When Ted Cruz called for strengthening police patrols of Muslim neighborhoods after the Brussels attacks, it was shortly after he had hired one of America’s most prominent “Islamophobes” (in the words of the Southern Poverty Law Center) and conspiracy theorists to be his top foreign policy and security adviser. What a dubious choice:
Frank Gaffney is so well-known as a conspiracy theorist that it appears in the first sentence of his Wikipedia article – and it comes with eight citations. If you comb the Internet, there are plenty more citations you could find.
Ted Cruz had this to say about his choice when forced to defend it on CNN in the video below:
- “Frank Gaffney is a serious thinker who has been focused on fighting jihadism, fighting jihadism across the globe, and he’s endured attacks from the left, from the media, because he speaks out against radical Islamic terrorism.”
The Daily Beast reported on December 15, 2015 about four more compliments by Ted Cruz for Frank Gaffney:
- December 14, 2015 Ted Cruz sent a video message to his buddy’s Nevada National Security Action Summit, in which he praised Gaffney without equivocation. “I’m so sorry I can’t be there in person,” he said in the video, “but I want to thank Frank Gaffney and the entire team at the Center for Security Policy for elevating these critical issues.” “Frank, a patriot, he loves this country, and he is clear-eyed about the incredible threat of radical Islamic terrorism,” Cruz added.
- Ted Cruz also sent a video message to Gaffney’s July 25, 2015, New Hampshire National Security Summit, calling the organizer a “good friend.”
- In March 2015 , Cruz appeared in person at Gaffney’s South Carolina National Security Action Summit—an event that Breitbart News co-sponsored—where he lavished praise on the birther. “Frank Gaffney, the one and only,” Cruz said at that event, “you are a clarion voice for truth.”
- He also appeared in person at Gaffney’s “Defeat Jihad Summit” in February 2015 where he praised his conspiratorial organization. “This is an important gathering,” Cruz said at that event. “Let me say thank you to the Center for Security Policy for its leadership, for the Secure Freedom Strategy, a comprehensive serious strategy addressing the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.” Secure Freedom Strategy is authored by a group called “The Tiger Team” and calls for identifying the Muslim Brotherhood’s operatives, “overt and covert.”
If only that were the only thing he “speaks out against.”
The Center for American Progress catalogued much of Gaffney’s writings in “The Islamophobia misinformation experts.“ The center writes: “All are actively promoting the deeply mistaken portrayal of Islam—a religion of nearly 1.6 billion people worldwide, including 2.6 million Americans—as an inherently violent ideology that seeks domination over the United States and all non-Muslims.”
Which aggressive and hostile nonsense did Frank Gaffney told the American public, whom Ted Cruz admires and trusts and praised no less than five times?
Here the 10 worst examples of his hate propaganda:
- On Obama’s faith he wrote for the Washington Times on June 9, 2009: There’s “mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.”
- He went further in a May 23, 2011 article for the Washington Times: “Obama has an openness (to put it mildly) to bringing the [Muslim] Brotherhood to power.”
- On Obama’s anti-missile initiatives, Gaffney wrote on June 30, 2010 for Family Security Matters: “Team Obama’s anti-anti-missile initiatives are not simply acts of unilateral disarmament of the sort to be expected from an Alinsky acolyte. They seem to fit an increasingly obvious and worrying pattern of official U.S. submission to Islam and the theo-political-legal program the latter’s authorities call Shariah.”
- On his Muslim Brotherhood theories he had this to say on January 30, 2011 for Big Peace: “It is now public knowledge that nearly every major Muslim organization in the United States is actually controlled by the MB [Muslim Brotherhood] or a derivative organization. Consequently, most of the Muslim American groups of any prominence in America are now known to be, as a matter of fact, hostile to the United States and its Constitution.”As the “smoking gun” evidence, according to the Center for American Progress, Gaffney cites one decades-old document called “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” written by just one member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
- One of his many statements on Shariah law appeared on June 30, 2010 in Family Security Matters on the subject of the proposed mosque at the former World Trade Center: “The Ground Zero mosque is designed to be a permanent, in-our-face beachhead for Shariah, a platform for inspiring the triumphalist ambitions of the faithful.”
- In a January 31, 2011 article for the Washington Times, he said this: “Most of the Muslim-American groups of any prominence in America are now known to be, as a matter of fact, hostile to the United States and its Constitution.”
- More recently on Sharia law he told this to Breitbart News Daily on April 6, 2016: “This is what we are seeing now—tolerated, ignored, accommodated for years in Europe, and now there are parts of the United States where it is beginning to manifest itself as well,” he told Breitbart News Daily on April 6, 2016.
- On a secret plan of Obama to attack Israel he wrote for Breitbart on March 20, 2011 about the no-fly zone over Libya: “What I find particularly concerning is the prospect that what we might call the Qaddafi Precedent will be used in the not-to-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel.”
- On March 12, 2009 on Hardball with Chris Matthews he made a case for a link between Saddam Hussein and the Oklahoma City bombings: “He [Saddam] kept saying he was going to try to get even against us for Desert Storm, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable for people to conclude maybe that that’s what he was doing. There is also circumstantial evidence, not proven by any means, but none the less some pretty compelling circumstantial evidence of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq being involved with the people who perpetrated both the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and even the Oklahoma City bombing.”
- On the connection between a new government logo and Islamism he had this to say for the website Breitbart on February 24, 2010: “The new MDA shield appears ominously to reflect a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star with the Obama campaign logo,” he wrote for Breitbart in 2010. “Watch this space as we identify and consider various, ominous and far more clear-cut acts of submission to Shariah by President Obama and his team.”
Next, a few things about who Frank Gaffney is.
- Like many other people in politics, he actually has strong academic credentials, including degrees from arguably the best foreign-policy schools in the world, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins.
- He actually worked in the Defense Department of the Reagan Administration as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and even as acting Assistant Secretary for a bit.
- He has a history of becoming publicly critical of people and organizations that shun him, which happened with Reagan after Gaffney was forced out of the Pentagon.
- After his relatively brief time in government he started a think tank in Washington, D.C., in 1988 called the Center for Security Policy.
- His business model: He makes a bit over $300,000 a year leading his think tank funded by donors. His radical organization has been supported financially by major U.S. corporations and foundations, including Boeing ($25,000 in one year), Lockheed Martin ($15,000 in one year), Northrup Grumman ($15,000 in one year), General Electric ($5,000 in one year), the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation ($800,000 over a decade), and the Scaife foundations ($3 million over a decade), according to Salon and Think Progress.
- The think tank received about $20 million in revenue between 2002 and 2009, according to Think Progress.
- Anders Breivik, the Norway terrorist, cited Gaffney and his nonsense think tank seven times in his writings used his arguments to justify his terror and killing many young people in Norway, according to Think Progress. In a report from July 25, 2011 Think Progress writes: ” Right-wing pundits and bloggers were quick to leap to judgement that the Norwegian terror attacks were the work of al-Qaeda or an Islamic terrorist. But the news that the attacker had blond hair and blue eyes and was inspired by right-wing “counterjihad” bloggers suddenly turned the tables on many of the bloggers and supposed “terrorism experts.” Anders Breivik’s manifesto contains numerous in-text and footnoted citations to prominent Islamophobic bloggers, supposed experts on Islamic terrorism and think tanks claiming to be on the frontlines of battling Islam’s attacks on democracies. Individuals cited in Breivik’s manifesto include: Center for Security Policy‘s President Frank Gaffney; “counterjihad” bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer; Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Director Steven Emerson; Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes; and controversial historian Bat Ye’or.” So Frank Gaffney had an inspiring effect in 2011: in Norway. With 77 mainly young people killed by a mad, with Gaffney’s center 7times arguing terrorist. Norway’s terrorist Anders Breivik cited him often – now want-to-be-US-president Ted Cruz.
All this raises the question: Why would Cruz choose him? How can you take advise from someone who has made so many unhinged statements in the past? With Ted Cruz’ positions in foreign affairs still vague.
The answer may be simple. Fear and hate sell well today in the Republican party and with simple minded Americans.
Ted Cruz thinks Americans are so scared of terrorism that they’re looking for an implicitly if not explicitly anti-Muslim tone to foreign policy, and the liabilities of Frank Gaffney are not so steep in an electorate that is supposedly sick of “politically correct” talk.