Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is no stranger to outlandish conspiracy theories but the former GOP presidential primary candidate took her theories to a new height in an interview earlier this week with the American Family Assocation’s Sandy Rios. Bachmann claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated various department of the U.S. government.
Bachmann told Rios (HT RightWingWatch):
It appears that there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood has been found to be an unindicted co-conspirator on terrorism cases and yet it appears that there are individuals who are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood who have positions, very sensitive positions, in our Department of Justice, our Department of Homeland Security, potentially even in the National Intelligence Agency. I am calling upon the Justice Department and these various departments to investigate through the Inspector General to see who these people are and what access they have to our information.
Listen to her (HT RightWingWatch):
Bachmann’s bizarre conspiracy theorizing about a “penetration” of the U.S. government matches closely with the conspiracy theories espoused by Center for Security Policy (CSP) President Frank Gaffney who in recent months has found himself ostracized by mainstream Republicans for his accusations about a Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the George W. Bush and Obama administrations as well as the American Conservative Union.
Gaffney’s role in advising Bachmann’s presidential campaign on foreign policy matters was noted by The New Republic last year and her ties to the CSP president were reaffirmed in a letter sent from her — as well as Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Thomas Rooney (R-FL), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) — to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of State. The letter, which cites Gaffney’s Muslim Brotherhood In America website, dated June 13, reads [PDF]:
We deem it imperative that your office conduct an investigation of the extent to which [Muslim Brotherhood] influence operations may have contributed to a fundamental misunderstanding of the Muslim Brotherhood by U.S. intelligence — which could, in turn, have contributed to the policy community’s susceptibility to subverstion at the hands of the Brothers and their allies.
In her radio interview, Bachmann went on to charge that such influence has been used to “blacklist” FBI and military trainers who have been accused of espousing deeply Islamophobic views. Indeed, the FBI and Joint Chiefs of Staff appear to have decided that Islamophobic teaching materials — for example, one recently suspended teacher at the Joint Forces Staff College called for a “total war” on Islam — should hold no place in government counterterrorrism training. While anti-Muslim advocates like Gaffney have fewer allies in government, they appear to have a steadfast ally in Rep. Michele Bachmann.