Why the Left Hates John Bolton

Ever since Donald Trump announced – by Tweet, of course – that he was replacing his National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, with former UN Ambassador John Bolton, the Left has had a collective hissy fit. Countless hours and column inches have been devoted to relentlessly trashing one of our most accomplished foreign and defense policy practitioners.

The attacks have been both direct and indirect. The direct ones have impugned Mr. Bolton’s character, maligned his record of service and darkly warned about his future intentions. The indirect ones have, among other techniques, maligned him for those with whom he has worked over the years. I am among the latter and one such assault sheds light on why the Ambassador is so feared by his critics.

On Saturday, CNN contributor Peter Beinart laid into John Bolton at the Atlantic Magazine for having “rehabilitated” yours truly, whom he described as a “fringe conservative.” Here’s how Beinart introduced his hit piece:

In 2016, Bolton played a crucial role in Frank Gaffney’s rehabilitation inside the conservative movement. For close to two decades, Gaffney has been Washington’s most dogged peddler of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. He’s traveled the country testifying against the construction of mosques, arguing that since Islam is a totalitarian political ideology, not a religion, American Muslims don’t deserve the protections of the First Amendment. Bolton’s intervention on his behalf is particularly intriguing because, in his own writing and remarks, he’s largely avoided anti-Muslim bigotry. But in today’s conservative movement, anti-Muslim activists are a legitimate constituency group, like people who support gun rights or oppose abortion. And Bolton has proved, in this case and others, all too willing to empower them.

As Claudia Rosett has noted, such comments are “a reflection not on Bolton, but on the uber-bias of his critics.” I can attest to such bias since I have spent over two hours walking Beinart through what he derides as “conspiracy theories” about Sharia-supremacism and its enablers in this country. In the interest of clarifying both my own views and Peter Beinart’s agenda-driven reporting, I am making the full transcripts of those conversations available for the first time here .

Time and time again, the discussions turned to my interviewer’s transparent preoccupation with challenging or otherwise discrediting the rigorous analysis of Sharia-supremacism in this country conducted by my colleagues at the Center for Security Policy and me for roughly two decades. In response, I shared with Beinart our extensive collection of books and monographs (available for free as downloads at www.SecureFreedom.org) that illuminate, among other things, the determination of the Muslim Brotherhood to use what one of its top operatives called “civilization jihad” to “destroy Western civilization from within” (as established by the federal government in the course of the country’s largest terrorism-financing trial, U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation).

The Center’s “Civilization Jihad Reader Series” examines in detail how Islamists have waged this campaign over the past five decades by targeting, penetrating and subverting our nation’s civil society and governing institutions. This is not a “conspiracy theory.” It is an actual, well-documented and ongoing conspiracy. Thanks to its success, America’s financial sector, faith communities, courts, popular culture, academic institutions, law enforcement and other government agencies have been induced to misunderstand and make ill-advised accommodations to Sharia and its adherents.

In particular, Peter Beinart seemed determined to rebut our findings about influence operations run by individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood against Republicans and George W. Bush with help from anti-tax activist Grover Norquist. He professed to have read part of a compilation of the relevant facts endorsed by such eminent national security leaders as former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, former Congressman Allen West and retired Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin. Yet, Beinart has studiously ignored such evidence.

For example, in Beinart’s latest screed in The Atlantic, he recounts how I was punished by Norquist and his allies for documenting this troubling saga – without acknowledging the basis for my charges. Instead, Beinart seeks to vilify John Bolton for having done what Norquist’s defenders have manifestly not: Mr. Bolton acquainted himself with the facts, thought through their implications and selflessly and courageously worked to rectify a mistaken policy unsupported by them.

These are among the many laudable qualities of the new National Security Advisor that may be detested by the Left, but that will serve President Trump and our nation well.

About Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Frank Gaffney is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. Under Mr. Gaffney's leadership, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters. Mr. Gaffney formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Reagan Administration, following four years of service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy. Previously, he was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator John Tower, and a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson.