When Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) recently escalated her paranoid quest to root out the Muslim Brotherhood from the U.S. government, she named names. There’s a problem, however, when conspiracy theorists get into specifics, people will start demanding facts to back up their wild-eyed assertions.
That’s exactly what her colleague form the Minnesota Congressional delegation Rep. Keith Ellison (D) did when he responded to her letter to the State Department insinuating that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin (the wife of former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner) was at the heart of the Brotherhood’s infiltration of the State Department. “If she has sources for this type of information,” Ellison said in a statement, “she owes it to the country to reveal them to the proper authorities, but definitely not this way.”
Now, Ellison has taken his request for specifics directly to Bachmann and the co-signers of her letters to State and other government departments — Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Thomas Rooney (R-FL), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) also signed. Ellison also calls out the source of their information, arch-Islamophobe Frank Gaffney. Ellison wrote:
I request that you provide my office a full accounting of the sources you used to make the serious allegations against the individuals and organizations in your letters. If there is not credible, substantial evidence for your allegations, I sincerely hope that you will publically clear their names.
(Read the whole letter here.)
After listing a host of ludicrous allegations made by Gaffney, Ellison wrote, “Mr. Gaffney’s views have been widely discredited, including by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and conservative organizations.” Gaffney was repudiated by the American Conservative Union, and barred from the powerhouse’s annual conservative CPAC confab.
Gaffney’s clearly pleased with Bachmann’s witch-hunt, soliciting support from other Members of Congress, like Republican House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers (MI), on his radio show. That he would serve as a source of information for what Ellison calls “serious allegations” is indeed troubling.
It seems now that Bachmann and her coterie of Republican Congressional conspiracy theorists will either have to put up, or shut up.