Newspaper defense of Wasserman-Schultz falls flat, veers to death of Seth Rich

Imran Awan

Imran Awan is at the heart of a scandal involving the House IT sector. He was arrested July 24 and is facing federal charges. (Snip: Fox Business)

It didn’t surprise me to see the Florida newspaper Sun-Sentinel attempt to defend former DNC chair and current congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz. Nothing surprises me when it come to politics.

Readers, however, deserve a complete account of Schultz’s decision to continue to keep a controversial staffer employed. The paper deserves a double thump on the head for attempting to tie questions about conspiracy theories about the death of young DNC staffer Seth Rich into the case of Imran Awan who is, the paper said, “a naturalized citizen from Pakistan.” 

Most media haven’t covered this case. It is hard to ignore. Some members of Congress who also employed Awan serve on the House Intel Committee.

Even The Miami-Herald, not exactly a reservoir of conservative opinion, seems to understand the seriousness of the Awan affair:

“When a computer expert who worked for congressional Democrats was accused of stealing computers and data systems in February, members of Congress cut him loose within days, leaving Imran Awan with no supporters five months later.

Except for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.”

Only The Daily Caller, a publication on the other side of the leftist aisle most publications reside on these days, has followed this case from its inception. Other media have since begun to cover it, in varying degrees depending upon the publication’s bias.

For instance, conservative site The Daily Signal and others noted Wasserman Shultz has already been caught making a dishonest claim. After trying to prohibit Capitol Police from taking a laptop, and giving the public the idea it was hers, the Florida congresswoman reversed position saying the laptop actually belonged to Awan. She went to great lengths in her attempts to block search and discovery of that laptop. Why?

Thus far, media say Awan faces bank fraud charges. However, as the investigation proceeds, we don’t know what else might turn up. Awan’s access to networks in Congress, because of his IT position, would have opened a great deal of information to him. The Daily Caller’s early coverage included this:

“After Awan began working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005, three of his relatives, including a 20-year old brother, as well as his best friend, appeared on other House members’ payrolls at salaries on par with congressional salaries. They have collected $4 million since 2010 despite being rarely seen.

House authorities told members’ chiefs of staffs on Feb. 2 that the Awans were targets of a criminal probe, and other members fired them.”

Awan’s lawyer, reportedly a Clinton heavy-hitter, chalked up the scandal to “anti-Muslim bigotry.” [Miami Herald story]

TDC has also reported Awan has been liquidating his US assets. He was arrested at the airport, bound for Pakistan. His wife left the US for Pakistan earlier.

Running interference for a suspect and for the congresswoman who enabled the suspect’s access to government networks is dangerous. This is exactly what US legacy media did before 9-11-2001. Newspapers downplayed the threat of Osama bin Laden in the final years of Bill Clinton’s presidency, relying on the anti-Muslim assertion, mistakenly referring to “racist” terminology:

“And if the word “terrorism” is now little more than racist terminology against Arabs, it also serves to silence the question “Why?”

In April, 1999, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, The New York Times ran a headline attempting to push aside fears of bin Laden’s terrorism potential. The header: “U.S. Hard Put to Find Proof Bin Laden Directed Attacks.” [Pg. 343, 1st print edition 2004]

The breadth of information Awan had access to, coupled with his own actions, suggests a special counsel is needed. Will Republicans brave up and actually do an investigation with teeth? Doubtful, if past is an indication of the future. Don’t look to Dems either. Shultz is one of their own in every sense of the word.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Aug. 7, 2017)

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