Congressman’s office denies committing to Muslims’ 9/11 march


Days after the American Muslim Political Action Committee announced on its Facebook page in no uncertain terms that U.S. Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., had agreed to participate in its so-called Million Americans March Against Fear, Cleaver’s office is saying that was a “miscommunication.”

In an email, Cleaver legislative assistant Mary Petrovic wrote:

emmaneulcleaver“The Congressman is not speaking at the Million Americans March Against Fear in DC on 9/11.

“[March organizer] MD Rabbi Alam is a constituent of Missouri’s Fifth District – and per his request – the Congressman was happy to meet with him in his Kansas City office last week.

“Regarding participation in and/or speaking at the march — I am not sure where the miscommunication took place.”

However the “miscommunication” took place, it must have been a doozy. The Facebook posting about Cleaver’s participation doesn’t leave any room for doubt. Here’s a screen shot of the American Political Committee’s Facebook announcement:


Alam was not available for comment Wednesday. Numerous attempts to reach him and other representatives of the Million Americans March were unsuccessful.

Cleaver Communications Director Michele Rooney could not be reached to explain why her office failed to issue a correction in response to the announcement. In an interview Monday with the Clarion Project website, she said,  “As for participation in the Million American March Against Fear on 9/11 in Washington D.C.—the Congressman is not participating in the event.”

In an interview for the same article, however, Alam maintained Cleaver was coming.

“We reached him and invited him. It is as simple as this. Congressman Cleaver knows me professionally and he knows us. We are real, not like you know me from Fox news or from some …  Islamo-phobic sources. Do not forget, your media always lied about me and my people and my group. Congressman Cleaver accepted our invitation to be speaking at our event on 9/11.”

So, on one side you have a group of Islamic “truthers” who maintain Muslims weren’t responsible for the 9/11 attacks. On the other you have an office that let incorrect information about a United States congressman’s speaking schedule on one of the most important calendar days of the year stay in the public domain for days on end without correcting it.

It’s worth remembering that this is the same congressman’s office that allowed the false claim that he was purposely spat upon by an anti-Obamacare protester in Washington in March of 2010 to linger in the media for days.

Was that “miscommunication” too?

UPDATE: Cleaver Communications Director Michele Rooney called a little after 5 to emphasize that neither Rep. Cleaver nor his staff had committed to be part of the march on Wednesday. When Cleaver spoke with Alam last week, Alam asked if the congressman would be available and was told to give the information about the event to Cleaver’s staff.

Apparently, he never followed through.

And for an event like 9/11, a congressman’s schedule is set well before a week beforehand anyway. As Petrovic wrote in her email: “I do know that neither of the Congressman’s schedulers (in DC or in KC) were ever made aware of this event, nor were they asked about the Congressman’s availability for participation. They have had the Congressman scheduled on 9/11 for numerous events, observances, and remembrances for many weeks in advance.”

So it’s the “truthers” that seem to have a problem with the truth here after all.


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