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Frank Gaffney

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  • Cruz, Carson To Attend Right-Wing Media Convention Featuring Anti-LGBT, Anti-Muslim Extremists

    ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson are scheduled to attend the National Religious Broadcasters' "Proclaim 16" Convention, which will run from February 23 to 26 in Nashville, TN. The annual convention has a history of anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim content, and this year convention will feature three anti-LGBT hate groups, a panel sponsored by the Islamophobic extremist organization behind Trump's proposed Muslim ban, and multiple notoriously anti-gay extremist speakers.

  • NRA Silent On Ted Nugent's Anti-Semitism As It Abets An Anti-Muslim Smear Campaign Against Another Board Member

    The NRA Is Investigating Grover Norquist's Alleged Ties To Islamists But Not Ted Nugent's Anti-Semitism

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Apparently at the National Rifle Association (NRA), being the target of a conspiratorial, religiously-motivated smear is a good way to get yourself investigated and possibly kicked out of the organization. Putting forward conspiratorial, religiously-motivated smears is not.

    As the NRA continues to avoid addressing an anti-Semitism controversy that has embroiled organization board member Ted Nugent, a recall campaign against another board member -- conservative activist Grover Norquist -- is moving forward, even though the campaign's basis is a conspiratorial and anti-Muslim smear.

    Following a decades-long campaign by anti-Muslim think tank head Frank Gaffney, which in the past year has been amplified by conservative radio host Glenn Beck, ballots to officially recall Norquist from the NRA board will appear in the March editions of the NRA's magazines, according to a report by Right Wing Watch.

    For at least 15 years, Norquist, a well-known tax activist who founded Americans for Tax Reform, has been targeted by Gaffney, head of the anti-Muslim think tank Center for Security Policy, with the claim that he is a surreptitious agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. Critics of Gaffney have alleged that his smear campaign is largely motivated by the fact that Norquist is married to a Muslim woman and has Muslim in-laws. One high-profile conservative group investigated Gaffney's claims in 2012 and found them to be meritless.

    Norquist has called Gaffney his "stalker" and has accused Gaffney of also spreading rumors that he is gay and a member of "the Jewish-Russian mafia."

    Gaffney's smear campaign against Norquist made headlines again in March 2015 after it was repeatedly promoted by Beck on his nationally-syndicated radio show. Beck, a longtime supporter of the NRA, is a frequent keynote speaker at the gun group's annual meeting.

    Following Beck's endorsement of Gaffney's conspiracy theory, the NRA, at the request of executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, agreed to open an investigation into Norquist's alleged ties "to Islamist groups that have ill intent towards the United States and its allies." The findings of the investigation have yet to be released to the public.

    During the NRA's annual meeting in April 2015, Norquist was reelected to the board, but he also issued a statement saying he had "voluntarily suspended his Board activities pending the outcome of the investigation."

    The NRA has handled controversy surrounding Nugent, who posted an anti-Semitic image to his Facebook page and then subsequently made inflammatory posts and statements about the Holocaust, in a much different manner. Nugent's image suggested that laws regulating guns were the result of a Jewish conspiracy and included descriptions of alleged conspirators such as "Jew York city mayor Mikey Bloomberg," and deceased former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) who "Gave Russian Jew immigrants your tax money."

    After declining to comment on Nugent to several media outlets, the NRA released its only statement to date on the controversy: "Individual board members do not speak for the NRA."

    The NRA's refusal to seriously address Nugent's anti-Semitic post comes as the controversy has begun to become enmeshed with Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, which continues to tout Nugent's praise. (Cruz has also lavishly praised Gaffney, calling him "a patriot" who is "clear eyed about radical Islamic terrorism.")

    Unlike the controversy surrounding Norquist, the NRA has given no indication that it intends to investigate Nugent.

  • "The Guy Scares Me": Holocaust Survivors Warn About The Danger Of Trump's Right-Wing Media Approved Rhetoric

    Trump's Candidacy And Plans Have Been Hailed By Right-Wing And White Nationalist Media Figures

    ››› ››› LIS POWER

    On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust survivors warned about the demagoguery and rhetoric espoused by Donald Trump that they say echoes back to Nazi Germany -- the same rhetoric which has been sanctioned by right-wing media and praised by white nationalist media as "wonderful."

  • Anti-Muslim Extremist Cited By Trump Hosting Event With Other GOP Candidates

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Several Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to participate in an event hosted by anti-Muslim extremist Frank Gaffney. 

    Gaffney's Center For Security Policy will host a December 14 summit in Nevada covering topics including "Border Insecurity and Illegal Immigration" and "The Threat from Iran, Shariah and The Global Jihad Movement." The group states that Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum are confirmed to be participating in the event.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has called Gaffney, who is also a radio host and Washington Times columnist, "one of America's most notorious Islamophobes" because he is gripped "by paranoid fantasies about Muslims," including that Muslim Brotherhood agents have infiltrated the upper echelons of the federal government. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently cited a misleading poll from the Center for Security Policy in attempting to justify his proposal "for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." (Trump is listed as having been invited to the conference, but is not a confirmed attendee.)

    Despite Gaffney's disreputable background, Republican members of Congress regularly appear on his radio program. Republican presidential candidates like Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Trump have addressed previous Gaffney-sponsored events in person or through video.

    The Huffington Post reported that "Fiorina's campaign attempted to distance her from the conference. 'Carly isn't a speaker at this event,' said Anna Epstein, a spokeswoman for Fiorina. 'We're submitting a video and we submit videos to lots of groups that request them.'"

    The Southern Poverty Law Center noted that the conference will feature other anti-immigration activists:

    Other anti-Muslim activists slated for CSP's event next week include Ann Corcoran, the face of the anti-refugee movement in America. In 2007, she founded the blog Refugee Resettlement Watch (RRW) in response to what she saw as a "grievous error" by the government in taking in Muslim refugees. In the years since, racist groups have increasingly adopted her as one of their own. In 2014, Corcoran promoted an article on Taylor's American Renaissance website calling it a "good commentary" on immigration to Australia. In April, CSP published her "Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America." The 78-page screed calls for Americans to oppose the opening of mosques in their neighborhoods and also calls for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S. Corcoran spoke at Gaffney's Iowa and South Carolina summits earlier this year.

    Another speaker will be Rosemary Jenks, a staffer with NumbersUSA, the largest grassroots anti-immigrant group in the U.S. NumbersUSA and its founder Roy Beck have a long track record of working white nationalists to advance their anti-immigrant agenda. On Gaffney's Secure Freedom Radio show in February, Jenks stated, "We know that they are placing terrorists into the refugee camps and we don't have the means to vet them...The FBI says they're very concerned about this, the potential dangers of resettling these folks in the United States because we have no idea who they are." At a Gaffney event in 2014 she equated gun violence and bank robbery to immigration violations, stating, "If you rob a bank, you're going to jail. Break into a house, you're going to jail. Shoot someone, you're going to jail, and everybody's guns will be taken away." She added, "But if you break an immigration law, we're going to let you stay, give you a work permit, and we're going to call it a day."

    The summit will also feature former presidential candidate Herman Cain and Fox News contributor John Bolton.

  • Media Explain That Frank Gaffney, Whose Poll Inspired Trump's Proposed Ban On Muslim Immigration, Is A "Notorious Islamophobe"

    ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Multiple media outlets documented the Islamophobic and conspiratorial views of Frank Gaffney, the president and founder of the right-wing Center for Security Policy (CSP), after Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump cited a CSP poll to justify his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

  • Islamophobic Organization's Misleading Poll Used To Justify Donald Trump's Call To Ban Muslims From America

    ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump cited a misleading poll from Washington Times columnist Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy to justify a call he issued "for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Gaffney has been described as "one of America's most notorious Islamophobes" and experts dismiss the poll's methodology as questionable.

  • "Wonderful": Wash. Times Columnist Frank Gaffney Lavishes Praise On White Nationalist Leader

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    UPDATE (10/1): In a statement posted on its website, the Center for Security Policy said Gaffney now "strongly disagrees" with "much" of the American Renaissance website and "Had due diligence been done beforehand, such disagreements would have resulted in Mr. Taylor not being invited on the show, routine compliments to such guests not made and an offer to appear again not extended."

    ORIGINAL: 

    Washington Times columnist Frank Gaffney praised the "wonderful" work of a leading white nationalist during an interview on Gaffney's nationally-syndicated radio program. Republican politicians and conservative media outlets have regularly cited Gaffney as a purported expert on foreign policy despite his long history of extremism.

    Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, has raised questions about President Obama's birth certificate; was banned from the Conservative Political Action Conference after accusing prominent conservatives of somehow being Muslim Brotherhood operatives; and has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "one of America's most notorious Islamophobes."

    The former Reagan official can now add praising a notorious leader of the white nationalist movement to his resume.

    Gaffney hosted Jared Taylor on the September 29 edition of his Secure Freedom Radio program. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which first noted Taylor's appearance, wrote that Taylor is one of the country's "most outspoken and prominent white nationalists." The non-profit group wrote that Taylor hosts a conference "where racist intellectuals rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists" and "founded the New Century Foundation, a pseudo-intellectual think tank that promotes 'research' arguing for white superiority."

    Gaffney introduced Taylor by saying, "I'm very pleased to have him with us. He is the editor of a wonderful online publication, American Renaissance ... and the author of six books, including White Identity." The Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that American Renaissance "has been one of the vilest white nationalist publications, often promoting eugenics and blatant anti-black and anti-Latino racists. In 2005 for example, after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Taylor wrote, 'When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western Civilization -- any kind of civilization -- disappears.'"

    The Anti-Defamation League wrote that Taylor "upholds racial homogeneity as the key to fostering peaceful coexistence," and they called American Renaissance a "white supremacist journal."

    During the interview, Gaffney and Taylor attacked the "invasion" of Muslim refugees worldwide. Gaffney warned about the alleged dangers of Muslim refugees regarding violence and Sharia law, and later suggested such problems could come to the United States "if President Obama has his way."

    Gaffney concluded by telling Taylor: "I appreciate tremendously the work you're doing at American Renaissance and The New Century Foundation. Keep it up and get back to us again very soon."

    The Center for Security Policy issued a statement to Media Matters claiming that Gaffney "was unfamiliar with Mr. Taylor's views on other matters and did not discuss or endorse them":

    Secure Freedom Radio is a weeknightly talk show program that addresses national security challenges and how they best can be countered.  It features interviews with a wide variety of guests on myriad topics.  Among the guests are individuals with whom the host, Frank Gaffney, and the Center for Security Policy disagree, both on topics discussed in the course of the show and on issues and viewpoints not covered in the course of the interview.  The interview with Jared Taylor addressed exclusively a recent article by him concerning the dire implications for Europe, its people and civilization of large numbers of migrants from nations in which shariah-adherence is the norm.  The host was unfamiliar with Mr. Taylor's views on other matters and did not discuss or endorse them. 

    On American Renaissance, Taylor wrote in the comments section about the interview: "I did not expect him to be so positive. It is clear that more and more people are waking up."* 

    Despite his fringe history, Gaffney is still a regular source of information for the conservative media. He works for the Washington Times as a columnist and is a frequent guest on conservative outlets like Fox News.

    One of his most noxious theories is that top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is trying to infiltrate the government on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. While several top Republicans have denounced the smear, it has frequently been repeated by Clinton foes. For instance, discredited anti-Clinton author Edward Klein recently cited Gaffney in his book Unlikeable to suggest she works for the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Many Republican politicians also have no problem associating with Gaffney. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) appeared in a different segment of the September 29th program, and Gaffney interviewed Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and presidential candidate Ben Carson just this month.

    *Paragraph added after posting.

  • Conservative Columnist Uses Clinton Email Investigation To Revive Bigoted Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton

    Washington Times columnist Frank Gaffney writes that the news of Hillary Clinton's private email account is significant because it could provide evidence of her aide Huma Abedin's purported ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, his latest effort to push the bigoted conspiracy theory for which he has been widely condemned.

    Pointing to reports that Abedin had a clintonemail.com email address,Gaffney wrote:

    Her emails are of particular interest insofar as Ms. Abedin has extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. That's the Islamist organization whose self-declared mission is "destroying Western civilization from within."

    The indispensable investigative group Judicial Watch has filed suit in federal court for access to these emails. It remains to be seen if they are provided and, if so, what they reveal about these ladies' contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood - and their damage-control concerning revelations about Ms. Abedin's connection to it.

    Gaffney's think tank is responsible for the conspiracy theory that Abedin, who is "of mixed Indian and Pakistani heritage," has family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood that call into question her loyalty to the United States.

    After then-Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) cited Gaffney's claims while questioning Abedin's "routine access to the secretary and to policy-making" in a 2012 letter to the State Department, she was widely denounced, including by Speaker John Boeher (R-OH) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

  • Meet The Extremists Who Lead Fox's Conversation About Islam

    Blog ››› ››› LIBBY WATSON

    Fox News has responded to the attack on the satirical French paper Charlie Hebdo by inviting notorious Islamophobes to appear as guests in discussions about Islam, terrorism, and immigration.

    In the week after the attack, Fox News hosts themselves produced shockingly Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric. For instance, Sean Hannity wondered if the U.S. should "insist" on assimilation from Muslim immigrants, and Bob Beckel admitted, "I'm an Islamophobe." But it's not just the hosts: Fox has given many media figures with a clear record of Islamophobia a platform in the week following the Charlie Hebdo attack, making the debate on the network drastically more extreme.

    Steve Emerson

    A self-styled "terrorism expert," Emerson prompted outrage and ridicule in Britain by claiming in a January 10 appearance on Fox News' Justice with Judge Jeanine that Birmingham, the second-largest city in the United Kingdom, is "totally Muslim" and a place "where non-Muslims just simply don't go in." Birmingham is, in fact, 22 percent Muslim. Emerson has also appeared on Fox News on at least three other occasions since the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, including an appearance on Hannity the night of the attack in which he declared Europe "finished" because of its supposedly high numbers of non-assimilated Muslims.

    Even before British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Emerson is "clearly an idiot" because of his comments, Emerson had little credibility on terrorism. During coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, Emerson claimed on Fox that the suspect was a Saudi national -- a claim that was later thoroughly discredited. After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Emerson claimed that it had "a Middle Eastern trait" because it "was done with the intent to inflict as many casualties as possible." Emerson also said that Oklahoma City was "probably considered one of the largest centers of Islamic radical activity outside the Middle East."

    Brigitte Gabriel

    Gabriel is the founder of ACT! for America, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) says has "eagerly tapped into a groundswell of anti-Muslim rage and done what it could to fan the flames." She has appeared on Fox several times since the Charlie Hebdo attack, despite her history of extreme Islamophobia. Gabriel was a guest on the January 7 edition of Hannity, where she said that Muslims in Europe "started multiplying" after World War II and did not assimilate and that Europe is "paying the price" because it "ignored the cancer growing within its body when it was at Stage Two." In her appearance on the January 8 edition of The Kelly File, she argued that the "Islamic religion" forbids Muslims to assimilate.

    In September 2014, Gabriel told an audience at the Values Voter Summit that "180 million to 300 million" Muslims are "radical Islamists who are willing to strap bombs on their bodies and walk into this room and blow us all up to smithereens." In June 2014, Gabriel berated a Muslim student who had criticized members of a Heritage Foundation panel on Islam, calling her a liar and saying, "Your loyalty is somewhere else. It's time we see more patriotism from the Muslim community and less terrorism." A prominent Middle East expert and editor of The Oxford History of Islam called Gabriel "a professional Muslim basher."

    Nigel Farage

    Farage is the leader of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP), an anti-immigration party, and has appeared on Fox three times since the Hebdo attack. On January 7, the night of the attack, Farage appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto, arguing that "the biggest mistake the governments have made" is "promoting multiculturalism" and that "we come from countries with Christian cultures and Christian constitutions, and it's about time we started standing up for that." On January 12, Farage joined the hosts of Fox & Friends to criticize "open door" immigration policies and defend his attacks on multiculturalism. Farage also appeared on Hannity that night, where he warned that Sharia law is being implemented in British Muslim communities.

    Farage and the party he leads have a history of extremism on Islam. In 2010, Farage called for burqas to be banned, saying they were a symbol of "an increasingly divided Britain" and could pose a security risk. In February 2014, the party's immigration spokesman, Gerard Batten, said he stood by his 2006 charter for Muslims, a code of conduct that all British Muslims should sign stating they reject violence. The Guardian reported that the charter was once promoted on the party's website.

    Frank Gaffney

    Gaffney, a Washington Times columnnist and founder of the Center for Security Policy, appeared on the January 12 edition of Justice with Judge Jeanine. He argued that President Obama is "engaged in basically trying to enforce Sharia blasphemy laws" and said that "most of those who are being brought here" -- apparently referring to Muslims -- are bringing "no-go zones" here as their "preferred practice."

    Gaffney was once described by the SPLC as "the anti-Muslim movement's most paranoid propagandist." In 2011, he was prohibited from participating in the Conservative Political Action Conference after he claimed it had been infiltrated by Islamic extremists and accused prominent conservative Grover Norquist of being a mole for the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Jerry Boykin

    Boykin, a retired Army lieutenant general and deputy undersecretary for defense under George W. Bush, was a guest on the January 9 edition of Fox & Friends to comment on a hostage situation at a printing press outside Paris involving suspects in the Charlie Hebdo attack. Boykin argued that these were "sophisticated terrorists" and that what they were doing is "a reflection of what's growing in these no-go zones."

    Boykin has drawn criticism and faced consequences for making Islamophobic comments in the past. In 2010, Boykin called Islam a "totalitarian way of life," and in 2012 Boykin called Islam "evil."

    Robert Spencer

    Spencer, director of the Jihad Watch website, appeared on Hannity on January 9. Spencer claimed that a "core principle" in Islam is "the idea of emigrating to a new place to conquer and Islamize it, and that's exactly what we're seeing." He also cited the "much higher" birth rate of Muslim populations as evidence that "Sharia enclaves" will "inevitably grow and continue to grow until, finally, that's all there is."

    Spencer once stated that it's "absurd" to think that "Islam is a religion of peace that's been hijacked by a tiny minority" and that there is a "doctrine of warfare" in Islam. According to the SPLC, Spencer "engages in fear-mongering through steady reference to theories like 'stealth jihad,' eminent 'Islamization of America,' and the infiltration of Congress by 'Muslim spy interns.' "

  • Heritage Hosts Birthers, Islamophobes For Benghazi "Accountability" Panel

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Benghazi HeritageA coalition of Islamophobes, birthers, and conspiracy theorists led by a prominent supporter of impeaching President Obama will assemble at the Heritage Foundation this afternoon to discuss the September 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

    The event, titled "Benghazi: The Difference It Makes Is Accountability!" will be co-hosted by the Benghazi Accountability Coalition. In a post at National Review Online, Andrew McCarthy, a conservative commentator and former federal prosecutor, identifies himself as the chairman of that new "volunteer organization."

    McCarthy is the author of a new book that seeks to build "the political case" for President Obama's impeachment. The book includes a draft Articles of Impeachment detailing "The Benghazi Fraud." According to McCarthy, the talking points used by former Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to discuss the terrorist attacks on Sunday morning political talk shows constituted a deliberate effort "to defraud the American people in connection with matters of great public importance, in violation of [President Obama's] duty to execute the laws faithfully and his fiduciary duty to be truthful in his statements to the American people."

    At National Review Online, McCarthy promises that today's forum will "feature some speakers with tremendous insights into the relevant issues about the Benghazi Massacre." James Jay Carafano, Heritage's vice present of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, will participate, lending the organization's imprimatur to the proceedings. Here are some of those notables who will appear alongside him:

    • Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, who is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "the anti-Muslim movement's most paranoid propagandist." Gaffney was banned from participating at the Conservative Political Action Conference after accusing prominent conservative activist Grover Norquist and former Bush aide Suhail Khan of being Muslim Brotherhood operatives. In October 2008 he claimed that Obama's eligibility to be president was "unresolved," citing "evidence Mr. Obama was born in Kenya rather than, as he claims, Hawaii."
    • Lt. General Thomas G. McInerney, USAF (Ret.), a Fox News military analyst who submitted court documents challenging Obama's eligibility to be president based on the conspiracy theory that he was not born in the United States.
    • Lt. General W.G. "Jerry" Boykin, USA (Ret.), who was criticized by President Bush and the Defense Department for portraying the fight against Islamic extremists as a religious war between a "Christian nation" and the "idol" of Islam. He has also termed Islam "evil" and a "totalitarian way of life."
    • Clare Lopez, who is a prominent member of Gaffney's Center for Security Policy and the similarly anti-Muslim Clarion Project. Lopez has claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood has "infiltrated and suborned the U.S. government to actively assist... the mission of its grand jihad." Earlier this month, Fox News contributor Allen West reported that Lopez had emailed him a "very poignant analysis" of Bob Bergdahl's use of Arabic during a White House event with President Obama to announce the return of his son, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl: according to Lopez, "by uttering these words on the grounds of the WH, Bergdahl (the father) sanctified the WH and claimed it for Islam."
    • Brigitte Gabriel, the founder and CEO of the anti-Islam group ACT! for America, was described by The New York Times as "one of the most visible personalities on a circuit of self-appointed terrorism detectors who warn that Muslims pose an enormous danger within United States borders" who "presents a portrait of Islam so thoroughly bent on destruction and domination that it is unrecognizable to those who study or practice the religion."
    • Chris Plante, who is a right-wing talk radio host on Washington, DC's WMAL. Last year he generated the false accusation that President Obama omitted the words "under God" from his recitation of the Gettysburg Address and suggested that the president would not have cut the words "under Allah" if they had appeared in the speech.
    • Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, married Republican activist law partners who have spent decades pushing smears of Democrats in the press. They played a key role in pushing debunked claims that the Obama administration was threatening Benghazi "whistleblowers."  
  • Fox Reporter A No-Show For Breitbart News Benghazi Conspiracy Panel

    Blog ››› ››› JOE STRUPP

    Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge was a no-show at a Benghazi discussion panel Thursday co-hosted by Breitbart News, despite having been listed as a participant.

    Moderated by newly-minted Breitbart News columnist and Center for Security Policy founder Frank Gaffney, the panel was held just blocks from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside Washington. The discussion was part of "The Uninvited," a national security forum co-hosted by Breitbart News featuring many speakers that "were not invited to CPAC."

    Titled, "Benghazigate: The Ugly Truth and the Cover-Up," the panel included Retired Lt. General William G. "Jerry" Boykin, Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch, and Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, a security officer who was killed during the Benghazi attacks.

    Herridge did not respond to a request for comment on why she declined to join the panel, or why she had agreed to participate in the first place given the title of the discussion and the planned co-panelists. Boykin, for example, has a long history of making inflammatory comments about Islam; in 2003 President George W. Bush criticized him for saying Islamic extremists worship "an idol" and hate the U.S. "because we're a Christian nation."

    Even with Herridge absent, she did receive support from the panel and Gaffney, who said her work on Benghazi made her a "truth-teller par excellence." He said she had informed the panel she could not make it due to unspecified work demands. 

    Gaffney and the other panelists offered few specifics on what Benghazi elements had been covered up. A bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee review released in January concluded there was no "cover-up" surrounding the attacks.

    "This Benghazi thing is not just about four dead Americans, it's not just about a cover up, it's not just about the things that are circulating in the media, it is about our national security," Boykin claimed, calling on Boehner to hold a bipartisan investigation. "A major ethos in America has been violated."

    Boykin and the others claimed that more support should have been given to U.S. forces in Benghazi, but again offered no details on how or why they were not.

    "What I really care about is why there was no effort to go to these people and be there when they needed us," Boykin claimed. "That is egregious, that is unacceptable, that is not the America I served for and fought for."

    Farrell of Judicial Watch went one step further, accusing Boehner of having "guilty knowledge" of the Benghazi attacks, but (of course) offering no specifics or proof.

    "We can't let this one slide away as just another scandal," Farrell said. "We will not let it go. We will pursue this until we find answers."