By Mark Hensch
June 14, 2016
Newt Gingrich said resurrecting the House Un-American Activities Committee could help defeat radical Islam.
“We originally created the House Un-American Activities Committee to go after the Nazis,” he said Monday on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.”
“We passed several laws in 1938 and 1939 to go after the Nazis,” the former GOP House speaker added. "We made it illegal to help the Nazis. We are presently going to have to take similar steps here. We’re going to take much tougher positions.
"We’re going to ultimately declare war on Islamic supremacists and we’re going to say, ‘If you pledge allegiance to [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria], you are a traitor and you’ve lost your citizenship.'”
Gingrich’s comments came a day after the worst mass shooting in American history killed 49 people and wounded 53 others early Sunday morning.
Authorities identified the gunman as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old born to Afghan immigrant parents, following his death at the scene of the crime in Orlando.
Mateen, a U.S. citizen from St. Port Lucie, Fla., allegedly voiced support for ISIS during the massacre. His targeting of Pulse, a gay nightclub, has fueled speculation his rampage was motivated by anti-LBGT sentiment.
The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) formed in 1938 with the purpose of rooting out American citizens with Communist or Nazi ties. It became a permanent committee in 1945, ultimately focusing its efforts on suspected communists both real and imagined.
Public opinion gradually turned against HUAC over its use of tactics against citizens accused of anti-American sympathies.
“In the fifties, the most effective sanction was terror,” The Harvard Crimson wrote of HUAC’s style in a February 1964 op-ed.
“Almost any publicity from HUAC meant the ‘blacklist.' Without a chance to clear his name, a witness would suddenly find himself without friends and without a job.”
HUAC was renamed the House Internal Security Committee in 1969 before eventually disbanding in 1975 during the 94th Congress.
Gingrich is supporting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who called for a ban on Muslim immigration after the shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., earlier this year.
Trump used a lengthy address in New Hampshire on Monday to defend his controversial call and also broadened his argument, suggesting that the American way of life is imperiled by large-scale legal immigration. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee noted that the gunman’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Afghanistan.
“The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here. That is a fact, and it’s a fact we need to talk about,” Trump said.
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