Republican Congressman Justin Amash, an uncompromising critic of Obama’s NSA Stasi has survived a savage mauling by a surveillance state backed opponent to win his Michigan primary. Amash who leans libertarian, earned the hatred of the establishment when he teamed up with Democrat John Conyers to introduce legislation to clamp down on unconstitutional mass domestic spying programs after the Edward Snowden revelations. H.R. 2399 aka The LIBERT-E Act would have effectively put a choke-chain on the NSA’s bulk collection of American telephone records drew much support before going down 217-205 in a wretched display of circling the wagons to preserve the status quo.
The sinking of the Amash-Conyers effort was truly a bipartisan accomplishment with the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Mike Rogers, Dutch Ruppersberger (his district includes Ft. Meade), Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, John Boehner and Michelle Bachmann all throwing in with the bad guys. The very concept that a guy like Amash could mount such a rebellion was so offensive to the entrenched corrupt power structure in Washington that the Obama White House set up an emergency briefing led by General Keith Alexander, the sitting NSA commandant. Amash’s efforts were extinguished but the knives were being sharpened.
The primary challenger for Michigan’s Third Congressional District seat was a man named Brian Ellis. Ellis, a well-funded cookie-cutter stooge ran a campaign so slimy and unprincipled that it conjured memories of the legendary Saxby Chambliss-Max Cleeland Georgia Senate race back in 2002. That was where Chambliss, a chickenhawk who dodged serving his country during Vietnam by amassing multiple draft deferments smeared Cleeland, a man who left three limbs on the battlefield in ads implying that he was sympathetic to Osama bin Laden. Amash was subjected to the same diabolical insinuations, being called out as “Al Qaeda’s best friend in Congress” in Ellis campaign ads .
The Guardian reports on the Amash win in a story entitled “Justin Amash Wins Michigan Republican Primary” from which I excerpt the following:
A leading congressional critic of the National Security Agency, Justin Amash, successfully fended off political attacks on his patriotism on Thursday in a lively night of primary elections that also saw incumbents defeat a reindeer farmer from Michigan and radiologist who posted morbid X-rays on Facebook.
Amash – who led the first attempt in the House of Representatives to rein in the NSA after revelations of mass domestic surveillance by Edward Snowden – comfortably defeated Brian Ellis for the Republican party nomination in Michigan’s third district.
Ellis had campaigned heavily against Amash’s record on privacy issues and his separate calls for the closure of Guantánamo Bay, enlisting military veterans to record attack adverts that referred to him as “al-Qaida’s best friend in Congress”.
Amash’s well-funded challenger was also supported by powerful elements in Washington’s security establishment, including House intelligence committee chair Mike Rogers, making this primary election perhaps the first real test of public support for NSA critics at the ballot box.
It figures that outgoing House Intelligence boss Mike Rogers would be so supportive of Amash’s opponent. His wife served as a lobbyist for the telecommunications industry which never seems to get mentioned during any of Rogers’ numerous Sunday morning propaganda show appearances. That however is par for the course in a system that is rotten to the core with corruption and conflicts of interest.
In victory Amash justifiably denounced his opponent for the gutter tactics and refused to accept the customary concession call, instead going on the attack which is exactly why he belongs in Congress. The Washington Post writes of “Justin Amash’s absolutely amazing victory speech”:
Politicians who win campaigns, no matter how dirty, will almost always kiss and make up with their political opponents in their election-night speeches.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), of course, is not your average politician.
After defeating a Chamber of Commerce-backed candidate in his primary by 14 percentage points on Tuesday, the Ron Paul ally set about settling a few scores.
Former congressman Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who backed challenger Brian Ellis? “You are a disgrace. And I’m glad we could hand you one more loss before you fade into total obscurity and irrelevance.” (Hoekstra lost the state’s 2012 Senate race — and in the 2010 gubernatorial primary.)
Ellis? “You owe my family and this community an apology for your disgusting, despicable smear campaign. You had the audacity to try and call me today after running a campaign that was called the nastiest in the country. I ran for office to stop people like you.”
Ellis in one ad referred to a quote from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who labeled Amash “Al Qaeda’s best friend in Congress.”
In a later TV interview, Amash said: “I’m an Arab-American, and he has the audacity to say I’m al-Qaeda’s best friend in Congress? That’s pretty disgusting.”
Guys like Justin Amash are the ultimate enemies of the corrupt bipartisan con-job that is ongoing in Washington and it’s time for Americans to start lining up behind truth-tellers and challengers of that putrid establishment. It is long past due to stick the nozzle of a gigantic enema bag into appropriate orifice of the D.C. Beltway and give the rubber bulb a good hard squeeze.
This November 4th is the next chance to do exactly that.