Fox trumpets CAIR conspiracy theory charges made by author with anti-Islam history

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN, ADAM SHAH & JOCELYN FONG

Repeated Fox News segments reported that, in Bret Baier's words, "Republican lawmakers say the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, is trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill by placing interns in key positions," an allegation stemming from a right-wing book whose author has a history of making outrageous and anti-Islamic assertions and is published by WorldNetDaily, which has its own history of making outrageous allegations and inflammatory remarks. Moreover, the document that Republican Reps. Sue Myrick (NC), John Shadegg (AZ), Paul Broun (GA), and Trent Franks (AZ) cited as evidence of CAIR's alleged activities is stolen and does not support their claims.

Fox News reports ignored context of allegations that CAIR is "trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill"

From the October 15 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:

BILL HEMMER (co-host): Who is working on Capitol Hill? Four House Republicans, members of the Anti-Terror Caucus, asking for an investigation into whether or not interns are being planted in the offices of lawmakers who handle issues of national security.

Sue Myrick, Trent Franks, Paul Broun, and John Shadegg say they are troubled by an internal memo from a Council on American-Islamic Relations, also known as CAIR. They say the group tried to plant interns in certain offices with connections to homeland security and national intelligence.

It's worth pointing out the FBI cut ties with CAIR because of the group's links to support a terror network for Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization, a branch of that.

From the October 14 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:

BRET BAIER (host): Intelligence officials say the head of Afghanistan's Al Qaeda operations contacted an Afghan native suspected of planning to attack New York's mass transit system. Mustafa Abu al-Yazid used an intermediary to communicate allegedly with Najibullah Zazi as he hatched his plot. Zazi has pleaded not guilty to conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction.

Republican lawmakers say the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, is trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill by placing interns in key positions. They want the House sergeant-at-arms to investigate whether CAIR installed interns on the homeland security, intelligence, and judiciary committees.

BROUN [video clip]: If an organization is connected to or supports terrorists is running influence operations or planting spies in key national security-related congressional offices, I think this needs to be made known.

BAIER: CAIR calls the allegation racist and an insidious attack on Muslims.

Allegations are based on stolen, "fairly straight forward public relations and lobbying strategy" document

Politico: Memo "basically lays out a fairly straight forward public relations and lobbying strategy." The Politico reported that the lawmakers calling for an investigation into CAIR based on the allegations made in P. David Gaubatz's book Muslim Mafia "also released a one page 'strategy' document they said they obtained from CAIR. But the document basically lays out a fairly straight forward public relations and lobbying strategy and indeed, one of the goals is 'placing Muslim interns in congressional offices' and registering people to vote.' " Shadegg, one of the four representatives calling for an investigation into CAIR, stated that the "memo [was] obtained through Paul Sperry's [and co-author Gaubatz's] newest book Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that's Conspiring to Islamize America."

Memo was apparently stolen by conservative activist who went "underground as an intern for CAIR." WorldNetDaily described the book's beginning "as a real-life, heart-pounding thriller, with Chris Gaubatz, the son of co-author David Gaubatz, preparing to go underground as an intern for CAIR at its Herndon, Va., office. ... Along with declassified government documents, the book unveils thousands of e-mails, faxes and internal memos that were never meant for public viewing."

Stolen memo is latest example of theft on the part of conservative activists. In a September 22 blog post, RedState.com managing editor Erick Erickson analyzed "a list of [ACORN CEO] Bertha Lewis's contacts" that "just showed up one day unsolicited" from "a credible source who is no fan of ACORN." Erickson claimed, "We did not ask for it. We did not expect to get it. But now that we have it, we should see who is in there." The private contact list was apparently obtained without Lewis' knowledge or permission, adding possible theft to a growing list of questionable tactics used in conservative attacks on ACORN.

Lawmakers cite Gaubatz's book in press conference charging that CAIR has tried to plant "spies"

Myrick: Gaubatz's "investigative team" unearthed "documentation" on which charges of infiltration are based. During the October 14 press conference in which four congressional Republicans charged that CAIR has tried to plant "spies" on Capitol Hill, Myrick stated, "About a year ago I learned that CAIR was trying to infiltrate the offices of members of Congress by placing interns in the offices, but I could not substantiate the rumor, as I had no documentation to that effect. Now, however, author Paul Sperry and his co-author's investigative team have unearthed the 2007 memo written by CAIR which documents their stated intentions and goals to place interns in congressional offices, supposedly for the purposes of influencing the policies of those members." Myrick wrote a foreword for Muslim Mafia. [Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus press conference, 10/14/09]

Shadegg: Gaubatz's book "provides stunning documentation." During the press conference, Shadegg held up a copy of Gaubatz's book, Muslim Mafia, and stated, "We are here saying that we need an informed politic -- body politic. We need informed Americans to understand the threats against this country, and knowing the kinds of things that are in these books is very important. The latest book provides stunning documentation of many of the things that are said in it with regard to the activities of CAIR." [Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus press conference, 10/14/09]

Shadegg appeared with Muslim Mafia at press conference. The following photo was posted in an October 14 TPM Muckraker article:

shadegg

Muslim Mafia author Gaubatz's history of outrageous statements

Gaubatz: Obama is "our Muslim leader." In a June 5 blog post, Gaubatz wrote: "What our Muslim leader Obama may not have calculated: Our country will not allow Israel or America to be destroyed by Islamic terrorists and their Obama supporters. Americans will stand up this time and help our friends. We will not sit down as in 1942 and allow our friends to be massacred." [DG Counter-terrorism Publishing, 6/5/09]

Gaubatz: "Hussain [sic] has forgotten America does not belong to him or his Muslim family." Gaubatz wrote on his blog: "Only Islamic terrorists, their supporters, and very naive news media use the word 'Muslim World' (Ummah). Unless I am mistaken there is only one 'World' with humans, and Americans have yet to give our little slice of land to the Muslims, although Barack Hussain Obama is doing his damnest to do so. Hussain has forgotten America does not belong to him or his Muslim family. America belongs to Americans and Israel belongs to the Israelis." [DG Counter-terrorism Publishing, 6/4/09]

Gaubatz reportedly said last year: "[A] vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia Law." The Politico reported: "The author of the book [Muslim Mafia], Dave Gaubatz, an anti-Islam activist who wrote last year that 'a vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia Law.' " [Politico, 10/14/09]

Gaubatz asked: "How much information do we have on Carson and Congressman Keith Ellison?" In an October 14 blog post titled, "Help Raise funds to legally destroy terrorist supporting groups," Gaubatz posted a photo of Rep. André Carson (D-IN), which was captioned, "One of your leading elected officials (supporter of CAIR) with researcher Chris Gaubatz. How much information do we have on Carson and Congressman Keith Ellison?" Carson and Ellison (D-MN) are the only Muslim members of Congress. [DG Counter-terrorism Publishing, 10/14/09]

Gaubatz brought up Wright, Obama while claiming that D.C.-area mosques promote "Sharia law." In an interview with FrontpageMag.com, Gaubatz said: "The prior volatile statements made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright are trivial in relation to the violent ideology being taught at both of these large Islamic Centers. If an agent goes to either of the mosques he/she knows what is being taught, and therefore condones the ideology. Unless you are President Obama, one can't attend either of these Islamic Centers without understanding the ideology being taught." [FrontpageMag.com, 6/23/09]

Gaubatz previously "faked a conversion to Islam" to infiltrate a U.S. mosque. Julia Duin wrote on The Washington Times' Belief Blog that as "senior investigator" for The Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE) that Gaubatz "said he faked a conversion to Islam to win the confidence of mosque leaders at Dar al Hijrah" in Falls Church, Virginia. Duin further wrote, "He spent long hours there, he said, talking with Yusuf Estes, a former Christian music minister who converted to Islam, and with Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, the mosque's outreach director. Mr. Estes, he said, slipped him a disk containing documents praising violent jihad." [The Washington Times, 3/25/08]

WorldNetDaily is home to conspiracies, smears, and falsehoods

WND: Obama's speech to schoolchildren is "raising the specter of the Civilian National Security Force." WorldNetDaily news editor Bob Unruh wrote on September 1, "Parents across the country are rebelling against plans by President Barack Obama to speak directly to their children through the classrooms of the nation's public schools without their presence, participation and approval" and said the speech raises "the specter of the Civilian National Security Force." WND also forwarded comparisons of Obama's speech to Hitler's youth brigade.

WND has repeatedly pushed conspiracy theory that Obama recruiting for "internment camps" for U.S. citizens. In an August 11 WorldNetDaily column, Janet Porter noted a Defense Department job listing and wrote: "Internment/confinement/correction camps for American civilians? Maybe there's something to all those rumors of FEMA concentration camps. After all, those internment/resettlement specialists are going to have to report to work somewhere. If you're going to round up American citizens, you're going to need a place to put them. Internment and confinement are for criminals ... for terrorists. And terrorists, according to DHS, are ... us." Porter later added: "We've gotten more than a glimpse of the agenda of the people to which we've handed the keys of power. It is unmistakably evil." Also, in an August 7 article, Unruh wrote that "an ad campaign featured on a U.S. Army website seeking those who would be interested in being an 'Internment/Resettlement' specialist is raising alarms across the country, generating concerns that there is some truth in those theories about domestic detention camps, a roundup of dissidents and a crackdown on 'threatening' conservatives."

WND pushing Obama impeachment. An October 8 column by WorldNetDaily columnists Floyd and Mary Beth Brown discussed growing talk among conservative activists that President Obama should be impeached and argued that "Obama deserves recall much more than Gov. Gray Davis, and he was replaced by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a special recall election Oct. 7, 2003, in California." In the column, WND promoted its "IMPEACH Obama Magnetic Bumper Sticker" with the promotional text, "Let the world know your solution to tyranny and socialism in America with the magnetic bumper sticker: 'IMPEACH OBAMA!' " Floyd Brown currently heads the Western Center for Journalism, which WorldNetDaily CEO Joseph Farah founded in the early 1990s.

WND repeatedly advances birther conspiracy theories. As Media Matters for America senior web editor Terry Krepel has noted on his website, ConWebWatch, in an August 2008 article, WorldNetDaily concluded that a "WND investigation into Obama's certification of live birth utilizing forgery experts ... found the document to be authentic." (WND added an "editor's note" several months after the article's publication stating that "[t]he experts told WND merely that many of the forgery claims made against the image were inconclusive or falsified, leaving them no evidence that would cast doubt on the image's authenticity.") However, since then, WND has jumped fully onto the birther bandwagon, and indeed, is circulating an online petition stating that "there is sufficient controversy within the citizenry of the United States as to whether presidential election winner Barack Obama was actually born in Hawaii as he claims" and "demanding that the constitutional eligibility requirement be taken seriously and that any and all controlling legal authorities in this matter examine the complete birth certificate of Barack Obama, including the actual city and hospital of birth, and make that document available to the American people for inspection." Indeed, WND founder Joseph Farah wrote in August, "A few months ago, I stepped beyond my role as a journalist and media entrepreneur to become an activist, a crusader, some might even say a 'birther.' " [WorldNetDaily, 8/5/09]

WND touted fake Obama Kenyan birth certificate. In an August 2 article, WND reported that "California attorney Orly Taitz, who has filed a number of lawsuits demanding proof of Barack Obama's eligibility to serve as president, has released a copy of what purports to be a Kenyan certification of birth and has filed a new motion in U.S. District Court for its authentication." The article added: "WND was able to obtain other birth certificates from Kenya for purposes of comparison, and the form of the documents appear to be identical." Since then, the supposed birth certificate has been debunked, and Farah has walked away from it.

WND: Home to birther Corsi. Jerome Corsi, author of the falsehood-laden Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry and The Obama Nation, became a WorldNetDaily columnist in 2004 and is now a WND senior staff writer. In an August 2008 Fox & Friends appearance, Corsi claimed that the Obama campaign "has a false, fake birth certificate posted on their website. ... The original birth certificate of Obama has never been released, and the campaign refuses to release it." Co-host Steve Doocy asked, "Well, couldn't it just be a state of Hawaii-produced duplicate?" Corsi replied: "No, it's a -- there's been good analysis of it on the Internet, and it's been shown to have watermarks from Photoshop. It's a fake document that's on the website right now." Since then, Corsi has promoted birther theories on WorldNetDaily and elsewhere. Also, in 2008, Corsi traveled to Kenya, the birthplace of Obama's father, to investigate Obama and was detained by immigration officials. While in Kenya, he called into the conservative radio show The War Room with Quinn & Rose and stated that he and his staff were "being detained by the immigration of Kenya 'cause they lost our entry papers." Corsi repeatedly suggested Obama was responsible for his detention, stating at one point: "[J]ust don't write anything bad about Senator Obama, because, otherwise, this is what happens to you." Media Matters has documented Corsi's history of controversial comments regarding Islam, Catholicism, and other matters.

WND forced to retract claim that Gore supporter was "a suspected drug dealer," "possible arsonist" to settle libel suit. As Krepel noted at ConWebWatch, WND regularly attacked the 2000 presidential campaign of Al Gore, publishing a claim that Clark Jones, a Tennessee car dealer and fundraiser for Gore, was, among other things, a "suspected drug dealer" who could have "played a role in the arson of one of his auto dealerships." Jones filed a $165 million libel and defamation lawsuit against WND and other media outlets that repeated the claim. A February 13, 2008, WND article stated that WND settled the lawsuit, which had been scheduled to go to trial the following month, out of court -- in part by retracting the statements it made about Jones. According to the WND article, both sides agreed to say: "The original news release by WorldNetDaily.com of September 18, 2000, and the article by [Tony] Hays and [Charles C.] Thompson of September 20, 2000, contained statements attributed to named sources, which statements cast Clark Jones in a light which, if untrue, defamed him by asserting that the named persons said that he had interfered with a criminal investigation, had been a 'subject' of a criminal investigation, was listed on law enforcement computers as a 'dope dealer,' and implied that he had ties to others involved in alleged criminal activity." According to the statement, "no witness verifies the truth of what the witnesses are reported by authors to have stated." The statement also says "the sources named in the publications have stated under oath that statements attributed to them in the articles were either not made by them, were misquoted by the authors, were misconstrued, or the statements were taken out of context."

Sperry in 2001: Tell Afghanis U.S. has enlisted "moles to contaminate their water supplies with pig's blood." In a September 27, 2001, WorldNetDaily column, Sperry -- then a WND reporter -- wrote that "pigs are to Islamic terrorists -- such as Osama bin Laden and his henchmen -- what kryptonite is to Superman, or what garlic is to Dracula," and that to "use their religion against them to win," the U.S. should engage in a pig-centric propaganda effort in Afghanistan:

U.S. forces should start by dropping leaflets over Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, warning residents, in their native Persian tongue, that we've enlisted Afghani moles to contaminate their water supplies with pig's blood.

The propaganda would also warn that American soldiers have greased their bullets with pork fat. We could tell them, while we're at it, that we've ordered special pigskin-lined fatigues for this mission.

At night, we could bombard bin Laden's camps with recordings of hog-snorting. If he and his fellow terrorists won't come out of their caves, send pen-loads of trotters in to nuzzle them.

Can't find bin Laden? Force-feed Taliban clerics pork rinds until they give up his location. If that doesn't work, air-lift pigs into their homes.

In the meantime, airlines could reupholster plane seats with pigskin, and cover cockpit yokes with the "unclean" hide to repel future Islamic hijackers. For insurance, serve passengers bacon bits instead of peanuts.

If their religion is driving them to hate Americans, and rewarding them to kill our people, then it's hardly indecent to use their faith against them to protect us.

[...]

They're not afraid of death. However, they are afraid of pigs. Send in the porkers, lock them out of Paradise, and watch them surrender.

Fox previously hosted Gaubatz to say "[t]here was WMD in Iraq"

Gaubatz says on Fox News: "There was WMD in Iraq." On his blog, Gaubatz has posted video of a 2006 appearance on Fox News in which he says, "We verified independently from various sources that there was WMD in Iraq." He added that the Iraq Survey Group, which found in an October 2004 report that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction at the time of the U.S. invasion, has "given various reasons" for why it did not thoroughly inspect the sites he had found.

Gaubatz reportedly told of sites with biological and chemical weapons. According to a New York Sun article, "Gaubatz said he walked the streets of the largely Shiite city of Nasiriyah, interviewing local police, former senior civilian and military leaders in Saddam Hussein's regime, and local civilians." The article continued: "Between March and July 2003, Mr. Gaubatz was taken by these sources to four locations -- three in and around Nasiriyah and one near the port of Umm Qasr, where he was shown underground concrete bunkers with the tunnels leading to them deliberately flooded. In each case, he was told the facilities contained stocks of biological and chemical weapons, along with missiles whose range exceeded that mandated under U.N. sanctions." [New York Sun, 2/8/06]

Duelfer report: "Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991." The Iraq Survey Group, in its October 2004 report -- also known as the Duelfer report -- stated: "While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad's desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered."

Duelfer report: "Iraq appears to have destroyed its undeclared stocks" of biological weapons. The Duelfer report also stated: "ISG judges that in 1991 and 1992, Iraq appears to have destroyed its undeclared stocks of BW [biological weapons] weapons and probably destroyed remaining holdings of bulk BW agent. However ISG lacks evidence to document complete destruction. Iraq retained some BW-related seed stocks until their discovery after Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)."

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