Rashida’s world of the banana republic and telephone justice

Rashida’s world of the banana republic and telephone justice

Michigan State representative Rashida Tlaib thinks she is a member of the legislative branch of a banana republic.

 Tlaib raised 15- year- old sexual harassment allegations against Imad Hamad, the former regional director of the ADC (American Arab anti-Discrimination Committee) and, along with a motley crew of who’s who of characters with an ax to grind and personal and other agendas and vendettas against ADC and Imad, succeeded in getting ADC to launch an investigation.

In the context of the manufactured crisis, Imad, sure of his innocence and respecting the process and the American system and procedure, offered to step aside while an independent investigation is conducted. ADC and Imad mutually agreed to this temporary stepping aside. ADC did the right thing by hiring a top attorney, a woman, specialized in sexual harassment claims and investigations, to do the investigation. This investigation, needless to say, was held in a hostile media environment where the stories were biased against Imad. Not only biased – the media, especially Free Press reporter Niraj Warikoo, gave a platform to the accusers, Rashida Tlaib and her sidekick Rana Abbas,  along with a number of usual suspects of “professional Arab” Americans to paint an awful picture of Imad in the media knowing that Imad will be hamstrung with his attorney telling him not to fight his battle in the media.
This was not an accident. Rashida et al's  strategy was intended to compensate for the fact that the matter lacked evidence at best or was manufactured. The game plan was to create a scandal, bring who's who of professional Arabs to pontificate about ADC's need to do the right thing, that is fire Imad without any due process.
To their great chagrin it did not work out that way. But the fact that it did not play out that way only increased the viciousness and the lobbying efforts by Rashida, the public face of the unholy crusade.

ADC is not an organization in a banana republic. Long time employees with a record of service and a ton of credibility have an expectation that they will lose their job only for cause. ADC, priding itself on being the premier Arab civil rights organization  could not just fire Imad on the basis of mere allegations, and stale ones for that matter, especially that an investigation ADC previously conducted on the matter exonerated Imad. It is important to note that ADC had received harassment allegations years before, investigated them properly, and the investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by Imad. Not only that. One of the key accusers, Rana Abbas, actually left ADC on good terms and kept a friendly relationship with the organization and its staff, a relationship that belie her being distraught about her ADC experience. [more on Rana blatant lies in another entry]

Rashida unethically used her position as  state official, using her letterhead and title, to create the scandal and lend an aura of credibility to the allegations.  I mean after all we all know that politicians "don't lie." Right?

Despite all the biased sensational media and the political pressure from the ax grinders and the back stabbers [more on that in another entry], the investigator could not conclude that Imad is guilty of the alleged offenses. This is remarkable given the political and media pressure and is testimony to the importance of due process and objective fact finders.

Still Tlaib and her motley crew of co-conspirators are still advocating for the discharge of Imad. Tlaib is calling around people, some say intimidating those who show support for Imad, using her office to have Imad fired.

Rashida is not interested in justice or in "protecting other women."
If she were interested in justice she would have accepted the judgment of a high-profile outside attorney who did not find evidence of wrongdoing from Imad. But Rashida has her own agenda. Rashida claims that the picture of Imad with two female interns made her snap and get the release out. She is basically saying she is an impulsive person. But she is continuing with her unholy crusade even after Imad is not the regional director but only an advisor for ADC. Rashida’s story does not add up and her continuing crusade is more evidence that Rashida has motivations that she is not sharing with the public.

More likely the scandal she has manufactured unethically using her position is a function of her associations- among these associations stand out her board membership of ADC rival organization, the ACRL, formed by former ADC board member Nabih Ayad. Incidentally, her board membership preceded the manufactured media scene by only a few months.

This episode reminds me of a lecture given by Supreme Court judge Steve Breyer. In one of the lectures that Justice Breyer gave he spoke about his experience attending an event with judges from the Russian federation. He said one person asked for an end to “telephone justice.” Telephone justice is when a party official calls the judge and tells him or her how to rule on a case.

In this country we have due process and the attorney who led the investigation in the Hamad case did her job professionally and honorably. The media and other antics and shenanigans related to the ADC issue are a variation of the telephone justice in the Russian federation.

 It is time that someone tells Rashida Tlaib that there is no telephone justice in the United States.


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