Ted Cruz has continued to reach out to extremists that even other Republicans wouldn’t dare touch, today appointing Frank Gaffney, an activist so bizarre that even the American Conservative Union issued a blistering report criticizing him for making outlandish claims, to his campaign’s foreign policy advisory board.
Gaffney, who heads the Center for Security Policy, has alleged that “there is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself,” calling President Obama “America’s first Muslim president.”
Indeed, Gaffney believes that Obama may not just be a secret Muslim but also an Islamist bent on aiding “Islamic supremacists” and instituting “the Sharia blasphemy agenda of our enemies” in the U.S., comparing the president to Osama bin Laden.
Among Obama’s secret Islamist crimes? Gaffney once claimed that what was clearly a rocket on a redesigned Missile Defense Agency logo was actually an Islamic crescent that was created on orders from Obama. He claims that the president wants to overturn the Citizens United decision in order to ban anti-Muslim speech and believes that Obama is trying to give control over the Internet to an Islamic group.
He told one radio host that “the Obama administration is … well, they’re playing for the other team” and “providing aid and comfort to enemies of the United States. And that is the definition, as you know, of treason.”
It shouldn’t be surprising that Gaffney had his fingers all over the smear campaign targeting Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin for supposedly being a Muslim Brotherhood agent. He even accused New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of committing “misprision of treason” for appointing a Muslim to a state judgeship.
If this smells like a McCarthyist push against Muslims serving in government, you’re right, as Gaffney has called for Congress to establish a House Anti-American Activities Committee to investigate those in government who are secretly aiding Islamists.
It is a bit ironic, though, that Gaffney would join the Canadian-born Cruz’s presidential campaign, since Gaffney has pushed the birther conspiracy theory that Obama was born abroad and is therefore ineligible to serve as president.
One of Gaffney’s colleagues, Clare Lopez, who also joined Cruz’s campaign team, is such a conspiracy theorist that she can’t decide whether Obama is a secret Sunni Muslim radical or a secret Shiite Iran-lover. Also joining the Cruz campaign is Andy McCarthy, who defended Donald Trump’s ban on the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims from entering the U.S. by stating that Islam is not a religion.
Of course, Cruz has echoed many of Gaffney’s own claims, baselessly asserting that the Obama administration imposed a “ban on anti-Muslim rhetoric” and secretly aids terrorism. Cruz also spearheaded a McCarthy-esque campaign against then-secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel, joining Gaffney in wondering if Hagel was an agent for America’s enemies.
And that’s what is truly scary.