The New Republic yesterday published a lengthy piece by Washington Times reporter Eli Lake highlighting how the “Republican foreign policy consensus has collapsed” and that the GOP contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination are, as the article’s title says, “all over the map.” Lake notes that there’s an internal strife within the GOP over whether Muslims pose a threat to America — with some neocons and conservatives like Grover Norquist embracing mainstream Islam and others, led by Islamophobic conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, believing that, as Gaffney often says, the nation is close to instituting Sharia law.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is running for president and she is currently surging in polls. However, Bachmann isn’t exactly a foreign policy aficionado and she doesn’t talk too much about her views on international relations. Lake writes that when he started asking around about where she stands, he repeatedly was told to “talk to Frank Gaffney“:
Gaffney himself stressed that he had no formal relationship with Bachmann as an adviser. But he did say that he had contact with several of the GOP candidates. And, of Bachmann, he said this: “She is a friend and a person I admire. I hope she is getting the best counsel she can.” He added, “We are a resource she has tapped, I’m assuming among many others.” When I asked him whether Bachmann had been briefed on the Team B II Report, he replied, “We’ve spent hours, over several days with her. I think she’s got the bulk of what we would tell her in one of the more formal presentations.”
So it’s safe to assume that Bachmann is getting a regular dose of Gaffney’s crazy anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. Gaffney’s Islamophobia is well-documented. Last year he released a report purporting to document the threat posed by Islamic law in the U.S. (no Muslims actually contributed to the report). Among the report’s wild accusations, one was that members of the Obama administration are part of the “Iran lobby.” Gaffney thinks the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to infiltrate the American conservative movement. Before her confirmation to the Supreme Court, Gaffney claimed Elana Kagan would impose Sharia law on America. He even accused Gen. David Petraeus of “submission” to Sharia and thinks the president is secretly Muslim.
But Gaffney’s baseless far-right views aren’t limited to his Islamophobia. In addition to flirting with birtherism, as late as 2009, he claimed to have evidence of al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq “collaborating on all kinds of things.” He has even said Iraq was complicit in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Gaffney also once said that repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would lead to reinstating the draft (hasn’t so far) and he claimed the DADT repeal would force some “radical” LGBT “agenda” on the U.S. military.
More recently, Gaffney said Obama’s policy on Israel (which is basically the same as all of his predecessors) will “catalyze the next Middle East war.” He even said Obama might order a military attack on Israel.
This is Frank Gaffney, currently Michele Bachmann’s primary foreign policy adviser.