|Frank J. Gaffney Jr.|
Frank Gaffney pictured in 2013
|Born||April 5, 1953|
|Alma mater||B.A., Georgetown University
M.A., Johns Hopkins University
|Occupation||President of Center for Security Policy|
|Organization||Center for Security Policy|
|Known for||Political commentary, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, conspiracy theories|
|Parent(s)||Frank J. Gaffney Sr. and Virginia Gaffney (née Reed)|
|Awards||Louis Brandeis Award (Zionist Organization of America)|
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. (born April 5, 1953) is founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and a proponent of conspiracy theories. He has worked in the US government, where he rose to the post of Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.
Gaffney was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1953 to Virginia Gaffney (née Reed). His father, Frank J. Gaffney, was a classical music aficionado and long-time partner at the law firm of Thorp, Reed & Armstrong (merged in 2013 with Clark Hill PLC), which was founded by his wife's father, Earl Reed. Frank J. Gaffney Sr.'s father, Joseph Gaffney, was a city solicitor of Philadelphia who became an object of controversy in early 20th century Philadelphia due to his Catholic faith; nativist Protestant groups in the city alleged Catholics were conspiring to seize control of American institutions and rewrite American history.
In 1975, Gaffney graduated from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University. He received his graduate degree from Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.
Gaffney began his government career in the 1970s, working as an aide in the office of Democratic Senator Henry M. Jackson, under Richard Perle. From August 1983 until November 1987, Gaffney held the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy in the Reagan Administration, again serving under Perle.
In April 1987, Gaffney was nominated to the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. He served as the acting Assistant Secretary for seven months. During this time, despite his official post, he was notably excluded by senior Reagan administration officials from the then-ongoing arms control talks with the Soviet Union. Gaffney was ultimately forced out of the Pentagon; the Washington Post at the time noted that within four days of Frank Carlucci's appointment as Secretary of Defense, "Gaffney's belongings were boxed and he was gone." Following his departure from government, he immediately set about criticizing Ronald Reagan's pursuit of an arms control agreement with the USSR.
Gaffney contributes to the media site Newsmax, writing opinion pieces on topics such as politics, terrorism, and international affairs in a column titled "Security Watch." Formerly, Gaffney wrote a column for The Washington Times. He also hosts a podcast that has featured guests such as white supremacist Jared Taylor.
Gaffney has been associated with David Yerushalmi for being responsible in spreading misinformation about Islam and for encouraging the enactment of anti-Muslim laws, including anti-Sharia legislation in the United States.
Center for Security Policy
In 1988, Gaffney established the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a Washington, D.C.-based pro-Israel advocacy group, and national security think tank that has been widely accused of engaging in conspiracy theorizing by a range of individuals, media outlets and organizations. Its activities are focused on exposing and researching perceived jihadist threats to the United States. The Center has been described as "not very highly respected" by BBC News and "disreputable" by Salon. 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. CSP has been described as an "extremist think tank" by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Center for New Community.
In the 1990s Gaffney became known in Washington, D.C. for "fax wars" he waged, whereby his "small but loyal following" would be encouraged to inundate the offices of members of Congress with faxes.
In 1995 Gaffney charged that U.S. Secretary of Energy Hazel R. O'Leary was intentionally undermining U.S. nuclear readiness; an analysis of Gaffney's charges against O'Leary published by William Arkin observed that Gaffney "specializes in intensely personal attacks" and his Center for Security Policy's liberal use of faxs to attack its opponents had made it the "Domino's Pizza of the policy business".
Later, in a 1997 column for the Washington Times, Gaffney alleged a seismic incident in Russia was a nuclear detonation at that nation's Novaya Zemlya test site, indicating Russia was violating the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTB). Reporting on the allegation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists observed that, following its publication, "fax machines around Washington, D.C. and across the country poured out pages detailing Russian duplicity. They came from Frank Gaffney", going on to note that during the first four months of 1997, Gaffney had "issued more than 25 screeds" against the CTB. (Subsequent scientific analysis of Novaya Zemlya confirmed the event was a routine earthquake.)
According to the SPLC, Gaffney's beliefs stem "from a single discredited source – a 1991 fantasy written by a lone Muslim Brotherhood member that was introduced into evidence during the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas federal court. But to Gaffney, this document is a smoking gun, a mission statement pointing to a massive Islamist conspiracy under our noses."  The ADL quotes Gaffney as "mentioning that in 1991, a Muslim Brotherhood operative produced the “explanatory memorandum on the general strategic goal of the group in North America.” According to Gaffney, the memo explicitly addresses the progress the Muslim Brotherhood has made in building an infrastructure in the United States with the goal of destroying Western civilization from within so that Islam is victorious over other religions." Other commentators have suggested that Gaffney's propensity for conspiracy theories began earlier during his career in the Reagan administration, where after being denied a higher position, was convinced that Soviet agents within the United States government were blocking him.
In 2011, Gaffney was banned by the American Conservative Union from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). ACU chairman David Keene released a statement contending that Gaffney "has become personally and tiresomely obsessed with his weird belief that anyone who doesn't agree with him on everything all the time or treat him with the respect and deference he believes is his due, must be either ignorant of the dangers we face or, in extreme case, dupes of the nation's enemies." (Gaffney has since returned to CPAC to host panels at the conference in 2015 and 2016.)
In an April 2016 column in The Washington Times titled, "When conspiracy nuts do real damage", Keene again slammed Gaffney, writing, "One hopes that is what they will do and that Mr. Gaffney will, like the folks at Group Research, Mr. Hoover’s aides and most conspiracy nuts of yore will vanish into the fever swamps from which he came." The column came two months after Gaffney unexpectedly left the Washington Times, where he was a staff columnist and Keene was the opinion editor. Keene, who had slashed the frequency of Gaffney's column from weekly to monthly, commented to Media Matters on Gaffney's departure, describing Gaffney's work as "well-researched," and stated, "we're sorry to lose him but we wish him well." Keene also noted that Gaffney had left without giving him any notice, telling Media Matters "I guess he's notifying us through you".
Gaffney has also been called a conspiracy theorist by Dave Weigel writing in Reason magazine; the Bridge Initiative of Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim–Christian Understanding; Steve Benen of MSNBC; Slate; and The Intercept, among others.
Conspiracy theories Gaffney has promoted include:
- The belief that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the Oklahoma City bombing.
- Accusations that Republican Party strategist Grover Norquist is a secret agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2014, Gaffney claimed that Norquist had "been working with the enemy for over a decade." (Responding to the accusation, the board of directors of the American Conservative Union unanimously condemned Gaffney's charges as "reprehensible" and "unfounded.")
- Accusations that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a secret agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. (After the allegation was repeated by Michele Bachmann, U.S. senators John McCain, Scott Brown, and Marco Rubio joined in dismissing it, and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner said "accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.")
- Accusations that Barack Obama is a Muslim who has secretly orchestrated "the most consequential bait-and-switch since Adolf Hitler", that Gen. David Petraeus had "submitted to Sharia", that congressman Keith Ellison is "likely to leak information to the Muslim Brotherhood", and that deputies in the Broward County Sheriff's department are "directly tied to Hamas.
- The belief that Barack Obama is not a "natural born citizen of the United States" (popularly known as the "birther conspiracy").
- The belief that the logo of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency is a coded indicator of "official U.S. submission to Islam" because it "appears ominously to reflect a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star".
- The belief that the responsibility-to-protect norm has been supported by the United States government to lay the groundwork for a forthcoming American military invasion of Israel.
Gaffney has two sisters, Rachel Gaffney and Devon Cross (née Gaffney). Devon Cross has been described by American Conservative Magazine as "a veteran neoconservative operative". She is a board member of Secure America Now, which has run pro-Israel advertisements in the United States featuring Benjamin Netanyahu, among other activities. Cross, who is married to former New York Jets president Jay Cross, served on the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee during the administration of George W. Bush.
- War Footing (Naval Institute Press, 2005) ISBN 978-1591143017
- Shariah: The Threat to America (Center for Security Policy, 2010) ISBN 978-0982294765
- Smietana, Bob (24 October 2010). "Anti-Muslim crusaders make millions spreading fear". Tennessean. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- "Frank Gaffney". Center for Security Policy.
- "4 Conspiracy Theories Promoted by Frank Gaffney, Ted Cruz's New Adviser". Haaretz. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
- "Stop Islamization of America (SIOA)" (PDF). Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
- "Frank Gaffney, Obama Truther". Reason. October 14, 2008.
- "Frank Gaffney Jr.". Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Carden, James. "The Iran Deal Opponents Are Going to Fight to the Bitter End". The Nation (11 September 2015). Retrieved 28 September 2015.
- Woodruff, Betsy (15 March 2015). "Glenn Beck Thinks Grover Norquist Is a Muslim Brotherhood Mole. Now, the NRA Is "Investigating."". Slate. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
- Peter Bergen (21 September 2015). "The Republicans' Muslim 'problem'". CNN.
- "GOP Presidential Candidates Will Appear Alongside Disgraced Conspiracy Theorist John Guandolo". Chicago Sun-Times. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
- Larison, Daniel (17 March 2016). "Cruz’s Preposterous Foreign Policy Team". American Conservative Magazine. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
- "Bachmann, Gaffney, and the GOP's Anti-Muslim Culture of Conspiracy". The Daily Beast.
- "Devon Gaffney, Research Director, Engaged to Marry Jay Cross in June". New York Times. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.
- Gigler, Dan (3 Nov 2001). "Lawyer with a Passion for Classical Music". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.
- Evenson, Bruce (1996). When Dempsey Fought Tunney: Heroes, Hokum, and Storytelling in the Jazz Age. University of Tennessee Press. p. 80. ISBN 9780870499180.
- "Frank Gaffney". TownHall. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- Ruppert, Michael C. (2004). Crossing the Rubicon. p. 531.
- Shadow Elite, Janine R. Wedel, 2009. pp.147–91
- Watson, Russell. "At Long Last an Arms Deal". Newsweek.
- "Disarmed but Undeterred; His Once Pervasive Power Waning, The Hard-Liner Awaits the Summit". Washington Post. 23 November 1987.
- Gaffney, Frank. "Frank Gaffney – Security Watch". Newsmax. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
- http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Frank J. Gaffney Jr. | Stories - Washington Times". www.washingtontimes.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
- Milbank, Dana. "Meet the Islamophobe inspiring Trump to redefine extremism". Washington Post. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- "Frank Gaffney Jr.". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- Green, Todd (2015). The Fear of Islam: An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West. Fortress Press. ISBN 9781451469905. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- "Trump's 'Muslim lockdown': What is the Center for Security Policy?". BBC News. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
- "Cruz's cynical Trump detente: They're good buddies now, but wait until The Donald's support drops". Salon. 28 August 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
- Cockburn, Alexander (2003). The Politics of Anti-Semitism. AK. p. 132. ISBN 1902593774.
- Terri A. Johnson and J. Richard Cohen (September 3, 2015). "Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in politics". The Hill.
- "Ted Cruz Names Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theorist As Top Foreign-Policy Adviser". New York Magazine. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- Hersman, Rebecca (2010). Friends and Foes: How Congress and the President Really Make Foreign Policy. Brookings Institution. pp. 88–89. ISBN 0815798962.
- "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist 51 (2). March 1995. doi:10.1080/00963402.1995.11658058.
- Isaacs, John (November 1997). "Spinning to the Right". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- Wallace, Terry. "False Accusations, Undetected Tests and Implications for the CTB Treaty". Arms Control Association. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- "Frank Gaffney, Jr.". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- "CPAC Banned Frank Gaffney Over Baseless Anti-Muslim Charges". Talking Points Memo. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- "Leading GOP Candidates to Appear at Event Hosted by Anti-Muslim Conspiracist". The Intercept. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
- Bennen, Steve (17 June 2014). "The crumbling of the right's intellectual infrastructure". MSNBC. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- "Presidential Candidates Set to Appear at Event Hosted By Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theorist". Bridge Initiative (Georgetown University). 20 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Weigel, David (14 October 2008). "Frank Gaffney, Obama Truther" (Reason Magazine). Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Woodruff, Betsy (16 March 2015). "Glenn Beck Thinks Grover Norquist Is a Muslim Brotherhood Mole. Now, the NRA Is "Investigating."". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Benen, Steve. "It never ends". Washington Monthly. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
- Terkel, Amanda (5 March 2014). "Frank Gaffney Escalates Crusade To Take Down Grover Norquist". Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Brinker, Luke (19 February 2015). "Conservative civil war: Islamophobic activist seeks to oust Grover Norquist from NRA board". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Kay, Jonathan. "Bachmann, Gaffney, and the GOP’s Anti-Muslim Culture of Conspiracy". Daily Beast (23 July 2012). Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- "Huma Abedin Attacks By Michele Bachmann Condemned By John Boehner, Marco Rubio". The Huffington Post. 19 July 2012.
- Bauman, Nick (21 March 2016). "Ted Cruz Defends Adviser Who Called Obama ‘America’s First Muslim President’". Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- Burt, American (2015). American Hysteria. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 156–158. ISBN 1493017659.
- Gaffney, Frank (2008-10-14). "GAFFNEY: The jihadist vote". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
- "Far-right birther's secret funders: Look who's backing Islamophobe Frank Gaffney". Salon. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- Besser, James (22 March 2011). "The Latest From the Conspiracy Front". Jewish Week. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Donor Lookup - Frank Gaffney". Open Secrets. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.
- McConnell, Scott (20 Sep 2012). "Netanyahu Appears on Florida's Airwaves, Touting Romney!". American Conservative. Retrieved 12 Dec 2015.
- . American Corporate Partners http://www.acp-usa.org/ABOUT_ACP/Board_of_Directors/DevonCross. Retrieved 12 December 2015. Missing or empty
- "War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2012-08-23.