The dictionary definition of McCarthyism is the “practice of publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence.”
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) is one of the refined architects of this new era of political McCarthyism, trailing only presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
A recent example of Cruz’s brand of McCarthyism was laid out in a June 28, 2016 post in The Huffington Post. The example was a hearing conducted by a senate panel—the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts—investigating any ties to “Islamic terrorism” in this country (and probably anywhere else in the world). Senator Patrick Leahy introduced the hearing with comments critical of Republican efforts to re-kindle McCarthy era inspired tactics saying, “this type of toxic and divisive rhetoric is fundamentally un-American. It harkens back to shameful moments in our Nation’s history.”
Senate Judiciary Hears Conspiracy Theories and Bunk Read into Record
Sen. Cruz, who was sent scampering away from the presidential race like a cur with its tail between its legs, was responsible for having Chris Gaubatz’s testimony read before yet another congressional “subcommittee” wasting taxpayer dollars.
And just who is this Chris Gaubatz and what are his credentials to testify about the heady subject of “Islamic terrorism.”
Gaubatz was described in the HuffPost piece as a “national security consultant” who has “moonlighted as an undercover agitator of Muslim groups that he accuses of being terrorist outfits …”
In other words, Gaubatz is a self-appointed government “snitch” who describes his confidential informant activities under the guise of “national security.”
Misleading, Manufactured Allegations Against U.S. Congressmen
Gaubatz exhibited his snitching abilities by presenting false, manufactured disloyalty allegations against two Muslim members of Congress—Reps. Keith Ellison and Andre Carson—that were so outrageous that they made Sen. McCarthy himself sit up in his grave and pledge allegiance to America all over again.
Unsupported Claims of Associations
With his rabbit ears aimed at a NSA satellite and his devilish, quirky little smile on such prominent display that it made Washington escort services light up, Sen. Cruz listened attentively as snitch Gaubatz recounted his fantastic story of seeing Reps. Ellison (D-Minn) and Carson (D-Ind.) at a 2008 convention hosted by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)—a group that snitch Gaubatz said is a “front for the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Specifically, the fake “national security consultant” told Cruz and his fellow subcommittee members that:
“I attended a convention in Columbus, Ohio, organized by Muslim Brotherhood group, ISNA, and both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation had recruitment and outreach booths. Both Congressman Keith Ellison, MN, and Andre Carson, IN, spoke at the Muslim Brotherhood event.”
As The HuffPost pointed out, this is not the first time disloyalty accusations have been leveled against the two Muslim congressman, but “allegations that Ellison and Carson are secret Muslim agents with extremist leanings are usually found among fringe groups online, often discussed in dire tones on poorly designed websites.”
HuffPost continued: “Rarely, if ever, do such sentiments get read into congressional testimony, with the imprimatur that offers.”
Cruz Supports Fear Mongering and Baseless Conspiracy Theories
Of course, the testimony was secured by Sen. Cruz who, along with his staff, saw the testimony before it was read into the record.
And the senator well knew that the ISNA has long insisted that it does not have, nor has it ever had, any affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Faryal Khatri, an official for ISNA, stated the group’s position this way:
“I can definitely tell you that we are not Muslim Brotherhood. We are not affiliated with them at all and never were. That much I can reassure you.”
These denials notwithstanding, critics of Reps. Ellison and Carson continue to make unsubstantiated allegations that the two congressmen have chosen to ignore the ISNA’s “affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The reality is that it rankles Sen. Cruz and a legion of other fringe far right lunatics who detest the fact that there are two duly elected Muslims in Congress.
What’s the proof for this charge?
While campaigning for president, Cruz tagged Frank Gaffney, an adamant Islamophobe, to head his national security team. Gaffney, who is still a Cruz surrogate and who now heads the Center for Security Policy (an anti-Muslim conspiracy-fomenting think tank), has openly criticized Reps. Ellison’s and Carson’s appointment to the House Intelligence Committee. This Cruz-endorsed conspiracy-theorizing fanatic charges that because of their Islamic faith, Reps. Ellison and Carson are compelled to “leak information” to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Conspiracy Theories Good for Right Wing Book Sales
And, as for Gaubatz, he told Talking Points Memo in 2009, according to the HuffPost piece, that he infiltrated the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to “secretly collect evidence” that was used in his father’s book, “Muslim Mafia,” which charged that CAIR was also a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.
It is obvious that Sen. Cruz, and his fellow McCarthy-like henchmen like Gaubatz and Gaffney, are determined to link every legitimate Islamic group in this country to the Muslim Brotherhood.
There is not an iota of evidence that Reps. Ellison and Carson are anything other than honorable, decent, and honest public servants—something that cannot be said for Sen. Cruz, much less Gaubatz.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) defended Rep. Ellison after Gaubatz offered his McCarthyism testimony against the two congressmen:
“He is my congressman. He is a man of great patriotism.”
The Minnesota senator further pointed out that Rep. Ellison has pushed for additional funding for programs that would investigate causes of violent radicalization in an effort to prevent young people from being attracted to terrorist ideology or from becoming inspired by their message.
We share Sen. Klobuchar’s admiration of Rep. Ellison as well as the same level of professional regard for Rep. Carson.
We also agree with Farhana Y. Khera, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates, in her assertion that far too many politicians and government officials have engaged in bigoted and hateful rhetoric without consequence. “Public officials must understand that such rhetoric carries grave consequences for American Muslims and those who are perceived to be Muslim in the U.S…,” Khera told the subcommittee.
Not only does this official stamp of approval have grave consequences for the Muslim community, it also carries with it a great threat to the very principals of our Constitution and the notion of equality and freedom so cherished by most Americans. This bigoted and inflammatory posture by those in elected office has contaminated law enforcement agencies from the FBI to the local police and has seen countless instances of unlawful profiling, surveillance, harassment and abuse of law abiding members of the Muslim community by those sworn to serve and protect. This is not America at her best.
We join Muslim Advocates in their call for Congress to condemn public officials who engage in hateful rhetoric or actions; which is exactly what needs to be done to Sen. Cruz and his kooky cadre of conspiracy theorists.