by Waseem Shehzad (World, Crescent International Vol. 28, No. 8, Rabi' al-Awwal, 1420)
Steve Emerson has achieved a certain notoriety among north American Muslims. This self-styled expert on ‘terrorism’ is the producer of the scandalous documentary ‘Jihad in America’, which was first aired on PBS television on November 21, 1994. The ‘documentary’ was primarily a propaganda-piece for the Zionists, in which he made outrageous allegations against Muslims.
As if this were not bad enough, five months later the Oklahoma City bombing gave Emerson another opportunity to spew anti-Muslim venom on television. He falsely accused Muslims of the bombing which killed 168 people. (Two right-wing white supremacists were later convicted for the bombing.). Emerson’s false allegations on CBS television on April 19, 1995, led to at least 200 attacks against Muslims in the US. Despite such a record, Emerson continued to enjoy the status of a ‘terrorism expert’ and got another opportunity in July 1996 when a TWA jumbo jet crashed off the coast of Long Island, killing everyone on board. Emerson was immediately on air blaming Muslims. He was wrong again.
Why worry about a man who has repeatedly been discredited by his own statements and is now shunned by the mainstream media? Emerson is not someone who is shamed into silence by exposure of his fabricated lies. As a zionist Jew, he has strong links with other Israeli zionist agents (Yigal Carmen, for instance) and appears to be pushing their agenda. In July 1998, Emerson came up with another allegation. He found a lowly accountant from a plumbing company in Pakistan seeking refugee status in the US and projected him as a Pakistani nuclear scientist. Iftekhar Chaudhry Khan was supported by Emerson from behind the scenes in an attempt to project Pakistan in a negative light. Khan claimed he escaped from Pakistan after refusing to participate in a Pakistani ‘plot’ to use nuclear weapons against India. This allegation, if taken seriously, could have led to a nuclear holocaust on the subcontinent.
Emerson is a very dangerous man, but those who challenge his allegations are threatened with lawsuits, as a Florida newspaper, its senior editor, and a former investigative reporter for the Associated Press (AP), have found out, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), revealed on June 1. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that former AP reporter Richard Cole “maliciously provided false information” about documents provided to the news service by Emerson. The action also alleges that John Sugg, senior editor of Florida’s Weekly Planet newspaper, “maliciously and repeatedly published false and defamatory utterances” in an “ongoing campaign to undermine Emerson’s credibility and damage his professional and personal reputation” (case number: 1:99CV01219).
CAIR said that Emerson was seeking US$1 million in actual damages and $10 million in punitive damages on each of three causes of action. Emerson has also sued several government agencies, including the CIA and the FBI, claiming that they withheld information he sought.
The complaint revolves round allegations reported by Sugg that two AP reporters said Emerson gave them a document on terrorism supposedly from FBI files. “One reporter thought he’d seen the material before, and in checking found a paper Emerson had supplied earlier containing his own unsupported allegations. The two documents were almost identical, except that Emerson’s authorship was deleted from the one purported to be from the FBI. ‘It was really his work,’ one reporter says. ‘He sold it to us trying to make it look like a really interesting FBI document,’” the Weekly Planet reported in May 1998. In that same article, Sugg quoted Richard Cole saying: “We were not really clear on the origin of his [Emerson’s] material.” Because of that, Cole recalls, “much of Emerson’s information was sliced from the series.” (Cole was the lead writer of a 1997 AP series on terrorism.)
The lawsuit also disputes allegations that Emerson gave false information to a Senate subcommittee during testimony in 1998. In an article headlined ‘Ties to Spies?’ Sugg wrote: “In a missive submitted to a US Senate subcommittee in February, Emerson stated that a federal lawman and other authorities in 1995 told him ‘radical Islamic fundamentalists had been assigned to carry out an assassination of me. An actual hit team had been dispatched...’ Emerson claimed the authorities said he could probably ‘get permission to enter the Witness Security Program.’
“After I sent Emerson’s document to the Justice Department’s Terrorism and Violent Crimes Section, this on-the-record response was made by spokesman John Russell on May 5. ‘You pushed the right button asking about your friend Steve Emerson,’ Russell said. ‘We’ve never given any thought to putting him in the witness protection program.’ Is there any truth to the allegation of an assassination team? ‘No, none at all,’ Russell responded.”
Emerson also recently publicly criticized National Public Radio (NPR) for what he termed “deliberate misrepresentation of the activities of Islamic terrorist groups.” (Journal of Counterterrorism & Security International press release. May 7, 1999). He also claimed NPR ‘blacklisted’ him and “intentionally withheld factual information from its listeners.” An NPR spokesman called Emerson’s charge of blacklisting “inflammatory, sensationalistic and just plain wrong.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 14, 1998).
Early this year, Emerson claimed that the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), along with John Sugg, “collectively fabricated evidence in manufacturing a conspiracy” against him (Journal of Counterterrorism and Security International press release, January 19, 1999). FAIR called the allegations “inaccurate and reckless.” (FAIR statement, February 16, 1999.)
Emerson has also attempted to ‘silence critics’ at the Miami Herald, The Associated Press, the Council on Foreign Relations, The Nation, Voice of America, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), and the Howard University television station, according to John Sugg in a letter to the Boston Globe.
Muslimedia: June 16-30, 1999