Yesterday I posted that J. Lee Douglas of the local 9-12 Project group had sent emails and posted to Facebook a letter calling on First Tuesday to cancel an appearance by Grover Norquest and calling on conservatives to boycott First Tuesday. His reason was that he claims Grover Norquet has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The primary source of Douglas' information was statements made by Frank Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy in the Reagan administration.
Allegation that Norquist has ties to Muslim extremist appears to be based on outreach to American Muslims to get them to be supporters of the Republican Party, that he founded an organization to promote capitalism among Muslims called Islamic Free Market Institute, and that his is married to a Muslim Palestinian-American. In 2004 Gaffney first questioned Norquist loyalty. He alleged Norquist had ties to several Muslims that had associations with Muslim terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah and Norquist had helped these people gain influence with the Bush administration. This labeling of Norquist as a disloyal American with ties to terrorist got Gaffney isolated from many mainstream conservatives and banned from participation in CPAC.
The rumors of Norquist terrorist ties spread and was picked up by people like David Horowitz, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin and Pam Geller and then became standard fare for grassroots conservative political organization. Anyone active in the conservative movement has heard these claims. Recently, a new outrageous claim has been made by Gaffney. He claims that on the day 9-11, he had an office next to Norquist's office and by lifting a ceiling tile he could hear Norquist celebrating the 9-11 attack with Muslims in his office. J. Lee Douglas included this claim in his letter calling on First Tuesday to cancel Norquist appearance.
Today, I had the opportunity to talk to Norquist prior to the meeting. I showed him a copy of the letter from J. Lee Douglas, and asked him about the allegations. He said it was all untrue and he was not even in Washington on 9-11 and said no one took Gaffney seriously. He said during the cold war, that Gaffney had made allegations that Brent Scowcroft was a soviet agent. He said Gaffney had lost any credibility he ever had. I told him that the accusations were widely believed and I personally urged him to address the issue. Norquist said something to the effect that he did not want to dignify such allegations with an acknowledgment. I said I thought he should and I said I may ask him about it in Q&A. He said if asked, he would address it but he was not going to be the one to bring it up.
I am glad the questions were asked and I was not the one who had to ask them. We choose who we want to believe when we hear something like this. I am choosing to believe Grover Norquist.