Jeffrey D. Gordon

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Jeffrey D. "J.D." Gordon
Nationality USA
Occupation Senior Fellow
Known for Pentagon spokesman

Jeffrey D. "J.D." Gordon is an American communications consultant and retired career United States Navy officer. He has worked with numerous conservative Washington, DC-based think tanks as a Senior Fellow on national security, foreign policy and communications issues. Gordon is also a contributing columnist to Fox News, AOL News, The Washington Times and other media outlets. According to The Washington Times, Gordon founded Protect America Today, a national security-themed Super PAC in February 2012.

Previously, he served as a spokesman for the Navy and for the Department of Defense in the Western Hemisphere, retiring as a Commander.[1][2] He managed communications and press relations in a wide variety of conditions over a 20-year career, including posts in Europe, Latin America and Asia. As a spokesman for the Pentagon in his last assignment from 2005-2009, he dealt with sensitive issues related to the extrajudicial detention of captives since 2002 at the Navy's base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Early life and education[edit]

Gordon was born in New York City, grew up in central New Jersey and graduated from Wall High School, located at the Jersey Shore. Gordon received his undergraduate and graduate education from Penn State University and Norwich University. He attended two executive courses at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation.[3]

Naval career[edit]

After graduating college, he was commissioned as an officer in the Navy, and initially assigned to the Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia. He had additional professional training at the U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College. Since the early 1990s, Gordon served as a Navy spokesman in various assignments and geographical locations, to include the Pacific Fleet Headquarters in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Naval Forces Southern Command in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico; Naval Support Activity, Naples, Italy; Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet based in Okinawa, Japan; and Atlantic Fleet headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.

In 1994, Gordon served at Guantanamo Bay as the Naval Base spokesman for the Haitian and Cuban refugee crises. Later that year, he deployed to Haiti with the Multi-National Force for the restoration of President Jean Bertrand Aristide to power.

While based in Puerto Rico from 1999 to 2001, Gordon served as a spokesman for the Atlantic Fleet during controversy associated with its training range on Vieques Island. It had been occupied by protestors who were trying to force the Navy to leave. It had used the range in support of decades of major fleet exercises. Gordon also served in Navy Office of Information (CHINFO) as the director of public affairs plans.

In 2005, he transferred to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he served as the Pentagon spokesman for the Western Hemisphere, first under Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and later Secretary Robert Gates. In this period, notable issues were related to the extrajudicial detention of captives in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps in Cuba as well as increasing U.S. tensions with Venezuela under Hugo Chavez, and increasing cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico against drug cartels.[1][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Gordon contributed to developing Defense Department policies related to the use of social networking services and sites such as YouTube by military personnel, which DoD prohibits. He served as the spokesman to explain DoD's position on these issues.[10]

On October 2, 2007, Gordon explained why the Defense Department continued to hold certain detainees at Guantanamo, although they had been cleared for release. He touched on the need to ensure that receiving countries treated them properly.[11]

All detainees at Guantanamo are considered a threat to the United States — to include those transferred yesterday. As a condition of repatriation, nations accepting detainees must take steps to prevent the return to terrorism, as well as providing credible assurances of humane treatment.

On July 21, 2009, Gordon told CNN's Peter Bergen that one in seven detainees are confirmed or suspected of having returned to terrorism.[citation needed]

Gordon retired from the Navy as a Commander.

Complaint with The Miami Herald[edit]

In his position as Pentagon spokesman, on July 25, 2009 Gordon wrote to a senior editor at The Miami Herald, reporting what he characterized as sexual harassment by its reporter Carol Rosenberg, whose beat is the Guantanamo detention camp.[12] He said that Rosenberg had made crude jokes at his expense. The Miami Herald conducted an internal investigation, and reported on August 3, 2009 that it had concluded that, while Rosenberg had used profanity, she had not satisfied conditions of sexual harassment.

Gordon returned to the issue a year later in a column written for Fox News on August 9, 2010. In discussing the Pentagon having banned four reporters from Guantanamo, including Rosenberg, he said that Rosenberg was "notorious for clashes" and claimed she used language to him "... that would make even Helen Thomas blush",[13] referring to a prominent reporter at the White House.

Political activities[edit]

After the Navy, Gordon began his work in politics as a senior communications adviser to the Liberty & Freedom Foundation, where he worked to organize and handle communications for public speaking events by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in Florida and California during the 2010 Congressional campaign cycle. At the time, Palin's speaking tour was the focus of intense national media attention, and credited by many with the Republican landslide in Congress, where it recaptured the majority from the Democrats.

In 2011, Gordon became Vice President of Communications and Chief Foreign Policy and Security Adviser for the 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.[14] Grace Wiler of Business Insider described Gordon's dual role as both campaign spokesman and foreign policy adviser as further evidence that Cain had "completely thrown out the conventional campaign playbook."[15] From its analysis of Gordon's columns and television appearances prior to the campaign, The Nation magazine wrote, "it would appear that Cain is getting the same national security advice he would from Dick Cheney."[16]

After the Cain campaign ended, Gordon returned to his role as a Senior Fellow and adviser to several Washington, DC based think tanks, as well as conservative columnist and television commentator.

In February 2012, he founded a national security-themed Super PAC, Protect America Today. Throughout the duration of the 2012 Presidential campaign, Gordon ran political ads in eight states for 16 federal candidates to "Save 1 million jobs", a reference to stopping further cuts to defense spending, including sequestration. Winning candidates backed by Gordon included Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT).

Gordon's Protect America Today saw far better results during 2014 mid-term elections, with 13 of 16 candidates for whom he ran ads winning their races as Republicans won both the Senate and House of Representatives. PAT-endorsed candidates who won their elections include Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Rep. Renee Elmers (R-NC), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. French Hill (R-AR), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).


  1. ^ a b "Pentagon Told to Release Gitmo Transcripts". Washington Post. February 24, 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  2. ^ Washington Post, "Evidence Of Innocence Rejected at Guantanamo", December 5, 2007
  3. ^ "J.D. Gordon Communications Bio". 
  4. ^ David Morgan (May 14, 2007). "U.S. divulges new details on released Gitmo inmates". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  5. ^ David Rose (June 18, 2006). "How US Hid the Suicide Secrets of Guantanamo". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  6. ^ Michael Melia (April 25, 2007). "Murder Charge for Detainee". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Military Busy Delivering Relief Aid to Disaster Victims". US Embassy, London, United Kingdom. 18 October 2005. Retrieved 2007-05-15. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Media access to Guantanamo blocked altogether". USA Today. June 6, 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  9. ^ "Defense seeks to move Guantanamo trials to U.S., citing lack of access to base". USA Today. June 14, 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  10. ^ "Access denied: Pentagon blocks websites". Brisbane Times. May 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  11. ^ "Eight detainees transferred from Guantanamo Bay". The China Post. 2007-10-02. Archived from the original on 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  12. ^ Howard Kurtz (2009-07-25). "Military and Media Clash In Complaint: Navy Spokesman Alleges Abuse by Miami Reporter". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  13. ^ J.D. Gordon (2010-08-09). "Did the Pentagon cave on Four Banned Reporters at Gitmo". Fox News. Retrieved 2011-10-31. Once the 'big media' were brought in to the legal picture on the banning issue, it was all but over for the Pentagon. mirror
  14. ^ Don Surber (October 1, 2011). "Cain taps Rumsfeld spokesman". Charleston Daily Mail. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  15. ^ Grace Wiler, "Meet the Brains Behind Herman Cain's Brilliant Post-Modern Presidential Campaign," Business Insider, 1 November 2011
  16. ^ "Clues to Herman Cain's Foreign Policy," The Nation, 3 November 2011