Washington Times columnist Frank Gaffney joined the right-wing media's crusade against Labor secretary nominee Thomas Perez by attempting to manufacture outrage over Perez hugging a respected Muslim leader in 2011.
In his March 26 Washington Times column, Gaffney said President Obama's nomination of Perez for Labor secretary "may be his most outrageous yet." In addition to rehashing right-wing smears, Gaffney attacked Perez for "his enthusiastic embrace of Islamists and their causes." As evidence, Gaffney highlighted a 2011 event in which Perez "leapt onto a stage at George Washington University in order to hug the leader of the largest Muslim Brotherhood front group in the United States: Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America."
But Magid is a respected Muslim leader who has worked to combat terrorism and curb extremism, and he has spoken out against domestic violence in the Muslim community.
In addition to serving as the president of ISNA and the executive director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, Magid served on the Department of Justice's Countering Violent Extremism Working Group, a task force formed in 2010 by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to "work with state and local law enforcement as well as relevant community groups to develop and provide to me recommendations regarding how the Department can better support community-based efforts to combat violent extremism domestically -- focusing in particular on the issues of training, information sharing, and the adoption of community-oriented law enforcement approaches to this issue."
In January 2011, Magid co-hosted a forum on "Curbing Violent Extremism" in which panelists discussed "ways in which the American Muslim community can curb and prevent violent extremist tendancies [sic] from within its ranks." A 2005 Time magazine profile of Magid pointed out that he "is fighting his own war against radicals trying to hijack his religion. For Magid that has meant not only condemning terrorism but also working closely with the FBI in battling it. He regularly opens doors for agents trying to cultivate contacts in his Muslim community, and he alerts the bureau when suspicious persons approach his congregation."
Magid has also been an outspoken critic of domestic violence within the Muslim community. In October 2011, Magid worked with the Rhode Island Council of Muslim Advancement to sponsor a training for imams and chaplains "to discuss, in a private and confidential setting, effective strategies to respond to domestic violence situations within the Muslim community, and learn best practices to foster prevention." Magid has also endorsed Project Sakinah, an group that attempts to "achieve lasting change in the attitudes and behaviors of Muslims around the issue of violence within families." He also contributed an essay to the book Change From Within: Diverse Perspectives on Domestic Violence in Muslim Communities.
Conservative media are defending charges leveled by Representative Michele Bachmann that the Muslim Brotherhood is attempting to infiltrate the U.S. government. However, Bachmann's attacks, including one directed at Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, have received significant bipartisan condemnation.
In his January 23 Washington Times column, Frank Gaffney wrote that for Muslims, "the preferred way of achieving [Shariah law] is, as Muhammad taught, through violence." Gaffney also called the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) a "Muslim Brotherhood front group" that is "squealing like, well, stuck haram (or impure) pigs." From the Times:
Muslim Brotherhood front groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are squealing like, well, stuck haram (or impure) pigs. After all, they have been working overtime to try to obscure the true nature of Shariah and to prevent the enactment of legislation that would interfere with the considerable progress being made below the radar in states across the country: the insinuation of Shariah into the American judiciary.
Resorting to their standard technique of ad hominem attacks, CAIR and its friends have derided Mr. Gingrich's stance as "racist," "bigoted" and "Islamophobic." Such comments evidently were not persuasive to South Carolina voters - and they should be equally dismissed by everybody else.
The simple fact of the matter is that Shariah defines the fault line between people who are Muslims but can love our country, respect and enjoy its freedoms and support our form of government and Constitution, and those who are obliged by doctrine to oppose all those things. Worse, adherents to Shariah must - in accordance with that doctrine - seek, as Mr. Gingrich says, "to impose it on the rest of us."
For the latter Muslims, the preferred way of achieving such submission is, as Muhammad taught, through violence. Where that would be impractical and/or counterproductive for the moment, however, their doctrine encourages the use of stealthy techniques to advance the same supremacist goal.
Since President Obama took office, right-wing media have argued that his foreign policy is making the United States less safe and is bent on attacking Israel. Those attacks have continued in 2011, even as the Obama administration has overseen the death of Al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Anwar Al-Awlaki, repeatedly supported Israel, and been praised by Israeli leaders.
In his September 12 Washington Times column, Frank Gaffney suggested that President Obama's national security policies "will cost us greatly in lives and treasure." From the Times:
The evisceration of our military and its supporting industrial base - a likely hallmark of the Obama policy legacy - will be a far more important determinant of our future security and that of the free world more generally than all of Mr. Obama's putative decisiveness in the fight against al Qaeda. Today's spin will be the subject of tomorrow's ridicule as we inevitably reap the whirlwind of wars that could have been prevented.
The key question is: Will Republicans be able to show that they opposed the abandonment of the time-tested principle that Ronald Reagan called "peace through strength"? Or will they prove to the American people that they were "irrelevant" - or worse, complicit - in conduct by Mr. Obama that will cost us greatly in lives and treasure?
The Washington Times published an illustration of President Obama's face on late singer Amy Winehouse's body to illustrate a column by Jeffrey Kuhner that claimed Obama is "injecting the heroin of class warfare and socialism into our national bloodstream," which will lead to "insanity and death." This is just the latest outrageous Photoshopped image or illustration published by the Times to attack Obama.
Before the Senate unanimously confirmed Leon Panetta to head the Department of Defense last month, there was a notable smear simmering in the right-wing fever swamp: Leon Panetta may be a communist.
The story began with a column by Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media, which hinged on "a close and personal relationship" Panetta supposedly had "with a member of the Communist Party by the name of Hugh DeLacy."
Responding to the Obama administration's recent decision to resume limited contacts with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Frank Gaffney wrote in a July 5 Washington Times column that "[t]he outlines of an Obama Doctrine have been apparent for some time. It can be summarized in nine damning words: Embolden our enemies. Undermine our friends. Diminish our country."
Gaffney further wrote: "These days, it is hard to avoid proof that these outcomes are not inadvertent or attributable to sheer and sustained incompetence. Rather, they are a product of deliberate decisions approved, we must assume, by the president himself."
From Gaffney's column:
The outlines of an Obama Doctrine have been apparent for some time. It can be summarized in nine damning words: Embolden our enemies. Undermine our friends. Diminish our country. These days, it is hard to avoid proof that these outcomes are not inadvertent or attributable to sheer and sustained incompetence. Rather, they are a product of deliberate decisions approved, we must assume, by the president himself.
Consider last week's announcement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that the United States was going to "engage" the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. In one fell swoop, Team Obama hit its doctrinal trifecta.
In a June 13 Washington Times column, Frank Gaffney wrote that there is "much evidence that the military is not ready for the adverse effects that would flow from" repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and that "[o]f principal concern is the intractable nature of many of the problems with accommodating not just homosexuals, but the radical Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) agenda in an institution like the U.S. military, in which mutual trust, unit cohesion and the effects of protracted forced intimacy may determine esprit de corps and combat readiness."
From Gaffney's column:
The issue has arisen thanks to a shameful abuse of power perpetrated in the lame-duck session late last year. Mr. Obama rammed through a Congress repudiated at the polls legislation repealing the law that had since 1993 prohibited avowed homosexuals from serving in the armed services. Mr. Gates and the also-soon-to-depart chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, played decisive roles in allaying concerns about and otherwise justifying this step. The repeal was conditioned, however, on the defense secretary, the chairman and the president all certifying to Congress that the military was prepared for this change.
An honest certification to that effect would not be possible at this time in light of much evidence that the military is not ready for the adverse effects that would flow from such a repeal. Of principal concern is the intractable nature of many of the problems with accommodating not just homosexuals, but the radical Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) agenda in an institution like the U.S. military, in which mutual trust, unit cohesion and the effects of protracted forced intimacy may determine esprit de corps and combat readiness.
If Mr. Gates is as serious as he seems to be regarding the future of the U.S. military, he has one last opportunity to prove it by allowing his successor to make the decision about whether to certify that avowed homosexuals can be imposed on the military without breaking it, a decision that will hopefully be approached only after a fresh, independent and rigorous appraisal of the true costs and real risks such a social experiment entail for America's armed forces.
Right-wing media have claimed that President Obama attacked Israel in his recent restatement of U.S. policy that a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 borders with agreed upon swaps. These criticisms follow a long series of falsehoods, distortions, and smears advanced by the right-wing media to claim that Obama and his administration are anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic.
In a May 23 Washington Times column, Frank Gaffney Jr. wrote that President Obama "has helped catalyze the next Middle East war by declaring that Israel must return to the 1967 borders." Gaffney further stated: "It is in America's vital interests to deter more wars in the Middle East, not invite them. If Mr. Obama persists in the latter, his already checkered record as commander in chief may make him best remembered as the man who elected to precipitate World War III." However, as Media Matters has noted, Obama's comments were in line with those of President George W. Bush, who also supported a two-state plan based on pre-1967 borders.
From Gaffney's column:
Beyond his embrace of the ascendant Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. Obama has helped catalyze the next Middle East war by declaring that Israel must return to the 1967 borders, whose indefensibility induced the Arab nations to precipitate the Six-Day War of that year. However much the president may deny it and point to others as supporting a "two-state solution" based on such borders, the Jewish state cannot survive without the high ground, strategic depth and aquifers of the Golan Heights and West Bank. Period.
It is in America's vital interests to deter more wars in the Middle East, not invite them. If Mr. Obama persists in the latter, his already checkered record as commander in chief may make him best remembered as the man who elected to precipitate World War III.
Glenn Beck continues to push the lunatic theory that recent events show that the left and the Obama administration are laying the groundwork for military action against Israel. In fact, Beck's theory rests on utter falsehoods and wild distortions.
As a Senate subcommittee is poised to begin a hearing on Muslim civil rights, several right-wing media outlets are attacking Farhana Khera, a witness at the hearing and the executive director of the Muslim legal advocacy group Muslim Advocates, for urging American Muslims to have an attorney present when speaking to law enforcement. But this is standard advice given by many legal rights advocacy groups, including the American Bar Association and the Naval Legal Service Office.
As the United States participates in a multilateral effort to establish a no-fly zone over Libya, the conservative media fearmonger that the Obama administration may use the "Gadhafi Precedent" to use military force against Israel. However, Obama has said "[t]he United States is going to be unwavering in its support of Israel's security" and his administration has repeatedly showed support for Israel.
What do you get when you combine the wits of ridiculous conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney and ridiculous conspiracy theorist Andrew Breitbart? You get a wild, obviously baseless theory that, using the precedent of the United Nations Security Council resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, President Obama may one day order a military strike on Israel.
Writing on Andrew Breitbart's website Big Peace, Gaffney states: "There are many reasons to be worried about the bridge-leap the Obama Administration has just undertaken in its war with Muamar Gaddafi. How it will all end is just one of them. 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."
As best I can make out, Gaffney's theory is that Obama will soon agree to a Security Council resolution recognizing Palestine as an independent state. If Israel does not immediately dismantle its settlements in Palestine, Obama will threaten "U.S.-enabled 'coalition' military measures aimed at neutralizing IDF [Israel Defense Forces] forces on the West Bank - and beyond, if necessary." Gaffney then foresees the possibility of "the United States ... actually raining down cruise missiles on Israeli targets in the West Bank, as it has done on Libyan ones at the behest of the Arab League and UN Security Council."
Consistent with long-standing U.S. policy, the Obama administration has criticized the building of new Israeli settlements on the West Bank. But the administration also recently vetoed a U.N. resolution seeking to condemn Israel over its settlements and, in doing so, garnered the thanks of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. So, would the Obama administration really make an about-face and authorize the use of force against Israel?
Of course not. Except in the fevered minds of Gaffney and Breitbart.