Bolton’s NSC re­cruit lat­est tar­get in left­ist ‘smear cam­paign’

CIA ex-an­a­lyst Fleitz la­beled as ‘neo-Nazi’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY ROWAN SCAR­BOR­OUGH

The White House is strongly de­fend­ing Fred Fleitz, a for­mer CIA an­a­lyst picked for the piv­otal role of Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil chief of staff, in the face of stri­dent crit­i­cism from what con­ser­va­tives say are left-wing, pro-Obama pres­sure groups.

A se­nior NSC of­fi­cial told The Wash­ing­ton Times that the “base­less … venge­ful smear cam­paign” is co­or­di­nated by the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter. A le­gal ad­vo­cacy non­profit spe­cial­iz­ing in civil rights, the SPLC has thrived on lib­eral fund­ing, tar­geted con­ser­va­tives such as Mr. Fleitz, as­signed deroga­tory la­bels and won cov­er­age among Wash­ing­ton me­dia.

“Many of the at­tacks orig­i­nated from the left South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter, which in re­cent years has raised money by putting out press releases or state­ments falsely group­ing con­ser­va­tive Amer­i­cans with neo-Nazis and white su­prem­a­cists,” the NSC of­fi­cial said.

Mr. Fleitz is a prom­i­nent con­ser­va­tive scholar re­cruited last week by Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser John R. Bolton as he re­vamps a staff in­her­ited from re­tired Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.

Mr. Fleitz spent nearly two decades as a CIA an­a­lyst, served on the staff of the House Per­ma­nent Se­lect Com­mit­tee on In­tel­li­gence and most re­cently resided at the Cen­ter for Se­cu­rity Pol­icy, run by Ron­ald Rea­gan ap­pointee Frank Gaffney.

Mr. Fleitz has taken a hard line on North Korea and its nuclear weapons and adamantly op­posed Pres­i­dent Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. He crit­i­cizes rad­i­cal Is­lam and wor­ries openly about cer­tain Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties want­ing to as­sim­i­late in the U.S.

These views, of­ten re­layed as a columnist and a com­men­ta­tor on Fox News, put him in lock­step with Pres­i­dent Trump as well as with Mr. Bolton, with whom he worked at the State Depart­ment on arms con­trol pol­icy.

But his ap­point­ment was not in ac­cor­dance with the po­lit­i­cal left, which pounced im­me­di­ately.

“Fleitz leaves an or­ga­ni­za­tion that serves as the premier mega­phone for stok­ing fears about Amer­i­can Mus­lims,” said the SPLC, tak­ing aim at a fa­vorite tar­get, Mr. Gaffney’s group. “For decades, CSP has ped­dled ab­surd al­le­ga­tions that shad­owy Mus­lim Brother­hood op­er­a­tives have in­fil­trated all lev­els of gov­ern­ment. CSP warns this is part of a greater con­spir­acy known as ‘creep­ing Shariah,’ or Is­lamic re­li­gious law, which CSP claims poses a threat to Amer­i­can democ­racy.”

The lib­eral Wash­ing­ton Monthly pro­claimed Mr. Fleitz a “neo-Nazi” and re­ferred read­ers to the SPLC for de­tails.

“The SPLC fo­cuses pri­mar­ily on the do­mes­tic role of the Cen­ter for Se­cu­rity Pol­icy and on their Is­lam­o­pho­bia, and cer­tainly hav­ing a rav­ing Is­lam­o­phobe as NSC chief of staff has alarm­ing na­tional se­cu­rity ram­i­fi­ca­tions and risks all on its own,” the magazine said.

The left jus­ti­fies the “neo-Nazi” la­bel based on Trump sup­port­ers who ap­plaud na­tional pop­ulism in the U.S. and in Europe. There is no ev­i­dence that Mr. Fleitz sup­ports neo-Nazis.

The se­nior NSC of­fi­cial told The Times that the SPLC “has been known to at­tack prom­i­nent con­ser­va­tive thought lead­ers and la­bel them big­ots. … The at­tack is a de­lib­er­ate smear cam­paign from the left against the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

The Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Is­lamic Re­la­tions urged the pres­i­dent to fire Mr. Fleitz.

“An in­di­vid­ual who held a lead­er­ship po­si­tion in a no­to­ri­ous hate group should not be placed in a pol­icy-mak­ing post in the White House,” said CAIR Gov­ern­ment Af­fairs Di­rec­tor Robert McCaw. “We urge the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to drop Mr. Fleitz and to re­move all other staffers who es­pouse big­oted views or back dis­crim­i­na­tory and un­con­sti­tu­tional poli­cies.”

The Jus­tice Depart­ment in 2007 listed CAIR as an unin­dicted co-con­spir­a­tor in a crim­i­nal case against five Holy Land Foun­da­tion de­fen­dants con­victed of fun­nel­ing $12 mil­lion in il­licit money to Ha­mas, a U.S.-deemed ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion.

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