA was ATTACKED! by Muslims brought up on the blood religion of the medieval Koran. The communists never laid a finger on Americans here at home. It was the Cold War, for all you brilliant minds out there who don't know.

How does a Muslim who has pledged heart and soul to the Koran and Allah and the theocracy of the Imams reconcile being a citizen governed by a constitutional government that believes in the SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE? Please don't insult me by posting that god fearing Muslims believe in the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Indepdence.

 
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