Senator: Dropping 'Islamic extremism' term is 'Orwellian and counterproductive'

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on Sunday called the administration's proposal to avoid the term "Islamic extremism" in national security references "absolutely Orwellian and counterproductive."

Lieberman revealed on "Fox News Sunday" that he had sent a letter to the president's top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, saying in part: "The failure to identify our enemy for what it is, violent Islamist extremism, is offensive and contradicts thousands of years of accepted military and intelligence doctrine to know your enemy."

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The chairman of the Homeland Security Committee said the letter was the product of him growing "so frustrated" with the White House over the terminology issue. He said the Defense Department omitted references to "violent Islamist extremism" in its report on the massacre at Fort Hood.

"Clearly, from the record, [Nidal Malik Hasan] was motivated by Islamist extremism, and they didn't mention that term there," Lieberman said.

"This is not honest," the senator said, adding that by dropping the clarification of extremism, "we disrespect the overwhelming majority of Muslims who are not extremists."

Lieberman said that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were not carried out by "some amorphous group of violent extremists or environmental extremists or white supremacist extremists."

"It's absolutely Orwellian and counterproductive to the fight that we're fighting at risk of great life every day to stop violent extremism of an Islamist base," he said.


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