Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Another terror myth exploded

Terrorists want Democrats to win, right?

Not always, apparently.

A New York man accused of trying to help terrorists in Afghanistan has donated some $15,000 to the House Republicans' campaign committee over three years.

Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to charges that include terrorism financing, material support of terrorism and money laundering.

From April 2002 until August 2004, the man also known as "Michael Mixon" gave donations ranging from $500 to $5,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

Does this mean terrorists support Republicans? Of course not. For one thing, you'd have to examine the motive behind the donations, which could include such things as buying protection, buying access or simply trying to look innocuous.

But it does point up the intellectual emptiness of pointing to such behavior -- or the fact that both terrorists and Democrats say mean things about President Bush -- and claiming an ideological link. At risk of running afoul of Godwin's Law, Hitler disliked abstract art; does that make everyone who hates abstract art a Nazi? No.

When you get down to the facts of this case, by the way, it appears that Alishtari is little more than a scammer who was involved in suspicious money transfers for financial reasons, not ideological ones. So maybe terrorists don't support Republicans; maybe they've got the thieves and liars vote instead....

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