The Enemy Within Our Citadel

“’Islam is a religion of peace’ is fine for public policy statements, but is not and cannot be the point of departure for competent military or intelligence analysis…it is in fact a logical flaw under any professional research methodology…you have stated the conclusion before you have done the analysis.” – LTC Joseph Myers

By Sean Osborne, Associate Director, Military Affairs

8 January 2008: Over the past couple of weeks, I have made much of the revelation from Bill Gertz’ “Inside the Ring” that Major (US Army Reserve) Stephen Coughlin, the Pentagon Joint Staff’s Islamic law specialist was the apparent victim of an Islamofascist conspiracy, the intent and substance of which was noted by Gertz as an effort “to try and discredit Major Coughlin as a ‘Christian extremist with a pen’ and force him out of the building.

What was it that our Pentagon expert on Islam did with his pen that so upset the Islamofascists within the Pentagon? Major Coughlin dared to specifically identify in an official memorandum the extremist Islamofascist organizations (read: “front groups”) within the United States to whom our Department of Defense is running an “outreach” program. This “outreach” program is under the leadership of Hasham ISLAM, a close and pro-Islamofascist aide to Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon R. England.

Which of several pro-Islamofascist groups did Major Coughlin identify with his pen as having direct ties to the extremist Muslim Brotherhood (al-Muslimuun al-Ikhwan)? The Islamic Society of North America for one. Anyone who has spend a modicum of time reading and listening to the principals of the Northeast Intelligence Network for at least the last six months should know by rote the inter-relationships being referenced by Major Steven Coughlin in his memorandum, particularly in our coverage of the Holy Land Foundation trial (declared, in part, a mistrial) in Dallas, Texas.

On Friday, January 4, Bill Gertz again led all media in breaking the news about what transpired within the Pentagon regarding Major Coughlin’s memorandum. He has been sacked, fired from his job at the end of his contract in March 2008. The Islamofascist’s and their Dhimmi’s within the United States Department of Defense have won the day and silenced a truth-teller. How is it we are waging this war against the supremacist ideology of Islam when its most devout adherents are embedded within the U.S. department tasked to engage and defeat them across the entire planet?

I’ll say it point blank - the United States Department of Defense has been compromised at the Joint Staff level by the very Islamofascist enemy we are fighting. No question about it.

In keeping with my long-established ‘Rules of Engagement’ with Lt. Col Joseph Myers, I was very reluctant to publish his private e-mail correspondence I received last Friday. That e-mail was also sent to many other people, and in a subsequent overtaking by events, has been published, albeit unauthorized, across the internet. LTC Myers’ email is a reaction to Bill Gertz most recent “Inside the Ring” column linked above. Since the e-mail has already been widely rebroadcast across the Internet, I’m sharing Joe’s e-mail with all of you, direct from my inbox. He nails it as usual. It is imperative that everyone who is interested in WINNING the war we are fighting – and interested in understanding why we are NOT winning, needs to read the words of LTC Myers carefully:

MAJ (USAR) Stephen Coughlin is to my knowledge the only Islamic Law scholar on the Joint Staff…

He is a lawyer by training and a reserve Military Intelligence Officer. His first interface with Islamic Law began in Pakistan where he was investigating and prosecuting an intellectual property rights case about 10 years ago. Reviewing Pakistani property rights law, he kept seeing footnoted references to the Quran and sharia law…

I have long argued and wondered why our military from senior leaders down to tactical level are so unread and unstudied on Islam, jihad in Islam, even the topic of terrorism. I have often contrasted this unconscionable wartime state of affairs, with the due diligence the US military showed since I was a cadet at West Point 30 years ago, where we lived, ate, slept and drank Soviet warfighting doctrine…it was the threat we oriented on and we developed our own doctrine around– “AirLand Battle” in the early 1980’s.

Yet today we are in the process of prosecuting war, that from doctrinal perspective, we fundamentally do not understand. Over two years I have had 90 of the Army’s top majors come through ACSC, across all branches including MI and special operations forces, and only one had read a book with the title Understanding Terror Networks, that by Marc Sageman…

Just before Christmas I presented a lecture on Understanding Terrorist and Insurgent Support Systems to an interagency audience at the Joint Special Operations University, that included Joint Staff and Joint Command officers, DIA and other IC reps, DHS and law enforcement… there, two people had read Sageman’s work…two out of the special ops community. The third individual was Sageman himself.

More importantly we have not studied Islamic Law and few have seen or heard of even the English translation of it that has been in print for years, none had at JSOU or had read a work titled Understanding Jihad or even The Quranic Concept of War…I can go on but let me be frank.

This failure of intellectual preparation is a leadership failure, and it is as the 9-11 Commission warned, a failure of vision.

We have spent much intellectual capitol revamping and analyzing our own doctrine as it relates to counterinsurgency…it’s time we do our homework on the threat.

Coughlin has briefed senior Marine Corps leaders and staff and has presented his thesis in various military educational venues…by all accounts the veil of ignorance is lifted for all but only a few who are afraid to face what Islamic Law, doctrinal Islam, says and means with respect to jihad and how it plays out across the Islamic world from al Qaida, to the Saudi government, to Pakistan to the Muslim Brotherhood…

What Coughlin did was provide the epiphany in his over 300-page Joint Military Intelligence College thesis titled, “To Our Great Detriment”: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad” that is meticulously documented and powerfully argued.

In short, he argues we have in fact intellectually pre-empted our military decision making process and intelligence preparation of the battlefield process, the critical step 3—“evaluate the threat.” Strategically we have failed to do that by substituting policy for military analysis, for substituting cliché for competent decision processes.

We began on September 12, 2001 with “Islam is a religion of peace” which soothed ideological sentiments of many but has failed us strategically, short-stopped the objective evaluation of the doctrine of the enemy we face.

“Islam is a religion of peace” is fine for public policy statements, but is not and cannot be the point of departure for competent military or intelligence analysis…it is in fact a logical flaw under any professional research methodology…you have stated the conclusion before you have done the analysis.

If one has studied the implication of the Holy Land Foundation trial discovery documents as I have, as a former DIA senior military analyst, and understanding as even Bill Gertz has written in his book, Enemies about the dismal record of our counter-intelligence one has to wonder and question the extent we are in fact penetrated in government and academia by foreign agents of influence, the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamists and those who truly in essence do not share our social compact.

The termination of Stephen Coughlin on the Joint Staff is an act of intellectual cowardice.

We can only hope he can be positioned in his next venue to continue to educate our military for the fight we are in– if we don’t understand the war and the enemy we are engaged against we remain vulnerable and we cannot win.

No victory in the war on terror.

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