It has been just over two months since John Bolton was appointed to the Trump administration as national security adviser and, against all odds, we have not been eviscerated Terminator 2-style in a nuclear war, our skeletal paws clinging to our iPhones as the cleansing fire erases us all. But despite Bolton not yet managing to get us into a world-ending nuclear war, he continues to make terrifying decisions that push us further toward the brink.
Case in point: Bolton has hired Fred Fleitz, his former chief of staff, as the National Security Council’s executive secretary, as Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. Who dis? Surprise, surprise: another member of the depressingly extensive anti-Islam nonprofit world.
It would appear Fleitz has found his bird of a feather: In April, NBC reported that Bolton had been the chair of the anti-Islam Gatestone Institute, which “promoted misleading and false anti-Muslim news.”
The Center for Security Policy, where Fleitz is senior vice president for policy and programs, is “known for its accusations that a shadowy ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ has infiltrated all levels of government,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Its founder, Frank Gaffney, argued Barack Obama is a Muslim back in 2009 and accused prominent conservative Grover Norquist of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which got his organization banned from the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2011. He’s also suggested that government officials like John Brennan and Janet Napolitano are agents of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In 2011, a column on the CSP site argued for establishing a committee, not unlike the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee, to investigate jihadism in the U.S. government:
So pervasive now is the MB’s [Muslim Brotherhood’s] ‘civilization jihad’ within the U.S. government and civil institutions that a serious, sustained and rigorous investigation of the phenomenon by the legislative branch is in order. To that end, we need to establish a new and improved counterpart to the Cold War-era’s HUAC [House Un-American Activities Committee] and charge it with examining and rooting out anti-American – and anti-constitutional – activities that constitute an even more insidious peril than those pursued by communist Fifth Columnists fifty years ago.
In 2015, Gaffney hosted Jared Taylor, a prominent white nationalist, on his radio show, in which he “called Taylor’s white nationalist American Renaissance website ‘wonderful,’ and asked, ‘Is it the death of Europe what we’re seeing at the moment in terms of this migration, this invasion?’,” according to the SPLC.
In an interview with Breitbart after the London Bridge terror attacks last year, Fleitz, who was still working for Gaffney’s organization, warned that the UK may see “generations of radical Islamists” unless the government “wakes up,” and claimed there are “communities where British Muslims are deliberately not assimilating, are being taught to hate British society.”
From the site:
“It’s certainly true there are some communities in the United States that have not assimilated,” Fleitz agreed. “I’m not concerned about Amish or Jewish communities, but I will tell you that there are enclaves of Muslim communities in Michigan and Minnesota that concern me. We know that in Minnesota there’s a rising rate of measles because the community has not assimilated into the rest of the community, and is not vaccinating their children. This is wrong. This is a big problem.”
And in 2016, Fleitz tweeted that the Bridge Initiative at Georgetown University was a “Muslim Brotherhood front group.”
The same year, Fleitz criticized the SPLC for designating his group a hate group, arguing the “Islamophobia charges made against CSP and other critics of radical Islam have nothing to do with hate or bigotry – they are a ploy by Mr. Obama, American Muslim groups and liberal groups to sidestep how Islamist extremism represents.”
As Peter Beinart wrote earlier this year in The Atlantic, Bolton is careful not to voice these more insane (and racist) views himself, but he’s happy to constantly “elevate the anti-Muslim bigotry of others,” even reportedly working to get Gaffney’s group back in at CPAC. Appointing Fleitz is just another example of this pattern, but now it’s not just helping a nutty group take part in a largely nutty conference: It’s appointing a senior VP at a virulently anti-Islam group to a senior position in the U.S. government, where he will be able to influence policy and the advice received by our decrepit, easily-led president.