Frank Gaffney

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For the American soldier, see Frank Gaffney (Medal of Honor).
Frank J. Gaffney Jr.
Born (1953-04-05) April 5, 1953 (age 62)
Residence United States
Occupation President of Center for Security Policy
Organization Center for Security Policy

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. (born April 5, 1953) is an American who is founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and a proponent of conspiracy theories.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] He has written for The Washington Times, Townhall, and Newsmax and is the 2003 recipient of the "Louis Brandeis Award" from the Zionist Organization of America.[9][10]

A native of Pennsylvania, in the 1980s Gaffney briefly served as Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for the United States Department of Defense, but was forced out of government following the appointment of Frank Carlucci as Secretary of Defense by Ronald Reagan.[11] Afterwards, he founded the Center for Security Policy, a controversial group that has been described as an "extremist think tank" by The Hill.[12]

Early life[edit]

Gaffney was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1975, Gaffney graduated from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University.[13] He received his graduate degree from Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.[14]


Government work[edit]

Gaffney began his public service 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, who would later be scrutinized for promoting Douglas Feith after Feith had been fired from the National Security Council for passing classified information to the Israeli embassy.[15] Perle, himself, would also be accused of spying for Israel.[16]

In April 1987, Gaffney was nominated to the position of US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy. 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 arms control talks then occurring with the Soviet Union. Gaffney was ultimately forced out of the Pentagon, with the Washington Post at the time noting that, within four days of Frank Carlucci's appointment as Secretary of Defense "Gaffney's belongings were boxed and he was gone."[17][18] Following his departure from government, he immediately set about criticizing Ronald Reagan's pursuit of an arms control agreement with the USSR.[17]

In 1988, Gaffney established the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a pro-Israel advocacy group.[19]

Conspiracy theories[edit]

According to the SPLC, Gaffney's beliefs stem from the discredited 1991 testimony of a lone Muslim Brotherhood member that he has come to believe is a "smoking gun, a mission statement pointing to a massive Islamist conspiracy under our noses."[20]

David Keene of the American Conservative Union has contended 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."[21]

Gaffney has been called a conspiracy theorist by Reason Magazine, Georgetown University's Bridge Initiative, Steve Benen, Slate Magazine, and The Intercept, among others. [22][23][24][25][26]

Among the conspiracy theories Gaffney has promoted include:

Gaffney has indicated the logo of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency is a coded signal showing the "official U.S. submission to Islam."

Later career and commentary[edit]

According to a 2008 investigative report in The Tennessean titled "Anti-Muslim crusaders make millions spreading fear," Gaffney's salary as president of his Center for Security Policy was $288,300.[34] As of 2012 he received compensation of approximately $309,000 per year from the group.[35]

In 2003, Gaffney called on the United States military to "take out" Al Jazeera news network for inciting violence against the Western world by showcasing Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein's "calls-to-arms."[36]

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."[37] He also hosts a podcast called "Secure Freedom Radio." Featured guests have included Newt Gingrich, John Bolton, Donald Rumsfeld and many current and former policymakers and elected officials.

Personal life[edit]

Gaffney is married and has at least one child. His sister, Devon Cross, serves on the advisory board of the Secure America Now and is married to Jay Cross, formerly president of the New York Jets and now a New York real estate developer.



  1. ^ "Stop Islamization of America (SIOA)" (PDF). Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved 28 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Frank Gaffney, Obama Truther". 
  3. ^ "Frank Gaffney Jr.". Southern Poverty Law Center. 
  4. ^ Carden, James. "The Iran Deal Opponents Are Going to Fight to the Bitter End". The Nation (11 September 2015). Retrieved 28 September 2015. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst (21 September 2015). "The Republicans' Muslim 'problem'". CNN. 
  7. ^ "GOP Presidential Candidates Will Appear Alongside Disgraced Conspiracy Theorist John Guandolo". Chicago Sun-Times. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Bachmann, Gaffney, and the GOP’s Anti-Muslim Culture of Conspiracy". The Daily Beast. 
  9. ^ Gaffney, Frank. "Frank Gaffney – Security Watch". Newsmax. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Carlucci Confirmed as Defense Secretary". LA Times. 21 November 1987. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  12. ^ "Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in politics". TheHill. 
  13. ^ "Frank Gaffney". TownHall. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  14. ^ Ruppert, Michael C. (2004). Crossing the Rubicon. p. 531. 
  15. ^ Shadow Elite, Janine R. Wedel, 2009. pp.147–91
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b Watson, Russell. "At Long Last an Arms Deal". Newsweek. 
  18. ^ "Disarmed but Undeterred; His Once Pervasive Power Waning, The Hard-Liner Awaits the Summit". Washington Post. 23 November 1987. 
  19. ^ Cockburn, Alexander (2003). The Politics of Anti-Semitism. AK. p. 132. ISBN 1902593774. 
  20. ^ "Frank Gaffney, Jr.". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  21. ^ a b "CPAC Banned Frank Gaffney Over Baseless Anti-Muslim Charges". Talking Points Memo. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  22. ^ "Leading GOP Candidates to Appear at Event Hosted by Anti-Muslim Conspiracist". The Intercept. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  23. ^ Bennen, Steve (17 June 2014). "The crumbling of the right’s intellectual infrastructure". MSNBC. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "Presidential Candidates Set to Appear at Event Hosted By Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theorist". Bridge Initiative (Georgetown University). 20 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  25. ^ Weigel, David (14 October 2008). "Frank Gaffney, Obama Truther" (Reason Magazine). Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  26. ^ 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. 
  27. ^ Benen, Steve. "It never ends". Washington Monthly. Retrieved 2012-08-23. 
  28. ^ Terkel, Amanda (5 March 2014). "Frank Gaffney Escalates Crusade To Take Down Grover Norquist". Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  29. ^ Brinker, Luke (19 February 2015). "Conservative civil war: Islamophobic activist seeks to oust Grover Norquist from NRA board". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  30. ^ Kay, Jonathan. "Bachmann, Gaffney, and the GOP’s Anti-Muslim Culture of Conspiracy". Daily Beast (23 July 2012). Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ Gaffney, Frank (2008-10-14). "GAFFNEY: The jihadist vote". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2012-08-23. 
  33. ^ "Far-right birther’s secret funders: Look who’s backing Islamophobe Frank Gaffney". Salon. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  34. ^ Smietana, Bob (24 October 2010). "Anti-Muslim crusaders make millions spreading fear". Tennessean. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ Gaffney, Frank (2003-09-29). "Take Out Al Jazeera". Fox News. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  37. ^ Gaffney, Frank. "Frank Gaffney – Security Watch". Newsmax. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  38. ^ "War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2012-08-23. 

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