Everyone wants to be safe and secure and free from threat, even more so in this country since the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, that tragedy has sparked a groundswell of paranoia and provided an avenue for the emergence of right-wing, fanatics to further the fear and produce an atmosphere of hate and prejudice. The Center for Security Policy and its offshoots is precisely that.
The CSP is a Washington, D.C. Think Tank that focuses on national Security and advocates policies based on a philosophy of Peace through Strength.” The Center holds a non-profit status and claims to be non-partisan.
Frank Gaffney founded the Center in 1988, at which time it was a “hawkish but-once respectable think tank,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. After the September 11th attacks, that all changed along with Gaffney.
In 2003, Gaffney called upon the United States military to take out Al Jazeera News Network. He later climbed on the “birther” bandwagon claiming that President Obama was, in fact, not born in Hawaii, and that he would adopt the Muslim Brotherhood plan of Sharia Law.
Gaffney and the CSP have been major promoters of Islamaphobia and the Shraia Law fear-mongering that has been unleashed in this country. One of their publications, “Shariah: The Threat to America,” asserted that every practicing Muslim engaged in the practice. Of course this is an erroneous assumption. According to Soutcewatch:
“CSP has funded research by David Gaubatz, a former federal agent in charge of special investigations for the U.S. Air Force and a U.S. State Department trained Arabic linguist who referred to President Obama as “our Muslim leader” and said he personally found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and writer Paul Sperry, the author of the 2005 book Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington. The two wrote Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America (published by right-wing conspiracy outlet World Net Daily), where they allege that Muslim spies have posed as interns and infiltrated Capitol Hill with a nefarious Islamist agenda. Rep. Sue Nernick (R- N.C.) wrote the foreward for the book, and in response, Reps. John Shadegg (AZ), Paul Broun (GA), Trent Franks (AZ) and Sue Myrick (NC) called for an investigation into whether any interns associated with the Council on American-Islamic relations were on the Hill. Gaffney writes approvingly of the book on the CSP website.”
Frank Gaffney and the CSP was a driving force behind much of the hysteria surrounding the Ground Zero Mosque and other anti-Muslim events that have taken place over the last several years.
While they bill themselves as non-partisan, they are closely aligned with the Republican Party. Gaffney and CSP’s ideas for national security are pretty straigh-forward: Gut all arms control treaties, push ahead with weapons systems virtually everyone agrees should be killed, give no quarter to the Palestinians and, most important, go full steam ahead on just about every national missile defense program.
Upon searching the affiliates of CSP, the picture becomes even more clear. Arms and defense groups and businesses are well-represented on their Board of Director’s: Boeing; Lockheed-Martin; TRW; Raytheon; Ball Aerospace & Technologies; Missile defense computer systems maker, Hewlett-Packard; and the Congressional Missile Defense Caucus.
Frank Gaffney has been listed as one of the 30 to Watch by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the CSP has been heavily funded by several conservative foundations including, but not limited to, the Smith-Richardson Foundation; the Sarah Scaife Foundation; the Carthage Foundation; the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; and the John M. Olin Foundation.
An offshoot of the CSP is Family Security Matters which claims to be the “national security resource for American families.” They, of course, take a very hardline approach to the War on Terror, and promote the same Islamophobic rhetoric as the CSP.
As is evident by the individuals associated with the Council for Security Policy, the misinformation mills often reside right within, or just down the street from, our halls of government. Even more troubling are the influential sources which fund them, as well as the right-wing politicians in this country. The policies and propaganda which spew forth from these so-called “think-tanks” have far reaching implications for each and every American citizen and cannot be dismissed or written off as “just the lunatic fringe.” Every day these groups regurgitate their missive of hate, and they have the ears of some of the most powerful individuals in our government.