It’s interesting how things change in just a few years. In 2010, U.S. Muslim soldier Nasser Abdo appeared on Al-Jazeera TV (in full uniform) to denounce the U.S. Abdo never got in trouble for doing this; he was only charged for allegedly possessing child porn and later still allegedly planning to massacre U.S. Troops, a la Nidal Hasan.
On or about the same time, U.S. Muslim soldier Zachari Klawonn went on Al-Jazeera TV (in full uniform) to denounce the U.S.
And if CNSNews.com is accurate, not only did Klawonn not get in trouble for doing this, but the Army actually approved of his right to do it. Author Dan Joseph writes:
A spokesman for Fort Hood told CNSNews.com that, as an American, Klawonn had a right to express his views and that he had informed his commanding officer that he was going to appear on Al-Jazeera. The spokesman said the Army did not agree with what Klawonn said.
The article continues:
Chris Haug, Army branch chief of media relations for Fort Hood, told CNSNews.com that Klawonn has the right to share his personal opinions with the media, even though the Army disagrees with the statements Klawonn made, which Haug said were “inaccurate.”
“He’s an American citizen” Haug said. “As long as there is no security risk, the military can’t stop him from speaking to groups like Al-Jazeera or saying these type of things.”
Haug said Klawonn informed his battalion commander that he would be speaking to Al-Jazeera.
“(Klawonn) informed Lt. Col. Douglas White about this interview on August 24th at 8:23 a.m.,” Haug said. “He expressed an interest in raising the Muslim awareness around the post--to express a positive image for Muslims, and so forth. He’s been working directly with our spiritual fitness center. There’s been quite a bit of movement in terms of movement in the Muslim community in a very positive way.”
That was 2010. Are the rules no longer the same, or is the Obama Administration enforcing a double standard for military members of different religious faiths?
(An extended version of this column appears at the Foreign and Domestic Intelligencer.)