Walid Shoebat and Robert Spencer to Hold “Competing” Fort Hood Memorial

“America had enough of diversity, liberalism, appeasement, and silence”

As the anniversary of the Fort Hood massacre approaches, time for some acrimony; Walid Shoebat’s website reports:

Killeen Chamber of Commerce Playing Politics in the memory of Ft Hood dead and wounded

Nov. 21st, ICTOA and a private organization have scheduled a competing memorial service to honor the dead and wounded of Ft Hood, followed by five speakers who will expose what our nation’s leaders are afraid to share with the American people.

The Killeen, TX Chamber of Commerce has issued a letter to its members stating that they are supporting the Nov 5th, and are not supporting Nov 21st event. They have also insinuated that there is a money issue, and that Forum For Middle East Understanding has been “pressuring local businesses” to sponsor the Nov. 21st event. They have also stated to members that our event is being misrepresented as a memorial service.

“Why is the Chamber of Commerce of Killeen even taking sides one way or the other?” says Keith Davies the executive director of the Forum For Middle East Understanding, who organized the event. “I would not expect the support of the Chamber of Commerce nor would I expect their animosity.”

…We have not been in communication with the Chamber of Commerce and wonder why they have so much animosity to this second event? The answer is most likely the ongoing issue of political correctness, the very reason why the Ft Hood tragedy happened, and the root cause of similar incidents, because of our unwillingness to properly address the issues of terrorism.

…The theme of this memorial event is DIVERSITY STARTS WITH THE TRUTH…

I blogged on Shoebat’s Forum For Middle East Understanding here. Unfortunately, the Killeen Chamber of Commerce letter does not appear to be available on-line, but the idea that they are the ones “playing politics” is laughable considering how the 21 November event is being billed; according to Shoebat’s son Theodore, on a posting to YouTube:

Reclaiming America at Fort Hood. America had enough of diversity, liberalism, appeasement, and silence. Diversity starts with the truth.
The event will take place in November 21st 2010 at Killeen Texas at the Killeen Conference Center.
Speakers will be Walid Shoebat, with decorated war hero General William Boykin, Kamal Saleem, and Robert Spencer.
For tickets got to FFMU.ORG or call at 877-832-7200

Obviously, the event is boilerplate Tea Party: using tragedy to promote fear and hate, and fear and hate to make reason look weak. I blogged on the line-up here; most of the speakers need no introduction. Shoebat is a pseudo-expert on terrorism, Islamic extremism, and Biblical prophecy, and he teaches that Obama is a secret Muslim and that the Bible has prophesised a Muslim anti-Christ. Boykin, like Shoebat, believes that the US is in a spiritual war against Islam with an apocalyptic dimension, and he was recently explaining how health care reform represents a “Marxist insurgency” and a Nazi-like conspiracy to “establish a constabulary force… that can control the population”. Robert Spencer, curiously, has not so far mentioned his participation on his own site; perhaps he’d rather keep his association with Christian fundamentalism low-key, given the Martin Mawyer fiasco. According to the FFMU website, the event will also include Lynn Woolley, a right-wing radio host from Dallas.

The line-up speaks for itself, and I can see why the Killeen Chamber of Commerce, which is supporting the official 5 November memorial, might want to make sure there is no confusion. Davies also tells us that

We are offering Killeen businesses the opportunity to participate as a sponsor, but no one is pressuring anyone as insinuated by the Chamber.

Without fuller information it’s impossible to know for sure what’s happened here.

The ICTOA, which is supporting the FFMU event, is the “International Counter-Terrorism Officers Association”; according to its blurb, it

was founded by members of the New York City Police Department. The ICTOA is comprised of law enforcement personnel, firefighters, military, first responders, private/corporate security, and other related professionals…

It bills itself as offering “Training, Education and Networking”, and it held a conference last month at which Shoebat was a speaker. According to a press release:

Ilana Freedman, one of this country’s pre-eminent private sector intelligence analysts, will join some of our nation’s leading experts at the 8th Annual International Counter-Terrorism Officers Association (ICTOA) Conference. The ICTOA Conference agenda will be packed with other specialists in the counter-terrorism field, including Steve Emerson, Walid Shoebat, Aaron Richman, and Ben Venzke.The prestigious panel of speakers will discuss the threat of terrorism in the United States today.

As Emerson in particular can tell you, the gravy train is quite lucrative.