As national security adviser, John Bolton will be responsible for advising President Trump on relations with other countries, but especially America’s rivals and enemies — a category he defines broadly, including much of the Muslim world.
Within hours of the announcement that Bolton would be replacing Gen. H.R. McMaster in the West Wing, the Council on American-Islamic Relations was out with a fact sheet on his background, including his “cozy relationship with anti-Muslim hate groups.” It singled out in particular his relationship with Pamela Geller, the author and anti-Muslim activist described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “probably the best known — and the most unhinged — anti-Muslim ideologue in the United States,” known for her efforts to post anti-Muslim ads on New York City buses and for speculating (in a blog post that’s no longer online) that Barack Obama was actually the illegitimate love child of Malcolm X.
Anders Breivik, the right-wing Norwegian terrorist who went on a shooting rampage at a youth camp in 2011, killing scores of youngsters, was a fan of Geller’s writings. In turn, she wrote that the victims were enrolled in an anti-Israel “indoctrination training center,” and would have grown up to become “future leaders of the party responsible for flooding Norway with Muslims who refuse to assimilate, who commit major violence against Norwegian natives including violent gang rapes, with impunity, and who live on the dole.”
Geller disputes authorship of the quote, which was attributed to her at the time and subsequently in books. It no longer appears on her blog.
(Earlier this year, Oath Inc., the parent company of Yahoo News, canceled a social-media show hosted by two of Geller’s daughters, who go by the surname of Geller’s late husband, Michael Oshry. After the daughters’ past inflammatory tweets emerged, Oath said in a statement: “The Morning Breath, an Oath social media show, is being canceled immediately and we have launched an internal investigation and will take other appropriate steps based on the results of the investigation.”)
Geller is also a longtime fan of Bolton, endorsing him for president in 2011 as “the antidote to the sick, debilitated state of the country which Obama has inflicted upon us.” And Bolton is a fan of hers. He wrote the foreword to her 2010 book (with Robert Spencer, director of the anti-Muslim group “Jihad Watch”), “The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.” They wrote: “Barack Hussein Obama [Geller took pains to use Obama’s middle name whenever possible] hid the fact that he was a hard-line, doctrinaire socialist and statist, who believed in central planning and government control of the economy as fervently as Stalin or Mao or Kim Jong Il ever did.”
In his foreword, Bolton denounced Obama for the sins of globalism, defeatism and weakness in pursuing the war on terror. This position left him with some explaining to do when Obama authorized the successful attack that killed Osama bin Laden, but Bolton was up to it, telling a Republican campaign event that “in 1969, when Americans landed on the moon, it is like Richard Nixon taking credit for that. It happened to occur during his presidency.”
In its statement, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said, “We urge Americans across the political spectrum to speak out against the appointment of John Bolton as White House National Security Adviser because of his ties to anti-Muslim bigots and his promotion of extremist views that will inevitably harm our nation and that could lead to unnecessary and counterproductive international conflicts.”
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