For the right-wing, it’s not much of a leap to go from “President Obama is a secret Muslim” to “President Obama is secretly in league with the Muslim Brotherhood.” And in the wake of protests in Egypt, leap they did.
The Muslim Brotherhood is often a target of right-wing pundits like anti-sharia crusader Frank Gaffney, who last month claimed the group had infiltrated CPAC. And as the single largest organized opposition group in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as a target for the right as the protests continue.
On Hannity last night, Gaffney argued that “the Obama Administration’s policies are being viewed through, and actually articulated and implemented through influence operations that the Muslim Brotherhood itself is running in our own country.”
“You cannot possibly get your strategy right, you cannot execute it effectively if you don’t know that the enemy is actually giving you advice on how to proceed,” he said.
Video of his comments come in at the 4:10:
Gaffney was much more explicit to ThinkProgress yesterday, listing Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano as “questionable people who are sympathetic to the program of the stealth jihadists who have influence with the United States government.”
Right-wing author Dinesh D’Souza, who wrote a book called “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” told Newsmax TV yesterday that “for Obama, America is viewed as a neocolonial power occupying Iraq and Afghanistan,” so “from his point of view he sees the Muslims who are fighting against America, as in a sense, freedom fighters.”
This gives Obama a somewhat romantic view of Islamic radicals. So he might not think the Muslim Brotherhood is a problem, because he might think, “well, look, these are the good guys trying to liberate Egypt from this horrible dictator who is supported by us, the rogue nation, the United States.”
And then there’s a story disseminated by the site World Net Daily , and picked up by a few right-wing blogs, that former U.S. ambassador to Egypt Frank G. Wisner met in secret in Cairo with a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and “discussed fall of Egypt with group dedicated to Islam’s global spread.” WND cites an unnamed Egyptian intelligence official as its source for the story.
Wisner was sent by the Obama Administration to Egypt after the protests broke out because of his close relationship with President Hosni Mubarek.
Robert Spencer picked up the story and said it’s “yet more indication that Obama actively favors the Muslim Brotherhood’s coming to power in Egypt.” The Fox News site Fox Nation also posted the story, though hedged that it was just a report.
Some of the outrage on the right probably stems from the White House’s statement on Monday regarding the Muslim Brotherhood, which is currently banned in Egypt. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded to a question in a press briefing about the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in the protests, and said that though it’s not clear that the protests are the result of one particular group or ideology, “it is clear that increase in democratic representation has to include a whole host of important non-secular actors that give Egypt a strong chance to continue to be the stable and reliable partner that the world sees in the Middle East.”
He added that the “standard” for participation is “adherence to the law, adherence to non-violence, and a willingness to be part of a democratic process, but not use that democratic process to simply instill yourself into power.”
Gibbs also emphasized that the Obama Administration has not had contact with anyone from the Muslim Brotherhood.
But Robert Spencer responded that Obama “has just given a green light to establish a government that, given numerous historical precedents, will likely be the precursor to an Islamic Republic.”