Center for Security Policy
|Motto||Peace through Strength|
|Headquarters||1901 Pennsylvania Avenue NW|
Founder and President
|Frank Gaffney, Jr.|
The Center for Security Policy (CSP) is a Washington, D.C.-based national security think tank whose activities are focused on exposing and researching perceived jihadist threats to the United States. The Center has been widely accused of engaging in conspiracy theorizing by a range of individuals, media outlets and organizations. They have been described as "not very highly respected" by BBC News and "disreputable" by Salon. The Southern Poverty Law Center designated the CSP as a "conspiracy-oriented mouthpiece" in 2016. It has faced strong criticism from people across the political spectrum, but has also had its reports cited by political figures such as Donald Trump and Michele Bachmann.
History and programs
The CSP claims the existence of a "stealth jihad" to install shariah law as a parallel legal and political system in the United States, constituting a separate governance system for the Muslim community with respect to family law, civil society, media and political discourse, finance and homeland security.
Salon has reported that in 2013, CSP received donations from Boeing ($25,000); General Dynamics ($15,000); Lockheed Martin ($15,000); Northrup Grumman ($5,000); Raytheon ($20,000); and General Electric ($5,000). The group has also received $1.4 million in donations from the Bradley Foundation.
On March 16, 2016, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz announced he would appoint Frank Gaffney, founder of the Center for Security Policy, to be his National Security Adviser. Cruz announced his foreign policy team would also include three other employees of Gaffney's think tank: Fred Fleitz, Clare Lopez, and Jim Hanson.
The CSP's views have caused it and Gaffney, the Center's founder and president, to be criticized for propagating conspiracy theories by The Washington Post, Salon, CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen, Grover Norquist, Jonathan Kay, Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim–Christian Understanding, Center for American Progress, Media Matters for America, the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Intercept, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Institute for Southern Studies, among others.
Terri A. Johnson, executive director of the Center for New Community, and J. Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), have characterized the CSP as "an extremist think tank". The SPLC further criticizes CSP's "investigative reports", saying that they are designed "to reinforce [Frank] Gaffney's delusions".
One of the CSPgs "Occasional Papers" accused Huma Abedin, then Hillary Clinton's aide, of being an undercover spy for the Muslim Brotherhood. On June 13, 2012, Republican members of Congress Michele Bachmann, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Rooney and Lynn Westmoreland, sent a letter to the State Department Inspector General including accusations against Abedin cited to the CSP. The letter and the CSP's accusation were widely denounced as a smear, and achieved "near-universal condemnation", including from several prominent Republicans such as John McCain, John Boehner, Scott Brown, and Marco Rubio. In a separate report, the group declared that Susan Rice, Richard Haass, and Dennis Ross, were being secretly controlled by a covert "Iran lobby".
The University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication has described the organization as "a far-right think tank whose president, Frank Gaffney, was banned from the CPAC [Conservative Political Action Conference] ... because its organizers believed him to be a 'crazy bigot'". The Center for Democratic Values at Queens College, City University of New York has said the Center is among the "key players in the Sharīʿah cottage industry", what it describes as a "conspiracy theory" that claims the existence of "secretive power elite groups that conspire to replace sovereign nation-states in order to eventually rule the world".
Gaffney's leadership of the organization has also prompted criticism of the group in the context of specific accusations made by Gaffney, including that the logo of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency "appears ominously to reflect a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star with the Obama campaign logo" and is part of a "worrying pattern of official U.S. submission to Islam".
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- The Michael Harrington Center for Democratic Values and Social Action "Action Brief" (April 2011)