The NYPD has gotten itself wound up in knots over all the lies it’s told about its involvement in the anti-Muslim film, Third Jihad. The film was produced by the Clarion Fund, an offshoot of the pro-settler group, Aish HaTorah.
When Arab police officers complained to a Village Voice columnist a few years back after they sat through a screening of the film, the police department denied any connection to it. The Brennan Center for Justice filed a Freedom of Information request which revealed that the film was in fact shown to 1,300 police officers (a significant percentage of those involved in anti-terror assignments). Now the police flacks claim that while it may’ve been shown to officers, this wasn’t an officially sanctioned program.
Although Commissioner Kelly appeared in the film, his flacks said the film’s producer’s used stock interview footage and didn’t interview him themselves. When the film’s producer presented evidence of the date and time of e actual interview, the flacks all of a sudden recovered from their amnesia and recalled that not only had their been an interview but the flack had recommended the Commissioner participate. Which of course sets things up nicely so Kelly can now say: what a stupid thing for me to have agreed to do. What was my flack-flunkey thinking?
Getting the drift of how these liars operate? Just like Bernie Kerik before him, I think New York may be starting to get tired of the elastic nature of truth at NYPD headquarters and tired of Kelly’s patron, Mayor Bloomberg. The latter, by the way, is outraged that the film was shown to NYPD officers and doesn’t know who did it, but promises to find out. When he finds out it was Kelly himself, what’s he gonna do? Fire him?
The police claim they don’t know who gave them the film, but that they had nothing to do with it. Rather, it was foisted on them by a conveniently unnamed “Homeland Security contractor.” Though this appears another highly dubious claim, it does focus attention on the web of contractors with pro-Israel anti-terror credentials who are riding the gravy train of lucrative contracts which offer them opportunities to train federal, state and local police and military forces in the ways of anti-jihad.
Among these are Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy and Aubrey Chernick’s NC4. Gaffney’s general counsel at the Center is the infamous Kahanist, David “Beychok” Yerushalmi, who in the past has bragged about the numerous briefings he’s given to police forces, Homeland Security and other agencies. No doubt, he’s inculcating in them his own high level of anti-Muslim paranoia. Chernick, one of the wealthiest and most generous funders of Muslim bashing (David Horowitz, Pam Geller, Robert Spencer are major recipients of his largess), owns NC4, which provides anti-terror and threat awareness training (likely with a dose of “indoctrination”) for its clients.
It’s no accident that Frank Gaffney joined the advisory board of the Clarion Fund in 2010, just before they released their third film, yet another Islamophobic diatribe directed this time against a Muslim country, Iranium. The two organizations are a match made in anti-jihadi heaven. In some sense, the success of the Obsession and Third Jihad films inspired the anti-Sharia movement, which Gaffney and Yerushalmi have milked for funding and political notoriety.
One aspect of the Times coverage that disappointed was its omission of the name of the donor who, in an elaborate obfuscation, donated $17-million to distribute another Clarion film, Obsession, to 28-million voters in swing states during the last election. He was right-wing pro-Israel Republican Barre Seid, a major donor to David Horowitz and other far-right pro-Israel groups. Seid tried to disguise the gift by making it through a Koch-affiliated third-party donor-advised fund which allowed him to plausibly (if you’re terribly gullible) deny any connection to Clarion Fund or the film.