Neocon ‘Team B’ Accuses Obama Administration Officials Of Being Part Of ‘Iran Lobby’

Yesterday I reported on the release of the new report Sharia: The Threat To America (pdf), released by the neoconservative Center for Security Policy, led by conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney.

Unsurprisingly, given some of the characters involved in its writing (Gaffney admitted to me that no actual Islamic scholars were consulted, which seems odd for a report on Islamic law), the report is a stew of unscholarly assertions about Islam and wildly paranoid claims about the threat posed by sharia-adherent — read: observant — Muslims to the United States. It throws disparate and competing Muslim groups and movements (Al Qaeda, Iran, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood) together under one heading — “sharia” — and then basically asserts that every pious Muslim in America is a potential fifth columnist.

Indeed, the report even asserts that some of those fifth columnists could be inside the Obama administration. Under the section entitled “The Iran Lobby,” (pg. 98) the authors write, “It is of considerable concern that individuals associated with the Iran Lobby network… have found their way into influential posts in the Obama administration”:

Even as events in the Middle East move inexorably toward renewed conflict and Iran defiantly accelerates its nuclear weapons program, such “friends of Iran” as Dr. Vali Nasr (now the senior advisor to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke for Afghanistan/Pakistan issues), Dr. Susan Rice (U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) and John Limbert (until July 2010 a top official at the State Department’s Iran desk)– have helped ensure that U.S. policy towards Iran remains incoherent and contrary to long-term U.S. national security interests.

The magnitude of damage Iranian elements are capable of perpetrating in America in furtherance of their shariah agenda is greater if, as seems to be the case, senior U.S. national security policymaking circles have been penetrated by agents of influence — be they witting or unwitting — whose actions, intentional or otherwise, serve to support the objectives of a hostile foreign power. To date, there is no evidence that such a possibility has been seriously considered, let alone thwarted by American counter-intelligence.

If Gaffney and his crew want to criticize the administration for having an incoherent Iran policy, that’s one thing. I’d probably agree with them on some points. But accusing U.S. government officials of working to “ensure that U.S. policy towards Iran” is “contrary to long-term U.S. national security interests” is a serious charge, which, probably needless to say, the authors don’t come close to backing up. But these sorts of irresponsible, unsubstantiated assertions are very much in keeping with the rest of the report.