Last Monday, the Center for Security Policy held their annual black-tie gala at the Metropolitan Club of New York. The Intercept’s Lee Fang was there, and he witnessed “a procession of speakers warning darkly about the threat posed by the religion of Islam.” A former Army sergeant who was eliminated from competition in the first round of season 8 of The Voice named Jeremy Gaynor sang. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, spiritual advisor to Michael Jackson, was there. It sounds grim.
The Center for Security Policy is a conservative think tank in the national security space. It was founded in 1988 by Frank Gaffney, one of right wing media’s legion of despicable columnists (he writes for places like Breitbart, the Washington Times, and Newsmax). Non-right wing media hasn’t paid him much attention recently, beyond a Fresh Air investigation in 2012 and some rebuttals from columnists for the Huffington Post. But Gaffney has the ear of the conservative establishment, or at least he did; and the Center for Security Policy used to give out awards to people who “defend American values around the world,” like Dick Cheney and Ray Kelly, but the flagship Keeper of the Flame award hasn’t been given out since 2012. Perhaps the Cheneys of the world have distanced themselves a little bit, because Anders Breivik, who massacred an island full of children in Norway in 2011, cited Gaffney in his Islamophobic manifesto. Gaffney’s main point that he hammers these days is sharia law. He’s very afraid that sharia law is coming to America.
Frank Gaffney looks like Dustin “Screech” Diamond at age 60.