Brief Supports Extreme Vetting for Jihadists

AFLC Files Brief in SCOTUS on Behalf of National Security Experts in Support of Extreme Vetting for Islamist Sharia Ideology


Washington, D.C. (February 28, 2017) — Yesterday, lawyers from the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), a national, nonprofit Judeo-Christian law firm, filed an amicus curiaebrief on behalf of seven national security experts (Andrew C. McCarthyCenter for Security PolicyFrank GaffneyDr. Robert J. ShillmanAdmiral James “Ace” Lyons, Jr., U.S. Navy RetiredLieutenant General William G. Boykin, U.S. Army Retired, and Ambassador Henry F. Cooper) in the United States Supreme Court in the case litigating the President’s proclamation restricting travel from certain countries.

The AFLC-authored brief argues that the President’s most recent executive proclamation suspending entry and creating a more rigorous entry vetting process for immigrants and travelers from certain high-risk countries (Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia) was a constitutional and statutorily permitted first step before implementing a more thorough-going “extreme vetting” of potential jihadists.  The brief lays out the policy and legal basis for an extreme vetting of Islamists who advocate or adhere to a political ideology predicated upon Sharia supremacism.  The brief argues that it is classic and extant Islamic law that is the threat doctrine underpinning jihad by the various Islamic groups, whether they be Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, or the Muslim Brotherhood.

David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, and described by The New York Times as one of the central leaders of the anti-Sharia movement in the U.S., explained,

“The litigants and other amici will focus on the narrow statutory issues of the proclamation, and especially on the power of the executive branch to exclude travelers from failed states.  Most of the president’s adversaries will claim the revised travel ban is a disguised ban on Muslims while the President and his legal team from the Solicitor General’s Office will flee from that fight by arguing that it has nothing to do with Muslims or Islam.  This brief plants a flag of coherence on the beach we must take if we are to protect this country’s security from the quiet and legal infiltration of jihadists flowing in from not only Muslim failed states, but also Muslim functioning states, Africa, and even Europe.”

Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, and considered one of the country’s top First Amendment litigators, added,

“The AFLC brief argues that the President has not only the authority for a travel ban, he has the constitutional and statutory authority to impose an ideological vetting process to screen for Sharia-adherent Islamists.  This will be the first time since 9-11 that this issue will be squarely and coherently briefed to the Supreme Court.  It begins the all too important policy discussion at the highest levels within the Halls of Justice and, as such, within the inner reaches of the law.  It turns the lawfare of the Islamists and Progressives in on itself and reshapes and indeed opens up new fronts on the legal and policy battlefields enabling those who cherish western civilization and our constitutional republic to take an offensive and ultimately rational posture into the lawfare and policy trenches.”

As one piece of the evidentiary framework for the brief, AFLC cites to a relatively recent peer-reviewed study, co-authored by Mr. Yerushalmi, revealing the statistically relevant correlation between sharia adherence at U.S. mosques and the propensity to preach and to propagate violent jihad against the West.  The study was first published by the Middle East Quarterly and subsequently in expanded form in Perspectives on Terrorism.

Copies of the National Security Experts’ amicus curiae brief may be downloaded here.

When the Government Fails In Its Primary Duty, The People Will Defend Themselves

Written by John Guandolo, President/Founder of Understanding the Threat (UTT) on March 1, 2018:

100% of Islamic Law (sharia) mandates warfare against non-muslims, and obliges stoning, crucifixion and beheading for certain crimes.  Islam’s prophet – a “beautiful pattern of conduct” for all muslims for all times – himself tortured, killed, took sex slaves, waged war on non-muslims, lied, and commanded war until the earth was under Islamic rule.  Yet, the President’s National Security Advisor, Herbert McMaster tells the public the actions of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State have nothing to do with Islam.

Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama all told the American people Islam is not a threat, but a peaceful religion.

They were wrong.  What they said is factually untrue and can never be true.

President Clinton’s Islamic Advisor, who also created the Muslim Chaplain Program for the Department of Defense and, as a “Goodwill Ambassador” for the State Department participated in the Middle East peace process on behalf of the United States, was actually a financier for Al Qaeda (Abdurahman Alamoudi), who is now in federal prison.

The U.S. government modeled the “Countering Violent Extremism” program after the British program of the same name which was handed to the Brits by the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK.  The FBI and DHS dragged that trojan horse into the U.S. national security apparatus, and put senior Muslim Brotherhood operatives in advisory roles across the government to implement it.

Numerous members of Congress and other government officials publicly support known leaders of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which the U.S. Department of Justice identifies as a “Member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee” which is Hamas in the United States.

Members of Congress to include nearly all Democrats, as well as John McCain, Scott Brown, Marco Rubio, John Boehner, Paul Ryan and others have consistently failed to identify the threat from the Islamic Movement, and have attacked those who speak truth about it, like former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

U.S. military generals and admirals created rules of engagement, policies on training, and wartime strategies all based on a counter-factual understanding of the enemy.  This is why the military’s “win the hearts and minds” crap got thousands of our men and women killed on the battlefield, frustrated our war-fighters, and got some of them put in jail for killing Al Qaeda jihadis outside the bounds of those same rules of engagement.

The FBI investigated:  the Boston Marathon bombers; the Orlando and San Bernadino jihadis; Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who killed Private Andy Long at a recruiting depot in Little Rock, Arkansas; the Ft Lauderdale jihadi; and so many others.  Yet in all of these cases, the FBI took no action to deter these attacks or kill/capture the men and women who perpetrated them before the attacks.

Why?  Because the U.S. federal government has catastrophically failed in its most basic duty:  to wield the sword and defend this nation and the the inalienable rights given to the American people by God.

We are at war and our government is certainly not acting like it.  They treat it like it is a crime spree.

In my time doing counter-jihad work, I have been physically threatened numerous times.  It is the nature of the business.  Just ask Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer, Pam Geller, and anyone else who speaks truth about Islam.

Ask Theo van Gogh.  Oh wait, you can’t.

I have contacted my old employer, the FBI, many times and filed reports about threats to me from jihadis.  There has been zero follow up by the FBI.

2016 was the first time the FBI followed up on real threats against me.

The FBI’s Oklahoma office opened investigations on two specific threats against me in the fall of 2016.  One of the threats just happened to come immediately after I testified in the Oklahoma State House that  two muslim leaders sitting in the hearing room are jihadis.

They are:  Dr. Imam Imad Enchassi, the Imam of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City; and Adam Soltani, the leader of Hamas in Oklahoma doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The FBI classified the case, so when they did not prosecute, state and local prosecutors could not use information because it was classified.  By the time the case was declassified, the subject of the investigation fled the country.  See an article here about this incident.

Here is the point:  The United States government has demonstrated since 9/11/01 it is not capable of protecting its citizens, primarily because it refuses to identify Islam/sharia as the doctrinal driver of the jihadis, organizations, and nation states waging war against the West.

Apparently, our leaders are also incapable of reading 1400 years of Islamic history or reading what America’s founders wrote about Islam and the threat it poses to Western civilization.

American leaders are still discussing nuanced strategies, outreach, and interfaith dialogue, while nations have been and are being overthrown, hundreds of thousands of Christians lay dead overseas, and Europe is being overrun by Islamic jihadis (sharia adherent muslims).

America’s leaders play the violin while Rome burns.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorney General of the United States have shown no sign of taking any productive action.  No domestic plan has been formulated to strategically deal with this real threat.

The answer resides, as it always does, in the hands of the American citizens.

Citizens must work to ensure local police/sheriffs get smart on the threat and take action.  Citizens must positively support police in developing aggressive investigative strategies to identify jihadis and their organizations at the local level and shut them down.  Citizens must organize to meet this enemy along every line of operation the enemy has created to stop their forward progress.

This can be done.  It is why Understanding the Threat does what we do, and we are the only ones doing it.

Local media, businesses, and leaders who protect these terrorists/jihadis and minimize the threat, must pay for their actions.  There are local and state laws on the books for individuals (like reporters) aiding and abetting seditious actors and terrorists.  Businesses should be boycotted and shut down if they support jihadi organizations.  Local elected officials should be jailed for propagandizing for, defending, or providing material support to individuals and organizations working to overthrow the state and federal Constitutions.

Many states have RICO statutes which cover many of these violations of the law.  Mostly, Americans must stop being so tolerant of those who support enemies of this nation, and begin taking affirmative actions.

Speak truth boldly IN love and WITHOUT fear.

Get involved in your local school district, local politics, and with your local police and sheriff’s office.  Force them to learn this information and act on it to protect the community, or get new people in positions of authority who will.

Take the fight to the enemy.  Do not wait in a defensive posture.  Put freedom on the offensive where it belongs.

It is late August 1939 in Warsaw, Poland.  As the darkness grows, will you sit and wait or will you do your best to thin the enemy’s ranks here in the U.S. before the larger war begins?

Al-Qaeda-Inspired Group Launches as Islamic State Alternative in Pakistan


Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, Sept. 12, 2017:

Former al-Qaeda fighters have launched a new group in terrorist safe haven Pakistan for jihadists who have severed ties with the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) branch in the region.

Although the new group claims it has no official links to al-Qaeda or any other foreign terrorist group, it concedes that Osama bin Laden, the former al-Qaeda leader who was killed by the U.S. military, inspired its ideology, reports Voice of America (VOA).

ISIS and al-Qaeda are considered to be enemies.

Two former al-Qaeda members who had grown disgruntled with the terrorist group this year reportedly assembled the new jihadist group, dubbed Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan.

“The group was allegedly created to operate as a platform for militants who have parted ways with IS [Islamic State] in the country, it said in an online statement. It claimed to be active in several parts of the country,” notes VOA.

In an announcement disseminated through a Twitter account, Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan declared, “We give glad tidings to Muslim Ummah [community] that a large number of Mujahideen [jihadists] from Karachi, Punjab, and tribal areas are leaving ranks of IS and announce disassociation with [it].”

ISIS has “spread differences” and “secession instead of unity,” said the new terrorist group, which has vowed to continue its struggle through “jihad” against “infidel and apostates.”

VOA concedes that it was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the Twitter account linked to the newly formed jihadist organization.

However, the counterterrorism department of the Karachi police has acknowledged the new group’s existence, revealing that it maintains a presence in the Pakistani territory between Sindh and Baluchistan provinces.

Pakistani authorities believe the newly-emerged group primarily operates out of Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, which is also considered to house a significant presence of terrorists affiliated with the South Asia-based al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) branch.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Saeed, the head of the Rangers paramilitary security force in Karachi, told local reporters that among the members of the new group are individuals with masters degrees in applied physics.

As it expanded its foothold in Pakistan, the local Islamic State branch known as the Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) reportedly recruited from a pool of individuals with sophisticated skills at universities across the country, including students, doctors, lawyers, journalists, and businessmen, and also used women for its fundraising operations.

Maj. Saeed revealed that Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan also has female members.

Terrorist groups in the region, namely the Pakistani Taliban or Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), have been engaged in efforts to recruit female jihadists, taking a page from ISIS’s playbook.

The U.S. military has linked TTP with the Islamic State, noting that the majority of ISIS-K members are former Pakistani Taliban jihadists.

Afghan and Pakistani Taliban members considered themselves to belong to two distinct groups with separate goals and led by different people.

The formation of the new jihadist group is a testament to the ongoing presence of al-Qaeda in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, nearly 16 years after the U.S. military was deployed to defeat the terrorist organization in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the American homeland.

Despite the trillions of American taxpayer dollars invested in defeating the Afghan Taliban and its ally al-Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the thousands of U.S. military service members killed and injured trying to carry out that mission, the two groups are believed to have grown stronger in recent years.

In its latest assessment of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, which began in October 2001, the Pentagon notes:

The Afghanistan-Pakistan border region remains a sanctuary for various groups, including al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e- Tayyiba, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), ISIS-K, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Sanctuary on the Pakistan side and presence on the Afghan side remain a security challenge for both countries and pose a threat to regional security and stability.

Echoing Indian and Afghan officials, the Pentagon has long accused Pakistan of harboring terrorist groups, particularly the Afghan Taliban, al-Qaeda, and their ally the Haqqani Network, considered one of the top threats facing U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Islamabad denies the allegations.

Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan, the newly formed terrorist group, has already been linked to several terrorist attacks in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi, notes VOA, citing counterterrorism authorities in Islamabad.

The name “Ansar al-Sharia” has been used by jihadists groups in various countries affiliated with al-Qaeda.

In particular, the allegedly dissolved al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya that the U.S. believes was behind the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans called itself Ansar al-Sharia in Libya (ASL).

Nevertheless, the newly-formed Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan insists it is not officially linked to any foreign terrorist organization, particularly al-Qaeda.

9/11/2017: Trump, Pence, Mattis, Sessions Fail to Name ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’

AP/Susan Walsh

Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, Sept. 11, 2017:

NEW YORK — On the sixteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorist attacks, President Donald Trump did not once mention the terms “radical Islam” or “Islamic terrorism” during a commemoration ceremony at the Pentagon.

Those phrases were also not mentioned in speeches today by other Trump administration senior officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Instead of naming the enemy, Trump seemingly went out of his way to use other descriptors in his speech, including “terrorists who attacked us,” “barbaric forces of evil and destruction,” “horrible, horrible enemies,” “enemies of all civilized people,” and “enemies like we’ve never seen before.”

Similarly, Pence, speaking at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, referred to the scourge as “evil terrorists” and “global terrorism.” Pence did mention “the barbarians known as ISIS,” calling the global jihadist group by its acronym instead of the Islamic State.

Mattis, addressing the same Pentagon memorial as Trump, outwardly minimized the Islamic motivations of the terrorists by calling them “maniacs disguised in false religious garb.” He referred to “attackers perpetrating murder” on that fateful day, not even using the words “terrorist” or “terrorism.”

Sessions perhaps came closest to prescribing a religious ideology, calling out “extremists” who “seek to impose their speech codes, their religion, their theocracy.”

“For these extremists, it’s more than religion; it’s ideology,” he stated. “We have no choice but to defend against it.”

But Sessions did not mention a specific religion and did not expound upon which ideology the terrorists maintain.

When speaking of common threads among terrorists, Sessions also failed to mention the one major thread of Islam when he stated:

While the threats we face are diverse and evolving, terrorist ideologies have one thing in common: their disregard for the dignity of human life and they share an obsession with forcing everyone into their twisted ideology. And the terrorists know they can’t persuade people using reason, so they use coercion and intimidation. They seek acquiescence and inaction.

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke released a brief statement that referred to the 9/11 radical Islamic jihadist perpetrators as “terrorists.”

Trump’s reluctance to name the actual enemy contrasts with speeches he gave in the past, including during the 2016 presidential campaign, in which he repeatedly utilized the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”

“America was under attack,” stated Trump at Monday’s Pentagon memorial, a passive tone that did not specify who the attackers were.

“Today, our entire nation grieves with you and with every family of those 2,977 innocent souls who were murdered by terrorists 16 years ago,” he stated.

“The terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit. But America cannot be intimidated, and those who try will soon join the long list of vanquished enemies who dared to test our mettle.”

Trump went on to use various other terms to describe the enemy:

In the years after September 11, more than five million young men and women have joined the ranks of our great military to defend our country against barbaric forces of evil and destruction. American forces are relentlessly pursuing and destroying the enemies of all civilized people, ensuring — and these are horrible, horrible enemies, enemies like we’ve never seen before — but we’re ensuring they never again have a safe haven to launch attacks against our country. We are making plain to these savage killers that there is no dark corner beyond our reach, no sanctuary beyond our grasp, and nowhere to hide anywhere on this very large earth.

So here at this memorial, with hearts both sad and determined, we honor every hero who keeps us safe and free, and we pledge to work together, to fight together, and to overcome together every enemy and obstacle that’s ever in our path.

Pence did quote a previous statement from Trump about terrorists’ “radical ideology” but, like the other administration officials speaking, did not say what that ideology was:

But under the leadership of President Donald Trump, as our commander-in-chief, our armed forces have ISIS on the run in Iraq and Syria, and we will not rest or relent until we hunt down and destroy them at their source. Some four weeks ago, President Trump expressed the full commitment of the United States to, in his words, “destroy terrorist organizations and the radical ideology that drives them.

The uniform lack of the mention of radical Islamic terrorism from the administration Monday comes after previous reports that H.R. McMaster, Trump’s embattled national security adviser, has petitioned against using the phrase.

In February, CNN cited a source inside a National Security Council meeting quoting McMaster as saying that use of the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” is unhelpful in working with allies to fight terrorism.

In May, McMaster spoke on ABC’s This Week about whether Trump would use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” in a speech that the president was about to give in Saudi Arabia. “The president will call it whatever he wants to call it,” McMaster said. “But I think it’s important that, whatever we call it, we recognize that [extremists] are not religious people. And, in fact, these enemies of all civilizations, what they want to do is to cloak their criminal behavior under this false idea of some kind of religious war.”

This reporter previously exposed numerous instances of McMaster’s minimizing the Islamic motivations of radical Muslim terrorists.

Breitbart News unearthed a 2014 speech on the Middle East in which McMaster claimed that Islamic terrorist organizations are “really un-Islamic” and are “really irreligious organizations” who cloak themselves in the “false legitimacy of Islam.”

Delivering the keynote address at last April’s Norwich University ROTC Centennial Symposium, McMaster criticized “modern day barbarians like Daesh and al-Qaeda who cynically use a perverted interpretation of religion to perpetuate ignorance, incite hatred, and commit the most heinous crimes against innocents.”

Breitbart News also reported that McMaster endorsed and touted a book that frames jihad as a largely peaceful “means to struggle or exert effort,” such as waking up early in the morning to recite prayers. It argues that groups like al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have hijacked the concept of jihad to wage warfare using such tactics as suicide bombings.

That same book calls Hamas an “Islamist political group” while failing to categorize the deadly organization as a terrorist group and refers to al-Qaeda attacks and anti-Israel terrorism as “resistance.”

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, Aaron Klein Investigative Radio. Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Administration Sources: Creepy Tweet Was a Coded Message to General McMaster About Leakers

National security adviser H.R. McMaster speaks during the news briefing at the White House, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

PJ Media, by David Steinburg, Sept. 6, 2017:

A story fantastically strange, dancing between lowbrow and stupid, and it matters: this masterwork of a news item belongs in a time capsule, one day making the case to our descendants that we were, at least, blessed to live in interesting times.

Because this sort of thing happens in 2017, an alt-right crank who hasn’t won anyone’s trust beyond that of his loyal travelers seems to have become the white-whale obsession of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

Also, a multi-national public relations campaign which occupied much of August — a campaign seemingly intended to repair General McMaster’s reputation with the President of the United States, to sully the reputation of Trump loyalists whom McMaster had removed from the National Security Council, and to drive out Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, all in one shot — may have been unintentionally destroyed by said alt-Right crank tweeting the words …

“Spirit Animal” :

Mike Cernovich posted this tweet on August 11. To an objective observer, that’s inscrutable nonsense. And — also objectively — it’s creepy.

But when considered with its actual context, and pivotally, its timing, that rational observer should be driven to conclude that, ahem, the “McMaster what’s your spirit animal” tweet is a political thunderbolt with ramifications much beyond what Cernovich appears to have intended.

Here goes:

Sources within the Trump Administration claim that the “spirit animal” tweet is a reference to a small meeting that McMaster and select others within the National Security Council held in the days prior to August 11.

At that meeting, attendees reportedly joked about each other’s “spirit animals.” Indeed, as of this writing, I cannot neither confirm nor deny that a prominent member of the NSC is imbued with the soul of a platypus.

Since August 11, Cernovich has offered other information that also points to him having sourcing within the NSC. However, the “spirit animal” tweet reportedly represented a more concerning breach. Yet even so, the breach itself is of less evident concern to McMaster and his supporters than is the fact of its August 11 publication.


Because if Cernovich still had a source leaking to him on that date or in the days immediately prior, then the tweet necessarily deconstructs much of the past month’s administration-orchestrated media defense of General McMaster’s personnel decisions.


In early August, General McMaster came under enormous pressure — spearheaded by the Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick and the Zionist Organization of America’s Morton Klein — for having seemingly purged the NSC of all members who aligned with candidate Trump’s Mideast policy. “Radical Islamic terror” and the destruction of the Iran nuclear deal was out; the continuance of Obama-era policies behind the “Arab Spring” catastrophe had apparently returned.

Wrote Glick on August 2:

McMaster disagrees and actively undermines Trump’s agenda on just about every salient issue on his agenda. He fires all of Trump’s loyalists and replaces them with Trump’s opponents, like Kris Bauman, an Israel hater and Hamas supporter who McMaster hired to work on the Israel-Palestinian desk.

He allows anti-Israel, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Iran Obama people like Robert Malley to walk around the NSC and tell people what to do and think. He has left Ben (reporters know nothing about foreign policy and I lied to sell them the Iran deal) Rhodes’ and Valerie Jarrett’s people in place.

And he not only is remaining at his desk. He is given the freedom to fire Trump’s most loyal foreign policy advisers from the National Security Council.

On August 9, Morton Klein released a statement on behalf of the ZOA which included this passage:

The duties of the National Security Council (NSC) include “coordinat[ing] and direct[ing] the activities of the United States Government relating to combating transnational threats.” 50 U.S.C. § 3021(i). It is thus alarming that National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster purged from the NSC those officials who were carrying out President Trump’s policies of combating Iranian and radical Islamist transnational threats, and purged from the NSC those officials who support the U.S.-Israel alliance — an alliance that is vital to America’s ability to combat radical Islamist terrorism.

Instead, General McMaster has appointed officials who are holdovers from the Obama administration, who favor the Iran nuclear deal and are hostile to Israel — officials who are diametrically opposed to President Trump’s policies. Moreover, new revelations demonstrate that General McMaster’s ideology is antagonistic to the President’s policies on these vital issues.

Since then, McMaster and a large contingent of administration and media allies have chosen to defend his behavior primarily as the restoration of Executive Branch decorum and as the necessary removal of “alt-Right” thinkers. These defenses included implications that the purged members had been leaking to the disreputable Mike Cernovich.

With “spirit animal,” however, Cernovich managed the improbable feat of wiping out several weeks of PR crafted by some of the administration’s most powerful figures, because the fact of his tweet’s August 11 publication date establishes the following truth:

On the date of the “spirit animal” meeting, NO ONE with fealty to Trump’s aggressively pro-Israel, anti-Obama/Iran nuclear deal campaign platform — without which, he likely loses to Hillary — remained at the NSC.

Yet Cernovich’s source was still in the room.

So we now have a strong repudiation of the narrative component of the purge which — with the later resignation of Sebastian Gorka (who had long been unwelcome at the NSC) and his public resignation note confirming that such a purge had indeed been afoot — successfully removed every Trump Administration official aligned with Trump’s campaign promises regarding national security.


On August 11, I published a story at PJ Media identifying the National Security Council officials whom administration sources claim had been coordinating August’s public relations defense of McMaster. My concern at that time was the apparent dishonesty in how McMaster’s defenders have attacked both his critics and the members of NSC whom McMaster has fired or otherwise helped remove:

Deputy National Security Adviser Rick Waddell, Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Gulf States Joel Rayburn, and Yll Bajraktari, a former special assistant to the deputy secretary of defense during the Obama administration, have been coordinating an extensive public relations campaign in support of embattled National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, according to multiple sources.

Members of the national security community who spoke with PJ Media describe the talking points used during this effort to defend McMaster’s tenure as NSA as “absurd,” “dishonest,” and “comically inaccurate.” But sources primarily expressed anger regarding insinuations that NSC members fired by McMaster or otherwise no longer in their positions — such as K.T. McFarland, Rich Higgins, Adam Lovinger, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, and Derek Harvey — are gone for reasons other than ideology.

Over the past week, several media accounts have painted them as “conspiratorial” members of the “alt-right,” possibly leaking information to the controversial Mike Cernovich, and possibly working in tandem with Russian social media accounts. Such claims, which have been picked up by several outlets, are reportedly doing lasting damage to reputations and careers.

Further, multiple sources believe McMaster and his allies within the administration are using such “career-ending” “swamp” tactics with the knowledge that the fired members and supportive colleagues — due to the nature of their careers within the national security realm — do not necessarily have the option of defending themselves in the public sphere.

Yes, Mike Cernovich does indeed have sourcing within the administration. And apparently he has occasionally released accurate information regarding the workings of the NSC. However, I’m hard-pressed to find anyone who was aware of this situation prior to reading of it in this August 4 piece in The Atlantic. And that should lead our objective observer towards identifying cynical motives behind Cernovich receiving unwarranted attention from McMaster.

In that article, the Atlantic’s Rosie Gray revealed that — among the myriad leaks to various outlets that are assumed to have originated from the NSC, including the Washington Post’s atrocious decision to publish transcripts of President Trump’s phone calls with two foreign statesmen — McMaster had seemingly prioritized plugging the leak to the popular-within-the-alt-Right-but-otherwise-irrelevant Cernovich. Sources could only speculate as to why McMaster has been so concerned with the one voice that could be most simply dispatched as a purveyor of false information. Indeed, Cernovich — recall “Pizzagate”? — has otherwise carried out that mission on his own.

But it’s clear that, as August came, Cernovich was a useful foil for defending McMaster against charges of purging the NSC of conservatives.

Suddenly, America was being told that McMaster had not been systematically removing those who questioned his embrace of the Obama-era policy of discounting the Islamic roots of terror and jihad. Instead, as we were told, McMaster was indeed tough on Iran and Mahmoud Abbas, and had actually been doing Trump’s bidding by removing “alt-Right” liabilities suspected of leaking to a man with the reputation of a conspiracist kook.

Throughout August, elements of this narrative were spread by influential outlets and think tanks, by Sunday morning talk shows, by Senator John McCain, by the U.S. ambassador to Israel, and even by a friendly in the Netanyahu administration.

Perhaps Senator McCain’s contribution most shamelessly embraced the smear tactic. McCain released a statement declaring that the outside pressure to have General McMaster removed from the NSC — which, as all of D.C. knew at the timepresumably including McCain, had been spearheaded by former IDF captain Caroline Glick and Morton Klein, child of Holocaust survivors and president of the Zionist Organization of America — instead arose “from the same purveyors of hatred and ignorance who precipitated the recent violence in Charlottesville.”

Yes — Senator McCain employed shameless expediency to turn “Glick and Klein” into … the Klan.

And until now, that disingenuous campaign had been remarkably successful.

“McMaster is purging the alt-Right leakers” soon became “McMaster can’t work with alt-Right leaker Steve Bannon and alt-Right leaker Sebastian Gorka.” Both are out. Truly, everyone who had been brought on as complementary to Trump’s Mideast campaign promises is now out, as Sebastian Gorka summarized in his public resignation letter.

But Cernovich’s leaker is still there.


So America is now presented with two options to consider regarding what has transpired throughout 2017 at the NSC under National Security Adviser McMaster:

A. Either McMaster has chosen to restaff the NSC only with people loyal to Mideast policy he has embraced throughout his recent career, even though his policy preferences are in intractable opposition to those of the current Commander-in-Chief; or —

B. Several career intelligence officials of high regard, all of whom shared the distinction of having been selected for duty at the NSC because they were loyalists to Trump’s Mideast platform, somehow became Trump antagonists once McMaster, the real Trump loyalist, was appointed to lead them.

Then some of these officials, concerned about McMaster’s leadership, decided to risk their careers by leaking private, even confidential, information to the media.

Having made this decision, they then considered which outlet was the wisest choice for disseminating their concerns, and lo, they went with … Pizzagate guy.

So August’s narrative needs to end now, and wondrously, it’s all due to a creepy tweet from an apparent conspiracist who may or may not have realized what he was doing. While normal, everyday Americans hopefully get a kick out of that, the media needs to return to demanding McMaster answer everyone’s initial questions:

  1.  Why did you purge the NSC of every official loyal to Trump’s Middle East campaign platform?
  2. Why have you instead placed Obama administration holdovers in key positions?

The Gorka That Matters Isn’t Leaving The Trump Administration

C-SPAN / Via

Sebastian Gorka is out at the White House, but his wife, Katharine, remains a force in government, wielding more power than her husband ever did.

Buzzfeed, by John Hudson, Aug. 29, 2017:

A wide array of progressive groups claimed victory on Friday following the dismissal of White House aide Sebastian Gorka, a staunch critic of Islam whose ties to anti-Semitic groups in Hungary made him the target of a public campaign dedicated to his ouster.

But the most effective advocate of Gorka’s brand of hardline policies on Islam is still in the government: Katharine Gorka, his wife and the coauthor of scores of his policy papers. She’s staying on in her role as an adviser to the secretary of homeland security, officials tell BuzzFeed News.

Though less high-profile than her husband, who regularly appeared on television to defend the president with his plummy British accent and distinctive half-beard, half-goatee, Katharine arguably has had a bigger impact on US policy.

Unlike Sebastian, whose failure to obtain a permanent security clearance barred him from some policy discussions, Katharine has dived into the weeds, advising top officials at DHS on counterterror policies, drafting the department’s reports to Congress on terrorism recruitment, and trying to instill her anti-Islamist philosophy throughout the department.

To her supporters, she is the intellectual forebear of President Donald Trump’s promise to call out radical Islam by name and shun political correctness. She is credited with convincing the department to claw back hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for countering right-wing extremism and prioritizing the role of law enforcement in combating Islamic extremism. Her detractors accuse her of downplaying the threat of white nationalism and alienating Muslim communities who could be partners in US counter-extremism efforts.

“Katie is much more dangerous than Sebastian,” said Eric Rosand, a former senior State Department official responsible for programs on Countering Violent Extremism, or CVE. “She played a significant role in denying CVE grant funding to groups that work to de-radicalize neo-Nazis and other far right extremists and Muslim-American groups that work to build resilience against violent extremism, but without the involvement of the police.”

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In Afghanistan, End the Trump-Obama Taliban Fantasy

Tenth Marine Regiment Marines on patrol in Habbib Abad, Afghanistan, 2012. (Photo: Lance Corporal Robert Reeves)
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However many troops we send, the Taliban will always outlast us.

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Aug. 26, 2017:

On the matter of an outcome in Afghanistan after 16 years of fitful war, President Trump is adamant. “The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory,” he proclaimed in Monday night’s big speech. “They deserve the tools they need, and the trust they have earned, to fight and to win.”

The president hammered home the point, again and again:

Our troops will fight to win. We will fight to win. From now on, victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.

Stirring stuff. Or at least it would have been if Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had not, less than 24 hours later, undercut his boss’s bold message. Victory? There is no battlefield victory to be had in Afghanistan, Tillerson maintained at Foggy Bottom. Instead, the modest goal is to convince the Taliban that, while “we might not win,” they won’t win either.

Eh . . . not so stirring.

By the time the secretary was done tinkering with the president’s “plan for victory,” one couldn’t be sure if the Taliban was an enemy, a terrorist organization, or a “peace partner.” Indeed, not content to leave pathetic enough alone, Tillerson contemplated “political legitimacy” for the mullahs, proclaiming that the Trump administration “stand[s] ready to support peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban without precondition.” You read that right: without precondition — not even the condition that they abandon their alliance with al-Qaeda (you know, the reason we went to Afghanistan in the first place). As the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes observed, this is “the same kind of diplomatic tail-chasing that was a priority of the Obama administration’s failed approach.”

The band’s got new players. The pitch is a bit higher. But the song remains the same.

Ultimately, Tillerson elaborated, “it is going to be up to the Afghan government and the representatives of the Taliban to work through a reconciliation process.” Sound familiar? Yeah . . . just like Obama’s secretary of state, John Kerry, during an April 2016 trip to Kabul, expressing “support for the government of Afghanistan’s efforts to end the conflict in Afghanistan through a peace and reconciliation process with the Taliban.”

The Taliban has now been recognized by the Obama and Trump administrations as the solution to the Afghanistan problem. That is, Trump has adopted The Way of the Swamp: Any problem that won’t go away eventually becomes “the solution.” The strategy — and who says hope isn’t a strategy? — is that the mullahs will finally come to their senses, end their remorseless jihad, and join the ineffective regime we have struggled to prop up for over a decade.

There are two major problems with this approach.

First, the Taliban believe they will win without negotiating because they are confident they will outlast us. They responded to Trump’s speech (and Tillerson’s revise-and-extend exercise) by promising to “sustain our jihad” as long as it takes. Obama could not get them to the table despite having over 100,000 American troops in theater. Trump currently has 8,400, a paltry number he is reluctantly willing to increase by about 4,000 (the administration is being coy about the exact number). Even if he were to double that (not likely), what would be accomplished?

The president rebuked his predecessor over the futility of waging war by advance announcements to the enemy of his withdrawal timelines. Trump has a point. There was no sense in Obama’s approach: pegging wartime troop levels to political rather than military considerations, imposing force-reduction timelines with no regard for battlefield conditions and requirements. All that said, though, from 2009 through mid 2014, Obama kept in Afghanistan a force between three and eight times the size that Trump will have after his mini-surge. Yet, unfazed and unmoved by Obama-Kerry pleas for “reconciliation,” the Taliban continued to fight. As they and their jihadist allies gained ground, Obama responded by withdrawing troops. The Taliban knew they were winning.

Now, beneath Trump’s “we will fight to win” applause lines, the Taliban see that he is resistant to anything but a marginal escalation in what is a skeleton force, on hand more in an advisory than a combat role. They read the papers. They know the president didn’t even want to do that much. They realize that Trump has stated, time and again over the years, that he does not believe any American troops should still be in Afghanistan.

To summarize, the Taliban know they are on their home turf against a commander-in-chief who doesn’t want to be there and who was contemplating total withdrawal as a serious option just a month ago. Why should they budge?

I said that there are two major problems with Trump’s strategy. Alas, the one I’ve just described is the easier one. The second, tougher problem is that the Taliban are still the Taliban.

They are the vanguard of fundamentalist Islam, the Sunni version of sharia supremacism. So virulently anti-American is their totalitarian ideology that the Taliban are making common cause with their Shiite counterparts in Iran to persevere in their jihad against American forces.

It can get tiresome recounting this history, but it is worth remembering that our forces invaded Afghanistan all those years ago because the Taliban, while ruling that country beginning in the mid-1990s, gave safe haven to al-Qaeda to plot, train for, and orchestrate several attacks against the United States. The 9/11 atrocities were not a one-off; they were the last in a series. Even so, President George W. Bush offered to give the mullahs a pass on the condition that they turn al-Qaeda’s leadership over to the United States. Only when the Taliban refused, knowing it meant they would be driven from power, did our forces invade.

The Taliban is the creation of fundamentalist Islamic elements of Pakistani intelligence, conceived as a geopolitical weapon against India. The Pashto word “taliban” means students – and, as you’ve no doubt guessed, we are not talking about students of comparative lit or macroeconomics. They are students of sharia, Islam’s ancient societal framework and legal code. They refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. They rose to power and have been sustained through 16 years of war because, contrary to what Western progressives would have you believe, they have significant support in what is a modernity-resistant sharia society. That is why they gave al-Qaeda sanctuary. It is why, to this day, they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with al-Qaeda in the jihad.

So what’s our plan? Why, we’re going to “reconcile” them so they can have a share of power. Fabulous.

Of course, if the Taliban were interested in the foot in the regime door that we are offering, it would only be for the purpose of retaking full power once we leave. If that seems perfectly obvious to you, you are clearly not wired for diplomatic work. The State Department — regardless of which party is in the White House — proceeds on the assumption that the Taliban will make peace with the rickety regime in Kabul. They will join in the governance of the emirate — um, I mean, the country. This time they’ll behave themselves, eventually deep-six their al-Qaeda alliance, and go easy on the subjugation of women, the killing of homosexuals, the death sentences for apostates, the effacement of non-Islamic cultural vestiges, the jihad against the West, and the rest of the classical sharia vision these students have been studying for decades.

Crazy? No crazier than State’s convincing itself that Iran is complying with Obama’s legacy deal and has no interest in acquiring nukes. As the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Tom Joscelyn explains, “officials in the State Department and elsewhere in government are heavily invested in the idea that the Taliban is a legitimate, albeit noxious, political faction that must be reconciled with the Afghan government,” even though “this policy goal has been betrayed by reality at every turn.”

With Trump’s State Department sounding exactly like Obama’s State Department, is it any surprise that The Donald is starting to sound like Imam Barack? Did you notice what was missing from Monday night’s speech? Though Trump was addressing a war with jihadists in which we’ve been mired for 16 years, there was not a single utterance about “radical Islamic terrorism.” That, you may recall from the 2016 presidential campaign, is the enemy Trump has repeatedly said we cannot be afraid to name. On Monday, to the contrary, the president assured us that “terrorists who slaughter innocent people will find no glory in this life or the next.”

Does he reckon that’s what they believe throughout Afghanistan?

To be fair, there are no good answers about what to do in that awful country. But it is hard to imagine a worse answer than trying to reconcile the Taliban to the regime.

There is a vital American interest in preventing ungoverned territories from becoming sanctuaries where jihadists plot against us. In most places, we deal with this challenge without having thousands of U.S. troops on the ground. If you were waiting to hear the president explain why, after all our sacrifice, Afghanistan should not be one of those places, you waited in vain.

The problem in Afghanistan is not the Taliban. The problem in Afghanistan is Afghanistan. The Taliban (and al-Qaeda, and the Haqqanis, and the “ISIS-K” in Khoransan province) are an inevitable consequence of sharia society, not its cause. We cannot change that. Contrary to Washington wisdom, there are no “vacuums” in the Middle East. There is Islamic fundamentalism. Absent the intervention of military force or tyrannical regimes, Islamic fundamentalism produces sharia societies that guarantee savage infighting and repression. As long as such societies endure, there will always be another Taliban to partner with another al-Qaeda; and there will always be Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey and the rest to support and exploit them — all the while posing as opponents of “extremism.”

We should be taking every sensible step to protect our society from the threats — kinetic and cultural, ideological and legal — posed by these aggressor societies. On that score, what we do on visa policy and border security is much more important than what we do in Afghanistan. Congress, moreover, should be enacting a new authorization of military force that solidifies the president’s authority to strike jihadist sanctuaries in Afghanistan and wherever else the enemy plots against us.

But let’s face facts: We are now 16 years down the road, and our government still refuses to be clear-eyed about sharia-supremacist ideology. We’ve lost thousands of valiant lives and wasted trillions of dollars trying to better the lot of people who hate us. Our nation, moreover, has no appetite for the formidable war effort it would take to pursue actual victory against our enemies and their sponsors. We should not inch up our forces in Afghanistan. We should strip down to the minimum assets needed to carry out and support counterterrorism strikes. And we should have as little to do with this region as our vital interests allow.


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