Christie Is Not One of Us
New Jersey could do much worse, but he is not conservative.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie


Andrew C. McCarthy

Glyn’s account of the objections lodged against Christie in a recent NRO column by Daniel Pipes and Steve Emerson, two conservative experts on Islamic supremacism, is incomplete. Glyn implies that Pipes and Emerson took issue only with Christie’s bloviating against the NYPD’s surveillance of New Jersey Muslims.

In reality, the NYPD issue was only one facet of a broad indictment against Christie’s Islamist sympathies, which Pipes and Emerson corroborated with extensive citations to supporting materials, as is their wont. It also included Christie’s aforementioned support of Qatanani; his appointment of Sohail Mohammed; and his endorsement of the firing of a state employee for burning three pages of the Koran while off duty at a demonstration (the employee got his job back upon successfully suing the state for violating his constitutional rights). Pipes and Emerson did not merely “disapprove of Christie’s outspokenness against the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim college students in New Jersey,” as Glyn puts it. Here’s what they actually said:

Christie has hugged a terrorist-organization member, abridged free-speech rights, scorned concern over Islamization, and opposed law-enforcement counterterrorism efforts. Whenever an issue touching on Islam arises, Christie takes the Islamist side against those — the [Department of Homeland Security], state senators, the NYPD, even the ACLU — who worry about lawful Islamism eroding the fabric of American life.

Glyn even gets wrong the sliver of the Pipes-Emerson column he discusses. Christie blasted the NYPD surveillance in a manner that, as Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin points out, echoed the objections of Islamist organizations like CAIR — complaining about the law-enforcement attention given to Muslim businesses and mosques. I suppose it is understandable that a pol who hugs a Hamas guy at a Hamas-friendly mosque would feel that way. But to most of the “us” that Glyn claims Christie is “one of,” the NYPD surveillance seems like a pretty good idea. Yet, when New York Republican Pete King said as much, Christie (natch) said King was just a know-nothing congressman who was using Christie’s name to get himself on TV, not a famous former prosecutor of terrorists like Christie.

Well, maybe I don’t know as much about prosecuting terrorists as does the governor, with his all his vast experience, but I vaguely remember that defendants often connected at Muslim businesses and were urged to commit terrorist atrocities at mosques — where, in addition to plotting attacks, jihadists also stored and exchanged weapons. I also seem to recall local police and FBI agents’ being upbraided by an angry public after both the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and 9/11 because they failed — out of fear of being accused of profiling, bigotry, etc. — to investigate what was going on in certain Islamic communities that everyone knew were hotbeds of fundamentalism.

Maybe Christie started to remember that, too; or maybe he just calculated that he’d gotten himself on the wrong side of the surveillance debate. Whatever the case, he retreated, lamely implying that his beef was not really with what NYPD did but with the fact that they’d failed to inform him — Christie having been Jersey’s U.S. attorney when the NYPD surveillance began.

Glyn buys this feint hook, line, and sinker. This is the other side of the story: Even if Christie did not know what the NYPD was up to, the local police in New Jersey did. NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly has explained that Newark police officers accompanied NYPD cops on the surveillance operations and were fully briefed. (The then-director of Newark’s police department denies that his officers participated but admits that he received NYPD’s extensive report; his former deputy admits that the locals showed the NYPD around Newark but — shock, shock — claims they had no idea why they were doing it.)


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