David Barton was a guest this morning on the American Family Association’s “Today’s Issues” radio program where he explained to the right-wing audience that in order to understand President Obama’s foreign policy, one simply has to ask the question: What does the Muslim Brotherhood want?
As Barton explained it, 95 percent of Obama’s foreign policy decisions regarding the Middle East can be summed up by the phrase, “If the Muslim Brotherhood would be for it, [Obama] is for it; if they’re against it he’s against it.”
As “proof” of this, Barton went on to claim that on seven separate occasions, Obama “has publicly leaked to the media secret intelligence from Israel about what they were doing to stop terrorism,” especially regarding Iran.
“On seven occasions, he has leaked secret intelligence about what Israel is about to do in Iran or elsewhere and released that to the Muslim world,” he claimed. “I scratch my head and say, ‘How can you do that to your closest ally, release their top secret intelligence on what they’re about to do?’ And the answer is: Muslim Brotherhood would do it and so he does.”
As usual, Barton did not actually provide any evidence to support this claim other than his own “research,” so it is impossible to know what he is even referencing or how he would explain the millions of dollars in U.S. aid to the al-Sisi government in Egypt, which has vowed to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood.
UPDATE: On the February 23 edition of his “WallBuilders Live” radio program, Barton finally provided some “evidence” to back up his claims, though he only managed to cite four specific instances, most of which do not prove his point at all:
The first instance Barton cited was a report from 2010 that revealed that Saudi Arabia had agreed to allow Israeli bombers to pass over the country in the event that Israel was going to carry out an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. According to the article, a “U.S. defense source in the Persian Gulf” revealed that the plan “has all been done with the agreement of the State Department.” Why the Obama administration would seek to undermine Israel by leaking details on an agreement that it had reportedly approved is not something that Barton ever explained.
The second instance Barton cited was a 2012 instance in which the Obama administration supposedly leaked to the New York Times information “on war exercises that Israel was doing, practicing a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.” Of course, if you read the article in question, it focused on a simulation run by the U.S. military on the ramifications of an Israeli strike on Iran, which concluded that such an attack would draw the U.S. into a large regional conflict.
The article did not, as Barton claimed, reveal Israeli war plans, but rather the results of a U.S. simulation of what could happen in the wake of an Israeli attack.
The third instance that Barton cited — a 2012 ABC News piece that reported that analysts in Israel were “accusing the Obama administration leaking information to pressure Israel not to bomb Iran and for Iran to reach a compromise in upcoming nuclear talks” — is the only one that says what Barton claims it says.
The final example that Barton cited was an April 2012 article in the New Yorker which he claimed contained leaked information from the U.S. that revealed that “the Israeli intelligence agency was helping fund and train the Iranian opposition … the more moderates to help take out that administration.”
The article in question was a Seymour Hersh piece reporting that the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command had been training “members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a dissident Iranian opposition group known in the West as the M.E.K,” despite the fact that the M.E.K is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. Among the material contained in the Hersh article was information from an earlier NBC report that that several Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated since 2007, presumably by members of the M.E.K who were trained and financed by the Israeli Mossad.
As far as we can tell, outside of possibly the 2012 ABC News piece, not one of these articles cited by Barton actually contains evidence that the Obama administration has “publicly leaked to the media secret intelligence from Israel” as he originally claimed.