President Barack Obama’s new Islamic envoy, Rashad Hussain, changed course Friday — admitting that he made sharply critical statements about a U.S. terror prosecution against a Muslim professor after initially saying he had no recollection of making such comments.
“I made statements on that panel that I now recognize were ill-conceived or not well-formulated,” Hussain said, referring to a 2004 conference at which he discussed the case.
The comments themselves were fairly innocuous. He never gave on opinion one way or another about the details of Al Arian's case. Instead, he made a general statement about Bush administration policies. These statements are fairly typical of a mindset of many on the left.
This appears to be a case of "it's not the crime but the cover up". The administration initially denied he made them at all. They only backed down after Politico got hold of tape of the event. As such, they inherently condemned the comments themselves. So, now, they are stuck having to defend these comments after taking a totally different stance entirely earlier.