We've by now seen the news reports that a terrorist donated large amounts of money to the Republican Congressional Committee. The man, Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari (who went by the alias 'Michael Mixon') has been indicted on, among other things, sending money to fund a terror training camp in Afghanistan.
But what is interesting is to look at the dates.
From April 2002 until August 2004, the man also known as "Michael Mixon" gave donations ranging from $500 to $5,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to Federal Election Commission reports and two campaign donor tracking Web sites, www.politicalmoneyline.com and www.opensecrets.org.
Why would a supporter of terrorism in Afghanistan suddenly start supporting Republicans in April of 2002?
Well, that is almost exactly when the Bush administration and other Republicans started talking about shifting their focus away from Afghanistan to Iraq.
I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority...."
"I am truly not that concerned about him [in response to a question about bin Laden]."
Both quotes by George W. Bush, March 13, 2002
In other words, during the period in question, the Bush administration was specifically de-emphasizing the war in Afghanistan in order to change their focus to Iraq. Democrats (especially Al Gore, who in 2002 was considered likely to run again in 2004) were sharply critical and suggested pushing harder in Afghanistan.
I'm not suggesting that there was any quid pro quo with Mr. Alishtari's donations (which in the overall scheme of things probably did not make much difference). What I am suggesting is simply that a terrorist supporting other terrorists in Afghanistan saw that what the President and the GOP was doing was going to help his friends (those who attacked us on 9/11) and therefore did what he could to push the Republican agenda forward. The Republican party has claimed they had no idea who he was and I believe them. But they should heed the call to give back the money now that it is known.
And he was right, Bush policy has helped them.