More defenders have stepped forward to refute the coordinated media attack against Deputy Adviser to the President Dr. Sebastian Gorka, formerly national security editor for Breitbart News.
Previous support for Gorka, including a few words from this writer, can be found here. Yes, of course, we’re eager to stand up for our former colleague here at Breitbart News, but the key point is that he does a fine job of standing up for himself. Readers are invited to review his many appearances on Breitbart News Daily, read his blog posts, study his books, and decide for themselves if the smear campaign against him holds water.
If one lacks the time for such extensive research, Richard Miniter at Forbes has written a comprehensive refutation of the attacks against Gorka, in which he castigates the media for deliberately overlooking the dubious nature of the attacks.
Miniter knows exactly what game the attackers are playing:
Media attacks on Gorka are wide-ranging and, seemingly, coordinated. Some are straight-up character assassinations, such as trying to tie Gorka to anti-Semites by playing six-degrees-of-separation with Hungarian populists. Others contend that Gorka has an “extreme” view on Islam and seeks a war with its more than one billion followers—ignoring that he writes in his 2016 book Defeating Jihad: “We are not at war with Islam.” Then, there is the major media’s respectful coverage of a weird Twitter storm touched off by a self-described “terrorism expert,” who has virtually no credentials, who nevertheless contends that Gorka is “unqualified.” Finally, there are the attacks on Gorka’s 2007 dissertation for having too few footnotes, among other trifles.
All of these accusations are treated as news and amplified by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other major outlets. The aim? Bring down another Trump national security advisor, after National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and would-be National Security Council spokeswoman Monica Crowley. They want Gorka for their next scalp.
Compare Miniter’s account of Gorka’s effort to personally respond to one critic, Michael S. Smith, with the way Newsweek writes it up. Notice how Newsweek, like NBC News, blithely christens Gorka “controversial” in the headlines. “Controversial” is practically his middle name now. That is reliably Step One in the witch-hunting process since virtually no standard of evidence is required to designate a target as controversial. A few critics of even the most questionable background are enough, if Big Media even bothers to cite critics by name at all, instead of falling back to the ever-popular “some say…”
Also, notice how little it matters if some of the controversies are swiftly debunked, like the silly assault on the medal worn by Dr. Gorka, which Miniter also addresses. A large enough pile of nontroversies can fuel an eternal flame of “controversy” if the media feels like tending the fire.
Miniter makes an important point about the relentless campaign to smear Gorka as an Islamophobe:
Sadly, facts do not matter. Any time analysts, like Gorka, talk about radical ideology, certain politically correct buzzers go off. Do you mean all Muslims? Critics cry, with horror, that one-fifth of the human race is being named as our enemy. No matter how many times these politically correct idiots (what else do you call someone who refuses to accept the plain meaning of words?) are reassured that Gorka does not mean what they imagine, they keep imagining it and keep asserting that is what is really being said. Thus, beginning in the Bush years and accelerating in the Obama years, national security documents were all but stripped of the words “jihad” and similar words. Why do these words matter? If you are going to engage the ideas that are the life force of al Qaeda and its sisters, we must be able to name and discuss these ideas—and their opposites.
The politically correct do not take nearly enough heat for the aid and comfort they bring to the enemy by doing this. There is much lazy talk about what ISIS or al-Qaeda supposedly “want” American commentators and politicians to do. In truth, there is nothing they truly want more than for P.C. mobs to smear everyone who talks honestly about radical Islamic terrorism as an “Islamophobe” and chase them out of the public square. There is nothing they want more than for the Western Left to convince good law-abiding Muslim citizens that critiques of Islamist ideology are attacks on Islam. Totalitarians of every stripe loathe intellectual challenges and love speech controls.
The Washington Free Beacon, after quoting many words of support from military and political figures in a previous profile, published another piece in which “senior White House officials” blame Obama relics for the campaign against President Trump’s Deputy Adviser:
The most recent campaign against Gorka is being fueled by career staffers and anti-Trump insiders who fear being exiled by the current administration, according to senior White House officials familiar with the situation.
“Those who are brought in [to the White House], whether they’re detailed or direct hires, but who are there because they support Trump and the Trump agenda, those people like him,” one senior White House official told the Free Beacon. The official said the attacks were from Obama holdovers who would “have a problem with anybody who departs from their worldview. Seb is just a lightning rod.”
Senior White House staff has not lost faith in Gorka, the official said.
“They just don’t like anyone else in the White House weighing in on foreign policy,” the official added, referring to career National Security Council, executive branch, and State Department officials, many of whom remained in government after Trump’s election.
“The unhinged attacks on Seb Gorka are shameful but unsurprising, as they’re coming from the architects of and cheerleaders for nearly a decade of failed Obama counterterror policy,” said one source who is close to both the White House and Gorka.
There are named sources in the article too, including Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, who said Gorka is “very insightful and highly professional,” declared his “patriotism is beyond question,” and dismissed the personal attacks against him as “politically motivated.”
It is also worth noting that Obama holdovers in the Trump administration are thought to have been planted by, and are possibly still coordinating with, former adviser Ben Rhodes — a ridiculously unqualified individual whose sole talent was manipulating reporters he regarded as fools, and his major “achievement” was a massive payoff to Iran. Miniter’s post at Forbes notes that mainstream media editors would never have indulged the kind of lazy attacks against Rhodes they are happy to permit against Gorka.
From his perch at National Review, former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy spies foul creatures emerging from the “swamp” of permanent Beltway corruption to feast on Gorka, having discarded the remains of their last meal, Gorka’s old friend and former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn:
Washington’s government-centric clerisy has forged its own counterterrorism industry over the years, consisting of former investigators and intel analysts, along with the academics who collaborate with them. Much of the work they have done is very solid. But some of it has been highly politicized — in the Bush years, when the powers that be took umbrage at any suggestion that Islamic culture and some mainstream currents of Islamic thought are inherently resistant to Western democracy; and in the Obama years, when any whisper of the nexus between classical, scripture-based Islamic doctrine and terrorism committed by Muslims was a firing offense.
Gorka, an American citizen who grew up in London and holds a doctorate in political science from the Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration, is an outside-the-Beltway academic. His clear-eyed understanding of totalitarian ideology, as we shall see, is largely based on having experienced its wages. In short, he is a gate-crasher who does not share the industry’s presumptions. Worse, from the industry’s perspective, he is an extraordinarily effective speaker and writer, who connects well in the classroom, on the page, in the council hall, and at the television studio. He is anathema to an expert class that has spent years willingly putting itself in the service of such farce as “countering violent extremism,” “workplace violence,” “Arab Spring,” “religion of peace,” and other manifestations of willful blindness.
McCarthy writes at length about the potential rift between Gorka and the new National Security Adviser, General H.R. McMaster, over using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism,” and concludes that the administration “needs General McMaster and Dr. Gorka.” He particularly praises Gorka’s understanding of totalitarianism, based on harrowing first-hand experience.
As with others who have stepped forward to defend Gorka, McCarthy has read his book and quotes his constant concern for Muslims as the most numerous victims of jihadism — hardly the mindset of an “Islamophobe.”
“Seb Gorka has valuable insight about the need for clarity and resolve in confronting a determined, remorseless enemy. He is a resource the Trump national-security team is fortunate to have. They’d be well advised to keep him, regardless of the Swamp’s preferences,” McCarthy concludes.
Of course, the Swamp knows how easy it can be to assemble a coalition of interested parties against any given target — from people who want his job to people who want his scalp. Obama holdovers don’t have an administration to defend anymore, so they can play offense 100 percent of the time. They won’t have much trouble finding allies of convenience in opportunistic members of the new administration, and they certainly won’t have any trouble finding reporters willing to run with any narrative they devise. Everyone tempted to play this game should ask themselves who will be next, once the condition of the current target is downgraded beyond “controversial.”