By Jeffrey Imm

Last week, there was an interesting development in the U.S. House of Representatives that will give Americans a clear view as to exactly where their individual representatives stand on the war of ideas in fighting Jihad.

Per my previous article on this subject, on May 8, 2008, Congressman Peter Hoekstra attempted to add an amendment on the “terror lexicon” to a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence bill on 2009 intelligence funding (House Resolution 5959).

Hoekstra’s amendment condemned efforts by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), and the State Department to recommend a “terror lexicon” that prohibits use of words such as “Jihad,” “jihadist,” “Islamist,” “mujahadeen,” “caliphate,” etc. In this amendment, Congressman Hoekstra called for the House of Representatives to prohibit the use of intelligence funding in support of such “terror lexicon” efforts. The House Intelligence Committee voted against this amendment, and over 900 people signed a petition condemning the actions of the House Intelligence Committee that was sent to members who voted against the amendment.

But on July 16, 2008, H.R. 5959 was presented to the full House of Representatives for debate and adoption, including Congressman Hoekstra’s amendment to bar the use of intelligence funding for such “terror lexicon” measures. This time the amendment passed by the margin of 249-180 (with 10 abstentions).

The amendment was incorporated in H.R. 5959 as follows:

“None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act may be used to prohibit or discourage the use of the words or phrases ‘jihadist’, ‘jihad’, ‘Islamo-fascism’, ‘caliphate’, ‘Islamist’, or ‘Islamic terrorist’ by or within the intelligence community or the Federal Government.”

Per my congressional sources, the House of Representatives passed (via voice vote) House Resolution 5959 “Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009,” including the amendment on the issue of the “terror lexicon” from Congressman Peter Hoekstra. Efforts to send H.R. 5959 back to the House Intelligence Committee (by a motion to recommit with instructions) failed, so now H.R. 5959 represents the House’s resolution on 2009 intelligence funding.

Most importantly, Americans can see how their individual representatives in the House voted (Roll Call 500) on this issue, demonstrating where their individual congressional representatives stand on the war of ideas in fighting Jihad.

During the discussion on this House Amendment 4 to H.R. 5959 (aka “Hoekstra of Michigan Amendment No. 2”), on the “terror lexicon” efforts by DHS, NCTC, and the State Department, Congressman Hoekstra stated, per the Congressional Record:

“Al Qaeda itself uses these terms to describe its fight against America, our allies, and moderate Muslims around the world. Why then would we prohibit our intelligence professionals from using the same words to accurately describe al Qaeda’s stated goals?”

“Yet that is exactly what some in Washington are attempting to do. I was dismayed to learn that over the past few months, intelligence bureaucrats at the State Department, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the Department of Homeland Security have issued memos imposing speech codes on how their employees can describe al Qaeda and other radical jihadist groups. They won’t even be able to use the words these groups use themselves to describe themselves. These agencies within the intelligence community won’t be able to use those words.”

“Mr. Chairman, free speech should not be controversial, nor should candid, accurate, and fair discussion of the self-professed goals of the terrorists that attack our homeland and have sworn to kill more Americans.”

“I find it more than ironic that some who have complained the loudest about politicization in the intelligence community would oppose this simple amendment to prevent the politically correct politicization of our Nation’s intelligence community. We all know that political correctness can be the enemy of clarity.”

“We also know that radical jihadists have made repeated efforts to stifle free speech in the West, including the murder of Dutch film maker, Theo van Gogh, and frequent death threats against authors, cartoonists, and journalists.”

“Let’s not give the radical jihadists a victory here by imposing a speech code on America’s intelligence community.”

“How will America understand the nature and the character of our enemy if we can’t use the words that they use to describe themselves and we need to come up with a whole new language that is totally out of context with the enemy and the nature of the threat that we face today?”

Congressional Representatives Who Voted Against Hoekstra’s Amendment on “Terror Lexicon”

Whether or not this amendment to H.R. 5959 ultimately is part of an approved bill signed by President Bush, the greatest value of this amendment is that it gets most congressional representatives on the record on their position regarding the efforts of groups to remove any suggestion of Islamic supremacism or Jihad when it comes to “terrorism.”

Those in Congress who voted against (or abstained from voting on) the Hoekstra amendment should be asked to publicly explain their position to their constituents, as their vote against the Hoekstra amendment can readily be perceived as reluctance to recognize the ideological basis behind Jihadist terrorism. The House of Representatives provides a ready online tool to allow Americans to identify their congressional representatives, and knowing your ZIP Code+4 number will greatly expedite that process.

Clearly the following members of the House of Representatives should be asked to explain their vote against the Hoekstra amendment:

House of Representatives’ Members Voting Against Hoekstra Amendment:
Rep. Neil Abercrombie [D, HI-1]
Rep. Jason Altmire [D, PA-4]
Rep. Robert Andrews [D, NJ-1]
Rep. Joe Baca [D, CA-43]
Rep. Brian Baird [D, WA-3]
Rep. Tammy Baldwin [D, WI-2]
Rep. John Barrow [D, GA-12]
Rep. Xavier Becerra [D, CA-31]
Rep. Howard Berman [D, CA-28]
Rep. Robert Berry [D, AR-1]
Rep. Sanford Bishop [D, GA-2]
Rep. Timothy Bishop [D, NY-1]
Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D, OR-3]
Rep. Madeleine Bordallo [D, GU-0]
Rep. F. Allen Boyd [D, FL-2]
Rep. Nancy Boyda [D, KS-2]
Rep. Robert Brady [D, PA-1]
Rep. Bruce Braley [D, IA-1]
Rep. Corrine Brown [D, FL-3]
Rep. George Butterfield [D, NC-1]
Rep. Lois Capps [D, CA-23]
Rep. Michael Capuano [D, MA-8]
Rep. Russ Carnahan [D, MO-3]
Rep. Andre Carson [D, IN-7]
Rep. Kathy Castor [D, FL-11]
Rep. Donna Christensen [D, VI-0]
Rep. Yvette Clarke [D, NY-11]
Rep. William Clay [D, MO-1]
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver [D, MO-5]
Rep. James Clyburn [D, SC-6]
Rep. Steve Cohen [D, TN-9]
Rep. John Conyers [D, MI-14]
Rep. Jim Cooper [D, TN-5]
Rep. Joe Courtney [D, CT-2]
Rep. Robert Cramer [D, AL-5]
Rep. Joseph Crowley [D, NY-7]
Rep. Danny Davis [D, IL-7]
Rep. Susan Davis [D, CA-53]
Rep. Peter DeFazio [D, OR-4]
Rep. Diana DeGette [D, CO-1]
Rep. Rosa DeLauro [D, CT-3]
Rep. Norman Dicks [D, WA-6]
Rep. John Dingell [D, MI-15]
Rep. Lloyd Doggett [D, TX-25]
Rep. Michael Doyle [D, PA-14]
Rep. Donna F. Edwards [D, MD-4]
Rep. Thomas (Chet) Edwards [D, TX-17]
Rep. Keith Ellison [D, MN-5]
Rep. Rahm Emanuel [D, IL-5]
Rep. Anna Eshoo [D, CA-14]
Rep. Bob Etheridge [D, NC-2]
Rep. Eni Faleomavaega [D, AS-0]
Rep. Sam Farr [D, CA-17]
Rep. Bob Filner [D, CA-51]
Rep. Barney Frank [D, MA-4]
Rep. Charles Gonzalez [D, TX-20]
Rep. Raymond (Gene) Green [D, TX-29]
Rep. Raul Grijalva [D, AZ-7]
Rep. Luis Gutierrez [D, IL-4]
Rep. John Hall [D, NY-19]
Rep. Phil Hare [D, IL-17]
Rep. Jane Harman [D, CA-36]
Rep. Alcee Hastings [D, FL-23]
Rep. Brian Higgins [D, NY-27]
Rep. Maurice Hinchey [D, NY-22]
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa [D, TX-15]
Rep. Mazie Hirono [D, HI-2]
Rep. Paul Hodes [D, NH-2]
Rep. Rush Holt [D, NJ-12]
Rep. Michael Honda [D, CA-15]
Rep. Darlene Hooley [D, OR-5]
Rep. Steny Hoyer [D, MD-5]
Rep. Jay Inslee [D, WA-1]
Rep. Jesse Jackson [D, IL-2]
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee [D, TX-18]
Rep. William Jefferson [D, LA-2]
Rep. Henry Johnson [D, GA-4]
Rep. Stephanie Jones [D, OH-11]
Rep. Paul Kanjorski [D, PA-11]
Rep. Marcy Kaptur [D, OH-9]
Rep. Patrick Kennedy [D, RI-1]
Rep. Dale Kildee [D, MI-5]
Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick [D, MI-13]
Rep. Ronald Kind [D, WI-3]
Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D, OH-10]
Rep. Ray LaHood [R, IL-18]
Rep. James Langevin [D, RI-2]
Rep. Rick Larsen [D, WA-2]
Rep. John Larson [D, CT-1]
Rep. Barbara Lee [D, CA-9]
Rep. Sander Levin [D, MI-12]
Rep. John Lewis [D, GA-5]
Rep. Daniel Lipinski [D, IL-3]
Rep. David Loebsack [D, IA-2]
Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D, CA-16]
Rep. Nita Lowey [D, NY-18]
Rep. Carolyn Maloney [D, NY-14]
Rep. Edward Markey [D, MA-7]
Rep. Doris Matsui [D, CA-5]
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy [D, NY-4]
Rep. Betty McCollum [D, MN-4]
Rep. James McDermott [D, WA-7]
Rep. James McGovern [D, MA-3]
Rep. Kendrick Meek [D, FL-17]
Rep. Gregory Meeks [D, NY-6]
Rep. George Miller [D, CA-7]
Rep. R. Bradley Miller [D, NC-13]
Rep. Alan Mollohan [D, WV-1]
Rep. Dennis Moore [D, KS-3]
Rep. Gwen Moore [D, WI-4]
Rep. James Moran [D, VA-8]
Rep. Christopher Murphy [D, CT-5]
Rep. Patrick Murphy [D, PA-8]Rep. John Murtha [D, PA-12]

Rep. Jerrold Nadler [D, NY-8]
Rep. Grace Napolitano [D, CA-38]
Rep. Richard Neal [D, MA-2]
Rep. James Oberstar [D, MN-8]
Rep. David Obey [D, WI-7]
Rep. John Olver [D, MA-1]
Rep. Solomon Ortiz [D, TX-27]
Rep. Frank Pallone [D, NJ-6]
Rep. William Pascrell [D, NJ-8]
Rep. Edward Pastor [D, AZ-4]
Rep. Ronald Paul [R, TX-14]
Rep. Donald Payne [D, NJ-10]
Rep. Collin Peterson [D, MN-7]
Rep. Earl Pomeroy [D, ND-0]
Rep. David Price [D, NC-4]
Rep. Nick Rahall [D, WV-3]
Rep. Charles Rangel [D, NY-15]
Rep. Silvestre Reyes [D, TX-16]
Rep. Laura Richardson [D, CA-37]
Rep. Ciro Rodriguez [D, TX-23]
Rep. Mike Ross [D, AR-4]
Rep. Steven Rothman [D, NJ-9]
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard [D, CA-34]
Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger [D, MD-2]
Rep. Timothy Ryan [D, OH-17]
Rep. John Salazar [D, CO-3]
Rep. Linda Sanchez [D, CA-39]
Rep. Loretta Sanchez [D, CA-47]
Rep. John Sarbanes [D, MD-3]
Rep. Janice Schakowsky [D, IL-9]
Rep. Adam Schiff [D, CA-29]
Rep. Allyson Schwartz [D, PA-13]
Rep. David Scott [D, GA-13]
Rep. Robert (Bobby) Scott [D, VA-3]
Rep. Jose Serrano [D, NY-16]
Rep. Joe Sestak [D, PA-7]
Rep. Albio Sires [D, NJ-13]
Rep. Ike Skelton [D, MO-4]
Rep. Louise Slaughter [D, NY-28]
Rep. Adam Smith [D, WA-9]
Rep. Victor Snyder [D, AR-2]
Rep. Hilda Solis [D, CA-32]
Rep. Jackie Speier [D, CA-12]
Rep. John Spratt [D, SC-5]
Rep. Fortney Stark [D, CA-13]
Rep. Betty Sutton [D, OH-13]
Rep. Ellen Tauscher [D, CA-10]
Rep. Bennie Thompson [D, MS-2]
Rep. C. Michael Thompson [D, CA-1]
Rep. John Tierney [D, MA-6]
Rep. Edolphus Towns [D, NY-10]
Rep. Niki Tsongas [D, MA-5]
Rep. Tom Udall [D, NM-3]
Rep. Christopher Van Hollen [D, MD-8]
Rep. Nydia Velazquez [D, NY-12]
Rep. Peter Visclosky [D, IN-1]
Rep. Timothy Walz [D, MN-1]
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D, FL-20]
Rep. Maxine Waters [D, CA-35]
Rep. Melvin Watt [D, NC-12]
Rep. Henry Waxman [D, CA-30]
Rep. Peter Welch [D, VT-0]
Rep. Robert Wexler [D, FL-19]
Rep. Lynn Woolsey [D, CA-6]
Rep. David Wu [D, OR-1]
Rep. John Yarmuth [D, KY-3]

House of Representatives Members Abstaining from Voting on Hoekstra Amendment:
Rep. Leonard Boswell [D, IA-3]
Rep. William Delahunt [D, MA-10]
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson [R, MO-8]
Rep. Luis Fortuno [R, PR-0]
Rep. Wayne Gilchrest [R, MD-1]
Rep. Al Green [D, TX-9]
Rep. Eddie Johnson [D, TX-30]
Rep. Frank Lucas [R, OK-3]
Rep. Eleanor Norton [D, DC-0]
Rep. Bobby Rush [D, IL-1]Sources and Related Documents:

House Resolution 5959 – “Section 507. Jihadists”
July 16, 2008 – Congressional Record: Discussion on Hoekstra Amendment to H.R. 5959
July 16, 2008 – Press Release: Hoekstra Votes for Republican-Improved FY ’09 Intelligence Authorization Bill — Hoekstra Amendment on Radical Jihadists Approved
Official House Roll Call 500 Vote on Hoekstra Amendment
Open Congress: House Roll Call 500 Vote – On Agreeing to the Amendment: Amendment 4 to H R 5959
U.S. House of Representatives: Find and Write Your Representative
US Postal Service – Identifying Your Zip+4 Zip Code
House of Representatives Roll Call Votes
House Resolution 5959 Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009
May 8, 2008 – Jihad and U.S. Intelligence Resources — Counterterrorism Blog – by Jeffrey Imm
March 14, 2008 – National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) – Counter Terror Communications Center (CTCC) Memorandum, Volume 2, Issue 10 – “Words that Work and Words that Don’t: A Guide to Counterterrorism Communication”
January 2008 – Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties – Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims
“War of Ideas” Sources on the Debate over the Identity of the Jihadist Enemy
Petition on Defining the Jihadist Enemy




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