Center for Security Policy’s Comm Director Calls Comparison with Walid Shoebat a “Smear”

Here’s one I missed from last week: Dave Reaboi, Director of Communications at the Center for Security Policy, responded to the recent Washington Post article on private groups involved with advising law enforcement on terrorism:

Yesterday’s feature, “Monitoring America,” by Dana Priest and William Arkin, intentionally distorts the role of outside experts training local law enforcement in matters related to terrorism.

In an effort to smear the Center for Security Policy, Arkin and Preist erroneously describe the Center’s book, Shariah: The Threat to America, as “expanding on what [Walid] Shoebat and [Ramon] Montijo believe.”

This is false. In fact, Shariah: The Threat to America is an independent work of nineteen national security experts, including the former Director of Central Intelligence, former directors of military intelligence agencies, a former counterterrorism agent in the FBI, experts in Shariah law, and many others. Each of the authors is an expert in his own right on a diverse array of national security issues; in that capacity, they can authoritatively address the nexus between America’s national security and Islamic law, called Shariah…

I blogged on the article here. As I’ve noted previously, the emphasis on the word “shariah” is a rhetorical device to frame Islam as a subversive political ideology rather than as a religion.

But why should an association with Shoebat be seen as a “smear” by the CSP? After all, CSP director Frank Gaffney is generous in his praise of Shoebat; according to an endorsement on Shoebat’s website:

In the 25 years I have been in Washington I have never heard anything so extraordinary and the truth be so eloquently spoken by someone like this.

In 2009, Shoebat and Gaffney appeared together on a panel in which they discussed whether Obama was a Muslim. Shoebat is on record as claiming that Obama is indeed a Muslim, who is plotting with Islamists to liberalise abortion laws so that more Americans will “kill their own children”; Gaffney is more ambivalent, although he claims that Obama’s policies are “indistinguishable in important respects from that of the Muslim Brotherhood”.

Whether Gaffney shares Shoebat’s views about the Bible predicting a Muslim anti-Christ is unknown; I expect he sees it as a useful tool in certain circles but keeps his own counsel on the subject. Gaffney has spoken at an event organised by John Hagee, an apocalyptic pastor who rails against “international bankers” and the “Illuminati” and who cites the design of the $1 bill as evidence of an occult-Masonic “New World Order” conspiracy.

Incidentally, the Washington Post article did indeed acknowledge the backgrounds of those who contributed to the Shariah report. It noted:

The book’s co-authors include such notables as former CIA director R. James Woolsey and former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, along with the center’s director, a longtime activist.

Boykin took part in an event organised by Shoebat and his handlers just a few weeks ago (a “competing” Fort Hood memorial service), while Boykin and Woolsey addressed an apocalyptic Christian Zionist event together in 2008.

UPDATE: Alongside his role with the CSP, Reaboi is a correspondent for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Peace website, and both he and Gaffney have close links to Breitbart. Earlier this year, Gaffney and Breitbart worked to promote a particularly silly conspiracy theory. Steve Douglas, who blogs on logos, reported at the time:

Conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart… twattering to his 15,000+ followers via his Twitter account [asked] this ominous question “Can this be true? New Obama Missile Defense logo includes a crescent”… If you clicked on Breitbart’s Twitter link, you’d be taken to his Big Government site, where another conservative pundit, Frank Gaffney would also ask “Can this be true?” suggesting that the “new logo” was evidence that something “nefarious is afoot” and that the new Missile Defense Agency shield “appears ominously to reflect a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star”. Gaffney and Breitbart aren’t the end of it either. There’s much, much more. Even this morning, Pamela Geller wrote about the fracas on her right-tilting blog Atlas Shrugs, calling the logo an example of “cultural jihad”.

(I blogged on this and related logo conspiracies here)

Hilariously, Breitbart recently got together with Gaffney to opine on the subject of “professional standards for reporting” – Reaboi has uploaded the video here.

Reaboi is also a fan of Robert Stacy McCain, whom he described in 2009 as a “magnificent bastard” after McCain wrote a denunciation of Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs for turning on Pamela Geller.